Thirty four thousand

Well, today was interesting. Markets blew up again, I was up six months salary in my IRA thanks to MARA, RIOT, and my various Grayscale holdings. Three more days like this and I’ll have hit a goal that I set for myself that I made when I was in my twenties, to be a millionaire. On paper, anyways. Half of that will be tied up in retirement accounts, a quarter in real estate. Only the last quarter would be liquid, and I dare not sell any of the rest of it, both for fear of capital gains and being left behind. Thankfully lending platforms give us some options.

The main goal remains to work and wait, to accumulate enough assets that can generate enough income-generating yield to cover the bills, mainly the mortgage and day-to day expenses. And there’s the student loan debt, should it ever come due. It looks like the Dems are favored to win in Georgia tonight, so who knows what Biden will do with a Congressional and Senate majority. Print more money, that’s for sure. I’m not so sure about student loan forgiveness, maybe. Permanent stimulus? I’d rather see universal healthcare. That’s the only question for our family. Healthcare remains the biggest question mark in our early retirement plans. What to do? What country with socialized medicine should we move to? It’s hard to say at this point. I still have hope that the US will do the right thing, but probably too late. Alas.

I made a bit of a post-New Years Resolution earlier, that every time I bought alcohol I would buy the same amount in bitcoin. It’s probably my one vice right now, and my worst from a health standpoint, and I figured this would be a good way to stack and cut down at the same time. So when I opened a bottle of Merlot for dinner tonight, I made sure to pull out my Voyager app and sell ten dollars of USDC to buy BTC. We’ll see how this works.

I was inspired by talking to my friend, E., yesterday. He had told me that he wanted to quit his smoking habit so he could buy bitcoin a few weeks ago, and I followed up with him to see how that was going. He was scheduling a doctor’s appointment to get a prescription to help him. I told Missus, and she said that if he follows up with it and does it then he’ll literally owe me his life. We drink a lot, and she remarked how much we would save if we stopped drinking. I said I’d start buying bitcoin every time I bought beer. Either we’d wind up too cash poor to get drunk, or maybe too rich to care.

I also talked to my friend T. for the first time in several months to catch up. I told him I was almost ready to retire. He laughed, I said, no, I’m serious. He got quiet for minute. I told him how things were going and he disclosed that he’d been into crypto as well. “I had the chance to buy a couple coins back when it was two thou and I didn’t. Really regret it now.” He told me he had a Kraken account now and I was impressed, so I asked him what bags he was holding. Bitcoin, Ethereum, some Chainlink, and Polkadot, he told me. Now I was really impressed. Proud, really. He told me he was sober for four years, it was probably about how long since we had really hung out.

I finished another Expanse book last night, and since Missus was reading Ready Player Two on my iPad, I picked up the copy of the Almanack of Naval Ravikant. It put a lot of things in perspective, and said some things that I’d been trying to get out of my head, much more eloquently than I’d been able to. It was the part about work, of course. Optimize your work for freedom, not money. It’s one that I’ve been living by for some time. Every year that goes by without a raise, and I take my raise by decreasing the amount of time I spend working. Basically, I’m increasing the internal wage that I feel I’m worth, and decreasing the amount of time I spend working. That’s not to say that I’m not getting things done. I’m just separating the inputs from the outputs, which is another big concept that he talks about. It’s about finding leverage, always learning, and building a unique skill set that places you apart from others. It also explains why I hate support calls so much. The inputs are bound tightly to the inputs. The problems they fix aren’t easily replicated; it’s hard to build any sort of leverage that can scale. It’s got me thinking though.

I think that’s part of the reason I’m so frustrated recently. I’ve been unable to make that trade. I took my current job out of necessity – I was unemployed and my first daughter was three months old. It’s been eight years, and I haven’t been able to bring myself to leave. I told Missus I had been looking at various opportunities out there and that I might be close to finding something that would give me a raise at a part time schedule, and she basically told me I was full of shit. I keep trying to tell her that there are opportunities out there for her as well, but she remains convinced that she’s not going to find a job that beats her cushy gov’t post. She feels that she’s already at the top of the pay scale in her field, she doesn’t want to take on the responsibility in a management role, and no private firm is going to match her benefits package. She might be right, but then again, I might be also.

I keep thinking about this chart from @vgr, and thinking that I see way too much of myself in the ‘dark’ column. “Fail to launch,” is me. Not in my personal or professional life, quite the opposite, really, but more from the position that I’ve never launched anything, despite all my idea. Lack of execution. I’ve got that @jason quote in my Twitter bio: starting is easy, finishing is hard,” and yet it’s hard for me to think of anything that I’ve actually shipped. Sure, I’ve finished lots of implementation projects for clients over the years, but when it comes to building something that people want to use and actually shipping it, I’ve failed miserably. Maybe that’s why I get such a fulfillment from getting Github commits on projects that I use, it’s my way of adding a little stamp to a project. I haven’t stuck around for anything though, I always move on to the next thing.

Maybe this writing will help change that. Maybe I can continue to hone my ideas and use this as a way to drive that habit home, focus my ideas and figure out what to leave behind so that I can finish something. I honestly don’t see how that happens unless I’m willing to make a drastic change. Between the job and the kids, something has to give. I’m doing too much. Maybe Twitter is the problem. I spend a lot of time there, but I justify it by saying that I’m getting a lot out of it. I think I know I’m lying to myself. Maybe it’s time for a reread of Atomic Habits and Digital Minimalism. Maybe it’s time for me to shut all that shit off until I work on my own project for x hours a day. I’ve been working on this recovery project for work for two days now, so it’s not like I don’t have the drive or ability. I think it’s just that the reward is so immediate. Ten hours at double the hourly rate, payable to Bossmang, to pay my salary for two and a half weeks. Meanwhile my personal net worth goes to the moon with every tick of a green candle.

This shit cannot continue.

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