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Any former stress junkies?
Old 08-11-2005, 08:46 PM   #1
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Any former stress junkies?

Here's the short story: 42 yo Air Force retiree married to another AF retiree.* I've been home now for two months.* I was stressed out especially toward the end of my working life...but I think I got some kind of sick reward from working 60-70 hour weeks.* I think it's my "Inner Martyr."* *:P

Someone from work called me tonight just to chat, and got me all spun up about stuff again.* Gah!!!* I have not detached at all!! Its been an interesting transition working my ass off and now doing whatever I want.* My former work friend cannot relate to me at all now.* Or vice versa.*

I just wanted to throw this out there and ask you how long til you felt like yourself again? I have no idea if I'll never work again--I have volunteer stuff I like to do that would take all of my time if I let it.* *

REWahoo seems to have this transition-thing down!!
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Re: Any former stress junkies?
Old 08-11-2005, 08:52 PM   #2
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Re: Any former stress junkies?

Um, nevermind. I just needed another glass o'wine. :
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Re: Any former stress junkies?
Old 08-11-2005, 09:04 PM   #3
 
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Re: Any former stress junkies?

Yeah, I know what you mean. It took me about 8 months to feel totally comfortable doing nothing

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Re: Any former stress junkies?
Old 08-11-2005, 09:22 PM   #4
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Re: Any former stress junkies?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leslie
Here's the short story: 42 yo Air Force retiree married to another AF retiree. I've been home now for two months. I was stressed out especially toward the end of my working life...but I think I got some kind of sick reward from working 60-70 hour weeks. I think it's my "Inner Martyr." :P

Someone from work called me tonight just to chat, and got me all spun up about stuff again. Gah!!! I have not detached at all!! Its been an interesting transition working my ass off and now doing whatever I want. My former work friend cannot relate to me at all now. Or vice versa.

I just wanted to throw this out there and ask you how long til you felt like yourself again? I have no idea if I'll never work again--I have volunteer stuff I like to do that would take all of my time if I let it.

REWahoo seems to have this transition-thing down!!
Leslie, take a sip of wine and take a deep breath. Exhale slowly. Repeat after me: "It isn't my problem any more, I have a new, wonderful life where I...me...moi...yours truly is in charge, not those people where I used to w*ork (pardon me for using a four-letter word). Repeat.

Do that a few times and I promise that you will feel better, at least until you wake up in the morning.

And as far as how long it takes to transition, each situation is different. I seem to be having a wonderful time in my journey, but apparently I am genetically predisposed to the do nothing lifestyle. Your mileage may vary.

Hang in there (and consider changing your phone number to one that is unlisted).

REW
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Re: Any former stress junkies?
Old 08-11-2005, 09:24 PM   #5
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Re: Any former stress junkies?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leslie
Um, nevermind.* I just needed another glass o'wine.* *:
Well, that didn't take long...

You'll start to notice the anniversaries-- three months retired, six months, a year. *

For you, though, the transition will be complete when you get your last DFAS W-2 (only five months away!) and not until you can read Air Force Times with a smile on your face. *The best thing about retirement has been watching the military pendulum swing back & forth... or maybe it's just twisting slowly in the wind.

Workplace acquaintances like that may not make the transition into friends. *Only one or two did for me, and most of our social circle these days comes from people we've known for decades instead of from the last duty station.
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Re: Any former stress junkies?
Old 08-12-2005, 12:26 AM   #6
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Re: Any former stress junkies?

I can recall being kind of pumped when I was doing about 10 things at once. I was young then. Now, doing nothing is once again (like childhood) doing something. The actual ER transition took about
10 minutes. In my case there was no doubt and no second guessing.

JG
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Re: Any former stress junkies?
Old 08-12-2005, 08:43 AM   #7
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Re: Any former stress junkies?

I was never in the military or anything like that, but in 1992, when I was still in college, I worked two jobs. When I graduated, one became a full-time job, as an aerospace contractor, while the other, a job at a department store, gave way to a part time job delivering pizzas when I needed more money (bad marriage, divorce, plenty of debt). I probably hit my peak in hours back in 1996, when sometimes I'd crack 80 hours in a week. I'd work my day job, which was 7:30-4 or 8:00-4:30 (sometimes varied) and then work Monday 5-11+, Tuesday 5-11+, Thursday 5-11+, Friday 5pm-1am+, and Saturday 5pm-1am+.

I'd be so wiped out that on Wednesday when I got home from the full-time job, I'd usually crash right then and there. I'd usually sleep on Saturday until it was time to go into work. And on Sunday, if I woke up before noon, it was a miracle.

Over time, I gradually dropped down in hours. I switched from Little Caesar's to Papa Johns, and then the money really started pouring in. I finally started contributing a bit to a 401k at work. Then I started investing in mutual funds again. I had sold a lot off and stopped regular investing when I was married, and after we split concentrated mainly on paying down the credit card bills. Finally, the credit card bills were paid in full, so I ramped up investing.

Finally, I was down to just Thursday/Friday/Satuday at the part time job, but I closed every night, so between that and my full-time job I was still usually pulling down 65+ hours per week.

And then, one day, I got fed up with it. It was in November 2000. I was at an all-time high when it came to savings/investments. The stock market had gotten sluggish over the past few months, but I thought it would soon take off again (silly me). I was getting fed up working with these 16-18 year old kids that were more interested in their booty calls and goofing off than doing their job, and the district manager was being a real jerk. So I figured that I didn't need the extra job any more. Finally got fed up one Saturday night, when we were already short-staffed, and quit on the spot! They had to close down the store because of that, something that I'm still kinda proud of!

I kept thinking about all this freedom that I was going to suddenly have...weekends off completely, a good 25 hours or more of free time every week, and so on. I thought I had made the big time at last! But then, something happened. I couldn't believe this, but I got BORED!! I actually MISSED delivering pizzas! After about 2 months I went back, but on a reduced schedule. I think I was still doing 3 nights a week, but I wasn't closing any more. However, it just wasn't the same. I wasn't making as much money since I wasn't closing, but it still felt like I was wasting my evenings. I lasted all of 3 months, and then quit again. I think I would've stayed on longer, but management was getting really bad by then, and when you really don't have to deal with people like that, it's easy to just walk out again.

After quitting the second time, which was April of 2001, I actually made it through the summer, but then started getting a bit bored again. Once summer was over, I thought about going back again, to make some extra money. The first time I had quit, back in November of '00, I was actually cutting it a bit close financially, especially once the stock market started to tank. But then I got a raise in January of '01, and then another one in July, so I was pretty much set. But I figured it would be good to pick up some more spending/investment money.

Well, this time I went back on September 10. We all know what happened on September 11. That tragic event scarred our country forever, and had far-reaching consequences. While some areas, like car sales stayed strong with 0% financing and such, other areas, such as air travel, tourism, and even pizza delivery took a nosedive. Plus, by this time, we had yet ANOTHER manager in the store. They put someone from corporate in there to run the store, and also to figure out why this store went through managers like some people go through underwear. Well, he was worse than any of the others. By this time the job really was more of a hassle than it was worth. Plus, there was too much water under the bridge, and while I thought I was bored, I was realizing that going back to this was NOT going to make me happy. So by Columbus day of that year, I was gone again.

I guess my problem was that I just tried to wind down too quickly. My full-time job is actually pretty boring. About the only stress I get is eye strain from looking at the screen for too long, or getting achy from sitting too long, or getting irritated from hearing my co-worker gripe (one of the few things she's good at). But in delivering pizzas, I was always active, running around, and just fast-paced in general. Plus, it was pretty sociable. I had regular customers that were always happy to see me, and often even requested me. And I was friends with most of the co-workers, and a couple of off-duty cops that would hang out at the 7-eleven a few doors down from us.

Maybe I just needed longer to "De-Tox" from it? One thing I do know, though, is that now enough time has gone by that I don't think I could EVER go back to doing it! I guess it was a good life lesson though, and maybe an indication that when the time comes that I'm truly financially independent, that I shouldn't just quit from this job, cold-turkey?
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Re: Any former stress junkies?
Old 08-12-2005, 08:45 AM   #8
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Re: Any former stress junkies?

I had and epiphany the other day about just this subject.

I was stuck in traffic on my way home after a very stressful 12 hour work day when I happened to look to my left and spotted a school playground. *In the playground were several children all playing on the various playground equipment there. *As I watched them, it struck me that soon I will be as free as they are to play on whatever piece of equipment I choose. *I can pretend I am anything I want to be; Pirate, soldier, space man, explorer. *It took my back to my own childhood and the feelings of freedom I felt then. *I believe I will feel much the same way once I break the shackles of full time work.

My inner child has been waiting a long time for this.
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Re: Any former stress junkies?
Old 08-12-2005, 10:00 AM   #9
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Re: Any former stress junkies?

Well said steve.
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Re: Any former stress junkies?
Old 08-12-2005, 10:13 AM   #10
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Re: Any former stress junkies?

Your idea about creating a persona that fulfills childhood pretending to be what ever you want is a very real possibility. When I lived south of Annapolis on the Chesapeak Bay my plan was to buy a flat bottom crab/oyster boat and become Ol' Cap the salty man of the sea.

However, I moved to Texas and my retirement persona is the Ol' Rancher. Having a blast watching longhorns, buffalo, llamas, emus and such walk by the porch as I have an afternoon snort from a crock jug of Old Grandad wearing ranch duds, and looking over my '50 GMC ranch truck.

Yeee Haw

No stress here ... just guns, ammo, whiskey, knives, and room to hoot and hollar!
It don't get no better.
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Re: Any former stress junkies?
Old 08-12-2005, 11:37 AM   #11
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Re: Any former stress junkies?

Thanks for all of your insights...it's an interesting time of life, for sure. I like mikew's quote from the "Share your thoughts on FIRE" thread:
"Free your mind and your ass will follow." Hee!
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Re: Any former stress junkies?
Old 08-12-2005, 12:17 PM   #12
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Re: Any former stress junkies?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ol_Rancher
Your idea about creating a persona that fulfills childhood pretending to be what ever you want is a very real possibility. When I lived south of Annapolis on the Chesapeak Bay my plan was to buy a flat bottom crab/oyster boat and become* Ol' Cap the salty man of the sea.

However, I moved to Texas and my retirement persona is the Ol' Rancher. Having a blast watching longhorns, buffalo, llamas, emus and such walk by the porch as I have an afternoon snort from a crock jug of Old Grandad wearing ranch duds, and looking over my '50 GMC ranch truck.

Yeee Haw

No stress here ... just guns, ammo, whiskey, knives, and room to hoot and hollar!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * It don't get no better.
You are now my co-hero on this forum, along with unclemick

JG
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Re: Any former stress junkies?
Old 08-13-2005, 01:19 PM   #13
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Re: Any former stress junkies?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ol_Rancher
Your idea about creating a persona that fulfills childhood pretending to be what ever you want is a very real possibility. When I lived south of Annapolis on the Chesapeak Bay my plan was to buy a flat bottom crab/oyster boat and become Ol' Cap the salty man of the sea.

However, I moved to Texas and my retirement persona is the Ol' Rancher. Having a blast watching longhorns, buffalo, llamas, emus and such walk by the porch as I have an afternoon snort from a crock jug of Old Grandad wearing ranch duds, and looking over my '50 GMC ranch truck.

Yeee Haw

No stress here ... just guns, ammo, whiskey, knives, and room to hoot and hollar!
It don't get no better.
Darn, Ol Rancher, JG is right. It sounds like you have a great gig. However, I've re-read your list, you know, Longhorns, llmas, Old Grandad, and I don't see no bikinis. I guess you could drive to San Antonio, though, some would be there! But, would that '50 GMC truck make it to San Antonio?

Anyway, I want your kind of stress. An Old Ranch beats a cubicle farm every time. Hey, the Cowboys are playing tonite. It's only pre-season, but they're better'n the Rangers.

BTW: I tried to link on your web site, and couldn't get there. Do you still maintain it?
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