Dreaming of FI

I'd be the first to tell you I have a problem. I have a confession to make.

I'm addicted to the Internet.

“Oh, Gwen” you scoff, “You're a Millennial. That comes par for the course with your age group.”

But really though, it's a problem.

I have many hobbies, and every one of them is assisted with the internet. Need inspiration for a new quilt? Internet. Need a pattern? Internet. Need to figure out how to do a super stretchy cast on and cast off for a new knitted hat? Internet.

By far and away though, I spend the most time on my hobby of personal finance/financial independence/retiring early. This probably isn't a surprise, considering I run a whole blog devoted to talking about nothing but FIRE and my plans. I'm active and engaged on the Financial Independence subreddit. My phone helps me be connected to Twitter every second of the day (I can neither confirm nor deny this helps me pass time while stuck in the bathroom) so I can interact with all of my favorite FIRE bloggers and see what they're talking about. One of the first things I do in the morning, after hitting the snooze button and petting the cat, is roll over and check to see what happened while I was asleep on all of my favorite social media platforms.

I think things reached a breaking point last night. I'm a very active dreamer while I sleep, and I've also managed to train my brain to do lucid dreaming. At some point in a dream, I'll “wake up” to the fact that I'm in a dream. Very much like Tris in the Divergent series (oop. Hope I didn't spoil anything), minus the incredibly sexy  Theo James to tell me what's going on.

Unlike most people who can be lucid while dreaming, I can run through a whole story line instead of just a few seconds. If you want to learn more about lucid dreaming, there are tons of resources out there that both educate on the concept and help you learn how to do it yourself.

Last night, my dream was about getting a very large and very unexpected inheritance that immediately catapulted me into the 1%.

A lady approached our family in the parking lot and made us sit in this tricked out fancy van. At first all of us were convinced this was a prank, but she took us to our bank and the checks cleared! The inheritance I got was a one time lump sum of $3.54 million, with a recurring annual payment of an additional $1 million until I died. I have no idea how this person was related to me, but it was somehow through my stepdad's side of the family. Was I glad my mom married him or what?

The very first thing I did was go and buy an incredibly expensive bottle of wine I'd had my eye on at the local vineyard. My next step was to quit my job the very next day. My coworkers were thrilled for me. Then I spent some time traveling around the US to visit friends, and then I traveled overseas.

something like this
something like this

After I came back to the US I got started on building the best house devoted to crafting I possibly could in the mountains of Colorado. I would love to live in Colorado due to the close proximity of all the various ski resorts, which since I was ridiculously rich I could afford season tickets at all of them.

My dream ended there, but I was pleasantly surprised to wake up to the new ‘memory'. I find it interesting my dream self-made so many choices that mirror what I want to do, except on a grander scale. In real life, I'd spend some time adjusting to my new level of wealth and invest a good chunk of it to make sure I had income no matter what happened to the trust. I probably also wouldn't build a house devoted to crafting- instead I'd find a nice house and renovate it to suit my needs. It's much cheaper that way. I probably wouldn't buy season tickets to all the ski resorts either. Maybe just one. I really do like to ski.

When I retire early, I'm not going to be a super crazy spender, so it's nice to get the “pretend” experience of spending. It's like it happened, but then I wake up and check my bank account and nothing has changed. Well, nothing unexpected like a deposit to build a super fancy ski lodge anyways!

Do you dream of FI? How do your dreams differ from every day life?

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8 thoughts on “Dreaming of FI

  1. Even though I don’t play the lottery, whenever the Jackpot gets big enough to make the news headlines, I think about what my life would be like if I won that kind of money. It usually involves some crazy/fun vacations for months at a time. Beyond that, I feel like acquiring a bunch of “stuff” would only bring short-term fun and then I’d have to keep track of it all! It is fun to think about though!

  2. I’ve had that money dream before too. Stupid dreams, too real. Then I wake up and it literally takes a minute or two to convince me that it’s not actually happening. And then I feel stupid.

  3. I don’t have those dreams much any more, but there was a time I did. We have reached the cusp of FI, which I have dubbed Flexible Independence because as long as we work a little…..we are fine. It feels great because we can now work on projects we want to work on…..and take extended periods of time off to travel. We’re half way through our 2 month road trip, and it feels great! For us, early retirement is about doing anything, not about doing nothing.

    You’ll get there Gwen, just keep plugging away. Have a great weekend!

  4. Never had any FI dreams. Like Michael, I have daydreamed about winning the lotto. Lots of things I would do. Similar to your dream, just replace the ski lodge with a tropical island and endless beaches. It’s fun to dream about windfalls of money, but ultimately I think it is more fun and more rewarding to put in the hard work and reach the goal yourself. You appreciate it more that way. IMHO anyway.

  5. I think your dream sounds kinda perfect — you got the good vibes of spending like a fabulously rich person, but then back in reality you still had your bank account intact. 🙂 Like when I sometimes dream of heliskiing — I get to experience some happiness (even if it’s just dream happiness) from getting to do this incredibly expensive thing, but without actually spending the money! Haha.

    My dad told me that he dreamed about work every night for ten years after he retired, so I definitely wonder if I’ll do the same thing — though I hope not! But so far it seems more of my dreams are past-focused (I still have that dream every once in a while where I’m late for class at high school — and I graduated almost 20 years ago!) than future-focused.

    • Heliskiing sounds hella-awesome! (See what I did there?) I’d say at this point I have a healthy mix of past and future dreams, but it skews to the future. The dreams about the past I have start out true to my memories but then I manipulate them into a different outcome. Never really thought about it before so thanks for that! 🙂

  6. Ha Colorado is a dream place! I’m definitely planning on spending a lot of time there in FI.
    Sometimes I have this day dream where I win the lottery or the another big cash prize but then I feel guilty because I didn’t earn FI. What’s the fun of getting something with no work? (but I’d still take it 😉 hehe)

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