What an amazing weekend! I don’t think I’ve seen the other side of midnight in a very long time, and yet this weekend I saw 1 am! Of course, as part of being on vacation I wasn’t waking up at 430 am like normal so it all balanced out.
What was I doing this weekend? I was at Camp FI SE in Florida, making new friends, laughing with old friends, playing board games, eating snacks (ok, there was a lot of that happening), and having a few tasty beverages. Oh, and I guess we talked about finances and stuff in there too. Once or twice.
The Good Old Days
If you’ve ever been on a vacation or fun retreat like Camp FI, you know the feeling. The one where halfway through, you step back and think to yourself, I am having SO MUCH FUN and I never want it to end!! But then, you remember it has to end, as all good things do, and you get a bit melancholic and it kinda ruins the rest of the time you’re away from the real world.
It definitely happened to me. I looked around, surrounded by happy people chatting away about Roth IRA conversions, thru hikes, and real estate horror stories, and got a bit sad. I didn’t want it to end. I’m sure there’s a German word out there that describes the feeling. If not, I’m going to need my German speakers to come up with one!
The song by Kesha ft Macklemore pretty much sums up my entire thoughts on the matter. Give it a listen.… it’s so good!
Take a minute or five each day to step back and appreciate how good things are going. These kinds of events are always something I look back on fondly and I’m glad I stored up the memories for the future.
From Consumer to Producer
This shift has become more clear to me over the last year or so. It’s very rare anymore I go to meetups and introduce myself. Most people know me, and they know my story. I’ve gone from being the attendee to the speaker. This was first made clear to me at FinCon 2017, where I was invited to be on a panel. Being a speaker meant I had an obligation to go to the Pro Mixer.
“Sweet” I thought to myself, “I can mingle with the Pros!”
I got to the event and looked around. There were no Pros. I was the Pro. I was there so people could talk to me.
Talk about a huge difference!
I was also invited to give a presentation last weekend. I had a blast getting to share my knowledge with everyone there! My friend Noah and I gave a talk on some things to think about to prepare for a mini-retirement. It was very well received and I walked away from the talk with more speaking experience under my belt. Helpful, since that is one of my goals for 2018.
Another special part of Camp FI SE was getting to take part in a round table hosted by Jonathan of ChooseFi fame. It was truly an honor to be sitting behind the table with people I look up to and respect. Someone commented there was nothing that could be asked that we couldn’t answer. We discussed how the older two panelists felt about the younglings finding this stuff early, the benefits of finding FIRE early, and some other miscellaneous but related topics. I really hope it gets released for everyone to hear!
The fact we were all wearing coördinating t‑shirts made me laugh. (Sidenote: the ChooseFI t‑shirt is so comfy!!)
Once again, Camp FI SE saw the birth of a bouncing new baby blog. Last year it was Joel from FI 180. This year it’s a blog called mynextmoneymove.com by Christine. Her new blog will focus on bringing FI to those in the 15% or lower tax brackets. And not like, I optimized my income to get low.… more like they just don’t earn tons of money. Even my site got a facelift! (Tell me what you think about the design in the comments!)
Good luck, Christine! Congratulations, Joel!
Next Level Fun Stuff
Since we were staying on a camp, there were plenty of fun activities to do! We played cards, board games, hung out at the fire, played kickball, went on a team building course, did some archery, and took long walks around the property. I’ve included some pictures below of all the fun times we had.
I’m going to be honest. I am burnt out af. Before I left for this trip, I was really struggling. I live in a small apartment surrounded by too much stuff. I miss my boyfriend. Work is sucking every bit of life out of me they can before I leave. The podcast takes time. I have so much to write here on the blog. I have side hustles to start. The house requires attention.
I’m still kinda struggling but not so bad now that I’ve returned. Why you ask?
At Camp FI I was with people who get it. They understand. They don’t judge. They lift everyone up and encourage those who are struggling.
(psst.… that’s me. Just in case you missed it earlier.)
So many people said nice things to me at Camp FI that I can’t quit. I got reminded I’m making a difference in people’s lives by writing. Sometimes I forget and things related to producing FIRE related content seem like chores.
I’m not quitting, but I will be dialing things back here a bit more than I had been. This is literally the only thing I can cut back on that won’t negatively harm a partner or other people. I quit in 10 weeks. I can grit my teeth (not grind. I don’t want to go back to that level of stressed.) and bear it. With better optimization strategies I will keep writing and making a difference!
I’m going to lay low for a while. No trips. The next event I have planned on my calendar is Camp FI: Midwest in August. I would love to do other FI related events, but right now I don’t have the mental bandwidth. If you email me, my response will probably be hella delayed. But please! Don’t stop writing them! I love each and every single one of them. Especially if they involve cat pictures, gifs, or videos.
Thanks for reading! Would you go to an event like this? What would like to see in an event like this?
Accidental FIRE says
Looks like an amazing time, I hope to make one someday. And sounds like you have a Camp Fi hangover. Is it possible to have a financial hangover?
Team CF says
Looked like fun! You go girl, just don’t forget to dial down to a level that is sustainable. Don’t burn you self out, life is to short for that 😉
Agreed. Don’t feel bad about deferring some activities to bring your total mental load down to something more manageable. It’s exciting having lots of things going on, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of your health and sanity. You can alternate or space out some projects to give yourself room.
Looks fun. Makes me miss Ecuador. Well have to make it to one of these things some day…
Erik @ The Mastermind Within says
No more trips?? I doubt that will happen!
Had so much fun catching up with you this past weekend! Can’t wait to see what you’ll be presenting next year!!
Mrs. Picky Pincher says
Aw dammit I always miss out on these! I actually needed to hear these words today. I’ve been so tired and burnt out lately that I’m shocked I can still put dinner on the table and write *anything* at all. Sigh. We just have to do our best!!
Right on! I remember having this much motivation back in the day, wanting to do a little bit of everything and spreading myself thin on purpose. There is a time in your life you can do that. Keep your eyes ahead on the end game in 10 weeks and hopefully that will give you some wind in your sails to get to the finish line in the manner that you want. Remember though, it’s ok to do some moderation. Think of the few areas (besides work) you most want to focus and let the other stuff slide without guilt. Your comment about clutter — I am currently taking an online minimalism course. I’ve put a lot of thought into the why and what my end goal is so far and perhaps that’s something you might want to learn more about when you get to retirement, especially if too much stuff is currently stressing you out. I’m finally getting deeper with it and it’s been kind of fun though I still have a lot of work to do!
Gwen, no shame in juggling your priorities to take care of yourself.
Take a deep breath and do what needs doin’ — the blog will be here for when you come up for air.
Wow! That’s a lot of white people! 😉
Sounds like a blast. I need to try to get to the Midwest version of this. Bug spray and whiskey… Oh, I think the German word you’re looking for is “gemütlichkeit” … I’d think Erik knows about it — a fun joint in Nordeast MPLS where the beer maidens bring you suds in boots. Might be a fun meet-up option.
Stick with it , Gwen — You’re almost there!
Some of us are burnt out doing a “day” job (which lately has meant I can’t even plan my weekends with friends, because I can’t keep up!)
You are feeling burnt out doing things you love! And yes, take care of yourself, but it will get easier as you learn and grow, so then you will be doing things you love with ease. Whereas, I hope to analyze sewers with more ease? Bleh. My plan is six more years until I start to look at major career changes. It seems like forever, but I know it will fly by. This too shall pass… Big hugs!
Looks like you had a great time! I totally understand being burnt out, but that just means that you’re taking on a lot of amazing things. Work may not feel great now, but you can push through that last mile! At least you know you won’t be bored once you quit. Ha!
Elfriede @ All Out Finance says
That was a fantastic brief, Gwen! Thank you. I will share with my friends to give them a hint of what an awesome event at Camp FI SE in Florida is.