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Old 06-09-2009, 12:27 PM   #1
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Chameleons "R" US

I've been thinking today......and this thought popped up in me li'l head. It may be part of my midlife crisis.
Look out when I get all philosophical. See my recent signature.

Rewind mentally back to your FIRE date, or if not FIREd, go back exactly X number of years.
Take a snapshot in your head. This will be the BEFORE state.
Come back to present. This will be the AFTER state.

The question...What is the BIGGEST change, positive or negative, you as a person have gone through since your FIRE (or since the BEFORE) date.
There may be several biggies, and by all means list them.

Suggested format is BEFORE and AFTER with the time elapsed...

Me first...

BEFORE : Successful engineering career, GS-13, high salary, published papers, patents pending, managed huge contracts...

AFTER: Household engineer, laundry slave , gardener, miniature vineyard owner, reader, card carrying member of the
FIRE Goofing Off Society.

TIME ELASED: 2 yrs, 2 mos
POSITIVE change
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Old 06-09-2009, 01:19 PM   #2
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Before: Stressed Engineering/Sales Mgr living at airports with non-stop coast to coast travel, up to 25 direct reports, budget responsibility for Global Accounts billing over $500,000,000 annual revenue in addition to sales and project management for installation, with 7x24 repair issues.

After: Mom, friend, garden putterer, reader, bread baker, gourmet cook, investor and of course FIRE G.O.S. (Goofing Off Society), soon to be seasoned pleasure traveller, and a Red Cross Volunteer.

TIME ELAPSED: 4 years 5 months and 9 days of blissful relaxation
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Old 06-09-2009, 02:19 PM   #3
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Location: Dallas 'burb
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Before:
Manager - Accounts Payable. Responsibilities: affiliate billing, insure accuracy of vendor and employee bill payment forms; volume totaling approximately 60,000 per year, insure adequate internal controls exist regarding expenses and company's Schedule of Authorization, issue employee cash advances, supervise and train accounts payable staff consisting of four non-management personnel, regulate 120 check runs per year totaling approximately $140M.


Yeah, I copied that from my resume. I was one busy woman.

The last year with Mega Corp, I was a Financial Analyst. I hated that job.


After:
Domestic goddess and volunteer cop. Everything else, I do when I feel like it.

Time Elapsed:
10 1/2 years of controlling my own schedule and acting out new adventures.
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Old 06-09-2009, 03:06 PM   #4
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Posts: 5,105
Quote:
Originally Posted by freebird5825 View Post
Look out when I get all philosophical. See my recent signature.

Rewind mentally back to your FIRE date, or if not FIREd, go back exactly X number of years.
Take a snapshot in your head. This will be the BEFORE state.
Come back to present. This will be the AFTER state.

The question...What is the BIGGEST change, positive or negative, you as a person have gone through since your FIRE (or since the BEFORE) date.
There may be several biggies, and by all means list them.

Suggested format is BEFORE and AFTER with the time elapsed...

Me first...

BEFORE : Successful engineering career, GS-13, high salary, published papers, patents pending, managed huge contracts...

AFTER: Household engineer, laundry slave , gardener, miniature vineyard owner, reader, card carrying member of the
FIRE Goofing Off Society.

TIME ELASED: 2 yrs, 2 mos
POSITIVE change
Philosophical - you haven't met me yet!

What you are describing is what you did then and comparing it to what you do now. A troubling (?) observation is that the current state is being discussed and framed in the context of the working state.

If you want to be philosophical about it the question are:
Who you were then and who you are now?
What insights have you gained from transitioning from one state to another?
What unexplored aspects of life might this lead you or surprise you?

Meaning and Content of the term “Philosophy”

Socrates claims that the purpose of philosophy is to enable the gain of self-knowledge, through conceptual clarity. Plato views that the discovery of reality or absolute truth, through dialectic, is the purpose of philosophy. It was Aristotle who suggested that the study of philosophy began with the notice of ‘awe and wonder’ around and ‘investigation of the causes and principles of things’ is the object.
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Old 06-09-2009, 03:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freebird5825 View Post
I've been thinking today....
OMG, forgot to put that on the to-do list today. Will get back to you later after I get back from some rookie retiree fun and games. Ciao.
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Before/After
Old 06-09-2009, 03:51 PM   #6
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Before/After

Before - Father and husband wannabe, inter-continental traveler, air-hotel-car rental platinum member. Hobbies-important and meaningful management meetings, waiting in airport security screening lines, riding in taxi's in unfamiliar cities, delayed flights, working at the office on Saturdays.

After - "Daddy", hero, friend, soccer coach, backyard and lawn CEO, church choir singer, RV Driver, horse groomer, book reader, expert at avoiding airports.

Time Elapsed - 6 yrs 3 months
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Old 06-09-2009, 05:50 PM   #7
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The day before ER (31 May 2002):
Submarine officer
nuclear engineer
department head at a training command
short-haired clean-cut recruiting-poster appearance
had a haircut last month
wears full uniform at least 5x/week
42" chest in suitcoat
weight 200 lbs
work out at least 3x/week, taking a surfing lesson tomorrow
have friends whose kids do taekwondo
voluminous writer whose snarky sarcastic humor is widely feared
spouse of a gorgeous Navy Reservist
parent of a nine-year-old in elementary school who's studying Kumon math
parents-in-law living in rental property
looking forward to military pension with a CPI COLA
enough investments to FIRE if savings survive until spouse's pension starts.

After ER (seven years and a week later):
Once a submariner, always a submariner
can't stop being a nuke either
facilities manager, landscape engineer
pony-tailed surfer at least two days shy of a shave
had a haircut seven years, one month, and a week ago
hesitates to show up for anything requiring pants, let alone socks or shoes
47" chest, no more suitcoats
weight 180 lbs
work out at least 4x/week, surf at least 2x/week
taekwondo black belt who still gets head-kicked by his kid
(no change here)
spouse of a retired (even more gorgeous) Navy Reservist
"on-call parent" of a high school senior who works at Kumon math
getting paid to be a landlord again
27% more pension
about the same investments we FIRE'd on but lower expenses

I'd say we're making progress… life is good.
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Old 06-09-2009, 06:38 PM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dex View Post
Philosophical - you haven't met me yet!

What you are describing is what you did then and comparing it to what you do now. A troubling (?) observation is that the current state is being discussed and framed in the context of the working state.

If you want to be philosophical about it the question are:
Who you were then and who you are now?
What insights have you gained from transitioning from one state to another?
What unexplored aspects of life might this lead you or surprise you?

Meaning and Content of the term “Philosophy”

Socrates claims that the purpose of philosophy is to enable the gain of self-knowledge, through conceptual clarity. Plato views that the discovery of reality or absolute truth, through dialectic, is the purpose of philosophy. It was Aristotle who suggested that the study of philosophy began with the notice of ‘awe and wonder’ around and ‘investigation of the causes and principles of things’ is the object.
Ok, I'll go for that! I wouldn't want to disappoint my ancestors.

Who you were then and who you are now?
Then: I was an overachieving AAAAAA career woman. Outside forces ended up making me a miserable person. I did retain the ability to laugh at it to some extent.
Now: I am Happy Wild and Freebird (with all due respect to Mr. Zelinski). So what do I want to be when I grow up, if ever?

What insights have you gained from transitioning from one state to another?
What the h*ll was I thinking ?
Seriously, folks, the best insight I have gained is just how consumed I was with "bettering" myself, with the usual honors in school, college degree, status in the j*b, tangible things like awards, published papers, patents, yadda yadda yadda.
I'm glad I did all that. It was fun and a nice ego trip for many years. It became un-fun.
But I'm even happier that I had the courage to leave it all behind and go into uncharted waters. This is yet another piece in a larger puzzle, i.e. re-inventing my life after personal tragedy.

What unexplored aspects of life might this lead you or surprise you?
My unexplored territory is the the non-scientific, non-engineering world.
I was blessed to be very good at many other things as a young person.
These other talents were grossly underdeveloped and are finally resurfacing, now that my attention and time is not consumed by "the career".
I just may surprise myself and be good at something creative. Or lousy. Half the fun is getting there.

Your turn...
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Old 06-09-2009, 06:52 PM   #9
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I'm too lazy to paint with a broad brush, but one of the key differences in my outlook on life is that pre-FIRE I was always thinking about saving money to be sure I enough to retire on.

Now, I'm there. I'm still frugal but there is this weight lifted off my shoulders that previously filtered every thought and decision. Every month I've got X dollars to spend and as long as I don't exceed that, I'm cool.
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Old 06-10-2009, 06:33 AM   #10
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On the philosophical side I don't see much change. I still think and feel the same way albeit with work related stress subtracted and a self satisfied sense of freedom.

On the what did I do then vs now:

Then (2004): Senior Fed manager with 100 employees and 300 contractors, $120M/yr budget, lots of interesting projects, good work friends BUT buckets of BS, buckets of stress, inability to sleep at night.

Now: traveling, reading, biking, volunteering, relaxing. No stress, very little BS.
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