And managed to buy a house at the same time

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Photo: Ales Nesetril/Unsplash

While most people awoke the morning of January 1st, 2020 — blissfully unaware of the dumpster fire ahead — I awoke in a panic.

No, I was not some psychic capable of predicting the horrible events of 2020, I awoke in a panic because of another number.

$14,383.15

After a major repair on our aging car, moving to a new city, going a month without a paycheck, and two years of poor spending habits, our credit card debt had ballooned out of control.

On January 1, 2021, exactly 366 days later (2020 was a leap year) that number was $0.


How to find the time you supposedly don’t have for your side gig

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Photo: Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels

I get it.

You hate your job. You wish you could do something more meaningful with your life. You want more freedom, blah, blah, blah.

If it were 2015, I’d probably say something like “Quit your job! Follow your dreams! Who wants to die shackled to their cubicle?”

When I left my full-time job to do God-knows-what, I even low-key bragged about it.

Many of my projects don’t yield positive financial returns. But the growth I experience and the knowledge I collect by challenging myself with new projects is an investment in myself.

Yikes.

Do you know what happens when…


If I had to pick any time to be alive, I’d pick the late 19th century.

I mean, those guys were inventing things left and right: electricity, indoor plumbing, the Eiffel Tower. Even the thought of man flying — flying! — was no longer inconceivable.

Nowadays we're talking about digital money and TikToks.

Where did all the good ideas go?

Even now, as I sit and type in front of a glorious contraption that used to be the size of an entire room, they’ve already figured out how to put one in your pocket.

What’s the next big idea?

What’s…


When I was 22, starting out at my first real grown-up job, I was asked, “Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?”

I sat there in my grown-up office clothes and paused, “That’s a long way away,” I responded.

5 years to a 22-year-old is a long time. With hardly any grown-up experience to extrapolate, it’s like asking a toddler to draw a perfect circle. They’ll draw something that resembles a circle, but it’s just not quite right.

However, there comes a point when the fog lifts and time stretches out a bit further. Before you know…


There’s a very clear reason why I stopped working out.

I’m a stay-at-home dad. I spent my day picking snack crumbs out of couch cushions and answering an unrelenting stream of questions (The moon is too far away… No you can’t jump down the steps… Mom and I were wrestling…)

In our old apartment, I had a separate space to work out. When my wife returned home from work, I’d change into my workout clothes and escape to my own, quiet space.

That was the reward, the escaping. Getting ripped was just a nice side effect.

After we bought our…


Or why I unfollowed everyone on Twitter

Neon sign of a heart button.
Neon sign of a heart button.
Photo by Prateek Katyal on Unsplash

Social media has shaped mankind forever. Not because of its ability to connect us all, but because of its ability to control what we see. In other words, our attention has become a commodity.

It’s tempting to throw our hands in the air and say what else are we supposed to do? But to do so would be to admit we are entirely powerless to Big Tech. And we’re not.

All it takes is us recognizing we have more control than we think and saying no to their We’ll-Give-You-Convenience-If-You-Give-Us-Your-Attention proposition.

It is entirely possible to make social media work for…


I saw a tweet the other day that went something like this:

“You are responsible for your happiness, health, and wealth.”

On the outside, this tweet makes sense. We are, after all, the final arbitrators of how we think, what we eat, and how we spend our money.

After reading Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning — the autobiographical tale of his survival in German concentration camps — I was even more reminded of man’s ability to choose his attitude no matter the circumstance.

But this tweet…

This tweet didn’t sit right. Maybe it was the over-generalization of it. Maybe…


My son finished reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone this week.

I should mention he’s only 5 and a half.

Yes, I’m suppressing the gleeful pride of a father but at the same time, I know it’s nothing special.

When I look back at my son’s reading journey, it was relatively straightforward.

Exposure and confidence. That’s all it took.

At an early age, 4 I believe, I started showing him flashcards of simple words — the, a, he, me, you know the drill. …


Parasocial relationships — or one-way relationships — are nothing new. In their heyday, The Beatles were adored by raving young fans who felt as if they were singing only to them.

Paul gets me, the young fans would think to themselves.

Today, in the age of the internet, these parasocial relationships have proliferated. It’s not enough to be a fan anymore; either you’re a “Simp” or a “Stan” or you’re not part of the club.

Even simple attachments to internet personalities — journalists, YouTubers, politicians — jade our judgment. …


We do our best to control what we can, we even do a good enough job to think we’re the ones pulling the strings.

After years of conditioning, we start…

Declan Wilson

Stay-at-home dad. 9-to-5 escapee. Aldi aficionado. Me in a nutshell→ declanwilson.co/start-here

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