One of the best parts of life is spending time with our chosen community. This is especially relevant to early retirees because we have much more time.
When I worked, I spent more time with my coworkers than with my spouse. It’s a little ridiculous to think about, but I think it’s true for a lot of us. Here is how life broke down for me when I had a job:
- Hours in the week: 168
- Hours awake (assuming 8 hours of sleep): 112
- Hours I spent at work and commuting: 60
- Leftover waking hours: 52
I had 52 hours to:
- Run around with kids
- Take care of the house
- Work on personal projects
- Spend time with spouse
Time is everything and this is the true value of early retirement. It’s incredible having quiet time to work around the house, think, hike, write, read, and walk aimlessly around town. But, humans are social creatures, and even the most introverted of us introverts need other people too.
Extraordinary Weekend And Extraordinary Friends
One of my favorite parts of living in Longmont is the community we have. The MMM HQ brings a steady parade of interesting visitors to the town. As I type this, Alan and Katie Donegan are here. We made the most of their visit by hosting an event with them last weekend.
There were talks:
There was a lot of discussion about FIRE. There was the other kind of fire too:
But the best part of these events is the magic moments that happen when a big group of enthusiastic and resourceful humans gets together. I had two random conversations that stuck out. On Saturday, as part of an exercise, we were discussing potential business ideas:
- Me: Hey Matt, what’s your idea?
- Matt: I’d love to buy a piece of land somewhere to host retreats.
- Me: Wow, I’m lucky to be sitting next to you now. I’ve been talking with a friend about buying a piece of land around here and developing an upscale RV park and campground. I think there is a lot of overlap in our ideas.
- Matt: Me too! Can we all talk?
The second magic moment happened on Sunday when I met two attendees for the first time:
- Me: Where are y’all from?
- J and S: We’re from Vancouver Washington.
- Me: I know that place! I worked up there for a brief period of time. I loved it there!
- J and S: We like it a lot too! However, I’m recently retired and having a difficult time meeting people.
- Me: I have a couple of really good friends that live right down the river. They’re early retirees too. May I introduce you?
- J and S: That would be awesome!
I can’t say that anything will come out of these conversations, but they would have never happened in the first place if we all hadn’t been hanging out together.
Not The Introvert I Thought I Was
During the pandemic, I caught myself slipping into some form of depression. There was a lot of alone-time as neighbors and friends retreated to the safety of their homes. The depression felt a little strange and unexpected because I’ve always considered myself to be a severe introvert.
I don’t think any of us are introverts, at least not in the traditional definition. I have come to believe that those who consider themselves introverts just have a narrower spectrum of people that they feel comfortable around. While I’m not comfortable around most people, when I’m with a crowd of like-minded folks, it’s hard to shut me up!
Wherever you are in the world, I hope you find and nourish your community. It’s completely worthwhile.
Community note! If you’re in the Midwest, I went to this Camp FI a couple of years ago and it was my favorite. Get tickets here!
More 1500 Days!!!
You can also find me (and the dinosaurs) at:
Mile High FI podcast:
- EconoMe: Hey look, I’m speaking at EconoMe later this year!
- Facebook: Facebook group and page
- YouTube: My channel is mostly devoted to home improvement, but I have some other material coming up soon too.
- Instagram: Pretty pictures of dinosaurs, sunsets, and nail guns!
- Twitter: Spontaneous, often insane, ramblings
- Coworking space: On the surface, MMM HQ is a coworking space. Look a little deeper and you’ll see that we’re really building community. The members of MMM HQ are some of the finest people I know.
Other resources I like:
- Camp FIs are amazingly fun! I hope to attend Rocky Mountain and Joshua Tree this year. See you there?
- Need to learn how to invest? The Simple Path to Wealth is all you need.
- New to FIRE? Need some FIREy guidance? Check out Fiology and the accompanying workbook!
Join the 10s who have signed up already!
Subscribing will improve your life in incredible ways*.
*Only if your life is pretty bad to begin with.
I’m squarely in the extroverted Introvert camp, too! But when I’m with MY PEOPLE, I could talk this stuff for hours.
Mr. 1500 Days says
I can’t wait to see you again in Texas next month friend!
Oh h*ck yes. In March 2020 I honestly felt a bit of relief that I wouldn’t have to go out of the house and people at people all the time! But since then, I’ve realized that This Whole Thing would have been 3427% worse if not for our neighborhood slack channel. We’ve got dozens of great people within a couple blocks of our house who look out for each other and spontaneously drink together in backyards and bounce ideas back and forth. Last year’s neighborhood 5K motto was “in this together, six feet apart” and it helped more than I would’ve thought.
Mr. 1500 Days says
Wow, that’s how humans are meant to live!
“because I’ve always considered myself to be a severe extrovert.” I believe you meant introvert 😉
Mr. 1500 Days says
That’s a nice feel-good post to read, Carl. I’m glad you’ve identified this part of yourself and also seen fit to figure out how to work it into your life, and, well to make it part of how you help others! That’s pretty awesome.
And of course, the hard part is building the community in the first place! I’ve little doubt you’ve been a key part of that, and have really brought those around you into the fold. Congrats on that milestone and joy in life.
Chris@TTL recently posted…A Lesson in Lifestyle Inflation (and Adventure) From the Beach