It’s been awhile, hasn’t it? What the heck has been happening around here? Well, Money Mechanic has been busy mechanic-ing and such. If you’re looking for a post full of numbers, this ain’t it!
We recently spent some time with our families in Ontario. It was wonderful and at the same time enlightening. First off, I have to commend the parents that run those households. WOW, just wow. Overall it was great to spend time with the nieces and nephews and to really appreciate how much work goes into daily life with kids.
While there, I did what all good uncles do. Make forts, play foosball, fix bikes, go to breweries, and do potty training. Okay, that last one was a bit of an accident, but it was hilarious. Nothing like reading the ‘potty’ book in the morning with your sisters 2 1/2-year-old twins. Then later, while building farts and babysitting, having a bathroom adventure after too much jumping on the bed. Thanks, sis, are we even yet? Turns out we all poop, and 2 1/2-year-olds love to talk about it.
After so much success babysitting that afternoon. I decided it was time to introduce the kids to a brewery. Within walking distance is the Muddy York Brewing Co. Now, even though they wouldn’t let the infants partake, they did have a great atmosphere for all of us.
We sampled a few of their brews, ate a big pretzel and had a really good time. They have all sorts of books and games on hand to entertain the kids. Presumably, those weren’t just there for the late-night crowd.
This is the appeal that more small brewers need to adopt. People want to drop by with their kids and their dogs, meet up with others in the community, fill a Growler and wander back home. Well at least if I had kids, I’d want a Growler filling location within walking distance.
We then traveled further north to the ‘not quite spring yet’ of Ottawa, where we spent some time with my wife’s niece and nephew. This was equally interesting and enlightening.
Those two are 13 and 9 respectively, and geez, the life of a kid these days seems so much more…public.
I learned all about Roblox and what that online platform is all about. Part of me loves it, what a great way for kids to be creative and learn about coding. Part of me hates it, it’s a time suck and it draws kids into a virtual world where they spend real money and worry about how they are perceived online. But maybe I’m just getting old.
The good news is, I got to fix shit! Not only that, I got to show someone else how to fix said shit. I remember being taught how to fix my own bike, and I felt privileged that I had the opportunity to teach my nephew how to fix his bike.
It was fulfilling for both of us. I shared years of experience with a person yearning for knowledge. More than just fixing the bike, we fixed chairs, played foosball, had a nerf gun war and even built Ikea furniture. To quote him while we attacked the Ikea flat pack, “This is like adult LEGO!”. Yes, Ikea is just adult LEGO with a similar price tag and the hope that it looks as good as the picture in the catalog.
More importantly, I hope he learned confidence, persistence and the courage to attempt new things by himself.
The trip had moments of joy and frustration. It’s interesting how we are so connected, yet so far away from our loved ones. The time we got to spend with our families was definitely an important part of what FI is all about. Adding value to our lives, spending time building relationships and fostering love and growth.
We can’t be there all the time, but because we are on the path to FI. We know that we will have more time and money available for the moments with family that we value the most.
What are the things in life that you value the most? Are you considering them in your journey to FI?