The Month Off Report

So today is my last day of my currently month long vacation.  This will have been the third time I’ve done this now and I have to say I’ve learned a few things that I found interesting.  Perhaps the most telling thing is this I’m just starting to think about bit about work now and what I have to get started on when I get back and oddly enough I’m not dreading it.

I think what happens to me after taking off a longer period of time is I actually managed to detox from work.  I really do cease to care about it, think about it or even want to do anything about it.  I was contacted once during my vacation via text to confirm one small fact which I was able to answer in two sentences.  Perhaps the most difficult thing I had to adjust to was since I had a work issued cell phone was getting in the habit of not even reading the subject lines of work emails as they came in.  Otherwise, I didn’t do anything related to my job and as I mentioned to my boss: work had become a hazy memory.  I recalled it, but I no longer felt it effecting me.

In my case, I can detox fairly quickly from my job since I have set it up to be lower stress and have learned to let go of things that happen there.  I can’t control much at work, so why waste the energy pretending that I can.  Also it helps that I have a great boss now that really just cares about the results.  He is the kind of guy who gets when you say: I’ve finished what I need to get done and now I’m leaving early to my kids swimming lesson.  He replies: sounds good, have a good night.  Yes, I’m very lucky in that regard…I know.

Of course I did do some traveling on this trip, but rather than being a burden of trying to shove in too much we took it easy and did two main trips: one to Vancouver Island (where I got the chance to meet up with long time reader jon_snow, hi jon) and the other to visit family in Alberta.  Both were fun and I enjoyed doing them but at the same time we did have a week at home as well in there so it was nice to get a few things done around the house and of course play some video games (it is a vacation after all!). I even managed to be interviewed for story for CBC see here.

Yet if this life were to continue on in early retirement I can easily say I don’t think I would ever get bored.  I mean I had full days as is and could have easily tried to cram in more stuff, but resisted the urge and made sure to have some relaxing time in as well.  I have so much that I want to read, watch, write, or do around the house that I can see just going along forever with out running out of things to do.  I noticed my to do still filled up rather quickly without much effort on my part.

So in the end, I think I’m ready to leave work at least mentally able to do it.  I won’t be begging to come back after getting bored or even worry about it after I go.  Only about 20 more months of work left…I’m looking forward to the end of it.

Did you ever take an extended break from work?  Did you enjoy it or what did you learn?

4 thoughts on “The Month Off Report”

  1. Left my work in 2004. I never miss it. Time is mine to do with it as I please. Sleep, do things, I enjoy:)

  2. It was pretty cool to meet you Tim…but far too brief a meeting. There is so much we could have talked about – my experiences in my year-old ER, as well as some advice for you as you approach your own ER date.

    Again, I credit you with first sparking the idea that ER was possible for me – and to chat with you, even for 15 minutes, was appreciated.

    And count me as one of those ER’ed folks who hasn’t been bored ONCE. I’m busier than I was when working – the difference being that I do now is stuff I LOVE doing. It’s been an incredible year. The best of my life. 🙂

  3. Once I took two months completely off and just tried to recover from burn-out and an unethical situation. Since I quit my corporate job a few months back, I’m working only for myself, and I keep quite busy, but it doesn’t feel like work. Now work is my hobby, and I’m uncomfortable if I’m not doing it. I like structure because without it I tend to waste time on the internet or with netflix. Instead of a work-life balance, it’s like a work-life meld.

  4. Really enjoyed your post. I recently made arrangements to retire and move into a 55 plus Christian community condo Toronto. My husband has a real hard time not working and I think it’s the absolute best. Yes, we’re a bit older than you and maybe it has something to do with our careers. In the short time that we’ve been retired I’ve concentrated on the difference between working and being busy. We’re finding that the key to a happy retirement isn’t avoiding work but being busy, going on walks, planning trips, cooking, or any task that is still a task but not a chore gives us purpose. It’s great to be on out own schedule but we still fear growing idle. Informative posts like these are great pieces of encouragement so thank you.

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