Stressing Out

New Job

Last week I accepted an offer to return to my former job at 3M. It is bittersweet in a number of ways, but mostly bitter. I won’t be returning at the same level I left. Instead, I’ll be at the very bottom of the ladder and have to work my way up. 

I don’t have a start date yet and I haven’t told anyone at my current job, which is ending in April 2025 whether I stay or go. Due to their policies and pay structure, I’m not eligible for a pay increase in my current position between now and then. My reasoning for switching is that if I have to start over in a year, it’s better to start over now. My plan is to apply for an internal lead position as soon as possible. Even if I don’t get one within the first year, I’ll get an automatic raise after six months and another one at a year with 3M. I’m not completely throwing in the towel with UX, but I have to take a short break from it for some time while I see some other things through.

Tough Call

Although not 100% yet, I think I have made the tough decision to dip into my retirement to pay off my debt. If you know anything about personal finance, you should know that this is almost always a bad idea. However, I’ve crunched the numbers every way I can think of and this seems like the best option for me right now. If I go through with it, the only debts I’ll have will be my mortgage, a home equity loan, a personal loan to my father, and just over $2000 in student loans remaining from my bachelor’s degree 20 years ago. 

Assuming I go through with this, I’ll have positive cash flow immediately. My plan is to aggressively reinvest in my retirement by working overtime and doubling down on some side hustles. 

Side Hustles

My hope is that I’ll maintain some amount of side hustles, but I’m still defining what that will look like for me. Since I’ll likely be working plenty of OT at my primary job, a side hustle is easier to maintain if it’s something that excites me or that I’m at least passionate about. I have some ideas. I’ve built a new LED exposure unit for screen printing.

Soon To Be Published?

I’ve long had a goal of recording an entire album of music before I die, and there’s always a reason not to work on it. Getting on my feet again financially and trying to transition careers has been a big obstacle. However, I’m setting a soft goal to have a single recorded and mixed by June. It will likely be a full instrument version of my original song, “My Arm”.

All The Rest

Last week my grandmother (Dad’s mom) made the decision to enter into Hospice care. She has some issues with her heart and the treatments are riskier than doing nothing. I happened to visit her on the day she was finishing her hospice registration. She spoke about medicines and funeral plans the way one might add things to a shopping list. Maybe it’s her faith in God or a wisdom and grace that come with age that contribute to her nature.

Meanwhile, yesterday many of my peers were shocked to learn of the sudden death of Steve Albini from a heart attack at the age of 61. I wish I had my grandmother’s zen, but I confess I don’t feel that way at all. I feel like I need to hurry up and get healthy. Hurry up and transition careers. Hurry up and make some money. Last night a coworker told me I needed to get a girlfriend, as if I have time and energy for that (but in theory it would be nice not to feel like I’m going through life alone). It’s hard to find a balance, to strive, and be patient.

I have today and tomorrow off work. I’m writing this while taking a break from studying for my Series 65 exam. There is so much to learn and this self-guided study is so much more challenging than being in a classroom. Tomorrow I’m getting up extra early for an 8 a.m. root canal. I’m going to try and work in some fun activities at some point. Maybe I’ll start recording my song this weekend.


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