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Big Plans for ER and then ...?
Old 03-04-2005, 09:48 AM   #1
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Big Plans for ER and then ...?

Sparky:
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I had big plans when DH and I RE'd a little over a year ago. *I thought I would take yoga classes, learn a foreign language, take a sculpting class, maybe do some writing, volunteer...
*
I don't have time for any of that.
Interesting. Is this true of other ERs too? Why didn't you carry out your plans? Were they unrealistic? Found other things you wanted to do more? Some other reason? For those of us planning but not ER yet what would you suggest about making "to do" plans for ER?

Thanks.
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?
Old 03-04-2005, 09:54 AM   #2
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?

I made up a "list of things to do on my summer vacation" to do on my 3 month sabbatical. Never got to about 75% of them. Added to the list while sitting in meetings with my last day of work rapidly approaching. Hardly did any of those things either.

Granted some of them were "explore buying a second home in lake tahoe" and "buy a motorcycle"...

But yeah, I have no idea where the day goes. Well, maybe if I got up before 10 or 11 in the morning I'd have a little more of it...
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?
Old 03-04-2005, 09:57 AM   #3
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?

I planned to study a foreign language in a foreign country {sounded like a great 4 week program} and then study the European financial markets / middle English literature in Reading, England.

Got side tracked into travels, remodeling home {what was that about women being unable to use power tools?}, and community service projects {serve on 2 boards}. Oh, then there's the daily walks / Starbucks / biking -- even though I have 2 in pieces in the garage -- gotta find time to get back to them *.... think I ran out of time.

Oh, I was going to start a business... that'll never happen
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?
Old 03-04-2005, 10:11 AM   #4
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?

We spent 6 months just decompressing from decades of slavery, oops, I mean, uh, work - sleeping a lot.

I think the big plans were all a part of being a full time worker. When I was working, vacations were a big deal, filled of lots of things to do. I particularly liked vacations that were far away and relaxing (beach) and had historic things to see, as well (like ruins).

Our weekends were super busy. I held a full time job, a part time job and took care of my grandmother's cousin once a week on the weekend.

So, naturally, I assumed that, in RE, I would have a million things I wanted to do.

But this extreme "busyness" gradually worked itself out of me. I did not think I would find contentment in very simple things. I even find myself reluctant to go out on weekends, because people are driving like lunatics and every place is so crowded.

I love Mondays now and am not so crazy about Fridays, because the weekend is coming and all the working people are going out of their minds trying to relax.

DH and I often talk about how amazing it is that we did all the things we did in a week when we were working.

But, to be fair, we are only a little over one year into our RE ... so, maybe we are still decompressing.

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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?
Old 03-04-2005, 10:41 AM   #5
 
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?

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...
But this extreme "busyness" gradually worked itself out of me. I did not think I would find contentment in very simple things. ...
Ditto. I used to gulp down coffee and something for breakfast in 5 minutes, then rush out the door for the drive to work.

In retirement, I nurse a cup of coffee and a bowl of cereal for well over an hour while surfing the web and reading email -- and love every minute.

I walk or ride a bicycle twice daily. My wife and I spend a couple of hours relaxing in bookstores, libraries, or coffee shops each week.

These simple activities feel great now, but I would have considered them as time wasters before I retired.
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?
Old 03-04-2005, 11:02 AM   #6
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?

ER's last May with my own "To Do" list.
Accomplished much of it: building shelves in the garage, painting all the rooms in the house that we never painted, hung a cabinet in the bathroom.
Fret over whether or not to buy a used BMW Z3, and then finally did it last November. Crappy weather has prevented me from using it much since then, but summer's coming soon.
Do a lot of walking on the local nature trail - even in winter.
Still go to lunch once a week with the wife (she's still working) and friends from work also.
Got a part time job with the Pittsburgh Pirates - something that I've wanted to do for a long time - April 4 is opening day - looking forward to it !
Sip coffee in the morning while reading the paper, surf the net. Plan summer trips and golf trips. Cook dinner for the wife every day - go out to dinner twice a week.
Going well so far !
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?
Old 03-04-2005, 02:44 PM   #7
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?

I can't say I had any "big" plans for retirement, I thought I woud just see what each day brought. Worked pretty well.
Now that hubby is retiring, though, we do have "big" plans so we'll just have to see what transpires.
Travel seems to top the list since we're both very healthy and quite young. (50 & 53) Next would be downsizing from the "too big for us now" house to a much smaller one on 10 acres. And somewhere along the line we might decide to buy a "summer car" just for fun.
But, then again, we're such homebodies that if we don't carry out some of our plans I don't think it will affect us much. We're really into long walks on the local trail, cutting our own firewood in a friend's 60 acres, hiking in the nearby state parks, hours spent at a bookstore with a hot cup of coffee, watching a good DVD at home, etc.
And I have to agree that I don't like weekends when everyone else is off from work. I really enjoy the slower pace of weekdays.
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?
Old 03-04-2005, 03:56 PM   #8
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?

I'd certainly say to make the list even if you don't ever get to the items on it.

For me, the list was a help to keep me from worrying about having too much time on my hands, and to think through what was important to me.
Before I stopped working, someone I knew spent some time unemployed, and played lots of video games and got depressed. When he got work again and I told him of my plans, he was very discouraging and had me a little concerned. (He's a little older and in some ways wiser.)

My list was intentionally too long, but I've spent time on even fewer things than I expected.
Partly the "wholesome/valuable" things take more time and energy than expected, and partly the "lazy/worthless" things are more tempting or fulfilling than expected. For example, I've found sitting at home alone watching DVDs for hours per week much nicer than it sounds.
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?
Old 03-04-2005, 04:56 PM   #9
 
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?

I am doing exactly what I planned to do. As some
activities were dropped, I just expanded the time
spent on those which were left. I never made a list as
I knew exactly how I wamted to spend my time.
It has worked out fine (just less "hobbies") and
the days are still quite full as I knew they would be.

JG
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ER time dilation
Old 03-04-2005, 07:01 PM   #10
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ER time dilation

I made a list when I retired, but the time categories had to be expanded from "weeks" to "months". Some of them may be shifted to "years". It's not that we don't have the time-- it's just that things take longer than we thought.

First, we're still parents. The specific tasks may change but the time demands are always rising. Currently we're working through "I want you to be available 24/7 but not when you might embarrass me in front of my friends. Stay close by with your wallet & car, but stay silent & invisible." No doubt things will improve when the kid starts driving & dating.

Second, some things take longer than you thought. "Learn to surf" isn't just one lesson; that's just "learn to stand up on the board". Then there's "turn", "hard turns", "hang ten", "look at THAT bikini!" and "I wonder if I should enter a surf contest to learn more about it". Before you know it you're surfing three times a week and quite happy with life. In fact, if you had just one more longboard then you'd be even happier.

Third, you'll start a fairly simple project like "yard work". Your brain stays busy while you're laboring and the thought process goes something like this: "Well, I don't mind cutting this hedge, but if I had a compost pile then I wouldn't have to haul this stuff uphill to the curb. And if we planted some trees here then I wouldn't have to cut the grass anymore. And wouldn't it be nice to plant some tomatoes?"

Fourth, you have time to peruse the classified ads (and Amazon.com, and eBay, ad nauseum) for real bargains. Veteran spouses know that this causes honey-do lists to expand like the govt budget deficit.

Fifth, you pick up a few surprises along the way. Tae kwon do wasn't on any of my lists, but when my kid started it I knew that I couldn't just sit around & watch. Unlike in my youth, I never thought that spending Friday nights kicking butt could turn out to be such a good parent-kid activity.

Finally, some things just aren't so important anymore. When I was bicycling 100 miles/week for work, I thought it'd be great to regularly ride a 23-mile canefield loop with custom cranks for fun & conditioning. Now I never make the time for it because I'd rather be surfing or lifting weights or doing any of the other stuff on "The List".

Then there's the Terhorst's opinion on the subject-- bodywork.
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?
Old 03-04-2005, 09:14 PM   #11
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?

Quote:
. . . Why didn't you carry out your plans? *Were they unrealistic? *Found other things you wanted to do more? *Some other reason? *. . .
I quickly learned to value living my life at a slower pace. My list of things to do was based on living at the same pace I lived at before retirement.
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?
Old 03-05-2005, 02:32 AM   #12
 
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?

SG, that is interesting .................."learning to live at a slower pace".
I certainly am, but I am not quite sure if I learned it
or age has just taken its toll. Reminds me of a story.
Once when I was consulting back in the late 80s, I worked for a small aerospace manufacturer. They had 5
incoming phone lines. One time, I had all 5 lines tied up by myself on 5 different calls. That was a metapor for
my working life. I may have invented multitasking
Anyway, my backsliding into obsessive activity is
pretty much avoided now, but the Type A genes are always lurking just below the surface. Not sure I
will ever completely escape.

JG
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?
Old 03-05-2005, 05:42 AM   #13
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?

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I quickly learned to value living my life at a slower pace. My list of things to do was based on living at the same pace I lived at before retirement.

I hope I will learn that lesson. Even though I am retired I still find myself getting anxious when stuck behind a slow moving driver. Then I have to remind myself that I don't have any deadlines to meet anymore and I can just relax and enjoy the ride. Although I am living at a slower pace I need to develop a more relaxed attitude about a lot of things. I guess it will take time to change the habits of a working lifetime.

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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?
Old 03-05-2005, 05:47 AM   #14
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?

My list is WAY too long (would need 2 life times when at FIRE pace ). I did is a a double check against being bored (yeah; it is a syndrome coming from reading too many early retirement books and articles) but know well that I will NEVER be bored. Am very good at being lazy - an eve with DVDs or PC (or BOTH!) is entertaining in my book too!
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?
Old 03-05-2005, 06:45 AM   #15
 
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?

Here is a quote from Gus MacRae (the Robert Duvall
character from the movie 'Lonesome Dove' )

"If you want any one thing too much, life is apt to be a
disappointment. The only way to live as I see it is to
learn to enjoy all the little everyday things..........a glass
of good whiskey of an evening or
a soft featherbed.............."

Good advice.

JG
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?
Old 03-05-2005, 10:06 AM   #16
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?

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Even though I am retired I still find myself getting anxious when stuck behind a slow moving driver. *Then I have to remind myself that I don't have any deadlines to meet anymore and I can just relax and enjoy the ride.
I think it takes far more concentration & brainpower to avoid running over a slow driver than it does to follow the herd. That's why I'm agitated when I'm following the slow/erratic driver. But in Hawaii I'm getting plenty of practice.

Anyone know where I can get a portable cell phone jammer that runs off 12V DC?
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?
Old 03-05-2005, 10:48 AM   #17
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?

I still have a 45-minute commute to work. The traffic sometimes becomes congested. When I am behind a slow driver, I just focus my attention to other matters. I might think about something pleasant, such as a nice trip that I took recently, since the traffic will not get any better if I become agitated.

Cheers.

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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?
Old 03-05-2005, 11:53 AM   #18
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?

Quote:
I think it takes far more concentration & brainpower to avoid running over a slow driver than it does to follow the herd. That's why I'm agitated when I'm following the slow/erratic driver. But in Hawaii I'm getting plenty of practice.

Anyone know where I can get a portable cell phone jammer that runs off 12V DC?
Insurance statistics show that far more accidents are caused by a slow moving driver than one that is speeding. For exactly this reason...they tend to be overcautious, over brake, stop in the road, or cause people behind them to pass unsafely. At least once a week I see some numbnut stop at the end of a highway entrance ramp when they have their own merging lane ahead of them, and see them get slammed into from behind. Good and safe.

Your cell phone jammer would provide no joy Nords. The brouhaha over cell phones creating accident hazards and distracting drivers, along with making the driver as 'dangerous as a drunk driver' isnt terribly valid. I've looked at the 'studies'. The oft quoted 'drunk driver' study actually demonstrated quite solidly that a driver who is well aware of the fact that they're being evaluated will be somewhat more alert than one that is on a phone or legally intoxicated. And the difference is in fractions of a second response rate...so yes, a cell phone is as distracting to a measured driver as being drunk, and both negligible. They leave out that last part though.

A "prarie dog" perspective offers your best view of the impact. Ten years ago, it was almost unheard of to be talking on the phone while driving. Today, its almost unheard of to drive past someone without seeing a phone stuck to the side of their head. Hence, we should have seen a very steadily rising accident rate almost in time with the increased adoption of cell phones and cell phone usage in cars over the last ten years. Which we dont. There is actually fluctuation to account for improved roads, improved vehicles, increased speed limits, etc...but nothing that would bear out these many "studies" that show such massive distractions.

At the behest of several CA legislators, the CHP did a very in-depth study on cell phones as a cause of an accident. They concluded that very few accidents were in fact caused by people distracted by a cell phone. The legislators, "knowing" this answer was incorrect because it didnt support legislation they wanted to push through, told the CHP to go back and change their parameters from the cell phone causing the accident to a cell phone merely being present. With that metric, that a phone being in someones pocket or in the car at the time of an accident, in fact many more accidents became "cell phone related".

This was an excellent cue on behalf of these legislators, taking a page from the NHTSA's studies on drinking and driving that take liberal use of the term "alcohol related". In one accident, a sober driver ran into the rear end of another sober driver (dont get excited now Ed, it was a car accident), and the guy who was hit had two empty beer bottles in his car. That accident was therefore 'alcohol related'. In another case, a sober driver avoiding a pedestrian ran up over a curb, struck and killed a woman sitting at a table outside a cafe. Since the woman was drinking a glass of white wine at the time, the accident became an "alcohol related fatality".

Now you know why its a good idea to never trust a study, even when the data looks right and inherently "feels correct".

Given that its obvious that the average brainless idiot on a cell phone is driving badly, and given that we've just determined that the cell phone isnt causative to increased accidents, we can only conclude that before they had a cell phone, people were distracted by other stuff that made them bad drivers. In fact, the majority of accidents have been determined to be caused by distractions outside the vehicle. Looking at the hot chick on the sidewalk, reading a billboard, checking out the new building going up, looking at that new model chrysler a couple of lanes over. Right behind that is distractions from inside the car...changing the radio station, yelling at the kids, dumping hot coffee in your lap.

So on one hand we have easily distracted people with a lot of distractions to choose from. If you remove one or a dozen, there'll still be another. And you have bad drivers who pass crappy driving tests and should never be allowed to be on the road. I took "traffic school" last year to avoid a ticket showing up on my insurance. More than half of the people in the 'class' didnt know the safe distance to follow the driver ahead, or in a merge situation who had the right of way.

I think we just detected the primary problem and solution...better schooling, more rejections until you get it right, frequent 'refreshes' of the driving rules, and quicker yanking of the drivers license when you get repeat accidents or violations.
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?
Old 03-05-2005, 12:29 PM   #19
 
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?

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Anyone know where I can get a portable cell phone jammer that runs off 12V DC?
While it may not improve a cell phone user's driving, given TH's great explanation, it will make your dinners and movies more pleasant. Battery operated jammers can be bought in Japan.
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?
Old 03-05-2005, 12:47 PM   #20
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?

Theaters and many restaurants are considering putting in cell jammers.

Its more fun to grab it out of their hands and smash it on the ground though.
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