So who is the Laughing Cavalier and why is he writing this blog?
A thumbnail sketch of me looks something like this:
- I’m part of a wonderful loving family BUT have not always been as engaged in family life as I should be.
- I’m relatively financially literate and responsible BUT I’ve lacked a strong focus and coherent strategy for achieving financial independence (fortunately, Mrs Laughing Cavalier has had a stronger focus).
- Myself and Mrs Laughing Cavalier are not inherently wasteful or excessive BUT we’ve still managed to accumulate a massive amount of crap we don’t need (and probably never needed).
- I’m socially conscious and environmentally aware BUT many aspects of my life have not been particularly sustainable or socially enriching.
- I’m well read, knowledgeable about current events, and possess above average analytical skills BUT I haven’t been as effective as I could have been in leveraging these attributes into useful outcomes.
- I’m relatively physically robust and active BUT I have the flexibility of a piano wire.
- I expend far too much emotional energy on the Geelong Football Club (and, previously, on my own fairly modest sporting pursuits), although this has improved marginally. (The more observant of you will have noted that there isn’t a “but” in the preceding sentence. The more perceptive of you will have realised that this is because, in reality, I’m going to continue to expend too much emotional energy on the Geelong Football Club).
Fortunately, a number pennies have started dropping for me in recent years. For example:
- Changing careers and working in jobs that are more aligned with my passions (sort of) and which allow me to be more present and engaged with my family.
- Relocating to a place where our family can have more time together, be less stressed and be more connected with nature and our surroundings.
- Being more engaged in supporting Mrs Laughing Cavalier in understanding our consumption and developing a plan for financial independence.
- Discovering the joy of gardening.
- Becoming (largely) vegetarian, reducing waste and exploring a range of other ways to make our lives more sustainable.
All of these developments (and others) have markedly improved my life. But what is going to happen from here and what is the role of this blog?
Where to from here
Myself and the rest of the Cavalier clan are going to continue to adapt their lives by reference to the following basic objectives:
- Not overthinking it – committing to action.
- Achieving greater financial freedom within 10 years.
- Achieving net negative carbon emissions.
- Minimising our consumption, waste and clutter, and using resources sustainably.
- Improving our local environment for the benefit of wildlife and the community.
- Leading active, healthy and engaged lives.
- Avoiding unnecessary stress, finding joy in everyday life and making time to enjoy our own company (recognising that, at times, there is necessary stress and time scarcity).
- Contributing to a strong local community, being engaged in promoting a positive civic culture and supporting greater equity.
- Dropping nuclear shits into our litter tray at inopportune times. (This one was from the Feline Cavalier).
We’ll expand on what these objectives look like in practice in future posts.
Why the blog?
Firstly, it creates a greater degree of accountability for delivering against the objectives the Cavalier clan has set for themselves.
Secondly, it provides an incentive to take action in order to create content for the blog posts.
Thirdly, communicating in written from is one of the Laughing Cavalier’s stronger points (although, as the inconsistent approach to pronouns so far indicates, I’ve concluded that this skill doesn’t extend to writing in the third person).
Finally, in the last couple of years I’ve been intrigued and inspired by what I’ll loosely describe as the Financial Independence movement. Mr Money Mustache is a stand out chronicler, but there are numerous others (Blog roll coming soon).
From a personal perspective this has shown me that developing a lifestyle that it is more fulfilling, independent and sustainable is achievable.
More importantly though, this movement has the potential to drive positive and profound cultural change at a societal level. In particular, shifting from a culture of maximising material consumption to a culture of only consuming what we need, in a way that is sustainable and concentrating our energies on activities that nourish us as humans. Further, it promotes this change in a way that is accessible and attractive, and avoids being preachy and impractical.
This type of cultural change will be necessary if we’re going to avoid environmental calamity and provide the junior cavaliers, their peers and future generations with the quality of life they deserve.
So I think it’s quite important.