I’ve often thought of activity and effort in relation to gear shifting in a car. More specifically, to me downshifting at times.
Some of us understand the concept of shifting from 4th gear to 5th gear and driving harder or downshifting from 5th gear to 4th gear for an upcoming corner.
Recently I was driving (?) a boat. I should add a little more, we—a group of 8 of us FIRE folks (see slacker post)—were boating on a beautiful summer Thursday from 10:30a to 2:30pm and had 90% of the river/lake to ourselves.
Oh, back to the point, for part of the rental period I was able to captain our vessel. During my time on the bridge (I’m sure it wasn’t as grand as it felt to me) I had to slow the boat down by pulling back on the throttle in differing amounts. Each time I lowered the throttle the boat had a strange “settling” feeling of slowing and almost as if we were sinking a little bit.
When slowing the boat, there is a very distinct gravitational change. Maybe the change is due to the level of boat riding on the water related to the boats’ speed. Maybe the feeling is related to the friction/drag of the water. But it was very different from slowing—downshifting or braking—a car.
Reflecting on the different gravitational (pull) feeling due to the change in speed, I realized that the change in forward progress that any of us feel may result in very different gravitational and physical body sensations we may have.
Retirement/FIRE—really LIFE—is exactly the same, in that, not everyone, and nothing quite feels the same from event to event or change to change.
Other analogies that come to mind are floating-the sense of freedom, the differences between upstream and downstream, pulling a crazy tube behind the boat, anchoring, fueling, sunning, shade, docking at new locations, spinning in circles for tubers or just for fun, other boats passing (sizes, propulsion systems, play/housing), and age of the boat.
To look at this from another angle, when I Throttle Up, the craft raises up a little and cruises along the surface with less drag, less wake rocking and bounce, and more wind in my hair—covering more distance per life moment. Isn’t that a great way to take on life, with an increased throttle zipping and having fun?
I know I’m different. I know my mind is strange. I know I see analogies (and equations/word problems) in real life differently than normal people. In most cases, I know that works for me. For “me.”
I had so much fun with my slacker friends. I also learned so much in less than a week with super-intelligent friends.
Do you see special things in life that make you better, your life better?
*** Nothing in this article is to be construed as financial advice. I am not a financial planner, nor do I pretend to be. You should always consult your own professional when seeking advice. This post is not a piece of literary mastery, just a random thought I had.