“Lose my mind” Fund: the new emergency fund

I haven’t been writing much lately.  I threw my back out; one of my chickens died (rest her little soul).  I’ve just been in a funk.

Also, I have had a really hard time at work. Like… really hard.  The kind of couple of weeks that result in the return of my familiar work fantasy of being an alpaca farmer. Better than this, right?

Hotel Hell

Unlike Dwight, I already get paid plenty of money to do what I do.  So that does not drive me at all.  Sometimes all I want is a job with less scrutiny and more personal satisfaction.  I don’t need others to tell me I’m great and I’m doing a good job.  I can assess the value and virtue of my own work.  What I need is fewer people constantly straining to find “defects” in my work, and levying deadlines that are unrealistic in the context of my overall workload.  And I do want to do things that I think are inherently “good” or “worthwhile.”

I actually started thinking very seriously about my emergency fund, which now could support my current lifestyle for almost 9 months (longer with unemployment).  If I were to lose my mind or my job, or decided to pursue alpaca farming or anything else totally absurd, I could do so for probably up to a year with no concerns at all.  Except for the gradually mounting risk of inadequate cash flow.  “Pretty cool!”  I decided.
I never took emergency funds very seriously because I never gave myself mental permission to use an EF for its intended purpose.  “I’ll NEVER lose my job!” I thought, because “I’ll make it my total life goal to protect my job.”  And if something ever did happen, I figured, I would hustle to get another engineering job within the month.  So how can you have motivation to raise an EF when you are putting so much pressure on yourself to minimize the risk?The fact is that some things are outside your control.

There may come a time that I am no longer working in engineering, and no longer wish to work in engineering.  That would not be the end of the world, and I already have the means to support myself for up to a year figuring things out in that case.  I survived for several years with no savings margin, and lots of debt.  This would be similar if not better.It’s just another good thing to keep in mind.  I still want to hang in there until I have enough savings invested to generate a livable passive income.  Then I could go do whatever work I really want without concern about saving for retirement.

What is your work fantasy?  And realistically what kind of work would you do if money were not an issue?

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