Mountains Move QuietlyWell that's one sub-title that's not going to rank well in the Search Engines, LOL, but it just came to me as a way to explain how major life changes, and major shifts in decision making that sound combative and huge, could happen so quietly, day-by-day, with very little fanfare. I probably will never say this again, but thank you Geology. Mountains move, and continue to move and grow very slowly over long periods of time - but that doesn't change the fact that mountains far larger than any personal demons or struggles any of us have do move - and they do it without noise. Yet a mountain moving even 12 inches would definitely qualify as a lot of movement considering the sheer size and scope.
So in a lot of ways, that analogy seems to be a good one for a lot of what's going on in life right now. The slowness of a mountain moving seems to be, as well. In many ways, I'm all but financially set at this point in that I'm making enough per month, and will continue to do so, to pay off all my bills (which will become FAR easier when I get some roommates to split rent in the apartment), and will continue to make enough to pay off the debts and put some aside.
In a short matter of a couple of months I've basically doubled my monthly (and thus yearly) income, and that amount is still steadily growing. Financially, I'll be in great shape by next year once I work through the dental surgery, past medical bills, and credit card debt. And being someone who craves freedom and travel, that's really big news to me that goes way beyond the financial implications alone.
So the dental surgery is part of the news. The wisdom teeth were pulled in the spring, and now the damage they caused is getting fixed piece by piece. My two front teeth were cleaned, the infection treated, and fillings put in. They look fantastic, and especially after dealing with tooth decay for so long, it's amazing how that little detail brings up the entire self confidence. The other two really bad ones get repaired on Tuesday, and it won't surprise me at all if a jump in self confidence and just overall well being occurs after the fact. If nothing else, it will be nice to not have the stress of knowing I have to get dental work done somehow, some way, without any money to pay for it. This will pretty much cost the entire "best contract I've ever received" but at least it is done and out of the way.
The weight loss is plateauing where it generally always does, but very slowly bit by bit I'm getting closer to my goal, and even when the scale says my weight is the same (or even higher) the clothes keep fitting better and I keep having to buy in smaller sizes, so something is definitely working. Generally feel better and stronger, although some days are better than others. I can run again for the first time since the car accident at the end of 2005, so that was actually quite ridiculously exciting considering I never liked running - but I hate not being able to do something even more.
I walked to Barnes and Noble a few times the past few weeks, and finally decided after so many 16-20 hour work days in a row, I deserved to buy myself a little gift. So I finally spent $30 on the Newly Revised The 4 Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss. I bought the audio book version to listen to it on my laptop, and for those of you who read the original: YES, this is definitely worth the buy. I know the title sounds hypey (and he admits he doesn't like the title at all but marketing forced it) and not everything in the book applies to everyone, but this is a work that can change your life simply by learning to be ultra productive in less times, challenging pre-suppositions, and learning the truth about the sheer amount of options that people have. It also teaches a critical lesson about why you shouldn't mindlessly follow any conventional road to career, college, or success.
This was an excellent pick up, and it was necessary anyway since I somehow lost Disc 2 out of the original 6 disc set I had. The revised version is on 11 discs, to give you an idea of how much more is there. And to me, it's the best type of motivation. Not hyped up or pie in the sky or touchy feely, but filled with case after case after case of people who have learned to live the lives of their dreams by taking risks, using technology, and are enjoying all the benefits of that. They're the type of stories that inspire me. I lived that way for a while to a limited degree, but I want the whole pie and without the oppression of debt that I'm stuck with right now.
And even a few months ago that seemed really far away. Right now...it seems to be getting closer. Now the one issue with the mountain moving thing - I'm not a patient person. It is very easy for me to get frustrated. Why can't I be out of debt RIGHT NOW? Haven't I done enough work? Can I really do this for x more amount of time, etc and so on and so forth.
So even though I realize the corner has been turned financially, I still have to daily fight against the frustration or depression that comes from the bills that still have to be paid and the dental work that still has to be paid, and one more year of high rent before moving to a more reasonable place. Some days this is a complete non-issue, other times it's a sludge fest. But that's part of my nature. I like taking action, and the daily chipping away at a mountain doesn't satisfy the part of me that craves that decisive and bold advancement.
But I've already decided on taking one month off next year and going to visit Belize. Have wanted to for years, and I've noticed when I talk about wanting to do something, life often gets in the way. When I decide to do something, often times it happens. So I made the decision that next year it's going to happen, as is a long road trip covering all the states I haven't managed to visit yet, from Idaho to Massachusetts to Louisiana.
Also looking at buying my first house. That was definitely one of the unexpected developments of the past few weeks. It won't be done this year, but I'm looking at moving next year to a small Missouri town about 45 minutes from Kansas City. I have several of my best friends who live down there, and it's ridiculous how cheap it is to buy a good modern house there. It's ideal for what I want - a nice home base with good friends, a nice quiet area with plenty of outdoors options around, and a good place where I have friends who can keep an eye on it while I'm away for weeks or months at a time enjoying life and having adventures. It's more centrally located to a lot of places than I am now, and close enough I can still visit my sister reasonably often and also be reasonably close to family.
And with the way my businesses are growing and work is going, in theory by the end of next summer I might be able to save up as much as half for the down payment. Or if things keep really going well, then the whole thing.
So a lot's changed, even though I'm still in Cedar Rapids, still in the apartment, still hacking away and typing a way bit by bit, still working the ridiculously long days. Doesn't look any different, but a lot's changed and is changing, and determination was definitely the driving force behind it.