Before you read this post, I just want to give the disclaimer this is going to be a very personal post and quite long. Although this is a personal finance blog focusing on financial independence (early retire too I suppose), stock investing, and dividend income, the blog is also a personal blog about me and my pursuit for joyful life.
Consider yourself warned!


My recent personal struggles

The last little while I have had days where I was extremely irritated, upset, frustrated, and just not in a very good mood. I would feel extremely impatient and little things would set me off. I would find myself yelling at kids for little things, getting upset at Mrs. T, or throwing things across the room due to frustration.

This is a complete opposite of what I am usually like. I am usually a happy-go-lucky type of guy that doesn’t get fazed too often. I can be as cool as a cucumber. Having worked in high tech for the last 12 years, I know I can handle and thrive in high-stress and high-demand environment.

But something just hasn’t clicked for me the last little while.

And I cannot figure out why.

Whenever I was in this frustrated, irritated mood, as a person, it felt terrible. Deep inside although I wanted to feel better, it was extremely hard to pick myself up and get myself out of this state. It was as if I was on a sinking ship. Once the ship started to sink, there was no looking back. Although Mrs. T tried to cheer me up and help me, most of the time it was of no use. Once I got in this state, it would sometimes take me the whole day to get out of it.

Now I have never been diagnosed with any mental illness prior, and there’s no mental illness in my family. But my recent incidents of being frustrated and upset had certainly made Mrs. T quite concerned, especially one day I said something along the line of… “I feel depressed.”

Yea… alarm bells started going off for sure! I was pretty sure that Mrs. T thought I’d commit suicide or something since there have been a few stories about mental health and suicide prevention.

I’d never imagined myself doing that to myself. I never will. I have simply been feeling really upset and haven’t felt like myself at all. And I don’t believe I have any mental illness. It is just a matter of getting into the frustrated state and staying there for a while.

A couple of weekends ago, I had another episode of such utter frustration. It started on Friday morning, Baby T1.0 was whining when he woke up and Baby T2.0 was not much better. One thing led to the other, I went to work feeling extremely annoyed at the kids. Because they weren’t listening and were throwing temper tantrums left, right, and centre right from the morning. It felt like their sole purpose of existing was to annoy me and make me upset.

When I got to work, that annoyed feeling never left. It lingered on despite me trying to get rid of it throughout the day by shifting my focus to work tasks. When I got back home from work, I was greeted by two screaming kids that were throwing temper tantrums and a tired-looking wife. The annoyed feeling came back immediately. I felt irritated and frustrated. I didn’t want to be in the same room with the kids. Within a few minutes of getting home that evening, I was yelling at the kids, and getting mad at them.

I felt terrible for yelling at the kids, but I didn’t know what else to do. The more I yell at them, the more frustrated I felt, and that led to more yelling. It was a never-ending vicious cycle. After the kids were sleeping, Mrs. T tried to comfort me, but I was not having any of it. I ended up going to bed feeling extremely annoyed. Since getting married, we have been giving each other goodnight kisses before going to sleep every single night. That night was one of the few nights that we didn’t give each other a goodnight kiss. Yea, it was that bad. I was pretty sure Mrs. T was frustrated and was lying next to me, sobbing.

Somehow this annoyed feeling lingered on the very next day too. I was in a miserable mood the whole day. I didn’t want to do much. Mrs. T tried to get me involved in various activities to take my mind off. We went swimming as a family in the afternoon. Mrs. T and the kids were having fun at the pool, but I was not enjoying myself. I barely cracked a smile.

When we came back home from swimming, I was still in a miserable mood. I didn’t want to spend time with Mrs. T and the kids, I just wanted to be left alone. I wanted to be by myself and be left in my own misery. It was a terrible feeling and I did not have a good state of mind. I tried to play some Starcraft games on Battlenet, but after losing for a few games, that only made me more frustrated and wanting to throw the computer out of the window.



Mrs. T to the rescue…thankfully

Fortunately, Mrs. T is a very understanding woman (I love her for that) and she decided to put the kids to bed that night by herself. When the kids were in bed sleeping, Mrs. T sat down with me and together we spend quite a bit of time talking about my feelings. We then spent 10 minutes writing down answers to the following questions.

  1. What makes me happy?
  2. What would I do with 1-hour free time?
  3. What would I do with the whole day to myself?

Below is what I wrote. We then put stars on the top 5-7 things that make each of us happy and ranked the answers for the other two questions. (Yes I have a very messy handwriting, please excuse me for that).

My answers typed out for ease of reading since sometimes I can’t even read my own handwriting. Oops!

What makes me happy?

  • read
  • *take pictures
  • play video games
  • clean up clutter (Mrs. T questioned this one, LOL)
  • *spend time in the outdoors
  • *hiking/skiing
  • walking
  • sit and relax, do nothing
  • *be with friends
  • learn new skills/things</>
  • be active
  • *intimate with Mrs. T
  • *play with kids
  • * travelling
  • relax under the sun
  • try different types of food
  • explore

What I would do with 1 hour of free time?

  1. read
  2. take pics
  3. play games
  4. be active
  5. watch videos

What would I do with the whole day to myself?

  1. read
  2. take pics
  3. be with friends
  4. work on things (i.e. blog, investment, pics, etc)
  5. go outside hiking
  6. go to the gym/swimming
  7. sleep in
  8. unwind with a movie

This was a very interesting exercise for me and I was very glad that Mrs. T suggested it. Somehow, spent time thinking what would make me happy helped me out of the miserable state. I felt uplifted. I began to feel better. I felt I saw the light at end of the tunnel.


Guilt-free me time

After going through the answers with Mrs. T, I realized that what I really needed was to have more time to myself. Or have some self-care time. Lately, I haven’t spent as much time doing things that I wanted to do. I go to work every day, come home, spend some time with the kids and Mrs. T, have dinner, put the kids to bed every other day (Mrs. T and I take turns), then spend some time with Mrs. T before going to bed. Then on weekends, we typically spend time together as a family by doing family activities. Without realizing it, I had failed to look after myself and have some “me time,” so I can be myself as an individual and do things that I enjoy to do, and not feeling guilty for doing that.

You see, although I have had some “alone time” by myself from time to time, I would feel guilty for doing that afterward. This is because Mrs. T is a stay-home mom that looks after both kids every single day, I feel guilty to have to ask her to look after the kids, so I can have some “me time.”

On the other hand, Mrs. T has long realized that she needed some “me time” every so often. So she has been taking Zumba classes, attending women’s circles, and other activities while I look after the kids.

She has gotten her “me time” and has been able to fill up her “happiness” tank. Meanwhile, I haven’t been able to do that myself.

I think deep down inside because I haven’t been spending time on self-care and without feeling guilty about it, I began to hold a grudge at Mrs. T whenever she was having her “me time”. Unconsciously I would try to make her feeling guilty for leaving the kids with me.

That’s not how I picture a healthy marriage. And I did not realize I was doing that until I looked deeper within myself.

Although I have written many posts on happiness and joy, I had to dig even deeper to understand what makes me happy and what brings me joy. Perhaps I have lost my focus. And perhaps I have been spending too much time thinking about financial independence retire early (FIRE). Perhaps I have been thinking that once we are financially independent, I would be able to have more time to do things. So I have been putting the “me time” on hold.

The reality is, if I can’t find time to do things that I enjoy now, I probably won’t be able to find time once we are FI. Things won’t just magically change all of a sudden. Somehow I have been living my life in the have-do-be mode rather than the be-do-have mode.

But I guess writing about something doesn’t automatically make you an expert. It’s the continuous practice and on-going learning that makes you an expert. And once you get there, you will realize you cannot call yourself an expert, because there are so many things you still don’t know. (I’m going off the topic a little bit here, but that’s the reason why I don’t believe in the word expert).

It was extremely hard to come to this realization that I have not been living my life according to the ideas and advice that I have written. In part, it feels like I have been a fake. I have been projecting a false image of myself and hiding behind an imaginary role that I created for myself.

It has been hard to come to this realization. It is even harder to spend the time and write it down and share my struggles on the internet.

I need to spend time taking care of myself and have guilt-free me time regularly to fill up my happiness tank. 

I realized I don’t want to feel miserable all the effing time. I don’t ever want to tell family and friends that I feel depressed regularly and cause them to be concerned. I want to be happy. I want to be that happy-go-lucky guy. I want to enjoy my life every single minute. I want to be a good dad who spends quality time with his kids. I want to be a good husband. I want to be a good son to my parents.

I want to look back in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, 30 years, and so on, and say without a doubt that I lived my life to the fullest every single minute and that I truly love my life. To be perfectly honest, right now, I cannot say that. There are too many frustrating days in my life right now for me to say that.

I need to work on myself to change that. I need to improve myself as a person, so I can be happy and influencing others in a positive way.

When Baby T1.0 was born, many people told me and Mrs. T to cherish the moments because kids grow up fast. I still get this advice from many of my coworkers with teenaged kids. Baby T1.0 is almost 5 years old and Baby T2.0 is 2.5 years old now. Although it hasn’t felt like a blink of an eye, the years sure have gone by quickly. At the same time, it seemed it was millions of years ago when Baby T1.0 was born. I want to spend time with the kids, provide guidance and help when they need it, be there when they want to share stories, and play with them when they want to. Because I want a healthy relationship with my kids when they are older. I don’t want my teenager kids to not wanting to share things with me, because they are afraid of me. Although I had my rebellious teenager days, I shared things with my parents, and I can have deep, meaningful conversations with them today. I want to be like that with my kids.

So after some discussions with Mrs. T, we have decided that each us will schedule some “me times” every month. It is important to do things that we want to do and not feeling guilty about it.

We have put that into practice already and I am already feeling better. I believe over the last few days I have been more patient with the kids and generally, I have been in this peaceful joyful state more often.


Happiness the short film

Speaking of happiness, I came across the following short film by award-winning animator Steve Cutts the other day and I thought the video was very fitting. Please take a few minutes to watch it.

Are you able to relate this video to what we see in society today? I sure can.

At the beginning of the video, all the rats crowd around to wait for trains. Interestingly, all the signs say “NOWHERE.” Then one rat barely gets out of the packed train, then another rat packs itself into the train with its tail hanging outside as the doors close. Sadly, many of us do that every day. We commute to work not really wanting to go to work. It almost feels like we are heading nowhere every day.

Throughout the video, there are many signs and ads that claim to bring happiness. They give the impression that you must have these things to be happy, regardless of whether you need it or not. It almost feels like once you see this “Buying = Happiness” messages enough times, you begin to believe it and feel emotionally attached to the idea.

In the Black Friday sale scene, thousands of rats are waiting outside of the store. When the doors open, they enter the store all at once, flattening the store manager. The crazy shoppers then fight and chew each other’s arms and legs off to get the discounted merchandise.

Pretty scary stuff, because this is exactly what we see every Black Friday. It makes you wonder, is it worth it to lose an arm to get a giant flat screen TV at 60% off?

After the Black Friday sale scene, the main character finds happiness by buying a brand new sports car. He is beyond happy and is enjoying his life until the car comes to a halt due to traffic. While sitting in traffic feeling miserable, a police-rat gives the rat a ticket and some kids vandalize the car by stealing the tires and painting a giant penis on the car door. Then it rains and the rat feels miserable.

Feeling unhappy and gloomy, the rat sees a billboard in the rearview mirror that says “Happiness – Drink. Forget.” In a pursuit to find happiness, the rat turns to alcohol for happiness. When he runs out of alcohol to drink, he turns to drugs. Sadly, the happiness from consuming pharmaceutical drugs is only momentary and the main character finds himself plunging sky-high happiness to rock bottom sadness.

Then a $100 bill appears next to the main character. Thinking the $100 bill will bring him happiness, the main character begins to chase after the $100 bill. When he finally gets the $100 bill, a trap catches his head, forcing him to start typing in front of a computer. He has fallen into the money trap! He is now trapped to sit in front of a computer for the foreseeable future. He is now one of the million rats that have fallen into the rat race.

There are so many truths in this video which is extremely scary. Nowadays, we are taught from a young age that buying new things will bring happiness. In fact, on average, kids ages 2 to 11 see an average of 25,600 ads a year! No wonder why so many of us have the “Buying = Happiness” idea ingrained in our head.


What is happiness?

Having my personal struggles with happiness lately made me ponder quite a bit when I watched this short video. Am I one of those people who fall into the “buying = happiness” fallacy?

Looking at the list I made above, interestingly enough, none of my answers had to do with buying new things. They all involved doing something that I enjoy doing, so I can be happy. Therefore, I don’t think I am like the rats in the video.

But I think the line between happiness and joy is a bit blurred for me lately. As I have explained previously, happiness is externally driven while joy is internally driven. If you win the lottery, you feel happy; if you get promoted at work, you feel happy; if you purchased your dream home, you feel happy. To put it simply, happiness is a momentary feeling that will disappear after a certain time frame, leaving you unsatisfied and wanting more. This is why in the video, the rats want to buy new things and want to consume more and more. On the other hand, joy is internally driven and does not have a pre-defined expiry date. You can’t achieve joy unless you are content and at peace with yourself. Joy lasts much longer than happiness. You can be joyful when you wake up each morning, knowing that you’re still alive. You can be joyful knowing that you’re loved by someone. You can be joyful by laying on the grass doing absolutely nothing on a beautiful sunny afternoon.

The thing is, it doesn’t matter how I define happiness and joy. What it matters is that I feel good, content with my life, and at peace. I want to feel good about myself so I can treat other people the same way I would like to be treated.

If you have read all the rumblings I have written so far, thank you.

P.S. In case you’re wondering, this is not the end.

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95 thoughts on “The END”

  1. deep post Bob

    I think your story is very relateable since our 2nd kid.
    I get home from work and want to relax for like 10 minutes and i got our son whos 5 who just wants to play and is screaming for attention while i just want 10 minutes of quiet time. This got really frustrating. The wife would be busy with the kids and didnt walk the dog. Shit its 7pm and i just walked in dirty and stinking and i got to walk the dog too!
    It can get very frustrating and i felt myself snapping a bit too.

    Luckily hockey started up again for me, so i get the guys time and when i get home the kids are sleeping.

    I have explained to my son to just give me 10 minutes to relax a bit when i get home and then ill do whatever he wants most times. Its a hard line – you dont want to be a bad dad / husband but need some me time as well…

    My wife has read the women are from mars and men are from venus book. I states how different we are and that guys like to go to a quiet place sometimes and relax – hence the man cave….

    Work life balance can be hard. You got a decent yard as well. Since we moved to our new place (1 acre) its even harder now that i need to cut the grass and weed gardens etc etc. Luckily my wife and yours too by the sound of it are great moms!

    Sounds like the writing things down plan really helped. Slowly but surely one foot after the next things should turn around.

    We all need breaks. (I cant even remember the last and the wife were kid free for a whole day)

    Sounds like you have been going pretty hard for awhile. I like the list you wrote up, hikes are fantastic! We did one on the weekend for a couple hours and it was great. Walked the dog, my son loved collecting acorns, baby was chilling in the stroller calm too! And me and the wife could just enjoy not nagging about anything. Loving the moment.

    Sounds like your just going through a rough patch. Most people have those they just dont post them on instagram, facebook etc.

    “There’s Greatness within you” – Les Brown.

    Love your posts man, always real.

    • Hi Passive Canadian Income,

      Thank you very much. I think most parents can relate. It definitely can be a struggle to find work life balance. But you’re right, sometimes it’s about getting that 10 minute break so you can shift your mind and get yourself ready for what’s coming up next. Sounds like your wife is super supportive, which is awesome to hear!

      Yea often men just want to be left alone and work on their own things, hence for the man cave lol.

  2. Bob,

    This post is amazing. I don’t know how else I can describe it. It is amazing because what you did is so hard for many of us to do Be open, vulnerable, reflect, and address what has been bothering you. Life is not perfect and no one situation alike. Heck, you could be cruising along one day, feeling great, and suddenly things can change in a blink of an eye. Depression and sadness can be difficult to shake and aren’t easily explained. Sometimes, the hardest thing to do is to do the proper soul searching needed to get to the bottom of it. I love the exercise you and Mrs. T performed and I think the end result will help you achieve the balance that you want. Everyone needs their personal time with no strings attached to fill however they would like. I’m sure some days for you it will involve blogging. Other days it will involve reading. Other days it will involve Starcraft. And Other days it may involve looking at pictures of your kids or just surfing the internet. I really hope that this exercise and this article will help you start moving and feeling the way you want to everyday. I”m happy that this wasn’t the actual end for your blog and it was a very pleasant surprise. Even if it was, I would have been happy for you. All that matters is that you are happy.


    • Hi Bert,

      Thank you very much, I appreciate it. Depression and sadness are real and we need to talk more about these life challenges. We shouldn’t just hide them under the rug and hope things will improve one day. The more we talk about it, the more we can help each other IMO. And you’re right, it might be different thing that you need each day, life isn’t stationary, so it makes sense why you seek for different things to make you happy.

  3. I can empathize. We have a 5 year old and a 2 year old also. Since both my wife and I work, we only have a few hours each night with the kids and it’s always rushed and we’re tired. On the weekends, we try to make up for lost time. Then there are errands and family obligations (dinner w/my parents who also want to see the grandkids). Neither my wife nor I have us time or Me time. It’s something we need to change but there just doesn’t seem to be enough time ever!

    • That must be tough when both parents are working. It’s a challenge not to rush things at night so you can get some rest to your left. Kids definitely take up a lot of your time. 🙂

  4. Thanks for sharing your perspective! I got into an argument with my husband the other day (haha we are ok). He was taking care of our toddler the whole day and then I came home from work. I cooked and there were dishes that were not done yet. I rushed out to get groceries after dinner and after our boy went to bed. I came home and my husband was having his me time and the dishes were not done haha. So I was a little upset. I did get to go out with my girlfriends the night before for dinner and had my me time. I felt a little guilty! It’s hard when you are both fighting for time alone. Good that you figured out what it was. I think it can be stressful being the sole breadwinner. Also this will pass when your kids are 4 and 8 and they will be more self suficient! Then you may miss the days when your kids snuggle up to you!

    • Hi GYM,

      I’ve been there too! Often it’s easy to criticize but you don’t realize what your partner has gone through the whole day. That’s why is important to talk and communicate with each other. 🙂

    • Yea days with shorter daylight definitely can have a negative effect on your overall mood. Glad you have found workarounds. What are some of your workarounds?

  5. Fantastic post. Sometimes it is ok to be down and feel a little upset. What really matters is getting back up and enjoying life. I really hope you do get to enjoy life again. I think this is something that we all struggle with at one point or another. Thanks for sharing something so personal to yourself. Cheers

    • Thank you Buy, Hold Long. You’re right, it’s human nature to feel down and upset from time to time. The important part is to know how to pick yourself up and move on so you can enjoy life. I am feeling much better now. I think writing the post helped to get my head straight.

  6. Your story is deep and heartfelt. Thanks for sharing your struggles. I’m sure it took a lot of courage. What you are experiencing is very relatable. As a new father, sometimes I feel overwhelmed with responsibilities and the mental energy it takes to take care of a child. And I only have one child too. My wife is staying at home and I have no idea how she does it. It can be mentally and physically draining.

    Thank you for sharing the movie on happiness. It was very powerful. And it’s telling how we are trapped in this society due to a false pursuit of never ending consumerism disguised as happiness. I have seen his other Steve Cutt’s other animated short films too. In particular, Man left a lasting impression on me and my wife. It helps reinforce our philosophy of choosing a vegan lifestyle and that we are sharing the earth with so many sentient living animal creatures who desire to be loved and live freely just like us.

    I acknowledge that you are not asking for help or suggestions. However, I’d like to share some of the things that have helped me endure tough times when there are moments where I am feeling down, irritated, anxious, and overwhelmed.
    1) If you can, take periodic mental breaks while you’re at work. Go outside, enjoy the fresh and crisp Canadian air and take a walk. Experiencing nature and walking (even for a few minutes) is re-energizing. That’s what we do with our baby. We put her in the carrier and go out for a walk. It’s a nice mental break. I do it a work too.
    2) Try meditation. It helps with mindfulness. Think of it as exercise for the brain. Studies show that meditation helps with anxiety, mood, boosts your immune system, increases productivity, and improves your overall well being. There are number of free apps like Head Space and Calm that you can try out. I think it has helped me and my wife.
    3) Get off social media, or at least limit it. Social media is a time sink, increases our anxiety, FOMO, envy, depressed thoughts, and can produce a lot of negative emotions that don’t matter and you don’t need.
    4) Get more sleep. It is amazing what a good nights rest does to make you feel better. Your mood suddenly improves, no more cranky irritableness, and you feel like you can take on the world. That’s how I feel at least. I try to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night.
    5) Write in a gratitude journal or something like “The 5 Minute Journal”. You are an excellent writer. And you are very reflective person too. I think a journal like this would be beneficial. Studies show that having gratitude improves so many aspects of life. It’s something seemingly simple, but it works wonders.

    I am glad you are taking the time to take care of yourself. Never feel like you are being selfish. Self-care is vitally important.

    I hope you find happiness, joy, inner peace, fulfillment and get back to being the happy-go-lucky Bob that we all know 🙂

    • Hi Dr. McFrugal,

      Great stuff and thank you. Definitely have to give it to my wife to stay home with two young kids. 🙂

      I think I’m doing all of these 5 things you have suggested. Maybe I can do more meditation to continue a gratitude journal. These things will help me keep my sanity lol. One thing Mrs. T and I have been doing is going to bed earlier so we can wake up an hour or so before the kids do. That way we get to spend some time doing yoga and have some quiet time. I’ve been going swimming too, which is a great way of having some me time.

  7. That was a very nice, frank post. I hope you are able to sort this out in short order. I remember a few years ago hearing a term, “21st Century disease”. It was basically a term used to describe the build up of multiple stresses within someone that create an “overwhelmed” sense of being which in turn creates depression like symptoms as you react to it. I don’t hear it so much anymore. I remember it was used during the 2008/2009 crash and after as people lost their jobs and lost self worth and couldn’t cope with all the fallout from that. We all feel overwhelmed at times. I’m sure you will beat this. All the best.

    • Thank you very much Paul. I am feeling much better, writing this post and publishing it has helped. Definitely need to manage things better so I don’t feel overwhelmed at times. 🙂

  8. Thanks for sharing. I think everyone goes through some dark times, and it’s heartening when you hear you’re not alone.

    You certainly seem to have a ton going for you (except for your handwriting – it is terrible), and I think peace and contentment are well within your grasp.

    I also loved the video – puts things in perspective.

    Thanks again

  9. Wowza Bob!!!

    That was literally like reading my life for the past few weeks, you have fricking smashed the nail on the head and I love that happiness video! It’s amazing how it can sum up life as we know it!

    I recently joined a program wealthy affiliate and I’m working my way through the training. I’ve been putting 2 hours a day in but it’s amazing how much time it takes to get a website up and running and responding to comments/ connecting etc.

    My wife and I literally just had a long “sit down” as the whole point of me starting this was to create more time. Our previous blog was all about health, success and happiness and we’ve always read around and talked about the stuff you mention throughout this post.

    We’ve concluded that we just need to go back to basics and give time each week to set mini goals and get some of our good habits back in place (reading, grateful list, yoga, meditation etc.)

    But it has made me think… is the current “pain” worth going through or should we just strive to live every day happy?!

    Btw we have FI goals too and hope to be almost there by August 2019 with property in the U.K.

    Thank so much for sharing I really needed to read that right now


    • Hi Mike,

      I didn’t anticipate to describe your recent weeks with this post lol, but it’s interesting that many people have written to me stating they have faced similar struggles. It’s uncommon and we should be more open about facing our own demons and how we can find our own happiness. 🙂

  10. Bob, it’s great to see that you and your wife are working on this together. It took guts to publish that post – that was a great step in reaching out for support. I was really surprised to see so many readers offering great ideas for finding your way back to your happy and peaceful life. There are truly amazing people out there and you are one of them! Professionals can also help by giving new perspectives and recommending strategies to make the transition out of depression and sadness. Take care.

    • Hi Bev,

      Thank you very much. Like I wrote, it was hard to write the post but I thought it was important to write it. Seeing all the positive and supportive comments have been extremely helpful and amazing.

  11. I think that’s a really powerful insight you had. If you don’t find what you love in life now you never will when you hit financial independence. I’m glad you have a supportive wife that is understanding. Powerful post.

  12. i feel like you put my situation into words, except I have 3 kids. My routine is M-F work, take care of the kids after work and family outing in the weekend. After a long while you feel frustrate for no reason and yell at the kids for being annoying, then you realize kids are suppose to be like that and you feel sh%tty. You also feel guilty that the wife has to deal with the *situation* and many sleepless night with the new born baby. So you try your best to support her more and feel worst. All I got is time will past and the children will grown up. I think I got the best wife in the world and not sure what I would do without my kids. Just hang in there… just a bit longer.

    • Yes time will pass once the children grow up. But I guess there will be always challenges with kids at any age. I think the key is to look at things from the brighter side and find positives during these challenging times…

  13. You’ve received plenty of well deserved accolades and advice so I won’t rehash the obvious. My one suggestion would be a thorough physical. All of your symptoms corresponded with my experiences about 12 years ago which I ignored as they disappeared. They came back with a vengeance about 5 years ago. My issues were a result of stroke #1. Numbers 2-5 didn’t kill me but left me permanently disabled (at least I still have my reasoning ability – which my wife would debate). I would recommend that health issues be excluded as the culprit.

    • Hi Charlie,

      First of all, very sorry to hear what you’ve gone through. Definitely a good idea to get a physical check to make sure there’s nothing wrong with me.

  14. Hey Tawcan,

    Thanks for this frank, honest post about how you’re feeling and what you’ve been experiencing. Very few would have the courage to put it all out there for everyone to see like this.

    The best parts of the post from my seat:
    1) Your wife’s idea to refocus on your priorities in terms of what makes you happy. The exercise itself, I’m sure, was helpful.
    2) The video of “Happiness” and your analysis. I couldn’t help but see myself in the rat in some ways… and it has given me plenty to think about.

    Keep your head up, brother.


  15. Hey Bob. Thanks for your bravery in sharing this. It’s refreshing to hear people share the good, the bad, and the ugly — not just their beach holiday Instagram selfies.

  16. I wonder if part of your frustration and comes from your goal of financial independence. You are sacrificing a great deal to reach that goal and I am sure the goal seems very distant and elusive. What would happen if you capitalized on your technical training and moved into sales? You would escape being chained to a desk. You would have greater control over how your time was spent each day. You obviously enjoy interacting with people, you are creative, observant and write well. In the right sales environment, where you were rewarded for superior results, you would have a much better chance of doubling your income and reaching financial independence faster. People who can bring unusually large amounts of money into a corporation get rewarded and promoted. With your skills I could see you eventually in sales management which is great mind game. Your written communication skills would be a great asset to any company. Few sales people can write as well as you. The hard part is making the jump. Selling isn’t easy at the beginning, just like anything else, there would be a lot to learn but it becomes fun and exhilarating.


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