I announced that I was done with formal work last Friday. I sent my laptop back on Monday of this week. I’m not at all sorry to see it go. It was a piece of crap that caused endless frustration. Good riddance!
I felt sorry for the technician who has to deal with this pile of junk, so I included some awesome dinosaur stickers:
But we have real business to get to. Since this blog is supposed to be about early retirement, I need to tell you how it’s going. I took notes all week. Here is what I found interesting.
Random Notes from the First Week of Freedom
My mind doesn’t grasp it: I keep saying things like this:
I’ll get to it after work tomorrow.
A moment later, I catch myself. It’s like when the year changes over, but you keep forgetting and writing the past year (it usually takes me until March to get it right consistently). (Mrs. 1500 note: On Sunday night, I started to ask him what he had planned at work the next week. This is going to take me a while, too.)
No adjustment needed: Some folks told me that it would take me a while to adjust. However, this was a non-issue. I rolled right into my new life and didn’t look back.
I’ve been planning my departure since late 2012, so I have no excuse to not be ready to go. I fully admit that I needed that time to get comfortable with the idea. If financial conditions were the same but I had been fired, I would have been distraught.
The hardest part of leaving were the emotions. The money is easy.
I wake up even earlier: When I worked, I’d usually wake up around 6am. Now, it’s closer to 5. I always beat the Sun. I think this is because I value my time more now that it’s all my own. And if there is anything I don’t like to waste, it’s time*.
The dinosaurs have no interest in getting up early:
New ideas: My mind now has the bandwidth to think. I came up with a couple new business ideas on Monday. I reserved two new URLs this week. Internet, here I come!
Sometimes it’s a little better to travel than to arrive. –Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Life is good: When I was still working, I considered the possibility that life after formal work would be a letdown. It’s only been a week, but I’m enjoying myself greatly. My routine changes every day, but it looks something like this:
- 5am: Work on blog stuff and other random loose ends like bills and email
- 6am: Breakfast and getting the girls ready for school
- 7am: Run Club! This is a school sponsored activity where we run for 30 minutes before school
- 8am: Work on the blog or other random stuff
- 11am: Exercise
- 1-3pm: More work
- 3pm: Pick up children. From then on, it’s homework, dinner, a family walk, board games, getting ready for bed
- 8pm: Reading before bed
- 9pm: Lights out
I’ll miss investing big money: I really enjoyed getting a big paycheck and investing it. Since the Mrs. is still working and this blog makes money, we still have a surplus, but nothing like before.
Passive Income helps me sleep better at night: I’ve mentioned our hard money loans in passing (more on this next week!). We’re bringing in about $3,000 per month in income from these. Coincidentally, this is the amount of money we need to get by. While the income is in a pre-tax account, it feels good that we’re balancing out our spending.
Meaningful work is the key to life: A couple people let me know that they’d ‘never retire because they love work.’ I love work too. If I didn’t have this blog and other projects to pursue, I never would have left. I didn’t leave formal work to live a life of leisure. I quit to pursue my own work. Huge difference.
And I’ll never stop working. Before the Internet Retirement Police call me out, keep in mind that I’m working for personal growth, not for money. If I work on a passion project that happens to make money, I’ll take it though.
What the hell day is it? I’m absent minded. I never know where my wallet or phone are. I go through sunglasses and baseball caps at a furious pace. When I had a job, sometimes I’d lose track of what day of the week it is. Now, that problem is exacerbated. No more regular meetings. No more deadlines.
Is it Monday or Thursday or Friday? Hell if I know. I’m going to find a cheaper version of this and buy it:
First Week of Freedom
- Cleaned out the garage. For the first time in 4 years, we can fit both of our vehicles
- Biked a bunch of errands including a stop at school to have lunch with older daughter
- Played Nintendo (shout out to Zelda!)
- Walked downtown and had beers and burritos with the wife
- Cleaned up the yard and house
- Had a party with some friends in the afternoon
- Took care of some errands and planted new grass
- Ran 3.5 miles
- Finished a post for my side hustle, InvestmentZen
- My elbow hasn’t been quite the same since I fell on it back in December. I had it x-rayed and the doctor told me that I probably ruptured my bursa sack. According to her, this is no big deal. Time to start hardcore workouts again.
- I HATE going to the post office, but I had to mail back my work laptop today. It’s filled with lines and angry people. Even the automated postage machine had a line. Grrrrrr. This was the low point of my week. First world problems indeed.
- Finalized travel plans! At the end of May, we’re going to the Midwest where we’ll spend time in the Twin Cities for Memorial Day weekend. After that, we head north to visit a friend followed by a stay in northern Michigan. We’ll spend time in Madison, Wisconsin before heading back home.
- I got back to work on a web app that I’m working on with a friend.
- Fixed my bikes for spring. I had a couple flat tires and a brake that needed adjustment.
- Met up with another retired friend: Life is much more enjoyable when you have like-minded people around you. I’m thankful for this.
- P90X workout.
- More work on the web app
- Costco supply run for party tomorrow
- The Physician on Fire comes into town today. We may visit some local watering holes before having a get-together with local friends. Mrs. 1500 is whipping up fish tacos for the festivities. Life is good.
*Mrs. 1500 note: On Sunday night, my parents left after a 10-day visit that coincided with Mr. 1500’s last day. We haven’t had a ton of time to talk, and after they left, I asked him how he was doing, mentally, with the whole “leaving work” thing. He said, “Oh, I feel GREAT about that!”
He struggles with “doing nothing” though. I think he feels like if he isn’t doing something, he’s wasting his time. I’ll keep you updated if he figures this part out.
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