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Subject:  Nothing new Date:  7/30/2019  12:13 PM
Author:  synchronicityII Number:  40183 of 40219

It's midsummer and I should be working, but when it comes to crastinating, I remain a pro...

A) daughter is in a play next week. "My Little Titus Andronicus". It's Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus...meets My Little Pony. Yes, exactly. It should be amusing. She has one of the main roles, although part of the reason for that is limited people participating because summer.

It's also weird because the rehearsals are at the middle school, which she graduated from (yes, she starts HIGH SCHOOL in 3 weeks), so it's tough to realize that she's done there and never going back. I kinda wish time would stop flowing by so quickly, m'kay?

2) Daughter is also trying to finish a year's worth of Algebra 1 online this summer so she can take Geometry in the fall. Well, sort of trying. You'll be stunned to hear that she's behind where she should be. Right, a teen NOT being diligent about schoolwork?! Alert the media! It just means the next week will be awfully busy.

c) Wife and I went to Greece for the last two weeks of June (not with daughter, because we didn't renew her passport in time. She stayed home with my mom). A week in Athens, a week on Ikaria. Suffice to say that I'm ready to spend several months a year there starting...uh, last month. :-)

iv) Work continues apace. My team has added two people (so we're at about 10 total) the last few months, which in this environment is Very Good for us. Beyond that, we're just keeping on keeping on. I sit at home in a t-shirt and shorts, I do work, the checks clear.

iv.1) I was up in Milwaukee for 4 days, and we got shout outs from several presenters during meetings there, so again, not too shabby. This will likely mean more work for us starting in the next few months, because No Good Deed Goes Unpunished. I was also wined and dined by two of the top producers in our company. One of them I first met (and attended a dinner with) when I started in this industry about 16 years ago, so it was interesting to reflect on the differences between then and now.

E) My wife's health continues to look good (knock on wood), with everything in remission, but I always worry. She continues to work, on vacation right now but with full time hours otherwise, and of course her benefits are fantastic even though we haven't taken full advantage of them all.

Penultimate) I continue to strongly believe that the economy will enter a recession next year, and am a little concerned how that will impact our jobs and our savings. I'm not as concerned about the latter, as we are at a level I never expected us to reach 20+ years ago (remember that I was at negative 15K twenty-five years ago, and didn't hit positive until March of 1998). Still, a down market is tough to endure no matter what.

Last) all of that said, money and finances are just NOT at the top of my list. At this point it's about our health and our relationships. It really does happen that as you get older, all the stupid material sh*t becomes just that, fleeting and largely irrelevant. When daughter heads off to college we hope to own a place somewhere in Greece where we spend at least part of the year, maybe on one of the islands or maybe in one of the many small coastal towns in the Peloponnese, smallish but with some nice views, where we can have a nice garden growing fruits and vegetables and maybe some olive trees, walk to some nearby cafes/tavernas when we don't want to cook, own a smallish car we can drive to other towns when we want to get away, and of course use the flight benefits if we ever feel like going somewhere more distant. The latter is the only "fancy" thing, and it's not that much, really.

And even there, we want to have a close relationship with daughter, so we would hope she would at least want to visit for part of the summer if we're there, even if she then heads off on adventures with friends for a chunk of the time. There are worse ways for a college student to spend their time off.

Cats are fine, house is still (in our eyes) a Big Mess, but visitors don't seem to think so, and we need to find out if the old Prizm can be fixed at a reasonable cost or if it's time to finally wave it good-bye. The 2017 Corolla is now our go-to car, and maybe we'll buy a new Accord?

Or maybe not. One smallish car has been enough for us so far. We just kinda keep plugging along.

General stuff that all of you already know: As for investment advice, I'll repeat: spend less than you earn, and have a contingency plan if your earnings get interrupted. Park money in retirement accounts, especially those offered by employers up to company match, at least. Put as much of that into low expense equity index funds as your personal tolerance for volatility can stomach. Let it sit for a couplefew decades as you keep adding to it. Again, always spend and budget as if your income was 10-30%+ lower than it actually is (yeah, it's gonna stink at first, but once you get ingrained in that mentality, the habit becomes a lot easier, especially as your income grows).

Stay healthy. Eat reasonable amounts of food, preferably more fresh produce and lean proteins. Move around a bit - walk don't sit. Lift some heavy (for you) stuff a few times a week. Prepare your own food from stuff you grew yourself or someone local grew/raised, if you can. Take care of yourself otherwise.

Be good to people, and make a point of keeping other kind, thoughtful, helpful, friendly people in your lives, people who are likely to "be there for you", and be sure that, at least to some extent, you can be there for them, too. Every study of the "Blue Zones" where people live longer shows the importance of strong social support networks.

In ways great and small, make the world a better place. ESPECIALLY in ways small, every day, because that's most of what we do, but a million little things from a million people becomes something very big very fast. And all of that also has a way of coming around and making your own life better.

Best to all.

-synchronicity
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