Ultra-Planner Going To Take It One Day At A Time

crispydoc planning ahead, Uncategorized 5 Comments

Leif (better known as Physician on Fire), is a genuinely down to earth person, the type that gives Minnesotans their well-deserved  reputation. Mostly aw shucks wholesome Fargo, with just enough mischief to remind you his state also gave the world the artist formerly known as Prince.

I met PoF for the first time at FinCon, and saw him answer the same enthusiastic questions from fellow bloggers with grace and good cheer. Everyone’s top question was no surprise:

Adoring fan: What will you do in retirement?!

PoF: We’re exploring traveling as a family and road-schooling the kids for our first year. I’ll keep blogging. Honestly, though, I’ll take it one day at a time.

If this were an 80s era John Hughes film, the record scratch happens exactly now.

How do we reconcile the image of an ultra-optimizer who planned carefully enough to reach FIRE as a doc in his early 40s with such an ostensibly squishy response?

It’s wisdom misinterpreted as indecision.

Life is a process of continual change.

Anyone who’s ever had a five- or ten-year plan should recognize that the person you become five or ten year later has a different perspective; has adapted to unexpected but life-changing experiences (major illness, loss of a loved one, failed relationships); has developed new priorities. These forces result in an altered trajectory.

Case in point: One of my closest friends from high school went directly to a prestigious university. After graduation, before dealing with the real world, he decided to take a year off to be a free spirit, working under-the-table jobs in Europe just long enough to pay bills and splurge on travel adventures thoughout the continent.

He returned one year later with an unexpected child born to a European woman with whom he’d shared his first sexual relations.

Sometimes the most honest and realistic answer about planning for the future is to take it one day at a time.

Comments 5

  1. It is nice to have a long term goal to aim for but as you mentioned, life happens and rarely do we follow the exact path we anticipated.

    The next thing about FIRE is you really can take it one day at a time because you have both the time and finances to explore any options that present themselves. Besides, some of the best things in life are squishy.

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      My daughter, who turned 11 yesterday, ran a for-profit make-your-own slime clinic with a friend last spring. It netted her $25. All to say she would heartily agree with your squishy comment!

    1. Post

      My friend, every time I see your trademark Cool Cat avatar with beret and sunglasses, I feel warm inside knowing your comment will inevitably leave me feeling better about myself. Where were you when I needed that dose of self-esteem in junior high school, Mr. Groovy?

  2. You never step in the same river twice. It matters not your “plan”. Your only choice is the river that runs before you and whether or not to step. You stepped in a river 10 years ago, it took you somewhere. You step again it take you out of that river. You step again you’re in a new river. All time travel is forward directed and immediate. Believing you have a “plan” is what’s squishy. Heraclitus said the only universal constant is change. Retirement is all about obtaining enough security that you can step out of the old river and into the new river once again. Security provides the courage to step, or maybe vis versa.

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