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New FIRE - just got the shrink wrap off!
Old 04-10-2016, 10:31 AM   #1
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New FIRE - just got the shrink wrap off!

Introduction time! Plus a question.

Married and live in Colorado. DW is 49 and retired a month ago. I'm 55 and retired Friday, day before yesterday. We have been disciplined savers and investors for decades, downsized and paid cash for a modest house we love in 2010, and have been FI for a while. Kids are 28 and 30 (don't do the math ), out of college, moved away and doing well.

In past years, these situations would just be accepted, but lately they're irritating:
- The weekend showing of that movie is sold out, but there are lots of seats on weekdays.
- We'll have to travel home in this blizzard to make the big work meeting Monday morning.
- The family reunion golf tournament sounds amazing, but I don't have enough vacation.

Also, several personal items pushed us over the finish line. Mom is slipping away into dementia, FIL's Parkinsons is starting to bite down, I had a significant health scare last year and (on a brighter note) our new grandson is obviously the sweetest baby in the whole world.

So I gave my two weeks notice. Jaws were dropped and dumb questions were asked (Actual Question: "Have you considered how you'll pay your bills?"). Friday was my last day.

So here's the question.

I notice involuntary work tension triggers. For instance, DW mentioned dinner on Sunday. My thought process went "Dinner Sunday. Sunday night. And they're predicting a snowy, nasty commute Monday morning." My body tensed and adrenaline rose before my brain could even engage to intervene. What the heck - now I'm wound up for no freakin' reason! Blah! How long does it take for this situation to go away?

BTW, you guys are awesome - I've learned a ton here.
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Old 04-10-2016, 10:52 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Grabberson View Post
I notice involuntary work tension triggers. For instance, DW mentioned dinner on Sunday. My thought process went "Dinner Sunday. Sunday night. And they're predicting a snowy, nasty commute Monday morning." My body tensed and adrenaline rose before my brain could even engage to intervene. What the heck - now I'm wound up for no freakin' reason! Blah! How long does it take for this situation to go away?
For me it went away almost immediately. Work usually stressed me. I go to bed at 10 and wake up stressed at 2 many nights... and not be able to get back to sleep. So I would just go into work.
Not so much now.
Get some good exercise on Monday... or do something fun. You need to replace the fears and tension with a better understanding of life.
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Old 04-10-2016, 11:39 AM   #3
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What you have described sounds great for you. Welcome and well done.
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Old 04-10-2016, 06:46 PM   #4
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My body tensed and adrenaline rose before my brain could even engage to intervene. What the heck - now I'm wound up for no freakin' reason! Blah! How long does it take for this situation to go away?
It varies by the individual but what you describe is very common. Some get over it immediately, for others it can take a year or more, although that is rare. For me it was a couple of months. W*rk has been a major, if not dominant, part of your life since HS/College and now that part is gone. It is a big adjustment, but one everyone welcomes.

Happy days for you!
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Old 04-10-2016, 07:12 PM   #5
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....How long does it take for this situation to go away?...
Welcome Grabberson and congratulations! To answer your question... 3 to 6 weeks.
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Old 04-10-2016, 09:44 PM   #6
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Welcome and congrats! Can't tell you about how quickly the stress goes away since I still w*rk at a j*b, but I bet it will leave you soon enough.
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Old 04-10-2016, 10:39 PM   #7
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"Have you considered how you'll pay your bills?"

Hah! I hope you said with wampum. Thats DW's favorite running gag. I must admit to encouraging her by usually laughing.
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Old 04-11-2016, 08:31 AM   #8
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Welcome. There is a few of us "mountain states" folks here. You live in a place where it is easy to de-stress. Just take your time and exhale.
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Old 04-11-2016, 08:50 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Grabberson View Post
I notice involuntary work tension triggers. For instance, DW mentioned dinner on Sunday. My thought process went "Dinner Sunday. Sunday night. And they're predicting a snowy, nasty commute Monday morning." My body tensed and adrenaline rose before my brain could even engage to intervene. What the heck - now I'm wound up for no freakin' reason! Blah! How long does it take for this situation to go away?
First: Congratulations!

Regarding the involuntary work tension: it took me about a year to detox. It wasn't like a light switch, it gradually faded away.

Over time, the tension, night sweats, and tight feelings in my chest went away. Now when I see reports predicting Sunday night/Monday morning blizzards I say "Bring it on!"
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Old 04-11-2016, 09:14 AM   #10
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On the bad side: Just last night I had a nightmare that I was late for w*rk....and couldn't remember where my workplace was. In the dream itself it was actually very scary.

On the sorta-good side: I have been pretty ill over the last week. I'm on the mend but it's a slow recovery. But at least I don't have to worry about work/sick time, etc.

More than 3 years for me, but all in all this retirement thing has been great with no w*rk residuals, except for the occasional aforementioned w*rk dreams. I suspect you'll have a very quick transition!
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Old 04-11-2016, 03:39 PM   #11
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Sort of a paradox. Thoughts of work evaporated the nanosecond I retired (probably before that, even). This weekend I kept forgetting which day it was and almost missed an appointment this morning as a result. Then I forgot today's date this morning. OTOH, only recently have I realized I have yet to fully decompress after almost a year, but this has more to do with my active, self-directed personality than anything else.

You are now entering what is known as a state of transition, which can last up to a year or more. A recent book I read warned against attempting to accelerate any of the phases of retirement, but instead to enjoy the gifts inherent in each state. Eventually, you will find your own rhythm.
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Old 04-11-2016, 04:35 PM   #12
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Debilitating Anxiety Attack - the attack comes for no reason. You need to adjust to the change of life.
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Old 04-12-2016, 05:57 PM   #13
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Also in Colorado. Hate to admit it but it took 14 months. Suddenly the stress went away and now I don't even think about it.
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Old 04-12-2016, 08:07 PM   #14
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"Have you considered how you'll pay your bills?"

Hah! I hope you said with wampum. Thats DW's favorite running gag. I must admit to encouraging her by usually laughing.
Or you could take the Blanche DuBois route -- "I've always depended on the kindness of strangers."
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Old 04-12-2016, 08:39 PM   #15
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Hide your watches, clocks and calendars for about 2-3 weeks unless important family or personal business needs are in that time period. Stop smell the roses, savor the coffee in the am or whenever you wake up. Enjoy the taste and aroma of every meal, and your environment. De-program yourself; then slowly re-program your life. Tweak as needed; rinse repeat.
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Old 04-12-2016, 08:41 PM   #16
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Welcome to the forum Grabberson!

The mountain crocus were in bloom in the mountains today. Go for a hike. Life is good!
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Old 04-13-2016, 12:44 AM   #17
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It took about 4 months. I didn't feel like I could be out during the day hours because I wasn't on leave. It was weird.
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Old 04-13-2016, 11:36 AM   #18
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Welcome! ... from another ER from Colorado.

I dreamed about work for a long time after I quit, and still do sometimes. But the 'triggered' stress leaves pretty quickly.

Congratulations.
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