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Do you enjoy your own company?
Old 11-19-2011, 10:21 AM   #1
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Do you enjoy your own company?

As a person who enjoys her own company I am wondering if early retirees, in general, enjoy their own company more so than people who continue to work.
I've been retired for almost twenty yrs (before age 40) and never felt any strong urge to w*rk even for one more day as long as I haven't needed to financially. But, recently, I've had friends retire and within a month or so they are either w*rking one, two, or even three part-time jobs or looking for something to do. Others are still w*rking 'cause they just don't know what they would do with themselves. I'm asked the usual questions, "What do you do all day", "Don't you want to do something", etc. At times I've felt that the tone of the question is somewhat sarcastic so my standard (and very short) answer is "I like my own company". Period.
Maybe others are just more people oriented than I am or maybe they just don't know what to do without structure in their lives. Anyway, I'm just curious what your own observations have been.
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Old 11-19-2011, 11:52 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by kz
As a person who enjoys her own company I am wondering if early retirees, in general, enjoy their own company more so than people who continue to work.
I've been retired for almost twenty yrs (before age 40) and never felt any strong urge to w*rk even for one more day as long as I haven't needed to financially. But, recently, I've had friends retire and within a month or so they are either w*rking one, two, or even three part-time jobs or looking for something to do. Others are still w*rking 'cause they just don't know what they would do with themselves. I'm asked the usual questions, "What do you do all day", "Don't you want to do something", etc. At times I've felt that the tone of the question is somewhat sarcastic so my standard (and very short) answer is "I like my own company". Period.
Maybe others are just more people oriented than I am or maybe they just don't know what to do without structure in their lives. Anyway, I'm just curious what your own observations have been.
Seems the older I get, the more I enjoy my own company. For example, I usually golf once a week with someone, but this week I decided I just wanted to play a round by myself. Ran into a friend that morning before I went and he asked what I was doing today. Thinking it was general conversation I said golf, then he responds great, Ill be over in an hour. So much for the solo round. I say about 50% of the time, I dont answer the phone because I dont want to talk, even though Im probably doing nothing. I call the next day and just say I didnt hear the phone ring. I dont pull that stunt on my girlfriend as she has seen me do this. She would really let me have it if I got caught doing it to her
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Old 11-19-2011, 12:24 PM   #3
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I am fine reading alone, exercising alone or walking around alone, or even watching a game alone. But it stops there. I hate to eat in a restaurant alone, or go to a bar alone, unless I am pretty sure I can strike up some conversations there. I will go to dances alone because it is easy to make connections, however shallow, in this environment.

I know myself well enough already, I like to get to know other people when I have some spare time. Not long ago I was thinking about how little of my life until my separation and divorce was spent alone. Big family in my original home, always roommates in university and while I was single working, then a long marriage and family life.

I don't want to live with a woman in America now; for me that life is over. So alone I will stay, but I need to have people to do things with and to talk to. Last night I was at my GFs. We were having a drink while she fixed dinner. She started grinning and I asked her what was going on. She said, "I just really enjoy talking with you". This made me feel good, because I really enjoy talking with her and I have worked pretty hard to make myself a better partner-dance partner, conversation partner, sounding board, whatever.

When I was twelve I was sitting in my Grandmother's house reading Robert Ruark's book, Something of Value. What stuck in my mind was an observation about the British trying to deal with Mau-Mau uprisings in Kenya. He said, if you want something from a people, (or an individual) you must give them in return something that has value in their eyes. Almost 60 years later I remember that statement, and I cringe when I realize how often I have failed to come through with this, and I renew my committment to doing it better as time goes on.


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Old 11-19-2011, 02:54 PM   #4
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I love my own company and doing my own thing. I don't understand how people want to be around gaggles of people all day and then in the evening as well.
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Old 11-19-2011, 02:59 PM   #5
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I do enjoy myself as I get older. Wasn't it Oscar Wilde who said "Self love is the beginning of a life-long affair."
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Old 11-19-2011, 03:03 PM   #6
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Married 4 dogs 3 cats 1000 sqft home. As you can tell I am never alone, walks always include a dog or two. Reading a cat or two on my lap. Nap a dog, gardening everyone including my tortoise. I now have an older friend that I go arrowhead hunting with, his wife won't let out in the mountains alone. Mountain biking, I usually do alone the dogs can't keep up with me. I do bird watch usually on my own, I have a rocking chair under the Oak on my avatar. Travel I love sharing with my wife hiking, shared also, road trips. Even if my wife and I are 24/7 in a small house, because we live in a 2 season climate we tend to spent a lot of time outdoors. And to answer your question, I mediate, sing to myself, and enjoy my time with myself.
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Old 11-19-2011, 03:10 PM   #7
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I like spending time alone, and the nice thing about being retired is that I have the opportunity to do as much of that as desired. I also like spending time with Frank, and we have worked out a nice balance of being together vs alone. So far I have never run out of things to do in retirement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kz
But, recently, I've had friends retire and within a month or so they are either w*rking one, two, or even three part-time jobs or looking for something to do. Others are still w*rking 'cause they just don't know what they would do with themselves.
Time to find new friends. Lots of people feel as you do.
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Old 11-19-2011, 03:10 PM   #8
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I've been out of work for almost 4 months now and love it. I'm only 32 and not FI so i'll have to go back to work eventually but i'll be looking for a job that doesn't require being around a lot of people. During these 4 months i've rarely left home except once a week grocery shopping. I do have friends and have forced myself to go out a few times so they know i'm still alive but have no desire to be around them daily or even weekly. As of today, it's been 13 days since i've talked to another person face to face and i've only left my home once in that time. That kind of lifestyle isn't for everyone but I enjoy it. Although if I were FI i'd probably go out more often.
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Old 11-19-2011, 03:27 PM   #9
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My dog loves my company, especially around meal time.
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Old 11-19-2011, 03:45 PM   #10
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Reading a cat or two on my lap.
Reading between the felines?
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Old 11-19-2011, 03:57 PM   #11
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Reading between the felines?
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Old 11-19-2011, 04:15 PM   #12
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I was 52 when my wife died. The sudden shock of being alone for the first time in my life was terrifying. The fact that we had pretty much withdrawn from society except for a few close friends for the two years she was ill made it all the worse. 4 + years later I find living by myself quite easy. I can pick and choose when I want to be with other people and do what I want when I want. I've had what I call one long relationship in that time and got blindsided with the statement "are you ever going to make a commitment?" one evening and that was the end of that. I'd rather have my old life back I'm fine with the way things are now.
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Old 11-19-2011, 04:47 PM   #13
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I enjoy spending time with family and friends, but I definitely need my alone time. It's like I need to recharge my batteries. I enjoy activities with friends, but get the same enjoyment doing them solo too. I don't have a problem eating out by myself or sitting at a bar enjoying a glass of wine or beer - I usually start a conversation with someone. This is somewhat new for me - about the last 5 years. DH teases me and says that I have become a loner. I think I have just become more comfortable with myself.
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Old 11-19-2011, 04:55 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by kz View Post
As a person who enjoys her own company I am wondering if early retirees, in general, enjoy their own company more so than people who continue to work.
Maybe others are just more people oriented than I am or maybe they just don't know what to do without structure in their lives. Anyway, I'm just curious what your own observations have been.
That's pretty much what the "I" in INTJ stands for.

From over a decade ago:
Is There a Retire Early Personality Type?

ER means you gotta be responsible for your own entertainment. But I still haven't learned how to pace myself.
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Old 11-19-2011, 06:16 PM   #15
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I never had much alone time since I was a teenager. I married young then work and kids. My wife was seriously ill and passed away when I was 50 and I had 2 children to raise 10 and 19. I have been working up until 2 months ago when my job ended and I retired. I am first getting to the point were I have an evening or 2 a week free.

The past 10 years were raising my son and helping my mom who recently passed away at age 93. O and let's not forget about work. I have been semi retired for about 5 years and finally retired entirely about 2 months ago.

My GF now is demanding on my time. Tonight is one of the rare evenings that I am alone for a few hours, however, my dog next to me. My son is in HS and still lives with me but will be in college next year. I guess that is when I will have some time alone.
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Old 11-19-2011, 06:18 PM   #16
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That's pretty much what the "I" in INTJ stands for.

From over a decade ago:
Is There a Retire Early Personality Type?

ER means you gotta be responsible for your own entertainment. But I still haven't learned how to pace myself.
I hate these type of questionnaires. This one is particularly irritating because no matter how goofy the questions are and how they don't really relate to each other it always hits dead center on my personality.
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Old 11-19-2011, 06:20 PM   #17
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I'm pretty much both ways.
I totally enjoy the "together time" with DW, but I also need some "alone time" now and then.

Typically, this will be about once a year, but it can occasionally be twice in a year.
When that happens (DW refers to it as my becoming "antsy"), it means I have to get out of town by myself for a while.

I have a number of avenues for that.
Three of my hobbies are beer (making and judging), cheese making, and shooting. There are enough classes of an advanced nature available for all three activities that I can usually find something interesting.

Beyond the class situation, I will sometimes go off by myself for a backpacking/camping trip for a week or two or three. This is one of the greatest things (for me) about early retirement. I can do something like that without worrying about anything.

I'm very lucky in that DW understands and accepts my periodic bouts of "antsiness" but I was doing this long before we met. I used to just look forward to my annual vacation time to "get out of Dodge" and go somewhere with no thought except for relaxing from the stress of w*rk. Of course, this can sometimes be a very positive thing, since it was on one of those trips that I met DW!
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Old 11-19-2011, 06:51 PM   #18
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I am perfectly content to spend large amounts of time by myself . One of my greatest pleasures is going to movies usually chick flicks by myself and having popcorn for lunch . I enjoy my SO's company and my gym pals but I will never be someone who needs constant company .
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Old 11-19-2011, 06:55 PM   #19
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I love my own company and doing my own thing. I don't understand how people want to be around gaggles of people all day and then in the evening as well.
My bad health while employed was mostly a result of having to be around many people all day. And trying to act female normal.

I'm alone most of the time IRL.

Sometimes I'm with people for a short time and it's OK; but after, I'm glad to be home with the cat.
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Old 11-19-2011, 07:19 PM   #20
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Since DH retired I have less time alone and I miss it. He and I get along well and he knows I don't need continual conversation. It's just I like being alone sometimes.

That's one thing I really enjoy about my very part-time j*b as a school crossing guard, I have a block of time ALONE, interspersed with short interactions with kids or parents. I stay in my car and watch for kids approaching the corner, I listen to podcasts or just enjoy the quiet solitude. I get to THINK and make lists and organize ideas. I'm a numbers person so I keep a calculator handy and a pad of paper and pencil.

Some of my most productive thinking is alone in my car at "work".
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