Here is where I stood at the end of February 2015.
I admit to living a very decadent existence here in Sydney. I pay for an apartment with an extra bedroom that sits empty in a city with high rents. I eat out quite a bit and rarely cook. I take cabs while my bike parks, forsaken and sad. I justify these conveniences in the moment by imagining the income line in my charts. I still live well below my means and have saved an average of more than 76% of each paycheck since moving Down Under.
But I read old journal entries from Chicago and I think these little extravagances do not add up to any increased happiness. My favorite part of my day was biking to and from work. “Learn to Cook like Mom” graces a top ten spot on my life bucket list, but utilizing that skill took a backseat when I finished law school and started this job. I feel only mockery when I look at my empty extra bedroom.
When I retire, I will have a lot more free time and I fully expect to forgo these decadent quirks. And I will *not* feel deprived. I imagine the future biking and cooking and not waking up to an alarm and not feeling stress about checking my Blackberry (yes, I still have a Blackberry) and I throw my hat in the air like Mary Tyler Moore.
Here is what my chart would look like if I still paid the rent I paid in Chicago.
I look at my countdown clock and feel bittersweet. There is no part of me that will miss corporate law and I fantasize about quitting every single day, but I will miss Sydney.