It now occurs to me that I’ve already now been done work for over a week and I have to admit it doesn’t feel like it has been that long. So while I obviously can’t know much this early into my journey on the other side of FIRE (financial independence retire early) I thought I would share a few of the items that I’ve noticed.
- Poor Sleep – I’ve been sleeping a lot worse than I normally have (my normal is fall into bed and be out cold for 8 hours). Initially I thought perhaps it was me feeling a bit lost in this new life of mine, but then when I paid a bit more attention to when it was occurring I figured it out. I am sleeping poorly for the last hour of my sleep right before my wife’s alarm goes off during the week (remember she still runs a daycare in the house). Ah, then I understood. My body is used to being awake for that hour as I used to get up a full hour before my wife so my internal clock is off a little bit. I suspect this will sort it self out over time.
- Event Based Time – I also have realized that even in my first week I’m looking at clocks a LOT less than I used to. So much that one day I realized I wasn’t sure what day of the week it was. Instead I have shifted back to event based time. As kids before we can read a clock we understand the flow of time as a series of events. First we get up, get dressed and then have breakfast. We know lunch comes after breakfast. So for me now I know because the kids have swimming lessons, it is Wednesday. Otherwise I won’t really pay attention as much.
- Gotta be Productive – I felt odd for most of this first week and I had a hard time figuring out why. Then it hit me: I had no metric of being productive anymore. After a several decades in the corporate work world I have a habit to feel productive in a given day and while I have a to do list and want to do list they weren’t really cutting it as I sometimes did something off them and other times I didn’t. So I’m trying to decide if this is just a temporary adjustment or do I need a bit more structure to my days going forward. For the moment I’ve parked the idea and I’ll wait and see.
- Going by Feel – Something else I’ve noticed that I’m enjoying is I ride my energy levels a lot more now. So when I feel energetic I go do something off my to do list, when I feel lazy or tired I read a book or watch a movie. The point is now I’m not chained by a work day so I basically I do things when I feel like it and I’m enjoying that freedom. So one rainy day my wife and I did a series of errands in the morning and then got back and sat down with a book and a warm drink for most of the afternoon.
- Off Peak Life – Perhaps one of oddest discoveries of my new life is how utter great life is doing errands when everyone else is at work. I mean my wife and I took our time on our errands by browsing in a few stores this week during the day and we still got everything done in like half the time. Why? I don’t think I waited in a line anywhere for more than a few seconds.
- What is stress again? – Another item I’ve noticed is this: I didn’t realize how much stress in my life was a result of my job until I stopped going there and have significantly reduced my time even thinking about my old job. I mean I wake up relaxed and have this wonderful low level calm most of the time.
Well that’s my initial items I’ve noticed so far, beyond the obvious it’s nice to have the time to read a book, play a video game, do some research for a novel I want to write and fix a few minor items around the house. I have utterly no problem filling my days. The freedom is wonderful but the degree of choice can be almost overwhelming at times so I’m rather glad I wrote out a few items I wanted to do to narrow the field a bit to start.