When The Thrill is Gone
What happens When the Thrill is Gone?
I used to love art work. In fact, I loved it so much that I started a side hustle as an art mogul. It was easy to learn the business because I was enthralled with the product. Each new serigraph I purchased for the venture was like a little present to myself. Between buying and selling each piece, I got to enjoy the product before making a profit. This rocked! For the first few months, at least. But then something curious happened. I woke up one morning and thought to myself: the thrill is gone!
These gorgeous works of art became nothing but pieces of paper. Valuable pieces of paper, but pieces of paper none the less. On any given day, I might see four or five original paintings come in and go out. I no longer salivated as each new package arrived at my doorstep. I no longer had the urge to rip up the packaging and take a peak.
The thrill was gone because of familiarity. Part of the joy of any hobby is scarcity. There was no dearth of artwork in my life now. It lost it’s luster.
As I say to my children all the time:
May you never reach your dreams.
Better to make it 90% of the way. There is beauty in the process of striving.
The Road to Financial Independence
In the beginning, financial independence felt a lot like my art mogul side hustle. Investing became a shiny new toy. Each deposit into the Vanguard account came with a rush of pride and emotion. I devoured books on investing with an insatiable appetite. It was never enough.
I watched my net worth rise, and tracked my burgeoning investments on Personal Capital. I followed a slew of blogs and began to engage.
Beginning this blog was a natural progression of my deep dive into personal finances. I had all sorts of opinions on the financial information I was reading. I developed a voice, and confidence about what I was writing about.
Then, one morning, again I thought to myself: the thrill is gone. Not in talking or blogging about personal finance. Not in researching new or better way to avoid taxes and save. These things still interested me.
Worrying about my net worth though, meh.
When You’ve Climbed the Mountain
The recent downtick in the stock market held absolutely no emotion for me. I didn’t even sign into my Vanguard account to take a look. In fact, I rarely look at my investments these days. I’m happy with my asset allocation. I can rebalance as needed.
But like art work, these stocks, bonds, and cash have become just paper. My investments are on autopilot. Every month, a certain bit of cash is mobilized into a preset asset allocation.
The thrill is gone.
Who cares about tracking and monitoring? I no longer comb through my budget. I can tell at the end of every month that we have money left over, even after depositing thousands into our investment account.
My energies are now free to pursue other interests.
Reading, writing, making friends.
Family, children, exercise.
Conquering the world?