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Here’s the second post in Cope’s new series about our financial independence journey. (I’m so kvelling.) You can read the first one here.

Carolyn xx

Cope Family at Dina's Wedding 1180 | Umami Girl
Photo credit: the wonderful Lollylah Wedding Photography
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Breathe deep. Forgive. Sleep.

Some nights when my head hits the pillow it feels as if I will sink through the bedding to the floor with the weight of exhaustion. My chest feels heavy and muscles defeated. Sleep is near instant and my mind is all but mute. Calm.

Days that rank as worthy with work and purpose bring calm. I did enough, maybe even just a little more, and there is nothing left with which to do well. I need sleep and it is deserved. Peace.

Those are my favorite days. Strength exerted, smarts employed, help rendered, thanks given, lessons learned, bar raised. Love. 

Not every day is that day. There was time ill used, exercise avoided, something dumb eaten, little learned or risked, things put off, frustration-annoyance-exasperation felt-thought-expressed. Not calm.

Same pillow, no sleep. Mind races. Frustration compounds. Purpose questioned. Worthiness unconfirmed. Not the best, Cope. Not the best.

Okay, move on. Acknowledge failure. Hold yourself to account. Give thanks for your blessings. Honor those who’ve helped you become you. Plan the first steps of the purposeful day ahead. Wake, stretch, push-ups, shave, shower, dress, water, leave…

Breathe deep. Forgive. Sleep.

Purpose is powerful. It provides reassurance and it fuels resilience. It offers distant focus and weakens imminent threats.

I will be the finest owner operator of real estate. And we will own and operate the finest real estate portfolio.

My mantra. My daily affirmation. I say it in the morning. I say it before addressing a tenant need at one of our properties. I say it at night as I step out of the car. I say it as I give thanks before sleep. Purpose.

Umami Girl chose a Cavafy poem for our wedding that concerned our journey. Ithaca. We were not to fear. We were not to rush. The journey to Ithaca would fill us with the riches and sweet perfumes of knowledge, memory, and travel. Our journey together would give us purpose and resilience. Ithaca itself would likely offer little, if anything. So be it.

As we have sought financial independence we have followed Cavafy. We have looked for purpose. Focused on the journey, the moments, the struggles, the learnings, and the triumphs. We’ve looked to how best to render help to whatever or whomever wanted it. We’ve looked to add value and be of value.

When my mentees ask about establishing financial independence we start near purpose.

What do you want?

What are you working for?

Are you really working toward that?

Who are you working for?

Do they know it?

What are you trying to change?

Are you really serving?

In many respects I am asking if they know where to find Ithaca? Not the exact path. But that there is a path to find and a journey to take.

Establishing financial independence is not a math exercise at its core. It is an exercise in deciding that you intend to make a difference. You intend to serve others by doing, trying, learning, and risking. You acknowledge that Fortune favors the bold.

If you are just getting your start to financial independence, consider the questions above. Answer them as you can. They will aid your plan. They will help with purpose.

Have no fear. Be bold. Do not rush. Be calm. There is time. It’s a journey.

Thank you for joining us.


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About Carolyn Gratzer Cope

Hi there, I'm Carolyn Gratzer Cope, founder and publisher of Umami Girl. Join me in savoring life, one recipe at a time. I'm a professional recipe developer with training from the French Culinary Institute (now ICE) and a lifetime of studying, appreciating, and sharing food.

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