I love music, and I have since I can remember. It can give me chills, make me smile, make me cry, it’s the one thing I truly love in so many of its forms. My dad also loved music, stuff I can now appreciate musically, but most of which I still consider “crap” (sorry dad, but a lot of it is bad). Mom was more Motown, R&B, and “oldies” centric, but R&B when it meant rhythm and blues, The Temptations, The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, The Four Tops, Ray Charles, man, I’m giddy just remembering those guys, and yep, just started a good Motown playlist in the background. Aaahhh…
One musician dad was a huge fan of that stuck with me though is Neil Diamond. Man, I love me some Neil! Cheesy as it can be, those lyrics cut to my soul so much, because I just get it. Although, as Mrs. SSC put it, “Neil Diamond, Neil Young, same diff, right?” Oh, Mrs. SSC…
But one of his songs in particular lately has struck a chord with me, “Forever in blue jeans.” What a song! It resonates with most of what I read on your blogs most every week, which is mainly that acquiring loads of money doesn’t matter, but as long as you have each other or what you deem your priority in life, you’re good. It’s about getting your life to a point where you call the shots and where you’re happy. Who doesn’t want that?
My whole life I’ve been money centric.
Growing up broke as can be with parents that have zero good financial sense, I’ve tried to work towards making as much money as possible so that money is never a worry. Worrying about money, is the worst feeling in my life. It ranks up there with finding out someone you care about has died. I really hate worrying about money. This was my hangup with ER. Why the hell would I walk away from a nice comfortable setup to go back to scrounging just to not work?! No way! But then my focus changed.
For me, it was my kids. After having them I realized 2 things: 1. I’d do anything in the world for them. Yes, this really most exclusively means trading my life for theirs if God forbid that was ever an option, 2. I want to spend as much time with those guys as possible while I can.
One day, they’re going to go make their own lives and it is coming way sooner than I want. I already know this, and they just turned 2 and 4. I only have 16 years before they’re gone and off to college or career or who knows what, but it’s coming.
How does this affect me or my lifestyle or even our FFLC? Man, has my priority switched, because, since then and now, we’ve found our number that we’ve been living off of and can live off of and we have a date when we should reach that number. That date is in about 3 years and then we’ll be leaving our jobs.
Coming back to the Neil Diamond song, I realized my focus was echoed by these lyrics.
But it don’t sing and dance
And it don’t walk.
And long as I can have you
Here with me, I’d much rather be
Forever in blue jeans”
….”And if you pardon me
I’d like to say
We’ll do okay
Forever in blue jeans, babe
And long as I can have you
Here with me I’d much rather be
Forever in blue jeans, babe”
Let’s see. Our “comfy life” as it is now, involves an almost 1 hr. commute each way, 9’ish hr’s at the office 4-5 days a week, to see the kids an hr or two a day before bed, and then get to hang with them while catching up on other errands/chores and what not over the weekends… Yeah, we’ve made it!! Versus taking a chance that our ER plans go as planned, but maybe we’ll be forever in blue jeans? I’ll take it.
I get really freaked out by this sometimes, and I try to put on a brave face, but I still get worried. Worried that we’ll try and fail. Worried that we’ll leave our “nice” jobs and end up in a horrid life of scrounging, scrimping, and worrying about money constantly. Kill me now, please. The knot and 20 lb weight in my stomach just writing about it makes me SO risk averse, part of me just wants to keep working until I’m really, really, sure I’ll always be good. And this is probably what drives most people to work for SO much of there lives. But that “horrid” life of watching our funds and scrounging for money, if it came to that still sounds like it’s a way better quality one than I’m living now.
I realized I’d rather be doing my life on my terms and forever in blue jeans, than in an office answering, “Yes, sir! Of course sir! Tomorrow sir, you’ll have those reports!” and if sh!t hits the fan, well, I’d rather try and fail than sit by in quiet fear and trepidation wondering what if. You know what I won’t get back ever? Time with my family. I also know that between me and Mrs. SSC, we can be making half the money my family was raised on and we’ll make it work comfortably. So, yeah, I’ll take that chance on spending as much time with family as possible while also maybe making my life way less comfortable than it is now. I have to say, the “comfort” I’m giving up versus the comfort I’m working towards I’ll take any day. And if we’re forever in blue jeans, I don’t count that as a fail either.
What made you want to get to FIRE/FFLC/Not working for the man and doing thing on your terms?
Neil Diamond Picture from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAWpkBurVno