I recently visited Portland, Oregon, the city in which I spent the bulk of my twenties. As I reflected on those years I was struck by how much more complicated my life is now.
Back then life was pretty simple. It was just me. And taking care of me (at least to the level of my satisfaction) was pretty simple. I paid a measly $375 a month for my studio apartment, ate Taco Bell and 99-cent Whoppers (remember those?), and arranged my college classes so I could sleep in every morning.
How times have changed! It's no longer just me. I have a wife and two children. Cheap rent has been replaced by a mortgage, property taxes, and HOA fees. Instead of feasting on tacos and Whoppers, I choke down kale smoothies for lunch—then sneak out for Whoppers, which have quadrupled in price. Sleeping in is a thing of the past. Regardless of how late I stay up, I rise at the crack of dawn to rock a newborn or chase a rambunctious toddler. I've exchanged college and a weekend job with a career ...1