The bulk of my posts are forward-looking and positive about how we are taking action and improving our life by controlling our cash and spending on what makes us happy. That is by design. I don’t like dwelling on negativity and tend to put the past behind me, but sometimes it’s important to highlight when the plan goes by the wayside and there is a stretch where things don’t go your way.
Last week, wasn’t our week.
On Tuesday, Mrs. AE found out she didn’t get a promotion she went for after making it through all the interview rounds.
Later on Tuesday, I left work sick and slept for 30 of the next 48 hours, hardly even seeing Little AE, avoiding holding her out of fear of getting her sick. I got behind at work (taking PTO for being sick – the worst), which means I got behind on this site, which means I got behind on all my other obligations.
That cascades into Mrs. AE picking up all the responsibilities around the house. Solo newborn duty, not an easy task.
Just as I was starting to feel better Thursday evening I noticed that the little gal felt warm, we took her temperature and she had a fever of 100.9. A quick call to the nurse’s line and we were sent to the Emergency Room. We ended up staying there for 5 hours, had to watch them draw blood from our 5 week old to check for infections.
Thankfully they didn’t see anything alarming and sent us home, but it was a stress filled experience we could have done without.
It Doesn’t always go as Planned
If you have read any of our Net Worth Updates you might think everything is smooth sailing, quarter in – quarter out. While the overall trend has been positive, it is not always easy. We set yearly goals and have a done a great job hitting them over the last few years, but it hasn’t been without challenge.
Shit will happen that tests your patience. Nothing goes straight up, take a look at any stock market chart for proof.
A few other things that haven’t gone our way financially over the last few months…..
- There was the $300 nail puncture that forced us to replace our front two tires
- A $2,600 tax bill we didn’t plan for
- That stressful Emergency Room visit cost another $150
This all happening when we are expecting the final bill for our hospital stay and not earning our full income.
While this is a great venting session for me, I also want to be transparent and show we aren’t immune to bad luck or mistakes. I should have done more work to make sure our employer was withholding enough taxes. We don’t get every promotion we go for even though it may seem like it with all the positivity I blast around here.
We aren’t immune to failure
Money isn’t the only thing that compounds
While the above situations are all fairly normal, everyday occurrences, when they compound together it is easy to lose focus on what you are trying to accomplish. You start coming up with other reasons you can’t hit your goals.
I started looking for the easy way out.
- We can tap our Emergency Fund
- Let’s cancel our Roth IRA contributions for a few pay periods
- Drop the extra amount we are paying on my student loan debt for a few months
While these are all legitimate solutions, my brain NEVER goes to them right away. If we threw in the towel and stopped investing everytime we were dealt a challenge we wouldn’t have made the jumps we have in the last 2 years.
The easy way is tempting when you are focusing on negativity
When things aren’t going your way, look to simplicity
A very simple series of events brought me out of this negativity “funk”
On Friday night, a simple movie night started off the healing process. I don’t know if the dog and Little AE knew we needed a win but all 4 of us ended up on the couch for 2 hours straight relaxing as a family. No barking, no crying.
Saturday Mrs. AE and I went out for lunch and a movie while my parents watched Little AE. It was the first time we were away in just over 5 weeks and it felt good to sit and chat over lunch, just the two of us.
Half way through we got a picture of our daughter laying on the table holding my Dad’s hand. He was staring back at her smiling. Seeing those two bonding put a smile on our face.
Saturday night we met up with some friends who just has a little girl as well to grill some steaks and enjoy the weather.
By Sunday morning, I had forgotten about the previous week, sat down and started coming up with ways to pay the extra expenses. We might still have to tap into our Emergency Fund, but that it what it is there for. We can build it back up when Mrs. AE goes back to work in 6 weeks.
When everything is going wrong, find simple things that bring you happiness and push out the negativity
I could some this up really simply and say “shit happens” – which is true, but I think it goes further than that for a few reasons.
- When the proverbial shit flys in the face of one of your written goals, you take it personally
- The more ambitious you are, the more you will have to fight through
I believe Financial Independence is worth fighting for, occasionally the pursuit will test my resolve, but if it was easy everyone would do it. The quicker you can get passed the bumps, the quicker you can focus on your goals.