Take the time to do a puzzle

My days are spent taking care of Thing 1 and Thing 2 and working my full time job as an investor. Those who practice investing know the time that can take. It feels like I am constantly reading either new books, 10-Ks, exploring companies investor relations pages, or the latest issues of industry magazines, and that’s when I’m not knee deep in finding profitable options trades.

Those things are enough to keep you busy from sunrise to sunset and beyond, but sometimes I need the simplest of reminders that the time with my kids is special and all too short. Friday afternoon I was busy winding up some positions and looking through earnings reports when my girls came into my office. I looked up ready to give a preoccupied answer to whatever question for snacks or tv time was coming.

Thing 2 spoke up and asked me if I would help them with a puzzle. I was a little off guard, because they normally either do puzzles by themselves or together, but not asking for my help. It seemed pretty easy, like all of two minutes to complete (it didn’t seem challenging).

I told them that of course I would help them and the smiles on their faces reminded me of something that I can lose sight of. Work is what we must do so that we can enjoy our lives with our loved one and not who we are. My career to this point had been one of those situations where it was all consuming and my family suffered for that.

I still have trouble with my default setting being attuned to that mindset. You will often find me well after the girls are asleep on the back patio with a slew of reports and notes. There’s a comfort to wrapping yourself in you work, especially when doing so produces some tangible results.

The more important question is, so what? You got another 30 minutes of work done? You closed one more deal? What will that mean in 10 years? What will it mean in 20 years? What will it mean when the kids are grown and gone and you realize you missed the time you had with them here?

If we remember that work is what we do, not who we are, and take the time to do a puzzle maybe, just maybe we will see that maybe that is where our joy lies. I’ll tell you, it took me longer to help them than I had initially planned and even longer on the next one they picked. I never did close those positions and maybe it cost me a few bucks, but I feel the richer for the choice I made.

Maybe you can do the same, but for now I have to leave you so that we can go ride bikes!

With all the best,

Daddicus Rex

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