Time to take a look back

Two years since I quit my job and a year of blogging — how time flies

zprogressionLife is fleeting. I guess we all know that and it isn’t such a profound thing to say. But there are times when weeks flash by in what feels like minutes. “Wow,” we sigh after an exhausting week, “That week sure flew by.” And so the minutes of our days turn into weeks, which somehow become months. Then, in a quiet moment, we realize decades have slipped away from us.

That’s how it’s been around here the last few months. I can barely remember what’s been happening as I lurch from thing I have to do to thing that has to be done next. So, dear readers, I apologize for disappearing on you for the past several weeks. I won’t promise that it won’t happen again.

What’s been going on? Really, just life. Pretired Baby is officially a toddler now and has me on the move. He also had a major sleep regression a little over a month ago. That joyful stage included screaming in the middle of the night, a sleep schedule thrown into disarray and fighting us at bedtime. On top of that he’s been ridiculously clingy — always with me. To the point where he throws a fit if I even leave the room. Exhausting!

Meanwhile we’ve also been making a big push on the basement remodel project. I’ll save some of the detail for a later post, but let’s just say it’s been a good reminder that you never know what you’re going to find when you take drywall off walls. Naturally right at the same time my consulting client needed a bunch of work all at once so that has kept me hopping.

That’s all just a long way of saying I’m sorry I’ve been too busy to write. We’re making a few schedule tweaks to the childcare coverage and Pretired Baby’s sleep schedule has been getting back to normal so hopefully we’ll be back to normal soon. Fortunately we have a much-needed vacation coming up that should allow us to take a breath at least.

But these crazy past few weeks aren’t the only reason I’m pausing to take a look back.

I’m just a few days away from marking two years since I quit my horrible job to get ready for the baby’s arrival. And I just passed one year of blogging — appropriately I was too busy to post something about it on my anniversary.

This is what I mean by time flying by. Two years since I left my job? Really?

I don’t remember a ton of detail about that last day of work. I had some lunch with some buddies. I deleted a lot of old email. I left kind of early. All I know for sure is that the most dangerous place in Seattle that day was between my car and the freeway. The strips of rubber I left on the road that day are probably still there, marking my trail with black hate.

I quit knowing it was an uncertain move. Sure, I had no short-term economic worries. I had no debt outside of my real estate, enough free cash to last quite a while and a wife who still worked (even though I was committed to paying my own expenses). I was already on my wife’s free healthcare because the plan at that job was terrible. Since I hadn’t yet sold my fourplex, I had some theoretical monthly income and equity I could tap if I ever got desperate. And I’ve always known I probably need 3-5 more years of income to totally ice my pretirement.

But to keep things interesting, we decided that would be the perfect time to gut the kitchen and do a complete remodel. We sent Pretired Mama away for awhile and I got out the sledgehammer and destroyed the place. I’m still amazed how quickly we pulled that one off. It was a little crazy to try to squeeze that in before the baby arrived, but we were smart to get it done before he got here, I think, especially knowing how things are now.

I wisely quit in the spring so I would be able to enjoy the summer at home. And it was a beautiful summer. Yeah, I was busy working on the house, but it felt great and having wide open days with no job or baby meant I could move fast. No desk sitting meant I felt better than I had in years. I’d step outside to cut some studs on the chop saw and the sun would feel magical on my skin. The neighborhood was quiet and empty. Bliss.

Then the baby happened.

I had a lot to learn. How to feed him. How to calm him. I’ve changed a shitload of diapers. I’ve done a ton of laundry. Fortunately my wife got a few months off from her job so we were both home full-time for about four months together. Then it was just me. Then I spun up my consulting business again, doing most of my work during naps. And then I started a major basement remodel. Oh yeah, and started a blog.

The blog has grown far beyond my wildest dreams. It started as a lark, almost more as a way to get some things off my chest more than anything else. But the response has been tremendous and surprising. Now that this site is becoming a “thing” I’m beginning to formulate some actual goals for the future. Goals? Wow, I hope this doesn’t start to feel like a job! Either way I’ll share some of those goals in the coming days. 

And, yes, I have more posts to come. I still have a lot to say. I just need to find the time! 

So here’s to many more years of blogging and hopefully many more years of not working! Thanks for joining me on my journey!

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26 Thoughts on “Time to take a look back

  1. I was wondering where you’ve been. I keep coming onto your site in anticipation of a new post, but was forced to leave empty handed! Pretired baby is adorable. Baby LRC is having some sleep issues…I think he’s teething..but we’ve been thinking that for months. He’s attached to his mom at night so he’s inconsolable if she’s not there. That’s tough. I’ve not posted consistently enough on my blog either…I don’t know where people with little ones find the time! Can’t wait to hear your goals.
    Andrew@LivingRichCheaply recently posted…Image is Everything. Isn’t it?My Profile

    • Pretired Nick on March 24, 2014 at 12:48 pm said:

      Ah, thanks, Andrew! The teething thing is rough but temporary. Pretired Baby has always been a really good sleeper so it threw us off when he had some disruption. Hopefully I’ll get my goals post out there soon.

  2. Congratulation man! A baby really shows you how time flies. 2 years is a huge for them and they grow so much. We went through that clingy state too and it was tough to get any privacy. He always wanted to come into the bathroom with me… Now he’s better, though.
    Yeah, March has been crazy for me too. There are just too many things to do. I guess that’s better than being bored. At least the nice weather is here. We need to enjoy the sunny days while we can.
    Joe recently posted…Would you use your retirement fund to start a small business?My Profile

    • Pretired Nick on March 24, 2014 at 12:49 pm said:

      Thanks, buddy! Yeah, the weather is great. Although mainly that means I can change from hiding inside because of the cold rain to hiding inside because of the pollen. Still loving it, though!

  3. 2 years, wow! I started following you right after I quit working full time. That was over six months ago.

    I hear you on the toddler front. At almost 2, ours is wild and quite a handful. Luckily spring is here and we’ll be able to do more outdoor fun stuff.

    Glad you’re keeping us updated on what you’re up to. I think it’s okay to take a hiatus from blogging when life happens.

    Like Joe said, keeping busy is way better than the alternative – getting bored. 🙂
    Justin @ Root of Good recently posted…Advantages of Early Retirement With KidsMy Profile

  4. Congrats!!! Life is good, eh? 🙂

  5. What is this “life” you speak of getting in the way of blogging? 😉

    I have a feeling that things will get preposterously busy once we throw a kid or two in the mix. I’m guessing it’s something I’m going to have to experience first hand to really plan for though…
    Done by Forty recently posted…That Time Someone Ran Over My ScooterMy Profile

    • Pretired Nick on March 27, 2014 at 9:23 am said:

      Everyone will tell you that it completely changes your life, but there’s no way to explain it. You just have to live it to find out.

  6. We’ll let the lapse slide this time Nick! I only found your blog recently but it didn’t take long to plow through your posts because of all the great insight. Looking forward to more of them.

  7. Great job on the kid, but that is going to be expensive… Two more years for me and I am free of the shackels of a full time job!
    No Nonsense Landlord recently posted…Why Avoid Tenants with Credit Scores Below 600?My Profile

    • Pretired Nick on March 27, 2014 at 9:25 am said:

      Two more years? That’s not bad at all! I can’t wait for the big announcement post when you cross over the freedom line!

  8. I was a bit worried that you threw in the towel. Very glad to see you’re still in the game!
    Mr. 1500 recently posted…Ask the Readers: Would you invest in a local business?My Profile

  9. Ah, two years since you quit your job! That must feel pretty awesome. And I totally relate to that last day of work. In my case, it was the longest day ever but the feeling that I had – the feeling of complete freedom when I left that building for the last time.. that was priceless!

    Baby Romanian is finding it difficult to sleep throughout the night and each and every night he wakes up at three and doesn’t fall asleep until 5:30. Pretty exhausting, but certainly this is part of being a parent. I’m glad – as you probably are too – that I don’t have to go to office each day, though. That would’ve been a real pain!

    Looking forward on reading more from you – you have a lot of updates to post!
    C. the Romanian recently posted…When Things Go Bad, Become a Digital Nomad!My Profile

    • Pretired Nick on March 27, 2014 at 9:28 am said:

      Oh yeah, I’ve got my work cut out for me, that’s for sure. We had that bout of Pretired Baby waking up in the middle of the night and wanting to play and have milk, etc. We finally decided to let him cry for a bit longer than normal. Suddenly he gave up on us and fell back asleep. He cried out briefly for a few more nights in a row but always went back to sleep. Now he’s back to sleeping all night. Thirteen hours the last three nights!

  10. Jamie V on March 25, 2014 at 5:05 am said:

    Congratulations on everything you have accomplished, as well as raising a child! It sounds like a lot of hard work and I don’t envy you, but I can see how hectic and tiring life can get. You are learning the balancing act, though. I look forward to further updates, of course after baby lets you get some sleep and time to blog. Keep it up!

    • Pretired Nick on March 27, 2014 at 9:29 am said:

      Thanks for the kind words, Jamie! I certainly have no complaints, just trying to figure out how to fit everything in. Glad you’re along for the ride!

  11. Crazy how quickly time flies huh? I guess you and I are on the same track as I just did my two year reflection last week. March 2014 is my two year anniversary.

    I fear our time will go even faster! Hope you are enjoying it!
    Financial Samurai recently posted…Should I Get An Electric Vehicle (EV)?My Profile

  12. Congrats on a year of blogging. And congrats on two years of being financially independent! That’s something I hope to accomplish one day too!
    Thomas @ i need money ASAP! recently posted…Data Entry Jobs From HomeMy Profile

  13. I always get caught off guard on anniversaries like these as well. I am always so busy focused on whatever, that I only notice such time markers in passing. I suppose its best to view things like this. It means we were busy and invested in our work. Life would drag by if we were just waiting for the next landmark to pass by!

    • Pretired Nick on April 15, 2014 at 7:48 am said:

      Yeah, it certainly can sneak up on you — especially when you’re busy! But it is healthy to note these milestones, I think. But a quick glance back and then back to life should be enough!

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