It is 3:56 PM on Tuesday, June 4th. This is the last week of school for my oldest and he has started bringing his classroom items home. This was always such a magical time of year for me when I was a kid. The weather became very nice, the pool opened and those final days of school were filled with excitement in anticipation of summer fun.
My own kids have a different experience. Everyday is pretty nice here in California so they do not experience the euphoria that comes with summer after a hard five months of nasty weather. Also, school does not end for them since they have to go to school in Japan. I asked my son if he were excited with the start of summer and he said no, “because school doesn’t end for me.” He also said “Japanese kids must have a hard life!” Yes, yes they do. You are wise beyond your years and I do feel a bit of sadness that you do not get to experience the same joy that I did with the ending of the school year.
But in the same fashion you always ask me with “Would you rather….,” I asked “Would you rather have summer now and not be able to speak Japanese very well when you are older or would you rather study now and be able to speak Japanese perfectly when you’re older?” You chose the latter and you are right. The hard work you put in now will pay off very well later on and this appreciation will last throughout your adult life.
As for me, I do not experience the joy of summer any longer either. The weather is the same and I still work just as I do all year long. The big difference is that my family goes to Japan so I have the freedom to do whatever I want for almost two straight months. In order to be as productive as possible I’ve made a list of projects that need to be accomplished, movies I want to watch, books to read and places to visit. I’ll make sure to put all this free time to good use unlike previous years where the only planning I’ve done was a trip to Ohio and North Carolina.
Joy and excitement simply do not come anymore as they naturally once did but I’ve found a secret. The secret is to make small changes and new discoveries. Changing things up a bit gets me excited and fills me with energy. One of the changes is that I’ve gotten motivated to learn more about investing and just re-downloaded the Robinhood app. I’ve been apprehensive at investing and waiting for the economy to falter which it hasn’t for the past decade. So now we’re at the top and anticipating a pull back. So not great timing to get excited about investing again. I’ll wait a bit more but be prepared with a strategy and new tools such as Robinhood and engaging with Charles Schwab a bit more.
As for discoveries, I’ve discovered the joy of VR. I’ve had a VR with my Samsung Gear and since Christmas my Oculus but it was always more of a novelty than something I would use on a daily basis. Well, in exploring a bit I learned how awesome YouTube VR, Venues and Netflix VR really are. It really changes the experience completely! The world drops away when you put on the VR and there you are with a full screen right in front of you. A comparison would be the experience of listening to a song on a radio and being at an actual concert. And with VR you can actually be in the front row of a live concert!! It creates a feeling of excitement in my mind and I feel like we really are living in the future. Now I just need my own hover board (the kind from Back to the Future, not the kind available today).
With VR I realized we really are living in the future. In addition how cool is it that I have access to all of human knowledge in my pocket? I can talk to my friends across the planet in real time and see them on a video screen! To take that a huge step further, I could enter a virtual room with them and hang out!
VR is currently only for first adopters but discovering how amazing it really is I can see how addicting it will be for everyone once it goes mainstream. Movies like Ready Player One are no joke, that is how things will really be once VR gains traction.
As for other news, I realized just how tightly my wife controls the purse strings and how I’ve become apprehensive if I want to buy something cool for the boys. She believes that presents should only be given on birthdays and Christmas. I believe otherwise. My son works so hard in school, swim lessons, Japanese homework and is such a good kid. If I want to buy him something I want to buy him something without getting grief for it. I’m 42 years old and it is like I’m 12 again having to ask for permission each time!
Now I give her full access to our financial situation so she can see pretty much everything. But I’ve figured out a way to have a bit of discretionary spending that she cannot see and it is through this, slush fund, if you will that I can get away with a purchase or two when I want and nobody is the wiser. In fact, my son just showed me a really cool ‘skin’ on Fortnite. It reminded me of Storm Shadow, my favorite character from GI Joe and so that was my Achilles heel and I had to buy it for him. He loves that game and deserves it but at $24 for V-Buck package I knew I’d catch some grief. So hello slush fund and I got it for him. He works hard and deserves it.
Super cool skin and I’m glad I got it for him.
Well, I think that will do it for now. I haven’t worked out in ages since karate takes it out of me but being such a nice day maybe I’ll go get a quick workout in.