A Week in Our Life During Covid

We’ve been hunkering down at home since March. We’re happy in our home life with a rambunctious toddler, but everyone is searching for meaning and fulfillment in different places. My brain is wired to constantly scan and evaluate and figure out where things can be improved. This has led to rejiggering our finances, never-ending home improvement projects and discovering hobbies such as aquascaping.

Last week was a little frustrating as it seemed like everything was going against us. I guess I just wanted to vent a little bit. To preface the bumpiness of our week, work has been unusually busy. At least it’s the good kind of busy where you can just sink into the work and just do it for long uninterrupted stretches as opposed to the other kind where you are managing a jumble of interrelated moving pieces, constantly switching gears, on non-stop calls and herding sheep. Granted in hindsight, all of these things seem minor but taken together tell a patchwork story of what we’ve been up to these last few months.

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Lockdown Update #2

It’s been about a month and a half since my last post, but it feels like an eternity. Our perception of time has changed in that days are starting to blend together. This post is intended to just clear my mind as we continue to stay at home though our area is starting to slowly reopen. Continue reading

An Update in the Age of Coronavirus

I haven’t felt much like blogging since my last post. So much has happened since then. Our nanny had just started working at our home two weeks before my last post. Now she feels like a member of our family though she is no longer allowed to come due to the stay at home order in our state. Our son who is now 9 months old misses her terribly, but is too young to understand why she no longer comes over. We cheated this week and allowed her to come to our backyard and say hi for a few minutes, while maintaining the requisite social distance.

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Fall Update — Assessing the Fallout from an Explosion in Expenses

Lifestyle creep. We have been pretty good about keeping lifestyle creep to a minimum over the years. When I was unmarried, I lived on $25K in Manhattan. This went up to $30K in the Bay Area — I guess inflation — then $50-55K as a married couple without any kids. My friends sometimes teased me about the apartments I rented because some were old and others came with eccentric roommates. But keeping expenses low allowed me to save a big chunk of my paychecks, from when I was making $80K out of college, $200K out of law school, and $350-650K as a junior partner. Continue reading

The True Cost of Homeownership

We’ve been in our house for almost two months. Ever since our home inspection over three months ago, we’ve had a big list of things we’ve wanted to fix, upgrade, and replace in our house. In the last two months, we’ve been tackling that list one item at a time. It’s been quite an adventure and I’ve learned quite a few things about myself and my capabilities / limits. Continue reading

Long Overdue Update — the Trials of Purchasing a Home

The last few months have been quite eventful. We’ve gone from renters to Airbnb vagrants to house crashers to finally homeowners.

How We Ended Up as Vagrants

We had been renting an apartment and our lease was ending at the end of January. There was complete radio silence about renewing the lease and we figured we would roll into a month-to-month lease as typically happens in California. About two weeks before the end of the lease, our landlord’s agent reaches out with the blissful expectation we were just going to renew a full-term lease.  Continue reading

The Never Ending Pursuit of Contentment

One of my best memories growing up was when my parents finally bought me and my brother a Sega Genesis for Christmas.  We had a home computer, but had wanted a gaming console for years.  Our friends had at least one, sometimes as many as three.  Our parents finally relented, but not without milking it by my demanding our best behavior for months.

genesis

Best present ever!

It was really the anticipation that made it so memorable though.  My brother and I constantly talked about it and daydreamed about what games we would get, where we would put it, etc.  Christmas Day was pretty memorable too — I think we were up by 5 am at the latest.  We raced downstairs to tear off the wrapping paper — we were giddy at the sight of the Sega logo.  We played a lot at first, but a year later, it was just another thing that we had.  Same thing with my first real mountain bike.  I mowed our lawn for $20 a pop, and slowly saved the $750 to buy the bike.  It had front suspension, which was a newfangled thing at the time.  I probably rode it two dozen times before I started driving and biked less.  At least I still have it — today it sits on our balcony with flat tires and a dusty seat. Continue reading

Finding My Balance Point — Update

I think I left my last post on a bit of a cliffhanger.  Didn’t mean to leave anyone hanging!  Short update is that I did join the first firm that reached out to me.  I’m glad they reached out first because I would have picked them anyway.  It’s a smaller firm with ten or so attorneys and a more humane approach to the practice of law.  Almost no e-mails at night or on the weekends unless there’s an imminent deadline or crisis.  Also very supportive of flexible schedules and working remotely. Continue reading