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The problem of happines and contentment
Old 03-24-2007, 09:55 PM   #1
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The problem of happines and contentment

I got away to the woods this weekend to check out my RV and do a little mountain bike ridding. I RE'd about June of last year and I took the RV out west for 3 months and then bought a house for a home base. I'm deciding what to do next - stay at home a bit now to get into better shape - add mussle and loose some fat or go on a trip now and work out later - that isn't really germane to the question I have.

I have been very happy while traveling and while at home. However, I have been at home for about 4 months now and it occurred to me that it could be so easy to stay in this zone for quite some time and watch life go by just as if I was tied to a desk. I guess I don't want to look back in one year and think "I didn't do too much with the blessings I have."

I tend to act in cycles - do a lot and then sit back for awhile so my actions since RE are not unusual for me. What may be unusual compared to others is that I feel most engaged with the more I do.

So here is the question (and let's try to stay on topic - see my new signature):
How do you keep the exploratory and developmental juices flowing while in in the "happiness/contentment zone" where you might want to luxuriate for too long of a time?

One of my ideas is from "How to Retire, Happy, Wild and Free" - write a list of what you want to do and do it (I think it is from that book).
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Re: The problem of happines and contentment
Old 03-24-2007, 10:22 PM   #2
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Re: The problem of happines and contentment

Quote:
Originally Posted by dex
One of my ideas is from "How to Retire, Happy, Wild and Free" - write a list of what you want to do and do it (I think it is from that book).
Ernie Zelinski's "Get A Life" brainstorming tree.

I've had it sitting on my desk for at least three years now-- too busy to get around to doing anything with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dex
So here is the question (and let's try to stay on topic - see my new signature):
How do you keep the exploratory and developmental juices flowing while in in the "happiness/contentment zone" where you might want to luxuriate for too long of a time?
Is it possible, dex, that you're assigning quotas to yourself and making this whole ER thing look just a little bit too much like work? Pull back before you schedule a department status meeting, OK?

We all go in spurts, do things, achieve goals, and sit on our laurels for a while. Inevitably you'll get restless about what's around that next curve or an upcoming bicycle race or some other project, and you'll just get up out of your recliner and do it. Or, sad to say, the dragon will pay a call and you'll wish that you could be luxuriating in your happy place again.

Regardless, I don't think the exploratory & developmental juices have to be planned or scheduled any more than quotas have to be executed or penalized for lateness.

But don't let me talk you out of it. If you're looking for exploratory developments you could come over here and help with yardwork, home improvement, surfing, parenting... want a list?

Hmmm... this reminds me of an old thread-- oh, here it is:
http://early-retirement.org/forums/i...sg3386#msg3386
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Re: The problem of happines and contentment
Old 03-24-2007, 10:47 PM   #3
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Re: The problem of happines and contentment

Juices all gone got a wife that does all the thinkin
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Re: The problem of happines and contentment
Old 03-24-2007, 11:53 PM   #4
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Re: The problem of happines and contentment

Quote:
...Is it possible, dex, that you're assigning quotas to yourself and making this whole ER thing look just a little bit too much like work? Pull back before you schedule a department status meeting, OK?...
Once a type A, always a Type A?
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Re: The problem of happines and contentment
Old 03-25-2007, 12:26 AM   #5
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Re: The problem of happines and contentment

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Originally Posted by dex
So here is the question (and let's try to stay on topic - see my new signature):
Maybe you should add to your sig:

5) Endeavor to be less controlling.
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Re: The problem of happines and contentment
Old 03-25-2007, 12:37 AM   #6
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Re: The problem of happines and contentment

Live every moment as if it's your last?

Make meditation a regular practice to help you listen to your inner desires more clearly?

In all seriousness, it really doesn't matter WHAT you do, but rather, how you go about doing it.
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Re: The problem of happines and contentment
Old 03-25-2007, 12:51 AM   #7
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Re: The problem of happines and contentment

I retired last October at 48. I have finished a number of small projects
around the house, taken 2 6 day vacations and several day-trips. I
have competely reorganized everything I have (at a relaxed pace).

I feel much better than I ever felt at work, and no guilt about laying
around all day if I feel like it. I am looking forward to doing more, but
have no schedule or regrets about doing it as I feel like it.

Yet, several of my friends have wondered why I am not rushing about
to get MORE DONE, why I am wasting SO MUCH TIME when I could be
enjoying myself at a much more frenetic pace (yes, they are type A
personalities). I know there will be times when I am more actively
pursuing fun. but I do not think it is possible to "luxuriate for too long
of a time". Anyone skilled and motivated enough to retire early is
probably not going to sit around and waste away. Enjoy the placid
times without worry - the active times will take care of themselves.
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Re: The problem of happines and contentment
Old 03-25-2007, 08:30 AM   #8
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Re: The problem of happines and contentment

Perhaps, Dex, your questioning your situation is just a subtle nudge from your subconscious. I noticed that none of your activities involve other people.

I'm about a ten months out so this is all theory for me yet... but Zelinski's books have convinced me that the critical factor is networking with other people - not coming up with more and more tasks to pursue alone.

My own plan for doing this is to simply undertake activities that provide contact oportunities with others.

An example is auditing college courses. Those of a recreational type (kayaking, hiking, orienteering, fencing, biking) probably all have related clubs in the background. And who knows who I might hook up with in history and language courses.

Then too, I like reenacting, particularly early colonial, martial arts, shooting and motorcyling. Each one of these offer exposure to more people.

Another activity I'm really enthused about is Elderhostle. Again, more personal contacts.

At the bottom line, though, the critical aspect for me is just pushing myself out there.

And I think my personal "test" of success will be that I find myself turning down things I'd like to do... because I have too many other things I like to do more; pretty much "Soooo much to do... so little time." If I find myself sitting alone and wondering if I'm letting my time leak away, that will probably indicate that it's happening.


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Re: The problem of happines and contentment
Old 03-25-2007, 09:58 AM   #9
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Re: The problem of happines and contentment

We do stuff with other people but most of our activities involve the two of us. During the first year we both felt guilty for enjoying our mornings so much. It has even spilled over to travelling. We seldom get out of the room before 11. Hey we have 30 years. No need to overschedule leisure. We just spend more time in a place to see everything or we come back again to see the rest. It's great.

Like the saying I think Nords quoted:
"When I got up I had nothing to do and by bedtime I had only done half of it!"
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Re: The problem of happines and contentment
Old 03-25-2007, 12:08 PM   #10
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Re: The problem of happines and contentment

There's a problem with happiness and contentment??
Or does Dex need to be stressed to be happy and contented?
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Re: The problem of happines and contentment
Old 03-26-2007, 12:41 PM   #11
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Re: The problem of happines and contentment

Quote:
Originally Posted by dex
How do you keep the exploratory and developmental juices flowing while in in the "happiness/contentment zone" where you might want to luxuriate for too long of a time?
Dex....

RE'd at the same time as you. No RV here (yet) but we started taking 1 - 2 week vacations right away, the first only days after my last day at work. Including the trip that begins shortly, it's been a total of six in the first nine months. And we have four more scheduled between now and August. Being home for only a few weeks between trips, it seems like we're either gone or planning to be gone!

No complaints here. It's been a lot of fun and very satisfying after years of limited leisure/travel time. But, like you, we are wondering if it wouldn't be OK to stay home for a while in the "happiness/contentment zone." And we have the same questions as you........would we later feel the time was wasted since we just "stayed home?"

I admit, I'm still finding it tough to just spend time at home reading, tinkering with hobbies, enjoying local entertainment, etc., without experiencing some guilt that we should be "doing something."







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Re: The problem of happines and contentment
Old 03-26-2007, 01:23 PM   #12
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Re: The problem of happines and contentment

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Originally Posted by youbet
Dex....

...

I admit, I'm still finding it tough to just spend time at home reading, tinkering with hobbies, enjoying local entertainment, etc., without experiencing some guilt that we should be "doing something."




It took a couple of months for that feeling to go away.

Two years and three months retired, I still enjoy puttering.
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Re: The problem of happines and contentment
Old 03-26-2007, 01:56 PM   #13
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Re: The problem of happines and contentment

I have just the opposit problem, I don't want to go anywhere. I'm away from home all day long and enjoy evenings and weekends just "home". I figure it will take me a couple of years once I retire to want to leave that bliss. Dh on the other hand would travel as much as he could, hopefully we'll find some kind of happy middle ground.
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Re: The problem of happines and contentment
Old 03-26-2007, 08:35 PM   #14
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Re: The problem of happines and contentment

I'm going to get up early tomorrow - read these replies, go for a bike ride and then post my thoughts.
thanks
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Re: The problem of happines and contentment
Old 03-26-2007, 10:33 PM   #15
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Re: The problem of happines and contentment

Quote:
Originally Posted by dex
How do you keep the exploratory and developmental juices flowing while in in the "happiness/contentment zone" where you might want to luxuriate for too long of a time?
I'm having difficulty with the concept of spending too much time in the "happiness/contentment zone". I thought that was where we were striving to be.

cheers,
Michael
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Re: The problem of happines and contentment
Old 03-26-2007, 10:34 PM   #16
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Re: The problem of happines and contentment

Quote:
Originally Posted by dex
I got away to the woods this weekend to check out my RV and do a little mountain bike ridding. I RE'd about June of last year and I took the RV out west for 3 months and then bought a house for a home base. I'm deciding what to do next - stay at home a bit now to get into better shape - add mussle and loose some fat or go on a trip now and work out later - that isn't really germane to the question I have.

How do you keep the exploratory and developmental juices flowing while in in the "happiness/contentment zone" where you might want to luxuriate for too long of a time?
if your happiness/contentment zone includes the likes of rving to some great places where you can ride your mountain bike to lose some fat and build some muscle, then i don't see why you'd have to decide on a trip now or working out later. seems to me like they can be one in the same.
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