We have a “guest” post today! Mrs. CF decided it was time to step up her game! She was asking herself the question: are we getting HOT? Or perhaps better “HOT-er”? H.O.T. stands for Happy, Opportunity rich, Time rich. This is what she was thinking.
Are We Getting HOT?
You all know Mr. CF as a person who can’t wait to be FIRE. He keeps a monthly score of everything in Excel, so that he knows exactly where we are in achieving this goal. He sometimes curses the day that he became aware of the whole FIRE movement, as he would rather be RE yesterday than today. So when we finally (!) picked a date that he would quit his job and start enjoying being RE something interesting happened.
What Was Happening?
I really thought this plan through. I gave him two options for a resignation date. I thought of goals that he needed to achieve and I even gave him a way out. If not-working isn’t his thing, he could always start working again in two to three years time. At that time, I have to opportunity to start working part-time and/or work more from home.
So what happened, you might ask yourself. Well I will tell you: he was looking for a job. Seriously?! I was thinking it was just a little phase. But then he already talked to two different potential companies in the last month! I asked him the question: why? Mr. CF couldn’t really come up with an answer. So even a person like Mr. CF, from whom you least except it, is living with a stigma that not working is just plain “wrong”.
It Just Isn’t Fair
Mr. CF’s biggest excuse of staying with his job (or finding a new one) is that he doesn’t think it is fair against myself, Mrs. CF. We haven’t reached our Cheesy Index goal, which means that currently only one of us is technically FI. But, he is forgetting two important things when making that conclusion.
The first thing is: I love my job! Mr. CF knows this but apparently this is not persuading him to stop looking for jobs.
The second item he is forgetting is the following. Half a year after we started the journey to become FI (over three years ago) he asked me what I wanted to do when we turned FI. To be honest, I didn’t know! It is not the sort of thing I had already thought about in detail at that time. However, I have also asked this question to Mr. CF in the past three years on several occasions with always the same answer: I will figure that out when I am FI (Mr. CF: hey, I’m being flexible!).
But for me, these goals have now become clearer. With Mr. CF quitting his job, we will actually accomplish 2 of my top goals and it perhaps brings us closer to a third goal that I have. Are we Getting HOT?
HOT and FIRE Goals
Most people have goals or make plans to travel to faraway countries or just golf all day when they are FIRE. Not me, Mrs. CF needs to do things differently, I need to be HOT!
The two main goals that Mr. CF will help me accomplish, after he quits his job, have to do with family. As a parent, being there when Miss CF comes home from school, is important to me. I want one of us to ask Miss CF how her day was, sit down with her to have something to drink and help her with homework. I want a strong relationship with our daughter. It would also be possible again to have family meals more than twice a week in the weekend (Mr. CF: our work schedules and avoiding traffic jams are hard to combine unfortunately).
Because Mr. CF will run the household, we would have much more free time in the weekends (and perhaps even some days during the week). This gives me, for example, more time to spend at my nephews and nieces birthday parties. Or take them out somewhere fun, to build better relationships with my family. I would love that! This for me is HOT!
Goal Nr 3: The Move
Ideally I would also like to move closer to my family. Mr. CF doesn’t always agree with this idea (Mr. CF: moving to one of the most expensive areas of the Netherlands that is! And I prefer Thailand…..). We are still debating and figuring out how we would do this, but there are a few options that we are considering that might not break the bank. However, it would not give us all the options that we would like during FIRE, such as a big yard to grow more of our own food. But you can’t win them all! Becoming HOT is finding a balance.
Yes, I know, these goals/plans “may be cheesy”, but they are my own. Everybody is different and these are important to me. If Mr. CF wouldn’t stop working, I would have probably started to work part-time sooner. But now, I don’t have to! For me it’s the best of both worlds.
How about you, do you have different priorities than you spouse during (and before ) FIRE? How do you deal with this? How are you compromising skills?