I Want What I Want

The sun sets on my beloved periwinkle house

Only three posts left in the 1 More World blog central story arc! Can you believe that? We’ve come quite a long way since I launched this blog on June 30, 2020. There are still several more key puzzle pieces looking to be set into place. And money is one of them.  

My house in Austin went on the market late August. I am so fortunate to have received several good offers right away. So….SOLD! Closing hasn’t occurred yet (as of this post), but it’s scheduled for next week.  

Hard to Say Goodbye

Two days ago I returned from a short trip to Austin to tend to my dear periwinkle house one last time. I had to quickly sell, donate, and throw out, all kinds of miscellaneous items, large and small, that were still in the house, mostly in the garage. For me it was emotional to the hilt. I cried a lot. No, like…A LOT! Wednesday afternoon, I had the honor of doing a walk-through with the new owner. I am profoundly sad/melancholy about passing along this house that has been such a big part of my life but also feel really happy about the new owner. I think she’s going to take great care of the place for years come. 

My last few minutes with the house were meaningful. I walked slowly through the house from back to front. In every room I paused to reflect and remember. I saw each of the cats that lived there over the years from my first cat Shelly to my mom’s last two cats Sam and Kera. I listed in my head all of the people that lived in the house at one time or another. I even thought of the hundreds of Airbnb guests that house has hosted, as well. 

When I stepped into the empty bedroom where I’d slept my first night ever in that house some 32 years ago, I was overcome. I walked my body over to the location where my bed was positioned and crumbled down to the bare floor. I let the tears flow. The moment was deeply emotional. Not all that I felt was sadness, just heavy, complicated, raw, living, human, emotion, spilling out into the room. Whatever it was, I tried to let myself just feel it. 

House– Key

Right after the night of the avalanche back in April, I dove headlong into researching whether or not I might have enough net worth already to pivot my entire 55 year old life towards a fresh new beginning somewhere else in the world. That’s what this post will be about– the money, honey! I will share with you how much I have and my thought process around planning out this last stretch of my life. I will get into some detail below, all without revealing my new city, country and continent. You won’t have long to wait for the reveal, however. It will be in my next post.   

Whenever I’m talking about my “net worth,” most of it (two-thirds) is the value of my house. Whatever strategizing I did on how to achieve my bright new fresh and exciting future was built upon when the house would sell and for how much. Now that I am so close to selling it, I can tell you that everything is going according to plan. 

Luxury Pecans

Sometimes it takes a while. 55 years is nothing on the cosmic scale, but in my life… it’s everything. That’s how long it took for me to know myself well-enough to identify a “lifestyle” that has a pretty good chance of making me happy. I’m calling it “I Want What I Want.” Before you recoil in horror at how simultaneously arrogant and obvious my declared lifestyle choice sounds, make sure you know what it means. I touched upon this briefly in an earlier post so I won’t retread the same ground here. Just know that I want a house with a roommate, quality cookware, and enough money to make choices at the grocery story without having to stress too much over items that tend to cost a little more…like pecans.

Specific purchases aside, the I Want What I Want lifestyle means I can just be myself. I am not a fancy guy with expensive tastes, so living simply but comfortably without having to stress over money is all I’m really talking about. I think it’s within reach!  A little further below, I’ll get into specifics, but first some background on me and money.

Not a Fan

Just being honest with you, I am no fan of money. It’s a means to an end, of course, but if I can avoid being bothered by tending to it, all the better. I was the child of a depression-era father. Do you have any idea what that was like? The constant energy he spent worrying about money created a walk-on-eggshells atmosphere for all those around him. Me not giving a shit about money now is how I am balancing out the equation. Having said all that, I do have a degree in accounting and, occasional minor missteps aside, I am generally capable of handling the basics of money when I need to; I would simply rather not.

As a little kid, I saw my dad go off to work every day wearing his Haggar slacks, button-down shirt and tie, and those polished black dress-shoes. He must have earned a good salary as an engineer for Brown & Root. We owned the house I grew up in, a rental house on Seminole Street, and even a (primitive) bayhouse down near the Texas coast where we’d often spend our weekends. Financially speaking, my dad did well. And yet the Great Depression never allowed him to relax. 

Just as the person I am today is traceable back to the environment I grew up in, I suppose this was no less true for my father. He would have been 10-13 years old while the Great Depression wreaked havoc on daily life in the US. At least with me, he never talked about bread lines or soup kitchens, or how his out-of-work father might have yelled at him for leaving a light on, or taking too much time in the shower. I guess my dad didn’t need to talk about his experiences during the depression; he revealed them on a daily basis through his over-the-top, high-volume, angry rants over money and not wasting a penny of it. Within the walls of my childhood home, the Great Depression never ended. 

Steve Says To “Buy The Best…”

By the time I was in my mid-to-late teens and earning a paycheck of my own, I started to de-program myself from my dad’s extremist mind-set towards money. Eventually, I went hard in the opposite direction, but it was a process- an evolution that spanned years. Money is a devilish frenemy. Figuring out your relationship to it requires some genuine life-experience. 

To be clear, I am not saying my dad hoarded money so I am now a spendthrift. My dad was simply an unbearable cheapskate. I’d prefer having less stuff to buying cheap. Steve Pasco, the late husband of one of my oldest friends, once told me his motto when it comes to buying stuff. He said, “Buy the best and you’ll never be disappointed.” I love that phrase and have repeated it to myself and shared it with others many times ever since first hearing it.      

Like nearly everyone I know, my own financial situation has been precarious at best for most of my life. It’s only been since my late 40’s that I’ve been able to breathe easier. In 2012 I inherited about $170K from my Aunt Betty. Over half of this money was from her IRA and not readily available to me without paying unwanted taxes on it, which in some cases it made sense to do. All in all, this money helped me get a solid handle on my financial circumstances for the first time ever. Of the original inheritance I received from my aunt, I still have about $75K left.

By the way, my father– the man that spent his whole life figuratively hunched over every dollar like a miser –died with only a couple thousand bucks to his name. From the “estate” I received around $450 for being the beneficiary on one of his depleted investment accounts. The fascinating corollary to my dad’s depression-era preoccupation with money is that one of the ways he chased the dragon of financial security was that he gambled. Whether it was the stock market, investing in coal mines (yes, coal mines), playing the lottery, or taking trips to Las Vegas, my dad was enamored by the thought of one day “striking it rich.” A few of his investments turned positive over the years, but far more of them did not.  

Avalanche After-Math

Tim Mullaney, my newly-found financial advisor, is an interesting cat. My initial consultation with him over Zoom was scheduled for 11 am on a Monday. I was ready early and waiting with high anticipation for 11 o’clock to roll around. 11:05… 11:10… 11:15. I watched the minutes proceed and my phone was not ringing. It’s our first meeting, how could he not be on time? 11:25… 11:30. Maybe I have the appointment set wrong. Or are we having time zone confusion? I double-checked everything. I was in the right place at the right time, so where was Tim? I texted my friend Vanessa, the one who had recommended I talk to him. By now it’s 11:40 or so. Vanessa says she’ll send him a text. Another couple of minutes pass and finally Tim calls. His voice is gentle. He apologizes, telling me he was with another client and their meeting went long, which is kind of what I figured, but still…. Then, seeing how my own initial conversation with Tim lasted nearly 4 hours, I understood how he prioritizes his time and why his approach to clients sets him apart from nearly everyone else working in the financial services industry. 

When I told Tim I no longer wished to live according to a set of rules I had no say in making….and that I wanted to start living life on my own terms, he was fully on-board. This was something Tim figured out a long time ago in the aftermath of his 22 month old daughter’s diagnosis with leukemia. It was a multi-year long ordeal where Tim learned a painful but invaluable lesson about accepting things that are outside of one’s own control. He also learned the flip side of this— recognizing that many things in life are within our control….if we choose to take the wheel and drive with intention.

Tim’s daughter Kelsey survived her battle with Leukemia. She is now 26 years old and doing well.

Despite Tim’s apology, my guess is that he wasn’t truly too bothered to have been 40 minutes late for our first appointment. He was helping a client. That was Tim’s priority. These are his terms. #RESPECT

After my own initial marathon conversation with Tim, I was feeling more positive than ever I was on the right track. Regarding the big question- Is a little over a half-million dollars of net worth enough for me to achieve my I Want What I Want lifestyle? While not answered until our third or fourth conversation. I will skip ahead and just tell you it looks to be a YES! 

Ridiculous Honesty

In our society (and in most societies around the world), you just don’t talk openly about money. Well, not my rules; I’m so going to spill the golden beans. Really, here’s why. I figure my story has the potential to be instructive to others. If I’m not open and honest about the real-life dollars involved, suddenly there’s nothing for the next person to latch onto and relate back to their own financial situation, be it more or less. Plus, I can’t be the only one in the world in their 50’s that’s been motivated to go to work every day on blind inertia alone…only to have it dawn on them during a night of high-flying revelations that there might be another way. 

Knowing if $550K is a big enough number for me to achieve my I Want What I Want lifestyle, I first had few things to figure out. If not in America, where would I be living? Once I had that answer narrowed down to two locations, I was able to make some round-number estimates of how much it would cost to resettle myself into either of these two new-to-me countries. My estimate had to include living expenses for the first year or so it might take me to get settled ($50K), money to put down on a four bedroom house ($110K), and money to furnish it to my liking ($20K). Included within my furnishings figure was enough money to set up an Airbnb at my house, too. While I had no great confidence in the accuracy of any of my estimates, what I did have was a starting point.   

Assuming I could pull off the above I still had to think about my ongoing monthly expenses after getting settled. Here’s the way I thought about it. How much would I need to cover all my basics- housing, transportation, healthcare, food, and some modest extras like eating out occasionally? I called this the I Want What I Want- Basic, and started out estimating $2K per month. The thought was that if I were able to afford the Basic without working, this meant every extra dollar I might earn from a job would go towards I Want What I Want- Premium. Meaning, I would be able to afford some “splurges” like extra travel or perhaps even a car. When I talked to Tim about breaking it down like this, he equated the Basic to a paycheck and the Premium to a “playcheck.” With this scheme I would be incentivized to work, but –knowing that all my basics are covered—free to pursue whatever type of work floats my boat; it would all be gravy at that point. 

I started out with an estimate of $2K per month for the Basic. This figure assumed my monthly housing expense would net down to about $600/month after considering my plan to have both a roommate and income from the Airbnb. However, by the time all the numbers were crunched, I found there was room for me to bump my monthly living expense budget up to $2,500.

The Net-Net

So, here’s the high-level summary of my working plan: If I can walk away with $360K (or more) from the sale of my house in Austin I will set aside $110K for a down payment on a future house. (I’ll tell you why this figure is so big in the next post.) Another $125K will be placed into a 10-year investment, with the remaining $125K plus the roughly $75K I already have in savings put into a more liquid investment vehicle for me to live on (or use for contingencies). I am currently 55 years old so my challenge is to bridge the gap between now and when I can begin drawing on social security. I will rely on Tim’s expertise to handle all “investment vehicle” details, but if he says, “Can do,” imma doin’.

After the night of the avalanche I was excited and hopeful my plan to leave the US and begin a new life elsewhere was indeed possible, but I was not confident. By the time I had developed my estimates and talked to Tim several more times over the span of a few months, my blind hope grew into wishful confidence. Quite a while back I told my workplace I had plans to resign. I am still working my job at Sunrun today- training the new guy that was hired to replace me. My last day will be next week.

It’s happening, folks. I have a lot to feel good about right now.

Next up, I’ll tell you where I’m going.

Night of the Avalanche

I begin this post speaking directly to you; not through some scene from my life, or reflection of a thought, or roundabout story. It’s straight from me to you, and here’s my message: This is the one. This post sits at the apex of the 1MoreWorld.com blog “story arc.” [You can pretty much stop reading any posts that come after this one.] If you’ve been with me since the beginning, fantastic! If you’ve stumbled onto this post and none previous, what a great stroke of serendipity this could be, because….

This is the night of the avalanche! 

That’s what it was like one special night in April when a chain of clear and enlightened thoughts tumbled from my head with all the force and weight of an avalanche. 

More than a few times within this post I’ll include words or lines that are references to one or more of my previous 18 posts. I will not pause to point these moments out, because there will be a lot of them, but I will include links on occasion. This post (and this night) is where everything that’s gone before it “links” together like pieces of a puzzle.  

To get us from here to the pay-off, come into my house, come into my head, Tuesday evening, April 21, 2020. Live this evening with me. Many big life-lessons depend the axiom, you have to live it to get it. What stories are capable of doing is connecting us to the lives of others so that we can still learn by living within stories that are not our own. The life-changing conclusions I had arrived as the avalanche ended are revealed to you in this post. Perhaps it’s a longshot, but my hope would be for you to capture something from my story that becomes a piece in your own life’s puzzle.

By the way, every word that I write are my thoughts, [obvi], but when I use the italics, I’ll typically be signaling to you, “this is what I’m thinking.”

Are you ready? Here goes! Right now I am thinking, the avalanche is about to begin.


Cleared For An Edible

I like having a roommate. Simply sharing the space with someone else (provided you get along as well as Derek and I do), adds just enough human connection without being too much. Especially, when you and your roommate have opposite schedules. ;-). Derek is working tonight and out of the house until past midnight. I love it when I have the entire evening to myself.

It’s a Tuesday. I’ve made one of my deluxe veggie sandwiches for dinner. So good. I think it’s the arugula that makes it. Been thinking a lot about the new therapy I started. Sure seems like some freaky-ass voodoo to me, yet I’m still feeling excited to be taking it on. Last night was only my second session with the therapist so there’s nothing much to report so far. Sandwiches are nice sometimes for dinner… so long as they’re hearty enough. The cheese and avocado pack the hearty. 

Clean-up is relatively easy after a sandwich. I put the cutting board and knives into the sink to be washed later. Honestly, I love that Derek sometimes leaves his dishes in the sink; gives me permission to do the same.  It’s almost 7:30, that’s when I’ll eat one 10 mg square of my cannabis-infused dark chocolate. On the nights that are clear for an edible, like tonight, 7:30 always seemed like a good time to take it. I don’t have great reasons for believing this, but I figure I can enjoy my evening and then once it mostly wears off, it will be bedtime. 

One Hour and Counting

An hour and a half later I’m in the basement, moving laundry from the washer to the dryer. So annoying that the doors open in exactly the opposite direction you need them to for making the transfer of clothes easy. I can feel the edible. It kicked in slowly about 20 mins ago. Maybe it’ll be slightly more intense since I had avocado on my sandwich. They say the THC binds better with fatty foods which might make its effects slightly more intense. Who knows? I’m feeling its effects now and just hope I don’t forget my clothes in the dryer because I’m all lost in thought. “Hey Siri, countdown one hour,” I say towards my wrist. “One hour and counting,” she responds dutifully.

My mind has been so busy lately and my stomach upside down. All that stuff with Marianne has been a heavy load. I even thought about not doing the edible tonight because maybe I wasn’t in a good frame of mind for it. 

Last week it worked out okay. I did the same amount, one square, and ended up with an unexpectedly useful result. That’s when the straight and clear answer came to me saying I should sell my house in Austin. Man, if I sell that house, then what? I should really think about that. I grab my little bluetooth speaker from the kitchen and carry it with me. I’d been listening to the rest of The Young Turks while making my sandwich. Now, with the house all to myself, I am ready for some music. The portable speaker is all black and about the size of a 40 oz “tall boy.” Quite often it’s a “Pogo mix” on YouTube that feels right. 

The spring evening is cool in Denver. The front door is open to let in the magic hour’s light; the screen door keeps out the moths, though they always seem to find their way in anyway. I walk to the living room, set the speaker down on the big trunk topped with doilies we use as a coffee table. I then plunk myself onto the couch. I bet I could walk away with at least $350K from it. 

I keep thinking about what that Civilized to Death book had said about how our pre-”civilized” ancestors only worked about 3-4 hours a day. Not even work, really. Hanging out with their friends, cracking jokes, while gathering up some food from the trees or doing other basic tasks. I wonder how having this money could get me closer to that kind of lifestyle. Not the gathering my own food part, but just in general. I do think I would like to have a little garden, however

Do The Math

I look around the living room. Everything is old. I was once sitting in the living room while on a Skype call with my friend Boris, probably in the same spot where I sit now. He saw the decor behind me- old, darkened wood-grain, with thick drapery on the windows -and asked if I was traveling on the Orient Express. That guy sure has an eye for the obscure-but-true observations. What if I use the money to buy my own house. Do I even want to buy another house? If I did, I’d want it to have everything I want.

This was something I had already put a little bit of thought into. I’d want a four bedroom house, with the fourth bedroom set up with its own entrance so I could run an Airbnb like how I’d done it with my house in Austin. The master bedroom would be for me, duh….but the other one, or even two, would be for my roommate. Also on my wish list is a large “extra” room with tall windows all along one wall that faces the patio/garden. I would use the space for meditation or yoga or whatever else I wanted to use it for. Maybe I’d just play my music and dance.

If I sell the house and walk away with $350K, together with my other savings I’d be sitting on a total of about a half-million dollars. Man, that sounds like a lot. I wonder if I could just stop working now. I bet maybe I could. Wait, could I really? Don’t they say you need a million dollars to retire? I know I’ve heard that, or maybe it’s two million now. If I don’t have enough now…how much longer do I need to work until I have enough? Until I’m 65? Really….?! 

A sense of excitement starts to percolate inside my head. My thoughts begin rolling. I stand up to move around. Do I really have to work until I’m 65? Why do I think that? Oh my God! My arms rise up and my hands run half-way through my hair. It’s just like the 8 hour workday thing. I’m only assuming I need to work ‘til I’m 65, but who said that?! Jesus Christ! What am I working FOR, anyway?! I don’t even know. I’m just working. I’m working because that’s what we do? It’s expected. It’s “normal.” Work ‘til 65 or 66 or 70 and then retire. 

This realization is hitting me with unexpected force. How come I’ve never thought about this? Again I think, What am I working FOR!? I have my hands clasped behind my head now, my head is tilted back, mouth open, eyes wide, an expression of disbelief and shock. My eyes get a flush of moisture and start to blink more quickly. I have a feeling that I am emerging from the Truman Show, out from under the dome and into the real light of day. What am I doing here?! Is this why people talk to financial planners and junk? Why have I never done the math? WHY HAVE I NEVER DONE THE MATH?!!!

I’m getting that last one to the party feeling. I feel like a fool. Do other people think about this stuff? My gut tells me most people are just working working working because that’s what we’ve all been programmed to do. That’s been true of me. Maybe I need to check myself here. This feels big! I start wondering if maybe I am inside some cannabis-induced thought-vortex. All these rushing thoughts have me reeling. I pause the music.

Let me run through this again. I try to make all the same mental links. Civilization has handed us a way of life that in many ways is a bill of goods. The 8 hr workday was handed to us. Vacation time off per year- 2 weeks,handed to us. Where is my say-so? These are all pre-negotiated rules of society I had nothing to do with. How can I live on MY terms? Maybe I can; I’ve never done the math. Again, I think about working ‘till I’m 65 and how blindly I’ve accepted this as a stone-cold truth. After this second time through, I think, Oh man, I can see it in my mind. It’s real! 

Confident I am “on the right track,” I mentally race ahead. So if I leave my job, would I have enough money to live on? For how long? If I buy a house, have a roommate, and run an Airbnb, I wouldn’t need that much, right? Here’s the thing about me, I just want what I want. Being able to do what I want when I want to do it, makes me feel good. It’s my thing. Call me selfish, but it’s what I like. And the best news of all is that my wants just aren’t that grand, I don’t think. For example, it’s not like I need money to buy a boat or join a country club- I don’t even like golf and quite frankly find that whole scene off-putting (to put it gently). And if I can get away with not even owning a car, I will. 

What I want is an electric scooter, a quality set of cookware, and chopped pecans on my cereal in the morning. Yes, chopped pecans are kind of expensive. I know, I buy them all the time. But here’s how I think about it… Is my buying chopped pecans going to make a difference in my ability to afford living the life I want? That IS the life I want! Chopped pecans are not going to break me.

I walk from the living room back into the kitchen. I look around and imagine a different kitchen, MY kitchen. I told you about the living room being old and dark? Well, this kitchen hasn’t been up-dated in years. I go into the fridge for a passion fruit flavored La Croix.

The question I am zeroing in on, and the one I should have been asking all along is… how much money do I need for me to have the life I want- a four bedroom house, an electric scooter, quality cookware, and pecans for my cereal…. and still have enough to live on? Will half-a-million dollars do it? My gut says maybe. A feeling jabs my ego that I’ve been a fool for not ever mentally going down this road before. OMG! I’m still incredulous. I’ve never done the math! I’VE NEVER DONE THE FREAKING MATH! 

I Have Options

Ping…Ping….Ping… The alert on my watch goes off. The clothes should be dry. 

I open the door to the dryer and warmth spills out into the basement. Very much still in the elevated state of my cannabis high, it occurs to me how easy it would be to remove the clothes from the dryer all at once, if….. squatting down low, I put my left arm into the bottom of the dryer drum, but to the right of the pile of clothes, I insert my right arm also into the mouth of the dryer, also on the right side, but a little higher up on the drum. Then with my elbows I rotate the drum causing the clothes to tumble into my waiting arms for me to scoop. Whoa! That totally worked! I just invented a new way to get clothes out of a dryer.  

Back up in the living room, I spread out all the clothes on the couch and start my folding routine. Lay out the shirts first. I reach for a gray cotton work shirt. Where could I buy a house like I’m thinking? There’s more avalanche coming. Disregarding money for a second, I wonder…..If I were able to not work, and lived in a 4 bedroom house with the roommate and the Airbnb, where would I really want to live? I like Denver, but I’ve travelled a bit and honestly would not consider Denver to be one of the “great cities of the world.” 

More lightbulbs start going off. 

Oh my God! I have my hands back up to my head. If a half a million is somehow enough for me to live on and I don’t have to work any more, I could live anywhere. I wouldn’t be tied to a job! I could live ANYWHERE!  The proverbial bolt of lightning is knocking my socks right off. I think, if I were starting from scratch. Where would I live? Like…what city? What country? My mind has gone full global tilt. I think about my experiences traveling the world and all of the cities I visited: Quito; Santiago; Auckland; Hangzhou; Istanbul; and a hundred cities more.  

The US is going down, I’m convinced of it. Government corruption is beyond repair and will not be stopped by Trump, Biden, me or anyone else. I swear I tried. Late-stage capitalism sets the rules, our media is complicit, money has taken over every branch of government. This is not the America I was born into. It’s just not. And it’s only going to get worse from here, at least for regular schmoes like me. If America ever recovers from this mess it won’t be in my lifetime. But I don’t have to live here, do I? I could totally live in another country.

With this money, I have options.

I’m Leaving You Baby

In the blink of an idea, the turn has been made. With the same rational and pragmatic certainty I felt when I knew I should sell my house in Austin, I suddenly know I am going to leave America. Excitement around what this means for my life has my body moving and stretching, as if I am warming up for a big game. I pretzel my arms in front of me and feel the stretch through my shoulders and back. Oh my God, this is big! I bend my body at the waist and go all the way to the floor, rising a moment later with my arms outstretched to the sides. I am expanding.  

What would it be like to live in another country? The impact of this idea quickly reverberates. I have a pretty good chunk of my life left to live, at least another 25 years. I lived 55 years here, could I not live the next 25 somewhere else? There’s nothing stopping me, right? I have no family, no relationship partner to negotiate with. I do have options. I speak English and my Spanish is not too shabby either. 

No longer am I marching down the corridor of civilization that had kept me compliant all my life…. I DO HAVE OPTIONS!! 

The Final Poetic Confluence

That was it! I’d thought it through and come out the other side; the avalanche has settled. But it’s sure stirred up a lot of dust. I didn’t know everything, but I knew on that night that I wanted to make a new life for myself outside of America. I knew I wanted to start living life on my own terms. 

The very next day, I called my friend Vanessa in a rush. Give me Tim’s number. What’s his number? I need to make an appointment with him as soon as possible. Tim is the financial planner Vanessa had been trying to get me to have a conversation with for a while. As soon as she shares with me his contact info, I place the call. He doesn’t pick up so I leave a message. I send him a text, too, for good measure. A few minutes after that I call my real estate agent friend in Austin. Mike, I want to sell the house. I’m ready. What do we need to do? 

I feel the rush and it doesn’t stop for days. In one night I have set myself on a trajectory where so many, many things would be new. New house, new city, new country, new neighbors, friends, furniture, food, parks, radio, street signs… it would ALL be new to me. Depending on where I end up, I could potentially even be surrounded by a new language- one that is not my native tongue.  

And what of all this course of therapy I have committed myself to? This is the coup de grace, the pièce de résistance, the ultimate in poetic confluence– The thought that I might also, in some very key way, be a new me, psychologically and emotionally “cleansed” of burdens I’d carried for a lifetime, was too pure a merging of events to dismiss without excitement. Things happen for a reason is back on the board.

Let’s go! Let’s GO! LET’S GOOOOOOOO!!!!