Both at the same time

Howdy, folks. I don't have any personal-finance news for you today because my life continues to be in one of two states.

  • I spend three or four nights at Duane's house, helping to care for him. I buy him food. I prepare him food. I help him walk from room to room (because he cannot reliably do this himself anymore). I administer his drugs. I feed his fish. I take him on “field trips”. We watch the Aquarium Co-Op channel on YouTube. Or…
  • I spend three or four nights at my house, mostly sleeping but also rushing to get as many household chores and errands done as possible. I buy groceries. I (slowly) work to build a fence. I water plants. I walk the dog.

This has been my life for the past six weeks, and will continue to be my life until the inevitable conclusion of this adventure. While I'm not looking forward to The End, I will say that I've learned a ton from this process. I've grown even closer to Duane (at least when he's not in a narcotics-induced fog) and I've surprised myself with my ability to provide hospice care. Who knew?

So, that's the life update.

I do have occasional snatches of free time, usually as I'm falling asleep at night. But rather than use those to read and write about personal finance, I use them to mindlessly watch YouTube videos. Here are a few recent favorites.

First, from the vlogbrothers, here's a nice little four-minute mediation about seeing both sides at the same time. Like the narrator here, aging has led me to see the world as shades of grey rather than black and white. Things can be both good and bad at the same time.

Second, during a text conversation yesterday with Piggy and Kitty from Bitches Get Riches, I was introduced to the TierZoo channel on YouTube. Apparently this has been popular for five years, but I'd never heard of it. It's incredible. At first, you think it's funny — because it is funny — but you gradually realize it's both interesting and educational. Here's TierZoo ranking the best cats, for instance.

Lastly, here's an hilarious three-minute video that substitutes Elmo for Paul Atreides in Dune. I was lukewarm on the recent Dune adaptation the first time I saw it. The second time, I liked it better. Recently, I watched it on my iPad while wearing high-quality headphones. Holy cats! I enjoyed it so much more. In fact, I've come to think it's a masterpiece. And so is this little gem…

That's it. Just a quick check-in. I've done zero work on Get Rich Slowly (or anything else) for the past six weeks, and there's no work likely to happen for the foreseeable future. As I say, it's 100% caring for Duane and time reclaiming sleep and mental energy so that I can go back and do it again.

I hope you all are doing well!

p.s. Okay, one more thing. This time off has given me a chance to think about a lot of things. Duane and I used to have long, deep discussions about Quality, for instance, inspired by Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. What I want for this site is a focus on Quality. I read this 1992 letter from producer Steve Albini to the band Nirvana and was impressed on how much Quality mattered to Albini. Well, it matters to me too, and I've been neglecting it for a while. Time to un-neglect it.

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Kristen
Kristen
1 month ago

What an amazing gift to be able to give Duane, and a hard time for all. Take care of yourself – your loyal readers will still check in here. Sending good thoughts to you all.

Nadine
Nadine
1 month ago
Reply to  Kristen

Hi JD, This is my first comment on your site, I’ve been reading for about a decade and occasionally check in. I’m so sorry your cousin’s health has taken a turn. What an honorable thing you’re doing for him. I’m dealing with some things with my family and this puts those things into perspective-the importance of loved ones. Remember to take care of yourself during this time. 

Jason B
Jason B
1 month ago

You’re a good person J.D. We should all be so lucky to have someone like you when our brief time is over. You have good taste in Youtube videos as well. I just enjoyed and subscribed to all three.

zzzzzz
zzzzzz
1 month ago

Imagine if you hadn’t gone through your financial journey, and were still dependent on a regular paycheck to make ends meet. You wouldn’t be in the position to provide this care to Duane.

Jennifer
Jennifer
1 month ago
Reply to  zzzzzz

So very true! Having ones money house in order really does let us focus on what matters. Times like these, with what Duane, J.D. and family are going through, and being able to provide love and care in this type of situation highlights what’s important in life. Thoughts and prayers for the family and kudos to Kim for what appears to be a very supportive situation, so that J.D. can be there for his cousin. I’ve been through similar situations with a family member and a good friend and it really is an honor to help someone through their final… Read more »

Chris
Chris
1 month ago

J.D. thanks for checking in. Long time reader here. I have been offering you and Duane up in prayer as I follow Apex Money since you told us what is going on. I hope that encourages you as you care for Duane.

JoDi
JoDi
1 month ago

Enjoy these days with your cousin, bittersweet as they may be. I am not surprised at all that you are an excellent caregiver. Your concern for people, love for your family, and prioritization of relationships is evident to all of us. I hope it helps to know you have a whole community behind you as you deal with the road ahead.

Carol
Carol
1 month ago

JD, long time reader, first time commenting. Having taken care of my mother & brother during hospice care, please take care of yourself as well. Not everyone has the capacity to provide this care. You, Duane, Kim & the rest of your family are in my thoughts & prayers

Becca
Becca
1 month ago

Glad to see the update, and am thinking of you and Duane!

Rahul
Rahul
1 month ago

Always felt your blog was so close to real life not just numbers and graphs or some over hyped pitch.

Many of us have been there and what you are doing is great, this is what F.I.R.E is worth for –able to spend time with friends & family.

Best wishes to Duane!

Karen L
Karen L
1 month ago

You do the important stuff you need to do, JD. We can wait.

Joe
Joe
1 month ago

Take care of yourself too, JD. I just got back from my 3 months trip to see my mom in Thailand. She had dementia and it’s getting pretty bad. It’s really tough job to care for your loved ones. You’ll get back to blogging later.