Okay, I work up this morning and I’m officially unemployed (or retired) and loving it. You see I’ve been living in a lovely little dream world for the last six weeks. I was done work on Sept 15 but I was officially still on vacation during the last six weeks. So I still had a pay cheque coming in, benefits to use, but no workplace to go to or alarm clock to wake up to.
Honestly I think that is the perfect way to break yourself into early retirement. A nice long vacation at the end of it to give yourself time to mentally adjust to things without having to worry about the money side of the equation. In our case, it also allowed us to get in one last set of eye exams and new glasses for my wife under my benefits before they ran out. Also it gave us some time to absorb a few last minute expenses before the cash flow from my job dried up.
Now I move from this being a concept to being my reality. The safety net is gone and I’m on my own in the world. Am I frightened? To be honest, just a pitch of it. But if I had to pick an emotion I would say I’m more excited now. After having the last six weeks off (and by the way I give my workplace credit they didn’t call me once!), I’m feeling good about this entire thing. I’ve got more than enough to do and if anything time seems to be moving along even faster than when I was at work.
I know its a bit of cliche but honestly I am already starting to forget how I fit work between everything else I’m doing each day. I’m almost caught off guard when someone asks what I’ve been up to as I have trouble summarizing it all since it can be all over the map in a given week. For example this week I:
- Baked some muffins and scones for future breakfasts
- Volunteered at the school library for 2 hours (which they are ridiculously thankful for since their librarian’s hours got cut from a 0.8FTE to 0.2 FTE this year).
- Brainstormed ideas for my novel that I’m writing in November and started organizing the major plot points
- Wrote two blog posts
- Played Torchlight for a
- Finished Arrow season 5 and started watching Flash season 3 (both borrowed from the library)
- Cleaned up the yard (raked leaves, trimmed plants, put away patio furniture)
- Got my flu shot (and took the rest of the family to get their shots)
- Read about 3/4 of my current book
And that list if literally of the top of my head I’m certain I’m forgetting more than a few items.
Oddly the only thing I’m struggling a little bit with is: what level of being productive do I want to aim for? Because on one hand I am getting lots of things done but on the other hand I feel like I’m being too lazy some days. So does that really matter when you no longer have a job? Does it matter if I have a lazy day now and again? What level of productivity would I like to see myself achieve or am I’m being an idiot for even caring about that?
As you can see I have more questions than answers I think this is mainly because my ‘to do’ and ‘want to do’ lists don’t seem to be getting much shorter. I add items to both just about as fast as I finish items and for some reason in my head I thought I would be taking them off faster than I would be adding them. Of course that ignores the application of Parkinson’s Law, which would mean I’m never finishing my ‘to do’ list so I shouldn’t bother trying too hard.
Now you see what early retirement does to your poor brain: you have time to worry about questions no sane working person would even consider asking. Oh well, such is the life of the retiree. I guess I will sort it all out in time.