Well it’s been a month now of me not being at work and I have to say I’m starting to settle down a bit more. The first few weeks really did feel a bit like a dream that I expected to wake up from but now I’ve gotten a bit more comfortable with my new life after retiring early. So here are a few items that are positives and a few negatives as well.
On the plus side, overall the one thing that really stands out for me about early retirement is this: you are no longer rushed. I know that might sound odd but think about this. I found during my working life I always had this low level feeling of being rushed. During the week I would have to get certain errands done and then on the weekends you had to get your chores done and still squeeze in some socialization with friends and somewhere find a bit of time to relax with a book. It felt like I was almost always battling the clock to get it all done and feeling guilty when things fell to the side. Now I almost never feel that way. If something doesn’t get done today, I do it the next day. No big deal.
Also I should point out I’m not good at doing nothing. I like to relax with a book for a while but I can’t just do that for a day. I like to get other things done as well. So I’ve slowly been getting done a backlog of errands, repairs and chores done around the house. So that tap in the downstairs bathroom that I have been ignoring got replaced, I got the oil change done on the car, we renewed the family passports and the fish tank got a good cleaning.
Also I got to do things that I want was well. I signed up to help out at our local school library once a week. I have been doing research for my next novel and I have read about 12 books, finished two tv show seasons on Netflix and still managed to easily have time to host my family in town for Thanksgiving. So I have this weird thing where I feel relaxed and productive all at the same time.
Yet there is still certain basic limitations in life, you still have some negative things to your days. Those don’t go away when you retire. For example, I still only have 24 hours a day just like you and I don’t always get everything that I want to get done in a day. Having more time during the week I find just means I can get more easily distracted from what I want to focus on. After all I can just tell myself I will get to what I should be working on later on. Until I realize I have been pushing something back for two week already and my wife is giving me that look again.
Or another example is bad luck still happens. Case in point, our dog had a small growth on her back leg and we took her into the vet to get it checked out. Well there we find a few other growths that have to be removed. Oh look there was $500 I wasn’t planning on spending that week. Then our dog has a complication from the first surgery (no ones fault, just bad luck) and she needs to have most of her tail removed in a second surgery the week after. Our total vet bill for is at $1100 for the month, but the good news is our dog is doing well now.
Yet overall I have to say even with the negatives I like this lifestyle. The only thing I feel that is missing is I haven’t been working that much on anything big lately. Just a series of smaller items, so I so I plan to write a draft of a novel this November as a bigger project.