20 März 2021

So I was perusing my news aggregator yesterday afternoon, and this one article piqued my interest. The article was headlined: “This man became financially independent at 36 and says the key to happiness is “owning your own time.”” So I got about 1/2 way through the article and said what a load of crap!!! In a nutshell, the guy amassed a million dollars in real estate. So he basically gave up his full time job to become self employed as a landlord. Well he also consults part time in the IT field, and he and his girlfriend bought a small farm and raise sheep. Plus he is a volunteer fire fighter. The article talks goes on about how he feels liberated his time is his own, etc, etc, etc…… OK, I get it that he is happier. Doing what you WANT to do is almost always going to increase your happiness level vs doing what you HAVE to do. This young man is a long way from financial independence, however. If he stops working: 1) all his animals die 2) his rental properties fall apart 3) the income he gets from his consulting business dries up. 4) he and his girlfriend starve once they have eaten the animals, because they can’t buy food.

Don’t get me wrong. I applaud the fact that this young man figured out relatively young that working for someone else was not making him happy. I applaud the fact that his and his girlfriend are (according to the article) are saving 50% or more of their incomes for their future. Those are great things, and quite frankly I wish that everyone could follow those guidelines. I know, for me, I figured out about the same age, that I really didn’t like working for Target. That was about the time, I quit, went back to school, and then wound up getting a job in IT. I was a lot more happy the last 15 years I worked then I was the first 15 years. I was doing something I liked and I was good in my job. Working with some REALLY GREAT people helped as well. I also know that if Julie and I had saved 50 – 80% of our income we wouldn’t be living in Switzerland right now. We would be retired somewhere. On that note. It is really easy to save a lot of money when it is just two of you and a dog. Throw a couple of rug-rats into that equation and see if they are still saving 80% of their income. 🙂 🙂

My hope is that young people reading that article learn the lesson that the article tries to hide. You will work hard in your life. It doesn’t matter what your job, you are going to work hard. Yes, some jobs will lead to greater financial success, but you are going to be working hard no matter your occupation. I also hope they learn the lesson of saving as much as you can. Having those savings will give you a lot more options. I know in our life having those savings let me give up an income for a few years and pursue a degree (not to mention those years I got to spend with the kids when they were small!!!!). Those savings also allowed me to take a job with a school district vs looking for more money in private industry. Again giving our family a lot more flexibility when the kids were small. Finally, having some savings gave us the flexibility to take this leap of faith and move to Switzerland. So work hard youngsters. Hopefully you are able to do something you enjoy, but if not keep working hard and saving; so that someday you have options!

Last February when we were taking our last stroll through Zermatt I saw a copy of a book titled Bierwandern Schweiz Der erfrischendste weg die Schweiz zu endtdecken. Translated to: BEER HIKING IN SWITZERLAND THE MOST REFRESHING WAY To DISCOVER SWITZERLAND! I could not buy thte book then as it was Sunday and the store was closed. I have been looking for it ever since. I wasn’t looking that hard, but if I went into a bookstore I would wander around to see if they had a copy. Last weekend we found a bookstore in Zürich that had a small American/British corner. It was packed full with peanut butter, cereal, and other “English” staples. Sometimes I do think the Swiss see British and Americans as the same. Of course the British eat baked beans for breakfast! I wish that had caught on in the US, but I digress. While Julie was deciding to buy some brown sugar since they were out of the yellow mustard we went there to get. I did a little checking out some of the books, and I found my book.

I was so excited that we would be able to try it out in Locarno, but there are no hikes in that area. However, in the picture below, I circled hikes that will be within an hour drive from our house! So hopefully, that means this summer when we have nothing else going on I will be able to update you on our latest Beer Hike!

This might have just been the best 35 CHF I have spent!

watching the IU coaching search

Sometimes being 6 hours ahead is kind of fascinating. Watching the IU coaching search online has been one of those times. I’ve followed a couple of sports message boards over the years. It has been an enjoyable way to watch football and basketball games. Being online talking with other fans, is the next best thing to sitting in your living room surrounded by people all rooting for the same team. It has been especially fun the last 6 years. Once George left the house, no one would be in the same room with me when IU was playing. I guess I scare people…….

Anyway, the last 36 hours has been like watching a Q-Anon theory hit the world. Some random person makes a claim. Somewhat based on fact, but more fantasy than anything else. Another person mentions that “Q’ knows what they are talking about. You can believe them. Then “Q-1” gets on with another little tidbit just slightly more outrageous, but still plausible. Before you know it, you have a good chunk of the population believing this BS that quite literally some random stranger on the internet brought up.

Where it becomes entertaining (well entertaining when it is about a college basketball coach, but SCARY when it is about serious subjects). Is when “Logical Person” steps in and tries to point out the flaws in the posted hypothesis. Now all of a sudden Q-2 through 10 gets on and starts supporting the original post. Once you start supporting the BS you have now convinced yourself to believe it. You have increased your own buy in, so now this off the wall theory is a FACT in your mind. In regards to the coaching search here is where it gets REALLY FUNNY.

So some hard proof is given: like the coach you really want stating in a press conference that he is not leaving his current job, or one of the coaches co-workers stating that “Coach held a team meeting and assured us all that he is NOT leaving.” Online, you can now watch these people completely ignore the proof. They come up with excuses: “That is what he has to say.” “Every coach always says the same thing.” “But his family is from Bloomington. ( it isn’t by the way.)” “There is proof the election was stolen, you just have to look harder.” . See where I am going with this? In one message board, there is literally page after page of people contorting themselves to not believe the facts, but instead believe the BS. These IU fans have become so invested in Brad Stevens becoming the next coach, they are willing to believe anything that supports him coming to Bloomington.

I still do not understand what makes people believe the absurd. There must be some deep psychological need that is affirmed by believing this stuff. I should probably ask my psychologist sister. She could probably explain it to me. I just wish that more people would remember how to think and to review facts. We were all taught how to do this in Middle School and High School. Our teachers worked with us on how to review sources and be able to separate the good from the bad. Why have we forgotten this? How do we go back to getting people to think critically and objectively? It has been entertaining watching this play out due to a basketball coach, but man it is scary when it causes people to storm the US Capitol Building.

I hope you have a great weekend. I will talk to you next week!

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