The good and the bad – A reflection on 2017

The good

  • Setting up investment goals and systematically keeping money into low cost index fund accounts.
  • Visualise a date and goal for early retirement
  • Launched my blog
  • Did my first anchoring for lead climbing
  • Managed to finish 8 books during the year

The bad

  • Lupus relapse
  • Pissing off a main influencer
  • Gaining weight

That pretty much summarised my key events in 2017.

Despite the fact that I had a relapse of lupus, which is a damper because Doc said I might be able to be tapered out of the immunosuppressant medication after two years of inactivity, I think there are a number of positive events that took place this year.

The first thing that I never thought I would take a plunge was to start my blog. The purpose of the blog was just to show lupus patients, newly diagnosed or veterans, that lupus patients are no different from other people. We live, we love, we eat great food and we enjoy our fair share of great time in our lives. There are times when we have to deal with our close friend, lupus, and there might be dark thoughts sinking in, but they do not necessarily need to linger longer than they should. Neither will we let them.

Second positive thing that happened was that I stumbled upon a more systematic method to get out of the rat race sooner. Well I might not be able to get out so soon, but at least there is some concrete plan and motivation for me to study more about investing and stashing up the ‘F-U money’.

I plan and see how much I would need to stash up to retire and not work till I die. I do not hate my job so much that I dream of quitting everyday. In the contrary, I do not mind to continue working as quitting will render my skills irrelevant as my job requires me to keep abreast with the developments of the industry constantly. I like my job, so dropping out is not my plan anyhow. I would just love to have some flexibility in terms of my work hours, and F-U money allows me to do just so.

Third was being able to do the anchoring for lead climbing on my own. I have a plan to be able to do big wall climbing one of these days. I have to do a lot more outdoor climbing to achieve that. I did a few outdoor climbing this year, and for the first time, did anchoring for lead climb. It is something simple but I have not done it alone before. I rarely led in the past when I did outdoor. Always did top-roping.

Batu Kurau

Another positive thing that I managed to do because of the medical leave I took for my relapsed lupus, is I managed to bolster the number of books I read to a grand total of 8 books this year. Not great compared to an avid reader, but the important thing is that I started to embrace reading as an obsession instead of something that I do when I think I have time. I foresee my reading ‘bookpost’ (as opposed to bedpost) will be increasing significantly next year, and I intend to keep it that way. I am reading all the backlog books on my shelves, and I also bought a supply of books that will ensure that I never run out of things to read in the next one year.

A year is never a year without its ups and downs.

So here is the lows. The most obvious one would be the relapse of my lupus. But up to now, I am happy to say that I kept it under control. The joint pain have reduced to virtually none. I do not know about the urine and blood test results though. I will find out the week after next. So I have to continue the immunosuppressant for another one year or so, but then lupus just reminded me what my priorities should be, instead of getting stressed over work that much that it caused a dent to my health and mental well-being. I will have to make sure the same scenario in terms of my work do not recur.

OK then the second low was the fact that I ticked off an influencer. The guy blogs about financial independence. Despite another few hundreds of other such blogs on the web sphere, I frequented his blog the most. The turning point was that when I commented on his blog about some parenting matter, saying that he worried too much for his new born son that he might be going cuckoos himself. It was not received well, and he launched a number of derogatory comments on my blog. He even wrote in an email that asked if my lupus was back. Honestly I was very taken aback by his attitude. I thought he would have a bit more composure for an ex-corporate person. His action and words troubled me for a grand total of one week.

Then I understood that I should not give out any unsolicited advice, especially when it comes to parenting. I moved on from there, eventhough when my lupus relapsed, I wondered if it was due to his curse. That thought was dusted off very quickly. Why would I let someone else determine in what direction my lupus should go? Not a chance.

Lastly, I gained a couple of kgs this year, despite the constant hope to lose weight for aesthetic reasons (I am quite fit despite being slightly overweight), I gained a few more kgs. For the sake of my kidney I would need to lose some weight, like around 10kgs. The boyfriend said the weight gain was no big deal, I did not look very much bigger. I am glad that he accepted my weight, but he was the last reason why I would maintain my weight. The important thing is not to get too hung up on my weight or appearance. The key focus should be on my health. Since I am still fit, I should keep it that way, while continue to eat clean and shed some kgs off.

Oh lord, I did not realise that the blog post has morphed into such a mammoth post with more than 1,000 words. I hope that I did not bore you with my endless ranting.

Overall I think I closed the year pretty well, and I hope for a even better year ahead. Here’s a toast to a better 2018! 🍻

Author: Li

The journey with my friend - Lupus, 500 days and counting after I was diagnosed. I like writing, climbing, reading just about anything, watching inspirational movies and movies with a twist, and striving to reach financial independence as soon as possible.

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