Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

43 Comments

  1. Great post. Life happens. Like you, I try to take a proactive approach to our house, health, and finances. If you don’t stay current with those life situations, it does not take long to fall behind. It is also easier to stay current than to let issues pile up.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Thanks, Dave!
      I’m good with the health front and Mr. G is on top of our finances and home. But I’m behind at this moment with scheduling our eye exams that are way overdue. Gotta jump on that this week!

  2. Home maintenance is something I tend to put off. Our HVAC has been broken for years and I just didn’t feel like fixing it. We don’t really need it because the weather isn’t that bad here in Portland. Until this summer… We had a huge wild fire and the air quality was terrible. I really wish we had AC then. I’ll get it fix soon.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      After living in apartments most of my life I was pretty dense when it came to home maintenance. I remember my father had a small bucket with a hammer and a screwdriver in it — but my mom had to call the superintendent of our building to hang a picture on the wall!

      What a shame about the fires! I believe the ones by you were started by a kid with a cigarette?

      Mr. Groovy has been insistent in our home(s) to sign on with an HVAC service, and to change out the filters frequently. Both of those things extend the life of your system. Don’t wait too much longer! It should be cheaper to get it fixed in the winter as opposed to the summer, too.

  3. Great reminder, Mrs. Groovy!

    I’m really intrigued by the call-out at the end where you’re offering help. I think it’s so great that you two are offering up your time to help people who could use some guidance. I’m sure you’re going to make a big impact!

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Thanks, Chris. I hope we have some takers on the call-out. I’m especially interested in hearing from folks in their 40s who haven’t saved and think they’ll never retire.

  4. The biggest sign that I was missing was realizing that I was drowning at work. I run my own private practice, doing all the treating, administration, billing, mentoring, scheduling, etc myself. I hit a few crazy months and although I typically love what I do, I was waking up in the morning not wanting to go to work. It took awhile, but I realized that I needed help. I have just hired my first employee and although it is some additional work up front, I know that it will ultimately help in the long term. Oh and I now officially have “I Saw the Sign” stuck in my head. Ace of Base anyone?

    • Mrs. Groovy

      I had to look up Ace of Base. Thanks for reminding me how old I am! 😅

      I would imagine it being quite difficult to dole out responsibilities to someone else when you’re building a practice yourself. You want everything to be perfect and you think someone else may not be as conscientious as you. But for some of the administrative tasks it’s not that risky. Good for you that you hired someone!

  5. So nice to see a post from you again Mrs. G. I’m happy you saw and listened to these signs! I definitely think we all could be a little more tied into our intuition. Slowing down and paying attention should help. Thanks for the great reminder.

    I hope your Montana trip was fantastic!

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Thanks, Amy. The trip was great. But more importantly, it allowed me to untangle my emotions a bit since we’ve returned. The last two months have been a rough ride.

  6. Definitely my job – I’m a very loyal person and just assumed that this position was the only one that would pay me enough so we could meet our goals. I have been so miserable and depressed for years, but refused to acknowledge the signs that change is necessary.

    It’s been really bad since returning from my most-recent maternity leave. Fortunately, a good friend had a heart to heart with me about our current situation. She said, “The first thing you need to do is accept that you have to leave XYZ.” I needed that. Now, I’m looking into all sorts of different possibilities and feeling much more optimistic about the years we have left until financial semi-independence.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      How wonderful that your friend had that heart-to-heart with you. I could tell from your posts that going back to work as you knew it, after this last pregnancy, was going to destroy your soul. I was hoping you’d come to the realization that something had to give.

      This whole FI thing is tricky, especially when you’re younger. You have to enjoy the ride as much as the destiny. What good is saving money and being frugal if you have decades of misery ahead of you? We all like to see the light at the end of the tunnel but yours was much too far away!

  7. Great post, Mrs. G!

    The importance of health signs can’t be underestimated … so glad you got that skin cancer taken care of!

    I had some chronic pain issues a few years ago that were a huge wake up call. It wasn’t until I’d been in physical therapy for a while that I realized how much the physical pain had affected my overall well-being. So happy to be on the other side now!

    Neglected health problems can have a huge impact on financial health, too.

    Thanks for this reminder to watch for the signs!

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Thanks, Mrs. Grumby. I’m glad you had that issue taken care of.

      Pain and other sensations are tricky, especially when you lived with them for a while. I remember when I started getting treated for allergies (again, as an adult – I had years of treatment as a kid that did nothing). And the first time I breathed through both nostrils was when I realized I hadn’t been doing that for years.

      Mr. Groovy had an incident a few years ago where his legs felt numb. He first told me about it after it went on for weeks. That was when I knew he was concerned. I asked him a barrage of questions, did some research and learned he could have a vitamin deficiency, bought vitamins, an ice/hot pack, etc. Finally, I asked him about the squats he was doing and he told me he did them consecutively for twenty minutes!!! ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND? I asked him. You can do 20 squats but not 20 minutes straight. Once he stopped, the feeling in his legs came back.

  8. First off, I am sooooo glad you are ok!! Skin cancer is not something to mess with or take lightly. This post may have given someone a sign to check out their moles or rash so thank you!!

    Second, I love everything about this post! Being able to check ourselves before we wreck ourselves (or our house, car, investments, etc) is a sign of true maturity. To swallow our pride and know it all ways and fix what needs fixing. The outlet (I agree on never working on my own electric after shocking myself a fe times!), the rash, the obscene living expenses. We can control the outcome of these things before they take over if we just get out of our own way!!

    • Mrs. Groovy

      I may have spoken too soon. I had my checkup yesterday and the doctor removed a tiny growth on my rib cage, which would be a strange place for basal cell. She wasn’t totally alarmed. She said it can go either way. Still, we scheduled my next checkup for a year out and we’ll see when the results come back in a few days.

      Great line – “check before we wreck”!!!

      • Oh no!! Keeping my fingers and toes crossed. Aren’t bodies are weird? Who knows what is going on half the time?! Good to hear she wasn’t totally alarmed. Keep me posted!!

  9. I know of one person that took a signing job for the Liberty Tax (statue of liberty signers) because they were “embarrassed” to work fast food. It comes down to personal preferences, but, to me, dressing up and waving to people on the road is more embarrassing.

    We all need someone to show us the sign to improve something in our life that we are ashamed to admit. Being proactive with my personal life is one area I fall short as I generally focus on work and am perfectly happy doing nothing around the house when I’m all caught up for the day or the week. Thankfully, my wife is much better at scheduling social engagements, but, relationships aren’t one-way and after focusing so much on money and climbing the ladder, I’ve realized the importance of having friends and family.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      I’ve heard of folks working fast food, but in a different neighborhood than the one they live in, so that no one they know will see them. I’m with you, though. I’d feel like more of an idiot dressed in a Lady Liberty outfit waving at people.

      I think a lot of jobs are so draining, whether they’re high stress, or just plain boring. It’s hard to have energy for anything else, sometimes. I’m glad you have a good wife to keep you in check!

  10. Glad you are OK! That is scary. I do think people ignore “signs” too long. My brother ignored a pull in his side forever and it turned out to be stage 4 colon cancer (he’s OK). I’m having the worst trouble sleeping and I’m trying to do everything I can to figure out what the problem is and/or do something to help it. I know that lack of sleep can take years off your life an can actually be dangerous. Thank you for reminding me to have courage to say no to expensive friend outings too!

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Wow, your brother dodged a bullet! Not too many people first diagnosed at stage 4 live to tell. I’m so happy for you and your family.

      I’ve read some of your posts about your sleep issue, but not all of them. So I won’t presume to give you any tips but I’ve had issues, too. Please email me if you’d like to discuss. If nothing else maybe the boredom from emails would put you to sleep?

  11. Mrs G! It’s been a while! Glad to hear that you are doing fine and the skin rash was taken care of early.

    It’s so true. We only get into full blown panic mode once sh*t hits the fan. It has to shock us, in order for us to take action.

    This happens to me a lot, I tend to always think that there’s still “time.” But I guess this mindset is a sign I need to pay attention to. I’m definitely going to be working towards changing this!

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Thanks, Terence. Yes it has been a while. I’m coming out of a funk I haven’t written about. I don’t know if I will. I probably will even though I don’t think it’s that interesting but it’s important to show readers our foibles.

      Time is so relative. There are many things that put us in panic mode that are often not important — at least that’s true for me. But health needs to be a priority and it’s way too easy to take good health for granted.

  12. Great post Mrs. G! I’m fearful that I will have skin cancer at some point too. The 80’s were a time of baby oil and as dark of a tan as we could get. And my Irish skin will pay for it at some point. I think I’ve missed signs in the past, but I’ve gotten better over time. One that we still miss on occasion is stress from taking on too many things. Once we get settled in our new house – we are going to really start reigning things in. It’s easy to get excited about project after project, but the stress comes out in other ways.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Thanks, Vicki. I found it strange that the cancerous spot only looked like an allergic rash to me. Good thing Mr. G was considering my vanity with that mole on my face. Otherwise I would have put off the doctor visit.

      It will be interesting to see how you adapt to retirement. Hard to believe we’re coming up on one year.

  13. I’m so glad you’ve noticed your signs and have taken action on them. I’m pretty clear-sighted on my finances. However, I have to admit, when it comes to my health, I noticed the signs and acted on them, and then gradually let things slide again. Sometimes it’s difficult to hang on to that lightbulb moment in the long term. I’m going to have to start taking action again because I’m not sure how many signs I’m going to get.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      I think about how many signs are left too, Gary. When we visited Montana, looking at those mountains, glaciers, and sky, and realizing how we’re only on this planet for a nano-second kind of puts it in perspective.

  14. I stole Ramsey’s “Better than I deserve” line about 20 years ago. I get a couple different responses when I say that. 1) Christians will knowingly nod and say, “aren’t we all.” 2) Others look confused. Though Mr. Ramsey is correct when he references divine grace, I spare the Bible thumping and reply, “If I think I’m doing worse than I deserve, I’ll feel angry. And this way I feel grateful. I’d rather feel grateful.”

    • Mrs. Groovy

      And there I was thinking Dave was so witty. I sort of assumed there was a biblical reference there but I don’t know the precise source.

      I’d rather feel grateful, too. And humble.

      Thanks for your comment, Steve.

  15. Hey Mrs. G. Glad you got your skin taken care of, and that everything looks good for now.

    I don’t know that I’m bad at spotting the signs, but I am occasionally less good about acting on them. Maybe I tend to see most of them more as “Yield” or “Yellow Light” than STOP, even when part of me knows better.

    (That said, don’t underestimate the damage animals can do in our walls, especially squirrels and mice. They can indeed get in the wiring and start house fires.)

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Ahh, yes, the yield sign. You’re smart enough to see it but not motivated to do something about it at the time. But ultimately you do, Emily. You follow through on facing challenges.

      Good point I overlooked about rodents — I hope you didn’t learn that through experience.

  16. Great post-Mrs.G. We ignored our signs for years before we hit rock bottom and finally decided to get out of debt. I wish we would have acted sooner.

    I hope other avoiding the signs will reach out to you. Sometimes we just need a little push.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      I wish we could have acted sooner on saving. But we learned how, and that’s something.

      I hope some folks reach out, too. I’d like to do some good for others, just the way you are in your community.

  17. Listening to the signs is key. I have seen so many people who have heart attacks and then finally see the sign and change their habits. Unfortunately there is a small portion who have heart attacks and still go on with their smoking, steak eating, cough sitting ways…can’t get through to everyone I suppose.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      DDD, Mr. Groovy and I can relate. His grandfather had bladder cancer and still smoked cigarettes (which is a major contributor to bladder cancer). And like a dope, I believed him when he left the house to “go get the mail”. Yeah, he was getting the mail, just like Mr. Groovy’s aunt was “doing laundry” when she was outside smoking. I fell for that one too. (Yes Aunt J. — if you’re reading this I’m talking about you.)

  18. My oldest son’s first job ever was as a sign spinner for a store I worked at. The boss paid him $10 cash at the end of each shift, and he thought that was pure magic. Walking home with $40 for a 14 year old kid was too cool.

    Sometimes we need to notice the signs. His sign to get a job was me saying he no longer got an allowance for helping with chores. He would help like the rest of the family and work like the rest of the family.

    He fought and complained for 2 weeks, but held a job all through high school after that.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      What a great lesson, Ms. M. I like that you chose to give him an allowance when he was young, but cut it off when he was old enough to work.

      It’s all relative. I worked handing out samples in the street and at trade shows in the 80s. But I was hired through a promotional modeling agency and made good money. And people were nice to us because we were giving out freebies.

      I think Fritz shared my sentiments best about work at this stage of my life. In his interview on the Choose FI Podcast (ep. 43) he spoke of possibly working for Amazon sometime, packing up boxes during the Christmas season — not because he needs to, but because it might be fun. Wouldn’t it be great if we could all choose to work only when we find it interesting? That’s a classic version of FI to me. And paying attention to the signs helps you get there.

  19. Mrs G, great to see a post from you, I enjoy “your voice”. SOOO glad you listened to Mr G and got the cancerous rash resolved.

    I golfed last night with a guy who once weighed 384 pounds. He’s lost 105 pounds, and said he’s never felt better in his life. We played 9 holes, and we walked (“No carts for me”, he said, “I walk every time I play golf.”) He eats vegetables for most meals, and monitors calorie intake religiously. He got the sign, and he’s responding.

    You’re both alive, because you paid attention to the signs. Great message.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Awww, Fritzer. Thanks!

      Your friend made an amazing turnaround! Now he’s eating right and incorporating lifestyle changes. I bet his back hurts a lot less after a round of golf, too.

  20. Oh my gosh, Mrs. Groovy, RIGHT ON. We stuck our heads in the sand and ignored the signs for years. Even now it’s tempting to do so as we drop from “terrifyingly horrible debt situation” to “not nearly as bad as it used to be”, but we keep on scaring ourselves into not spending money by imagining “what if” scenarios. Denial is a very easy place to live in, but it can turn into hell on earth real quick.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Laurie, we need to make you an honorary Groovy! Right on! Keep on trucking!

      Denial is only easy if you stay there. But the rational mind knows we need to face the music sooner or later. And sooner is so much easier in the long run. Later not only makes the situation worse, but you have to deal with all that internal stress building up when you know you’re not doing the right thing.

  21. Very good point. Too often it’s easier to bury your head in the sand and say “Let’s just see what happens” instead of taking action.

    Love that you talked about getting your mole checked! People don’t go to the dermatologist enough at all.

    Y’all, I got a suspicious mole removed and it took, like, five minutes. Don’t neglect annual derm exams! This is how my sis removed her skin cancer before it became a problem.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      It’s way too easy to put off the yearly dermatology visit. But my father was very fair, too, and he needed Moh’s surgery. And the stories I’ve heard of melanoma left untreated are extremely frightening.

      Glad to hear your sister is OK!