In August of 2015, I started this blog. I remember the day my site was turned on, and browsing to it on my laptop for the first time. As simple as the site was, turning it on gave me a rush of adrenaline. I was so proud to have my own corner of the internet that I could nurture, neglect, admire, and resent. Sorta like any other important thing that’s a part of my identity in life.
The path to launching this site was meandering; it was littered with fits and starts, analysis paralysis, going off in various directions and often backtracking. My excitement and momentum was countered with an equal measure of frustration and lethargy.
I disregarded the compounding effect of all the time and energy I’d dedicated (and would continue to dedicate) to the idea of crafting my digital legacy. I was keenly aware I had no idea what I was doing, and rather than embrace this feeling with curiosity, it often stopped me in my tracks.
I’d often set out with an ideal version of my day in mind. I’d block out a few hours to work at a coffee shop, but end up distracted with a lack of focused attention on any one thing in particular. This would lead to frustration and an eventual surrender.
The reality of doing what I set out to do wasn’t nearly as fun as the thought of it. This tracks with many things in life – planning a vacation, only to forget the stress that comes with packing and wrangling everyone and everything together. Or planning a day trip with friends, only to lose site of the chaos that comes with managing multiple personalities and conflicting visions of what the day would be like to begin with.
I’ve continued to ask myself “What do I want?”
What do I want this website to be? I’ve recently surpassed the seven year anniversary of launching it. My ideas of what it is (and isn’t), what it can be, and what I want it to be have been fluid over the years. That’s ok.
In fact, this is one of the reasons I opted for the name Shift Upwards back when I started this blog. It didn’t box me into a specific topic or sub-topic (like personal finance or financial independence).
Here we are seven years later, in 2022. I’m now 40 and am most of the things I was terrified of becoming. I’m a married father, I live in a single-family house outside of an urban center, and I drive a midsize SUV. Our basement is littered with toys, our house not at all the relic of minimalism that I used to strive for.
I acknowledge that my acceptance (enjoyment!) of this is partly due to a more pragmatic/less idealistic view of life as I’ve entered middle age.
But this is largely by design, coupled with a healthy dose of acceptance of what is and an understanding of the finite energy I have – and that I’d rather direct that energy to things that matter more to me.
I’ve done my own Shift Upwards into my current phase of life. Just like I shifted into the one before this one, and the one before it, and the one before it.
This has put me in the position of being genuinely excited about the future, as opposed to fearing old age. I’ve put lots of thought into where I’ve been, where I’m at, and what’s brought me here. This in turn makes me excited about where I’m going.
As amazing as life is – full of excitement and curiosity – it also has plenty of pain and sadness. That’s kind of the package we all inherit when born into this world. This blog isn’t about eliminating pain and sadness. Rather, it’s about living better in spite of them.
That’s what I aim to continuously explore and document here.