Author Topic: 2017 was a year of badassery for me  (Read 1988 times)

chris5977

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2017 was a year of badassery for me
« on: January 01, 2018, 07:44:14 PM »
2017 has been a good year for me. What a relief, because 2016 was a year of disappointments. In 2016 I got certified to dive so I could get into the Seattle Police Harbor Patrol but it turned out they didnít want me. I took my family on an epic sailing adventure to the Inside Passage to Alaska but the woman I thought was the love of my life, Jessica, was miserable the entire time. It turns out she didnít want me either. After this devastating breakup, a new year came and things began to turn around. In 2017:

I learned to ride a motorcycle. I decided to conquer my fears and see if the risk is worth the reward. After taking the class I bought an old bike and carefully practiced riding around my neighborhood for months. Once I became proficient I did long rides to British Columbia and Oregon. I loved it. Motorcycle touring is my new hobby. Motorcycles are a hack to the transportation system. You can ride in the HOV lane. You can ride for free in toll lanes. You are the first on and first off a ferry. You can park in an RPZ without a permit. You get rock star parking everywhere no matter how crowded it is. The motorcycle is a metaphor for how I try to hack the system to make my life better.

I met my true love, Kat. We are connected to each other intellectually, socially, physically and emotionally. Like me, she is adventurous, yet responsible. She hopped on my bike for a ride around the block on the first date. After weíd been together only a week we opened our laptops and shared the progress of each otherís retirement accounts.

I established a consistent exercise routine. My blood pressure was a little high when they checked it during a routine doctor visit. It has previously been my practice to swing from being a couch potato to a marathon runner and back to sedentary. I decided to be boring and stick to a consistent simple workout routine. Every Monday through Thursday I do the same thing: get up at 5:30 and run a mile. Then in the evening while watching TV I do 25 push ups, 25 sit ups, 25 more push-ups and 25 leg lifts. This is a mere 30 minutes a day commitment but it is enough to make me a little sore so I rest Friday to Sunday. The simplicity of this routine has allowed me to be fanatically devoted to it. I ran on Christmas morning in the dark through the snow. I do a long hike or bike ride on the weekend. After a couple of months of exercise, my blood pressure was back to normal.

I discovered podcasts. There is a scene in The Matrix when Keanu Reeves puts a plug into his brain, goes into a trance and when heís done he says ďI know kung fu?Ē That is what it is like listening to podcasts! Itís a way to effortlessly absorb enormous amounts of information. I have always listened to NPR stuff like Hidden Brain, but those arenít true podcasts. They are slickly produced radio shows that you listen to on the internet. A real podcast is long and freeform. My podcast enlightenment came when I discovered http://www.dancarlin.com/. Heís a golden-throated former radio guy who likes to talk about history. A lot. His series on World War One is 30 hours! Next, I found www.ChooseFI.com, which interviews all of the thought leaders in the FInancial Independence movement. I have been interested in this topic but never really did anything with it. ChooseFI motivated me to make some big changes that I will discuss below. The creators of ChooseFI said they were inspired by the podcast of https://tim.blog/ Ferris, a Silicon Valley life coach. He asks hundreds of prestigious guests in the arts, sports, science, and business such as Peter Thiel and Arnold Schwarzenegger their secrets to success. The consistent theme Iím seeing is that most brilliant people practice meditation. This is something Iíve never tried, but I am intrigued...

I reinvigorated my career at Seattle Police. Burned out from years of investigating sexual assault and child abuse, in 2011 I found a place to hide with the graffiti detective position. Eventually, I was able to get assigned to Criminal Intelligence which investigates organized crime or any crime too complex for a conventional unit but I was still the graffiti detective. I started volunteering to take difficult cases and this year became a full member of the team with a take-home car and the responsibility to handle the most sensitive high profile cases in the city.

I did a news detox. Influenced by the book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by https://markmanson.net/, I decided to stop worrying about things I cannot control. I realized that I was getting constant alerts by email and Facebook from about a dozen news sources, which I eliminated. I donít miss it at all and am much happier with my mental energy freed from this negativity. I plan on avoiding the news indefinitely.

I abstained from alcohol for three months. I was drinking two beers a night which is too much. I lost weight and slept better when I was not drinking. I plan on limiting my alcohol intake going forward by not drinking at home and not drinking alone. This is a bit of life hack to force me to be more social and keep in touch with friends.

I put myself on the path to F.U. Money. Iím way too polite to tell anyone that, but I do want freedom from the mindless drudgery of being a debt slave. At the beginning of the year, I was saving 8% of my take-home pay. By the end 2017, I was able to save 30% by optimizing my life. If you count me overpaying my mortgage, my savings rate is 54%. The average American's savings rate is 5%. By packing a lunch and not going to Starbucks, I am saving $3,000 a year. I do dozens of other little things to reduce spending such as not buying paper towels. Each one of those things alone barely moves the needle, but as an Aggregation of Marginal Gains, I am saving tens of thousands of dollars toward my goal of a Position of F.U. http://www.mymoneyblog.com/f-you-money-gambler-movie.html

In 2018, I am going to:

Teach myself Spanish. This will be a useful skill when I FIRE and circumnavigate on my sailboat.

Learn to be a Wordpress developer. 28% of the internet runs on Wordpress, an open source CMS (Content Management System for building websites). Having this skill will potentially allow me to work as a web developer if I want to have a side hustle.

Travel hack. You can get $10,000 worth of travel a year for free by taking advantage of bonuses to open credit cards. I havenít been to Europe in over a decade so I intend to go there for free in 2019.

I hope everyone has a great 2018!
« Last Edit: January 01, 2018, 07:53:05 PM by chris5977 »
I am a crime fighting sailing bum.

katsiki

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Re: 2017 was a year of badassery for me
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2018, 08:28:41 PM »
Great job, Chris!  And welcome!!
"There are two ways to get enough. One is to continue to accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less." - G.K. Chesterton

Miss Piggy

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Re: 2017 was a year of badassery for me
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2018, 05:08:55 AM »
I loved reading all of this.

Aelias

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Re: 2017 was a year of badassery for me
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2018, 09:14:15 AM »
This is all damn impressive.  Congrats on an awesome 2017, and here's to further badassery in 2018!

GnomeErcy

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Re: 2017 was a year of badassery for me
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2018, 10:13:51 AM »
Awesome! Any specifics you have in mind for the travel hacking? I'd love to get some ideas from you!

chris5977

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Re: 2017 was a year of badassery for me
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2018, 10:29:20 AM »
Travel hacking is easy to do. Difficult to master. I'm starting out by doing the Chase Gauntlet discussed here. https://www.choosefi.com/all-articles/travel-rewards/
I am a crime fighting sailing bum.

me1

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Re: 2017 was a year of badassery for me
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2018, 10:40:48 AM »
wish I was more badass than I am. That sounds like an awesome year for you.

I also just started credit card churning. I would suggest following along with churning reddit forum, they are more up to date than the chart on the website you linked. For example, you can no longer get the CSP and the CSR cards one after the other, you have to do them on the same day, or wait 2 years to get the other. I find that forum very helpful for getting me started.

DirtDiva

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Re: 2017 was a year of badassery for me
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2018, 02:07:31 PM »
PTF


kidding, good job.  :)
Serenity now!

Eucalyptus

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Re: 2017 was a year of badassery for me
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2018, 03:35:38 AM »
Damn awesome Chris! Absolutely Badass year!

Absolutely cheering for you mate :-)

soccerluvof4

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Re: 2017 was a year of badassery for me
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2018, 02:57:14 AM »
Your success heavily I believe  is because you set yourself realistic goals. Congratulations and my 2018 be even more than you hope for!
" In life you don't get what you deserve you get what you negotiate"

minimalistgamer

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Re: 2017 was a year of badassery for me
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2018, 01:11:08 PM »
Fantastic.

Good on you for your service as a law enforcement officer in your community. I am sure its better off because of you.
I paid off my mortgage! You can read the details here -
https://minimalistgamer.blogspot.com/2017/01/paid-off-our-mortgage.html

Feel free to ask any questions.

macoconut

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Re: 2017 was a year of badassery for me
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2018, 01:18:54 PM »
What a wonderful year! I'm motivated to do better myself just by reading all your accomplishments.

By the way, FI comes faster if you DON'T pay down your mortgage: https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/throw-down-the-gauntlet/dont-payoff-your-mortgage-club/ (Assuming your mortgage is not adjustable, of course.)

chris5977

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Re: 2017 was a year of badassery for me
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2018, 01:21:37 PM »
My mortgage is 5% and I only have $52k left. Seems like a no-brainer to get rid of it. The reason the percentage is so high is that it is a boat.
I am a crime fighting sailing bum.

ginjaninja

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Re: 2017 was a year of badassery for me
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2018, 12:59:19 PM »
I really like how you detailed all of your goals and accomplishments!  I might copy you here soon!

As far as learning Spanish, I started this journey last year.  I took Spanish in high school and didn't look back until recently.  A couple of things that really helped me: the library and Live Lingua.  Live Lingua connects you on Skype to tutors that are from Spain, Mexico, or other Spanish speaking countries.  For $10-15/hour depending on how many hours you sign up for you can have one on one private lessons over Skype.  The tutors that I worked with had a lot of other resources that they give you to practice with.  (side note you can do many different languages through Live Lingua if Spanish isn't for you)

I also want to add that the library is a great place for info on Spanish.  My local library has an online section that is designed for kids.  You log in and there is a whole section of the website dedicated to kids books in foreign languages.  I try to read 1-3 books per week from the Spanish section.  They have an interactive web page that will read the books out loud and go through the pictures too!  Sometimes there are even quizzes and games with the books.  It seems cheesy, but it is totally free and it has helped me a ton on learning the language. 

nouveauRiche

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Re: 2017 was a year of badassery for me
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2018, 02:37:45 PM »
chris5977, congrats on all the positive changes. 

I'd like to know how you're learning Spanish.  I'm trying to learn, too.  I've taken classes in the past and I've been listening to CDs from the library.  I'm looking for other sources.

FYI, this is pretty neat:

https://www.newsinslowspanish.com/?switch

chris5977

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Re: 2017 was a year of badassery for me
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2018, 06:11:02 PM »
I've started with the Duolingo app. Going to try iTalki. Exploring options.
I am a crime fighting sailing bum.

capoevename

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Re: 2017 was a year of badassery for me
« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2018, 11:37:32 AM »
I've started with the Duolingo app. Going to try iTalki. Exploring options.
You may wanna checkout https://www.lingq.com. IMO instead of using duolingo, you would do better with pairing lingq and iTalki. Duolingo is "prettier", but, for me at least, lingq offers a way better learning experience.