I Have a FIRE Problem

Too Many Flames Too Fast

Today is Monday. I spent the weekend blogging (it’s just so fun!), listening to financial independence podcasts, reading this book with my husband (we are on the last chapter and I’ll do a book review when we’re done), snapping DIY 6-month baby portraits of my daughter, and taking on a big project. 

That big project came out of nowhere. 

I was listening to episode 9 of the Choose FI podcast on Spotify, which is a deep dive into travel hacking. I’d never heard the term before, but I love to travel, so I gobbled up the entire episode and immediately sprung into action. Step 1: have my husband listen to episode 9 while walking the dog. Step 2: go through all the modules offered as part of the free course on travel hacking on the Choose FI website. Step 3: Research credit cards. Step 4: Find a good travel hacking tracker. Step 5: Make our plan for opening cards to maximize rewards in 2021. Step 6: Open one credit card each to get started. 

Writing it all out, it doesn’t seem like that much work. But for two people who have never heard of this idea, it was a lot to process. We oscillated between skepticism and giddy delight every few minutes, from “Can we really use credit cards to get free trips without hurting our credit score? How can this not ruin my great credit?” to “Fortune favors the bold, of course this is legit, it’s all laid out in front of us”. 

By the end of the weekend, I was exhausted. As I laid in bed last night, I was disappointed that instead of doing an assignment for class, I chose to do FIRE stuff instead. While it was happening, I rationalized it as me putting myself first. I was paying myself first, the payment was in the form of time and energy. I put my time into the things I wanted to do before those tasks assigned to me by others. 

But I know better than this. Passion projects don’t feel like work, they are exciting, time flies when I work on them. Not all work is exciting, like that paper I still need to finish. In fact, I am dreading it because I am not interested in the topic, but these are the hoops I pay to jump through to get my ultimate degree. Le sigh. 

I should have eaten the frog first. 

The idea of eating a frog originated when Mark Twain quipped that by starting each morning eating a frog, you could go through the remainder of your day knowing that the worst is behind you. I learned of a modern interpretation of this saying when I read Brian Tracy’s book Eat That Frog!. Tracy asserts that by doing the most difficult task of the day, that task that is the most challenging but will also have the biggest positive impact on your life in the long-run, your days and therefore your life will be much more productive and satisfying. This past weekend, I picked up the frog, nibbled on its webbed toes, and put that sucker down again. At the moment, it is hopping around my feet.

I must hold myself accountable. 

Henceforth, I declare that: I will not write another blog post, research travel hacking, or read FIRE content until I have finished my paper. 

Ugh, this is going to suck. Wish me luck.

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