Separation Anxiety

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What do I and the lovely Katie Leclerc (“Switched At Birth”) have in common? Of what relevance is it to today’s post?

My wonderful wife and her father are leaving today on a cruise to Alaska. I am not looking forward to her being away for a week-plus. So, why am I not joining them?

Like Katie Leclerc, I have Meniere’s Disease. For me that means I cannot travel by ship. (I also cannot ride on a roller coaster or ferris wheel, but neither of them would appeal to me even without the Meniere’s.)

I was diagnosed with the condition in early 2009, if I remember correctly. It seems apparent, in retrospect, that my marvelous mom suffered from it as well.

Meniere’s Disease is a disorder of the inner ear that can cause dizziness/vertigo, hearing loss, ringing in the ear (tinnitus) and aural fullness, a feeling of pressure in the ear. I have experienced all of those symptoms.

I once had a vertigo attack severe enough so that I had to be taken to the hospital in an ambulance. After returning from a trip that included flying I was deaf in my right ear for three days. Thankfully, the extreme symptoms seem to have faded. Still, I can’t be too careful and have to avoid activities that might trigger an acute flare.

Like living with diabetes, Meniere’s is simply a part of my life. I always have an ample supply of meclizine in the house and when my ear is bothering me and I feel a little dizzy I often chew two tablets (50 mg, in total).

Meniere’s is not well understood by medical professionals. At present, no cure exists although symptomatic relief is available, as I wrote. For example, I used to have a prescription for diazepam (Valium) because that would short-circuit vertigo attacks. Maybe I need to find an ENT here to supervise my care.

OK, that’s probably TMI for many of you. Of course, I will often find a reason to show a picture of a beautiful woman. 🙂

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This CNBC article is about someone who was able to retire early. Part of the title reads, “Early retiree credits his $1 million net worth to these 7 ‘unpopular opinions.'”

Two of these opinions resonate with me although one of them actually doesn’t apply to my life. The first is “Most Millionaires Are Self-Made.” Surveys (like one cited in the piece) show that most Americans think millionaires inherited their money. That is absolutely FALSE. In actuality, about 80% of American millionaires (that Pareto guy was very smart) are first-generation millionaires, meaning they did not inherit their fortune.

This large disconnect from reality is very dangerous for just about everybody, not just wealthy people. Government policies designed to “redistribute” wealth will hamper economic growth, which would negatively affect almost everyone.

The second “resonating” opinion is “Your passion won’t pay the bills.” Of course, it might as it did for me while I spent 20+ years working in major league baseball. Still, and from the CNBC article,

 

“Rich celebrities will often tell you that they achieved success by following their passions. But that doesn’t work for everyone.

It’s easier for most of us to earn a living through our strengths than through our passions. Our passions tend to be more creative, and it’s usually harder to earn a high salary in a creative field.

My hobby was photography, but I chose a career in software development because it was what I was good at. The salary difference between those two career paths is drastically different.

Now, as an early retiree, I’m actually able to enjoy and spend more time on my passions.”

 

I think the lesson is always have a Plan B. I have a graduate degree in Economics and worked in that field before I broke into baseball. If my hometown baseball team had called my bluff I almost certainly could have found a job as an economist in the public or private sector. It’s easy to say in retrospect that I would not have been as happy, but if I had never worked in baseball I would have never had a frame of reference to know. Life is a Monte Carlo simulation. I am certain that if it were possible for a person to live their life 50 times, it would not turn out the same way in all of them and that it would have many different outcomes.

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This remains as close as I can get to the Z06. In all honesty, sometimes I forget that I still own it. Except for a two-week period, I have not been able to drive the car since mid-April and it has been away from our garage during that time.

I must admit that over the last four months, the Z06 has–in many ways—morphed from an object of affection into a demon ogre. Much of me never wants to see the car in our garage again. Is that a case of cutting off my nose to spite my face? I don’t think so, but I’m only human.

 

#SeparationAnxiety

#KatieLeclerc

#MenieresDisease

#UnpopularMoneyOpinions

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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10 thoughts on “Separation Anxiety

    1. Thanks, JS. I have always thought Katie Leclerc, whom I only know from an appearance on the Big Bang Theory, is really beautiful. I lean more towards the girl next door look than the exotic look. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

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  1. (I’m back after a computer crash last week)

    “first-generation millionaires, meaning they did not inherit their fortune”

    I know many who fall into this category, I guess myself included. Over the years everything I inherited could maybe buy a 10 year old used car if the items were sold off. However these days a million is mostly on paper for many and would require the liquidation of all properties and assets to show that balance in a bank account. And a million doesn’t go as far as it used to; witness housing and auto costs as a prime example.

    ” it’s usually harder to earn a high salary in a creative field.”

    My “creative field” has always been building cars/trucks. Unless you end up being the next Boyd Coddington or Chip Foose, you are unlikely to earn a living at this. I know of a couple folks who gave it a try and ended up closing up their shop. Main reason was a creative difference with the customer. Customer would see some vehicle they had built and say; I want one just like that, except. And often something had to be re-done 2-3 times to meet the customers desire. For myself, I learned fairly soon that if I received 25 cents an hour for the labor in a resurrection/rebuild/restoration, I had done well. And a side issue is, if your hobby becomes your way of making your living, what now becomes your hobby? I grew up with a guy who was an avid fisherman. Rain, shine, cold, didn’t matter. He just loved fishing. Ended up in his 20’s going into the big tournaments and it became his way of making a living. In the off times, he was lost. Fishing was no longer a relaxing activity as it was now his job. He eventually gave that up and opened a small bar and grille in that town. Last time I talked with him, I guess 3 years ago, he said he hadn’t been fishing more than once a year in the last 15 years. Runs the bar, goes home and watches TV/movies or plays video games.

    And I guess I didn’t win the “pool” on when you would get the Z06 back. 😦
    Think I picked somewhere around today’s date.

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    1. Thanks, DDM. Glad your computer situation is back to operational. It is only when machines fail that they remind us how powerful they are.

      I had a similar situation to your fishing friend in terms of baseball after working in it for many years. I enjoyed the professional association, but the raw excitement of being “just” a fan did disappear.

      Oh, you picked August 19th as the date the Z06 would be returned. It’s actually possible the car will never be in our garage again. You’re a smart guy; you can figure out what that means.

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      1. ” It’s actually possible the car will never be in our garage again”

        Sounds like the luster has been knocked off the bloom. Sad to hear that, but it’s happened to all of us at one time or another with something. Here’s hoping you find a suitable replacement, if/when it comes time to part ways.

        (I’m also curious to hear the end story you alluded to a couple posts back.)

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      2. DDM, it is what it is. After the warning chime seemed to sound every day (of course it didn’t), I couldn’t keep the BMW Z4 I owned, either, even though I liked the car. I haven’t really had the Z06 for the last four-plus months, anyway.

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    1. C Squared, the resolution of my car situation and its timing are, sadly, not really up to me. That is not a veiled complaint about my wonderful wife, either. It is, however, a manifestation of the joke that is just-in-time manufacturing.

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