The second date

Hi there, lifer!

So, the blog is finally up and running. You can expect “look and feel” changes over the next few weeks – I decided to just get the thing going before fixing on the style. That sort of stuff can be tweaked along the way, but if I wait until I’m completely happy with it before I start posting.. I know I’ll never actually start posting!

After the initial brief introduction last week, I thought I should expand slightly. Think of this as a second date – we met once and we were mysteriously drawn to each other, so we’re meeting up again. This time we’re that little bit more relaxed in each other’s company and can start to ask each other a few questions. I guess I’ll be doing most of the talking, so I’ve decided to start by answering the “Big 5”: Who? What? Why? Where? and When?

I know you’re shy and I’m doing most of the talking, but I may just ask you a couple of questions back, just to check you’re awake and I’m not boring you. Now, I’m a very patient and understanding sort of chap, and I’m fine with you not answering out loud – but if you are feeling brave, then by all means answer them in the comments form at the end of the post – it would be great to hear from you. Also, it goes without saying that if you’d like to ask me any more questions, fire away!

Right, that’s the handshake or single/double/triple cheek pecks out of the way and the maitre d’ has now shown us to our table – let’s get to know each other!


1. Who.. are you?

Wow, that’s a big one to start with. Well, without getting too philosophical…

In some respects I’m probably a fairly “average” guy:

  • I’m in my mid-late thirties
  • I work for a living (currently)
  • I have a wife and a baby
  • We have a car
  • We live in a house, complete with many of the luxuries of modern western life (e.g. fridge freezer, central heating, washing machine, dishwasher, television.

In other respects though, the JAL family already does some things quite “differently” to many people we know:

  • We walk or ride bikes whenever practically possible (to the shop, to the doctors..). We only use the car for work and when it’s necessary for family leisure outings (our 10 month old can’t ride a bike yet, but he’s working on it)
  • We budget our household income and outgoings (and we run quite a tight ship!)
  • We don’t have gym memberships (but are both in decent shape, thanks very much)
  • We very rarely buy “new” things (this applies to our son too – he has mostly second hand clothes and toys, and he seems very happy)
  • We’ve paid off the mortgage on the aforementioned house

And we have one big goal that many people we know definitely don’t have, and that they find somewhat ambitious/crazy/unbelievable:

  • We intend to be financially independent by the time I am 40 (e.g. we don’t intend “working for the man” after that point – unless, of course, that we decide that “working for the man” is something we really really want to do at that point!)

Evidently we’ve got some way to go to the simple life, the self-sufficient life, the good life.. But we’ve started the journey, and – importantly – Team JAL is committed to it. Mr Inspiration himself Lao-tzu said:

The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step

Well, we took that first step last year. And then we took another step, and we kept on walking. Now it feels like we’re into a steady light jog.. (I could take this analogy quite far, but I’m not going to)

2. What.. kind of things will I be able to read about on justaboutlife?

As I alluded to in the initial blog post: healthwealth and happiness will be the loose subject headers.

So, amongst other things, there’ll no doubt be posts concerning  diet and exercise, personal finance, and various musings on that thing called happiness..

Over the next few weeks I intend to write one post on each of these things, covering my views on the basics. And once these extended introductions are finally over, we’ll start to get into detail.

– Question for you, dear reader: What would you like to read about here? Let me know in the comments!

3. Why.. are you doing this?

After umming and aahing for a while about starting this blog, one of the big reasons for doing it was something called “accountability“… Summarised, in plain English: “having someone to answer to“.

As I mentioned earlier, we are still a long way from zero-money-in-zero-money-out-eco-warriors at present, but we’ve made some initial steps towards a “better way”. Having the blog will help us to be honest with ourselves, whilst also communicating with others out there facing the same issues.

The other big motivation is that if our son is ever that way inclined, he may read some of this stuff one day. If he does, then great, and I hope it helps him to understand why we did some of the things we did, and why we didn’t do other things. I guess he’s going to grow up and realise that we are a bit different to some of his friends and their families – hopefully he’ll realise that we think we are acting in his interests – our aim is both to be there for him as much as possible when he is growing up.

Another reason for starting the blog is that I just enjoy writing – but I don’t think I’m all that good at it. I see this as a chance to improve myself.

Finally, I’ve always thought “I should keep a diary” (I suspect I’m not alone here) but never actually done it (again, I’m probably not alone here..?!). I hope to keep up the writing of the blog and, in it’s own way, it will be my diary.

4. Where.. do you live?

We’re currently based in the UK, right in the middle of it.

My wife and I have both lived in several different countries, so we are not averse to moving if it improves our circumstances. It’s important to note that geographical location can be important when discussing Financial Independence, and so this is another subject that I’ll surely be writing about at some point.

Question for you again, dear reader: Where are you based? Let me know, I’d love to know how people’s ideas and interpretations of my musings may differ according to geographical location!

5. When.. will you call me again?

I aim to post on the blog at least once a week.

If you leave any comments or questions however, I’ll do my best to answer them on the same day.

Well, that was fun, and I’ve had a lovely time. Hope you have too! It’s getting late though, and unfortunately I’ve got work early in the morning. Shall we meet again next week? Same time, same place.



One thought on “The second date

  1. Pingback: Just about life | Introduction to.. Health

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