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Old 05-30-2010, 04:16 PM   #41
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Old 05-30-2010, 04:58 PM   #42
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I have never had a real 9-5 job. Rather, I've always had jobs that were "life encompassing", in that they demanded most of my waking hours and most of my energy (USN submarine officer, nuclear power plant engineer, large private law firm lawyer). They have also been in professions with high barriers to entry, specialized training and an internalized sense of being set apart from the world. In those circumstances, it is very difficult to avoid being "defined" by the job. It took me many years to break free of that mindset and view my work as not something I am but as something I need to do to fund my life. I suppose part of that can be attributed simply to the wisdom that increased age brings. I don't really know, but I do know that I enjoy life more now than when I was younger, and I think a changed attitude toward work is a large part of that. I envy those who learned this lesson earlier in life.
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Old 05-30-2010, 07:47 PM   #43
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I have never had a real 9-5 job. Rather, I've always had jobs that were "life encompassing", in that they demanded most of my waking hours and most of my energy (USN submarine officer, nuclear power plant engineer, large private law firm lawyer). They have also been in professions with high barriers to entry, specialized training and an internalized sense of being set apart from the world. In those circumstances, it is very difficult to avoid being "defined" by the job.

How true! As a physician I totally empathize with this. But this also resonates with me....
Nine Major Obstacles to Practice Success

3. Lost passion. According to Rod Stewart, everybody needs passion, and I agree with him. When your passion for golf or breeding Arabian horses exceeds your passion for your career, then your future will become shaky and unpredictable. You will end up marking time in the office, with little time or energy for staff and patients.
Our newer physician members may find a few articles of interest here:

Doctor's Toolbox | Just for Doctors | Accounting & Wealth Management Services
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Old 05-30-2010, 10:59 PM   #44
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I have many friends whose self image and personal identity seem to be tied up with their profession. Their jobs seem to define them. Even after retiring, they continue to in the same w*rk. In fact the man I replaced on the faculty at my university 30 years ago spent the next 20 years still doing research and publishing (without pay).

So, are we on this forum a different breed? Are we defined by what we do when we are not w*rking? Or were we just not into your w*rk that much? What is our motivation for wanting (or having wanted) to ER?
I don't think you should conflate the terms "job" and "profession". In many ways a profession defines who and what you are. A job simply describes who pays you for a task. Did Arnold Palmer stop playing golf when he retired?
As an Emeritus faculty member I gave up the "job" so I could enjoy the "profession". The sheer unadulterated pleasure of knowing that I did not have to open any mail from the provost was worth anything. (For non academics, mail from the provost essentially involves the administrative side of the university. It is by definition never good). My father was a well known author and safety expert. He completed the 4th edition of his book 4 weeks before he died at the age of 87. He had retired from his last "job" at the age of 59

I start class again on Wednesday. First lecture "What Engineers can learn from the sinking of the Titanic and how it applies to the Gulf oil spill". What's not to like?
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Old 05-30-2010, 11:16 PM   #45
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I start class again on Wednesday. First lecture "What Engineers can learn from the sinking of the Titanic and how it applies to the Gulf oil spill". What's not to like?
Definitely an egosyntonic activity. Would we were all professors.

Ha
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Old 05-30-2010, 11:27 PM   #46
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Right now, yes, my job defines who I am. I have but one really good friend in the world other than my wife, who is my best friend. Problem is, I don't want it to be this way forever. I would really like to do other things, have a few friends, etc. As long as I let/force/allow myself to stay in this career, my job will define who I am. As soon as I step out of these shoes into some more comfortable slippers, that will be a thing of the past.

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Old 05-31-2010, 12:54 AM   #47
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work is where i get my money. nothing else.

all other things i can/do get elsewhere. thrills, prestige, entertainment, education, etc = not tied to job
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Old 06-01-2010, 12:06 PM   #48
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I've certainly enjoyed the last eight years of ER, and if I'd realized in high school how much fun ER is then I would have ER'd as soon as I graduated...
Funny, some of the happiest people, it seems, are those that essentially did that. Those trout/ski/surf bums, writers, painters, etc. that did exactly what they wanted and found a way (or didn't) to make money doing it. They didn't buy into the wife, 2.3 kids, house with a white picket fence and two cars in the garage mentality. They just lived how they wanted, on there terms and on their schedule.

Frankly, that scares the heck out of me. I like to think I am somewhat of a rebel (don't we all?), but living like that is scary. Then again, working for a living for 25, 35, 45 years is too.
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Old 06-01-2010, 12:22 PM   #49
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To spin off Gumby's thoughts, for me the problem was more quantitative than qualitative. I get/got deep satisfaction from my career, but at 50 hours it gets tiring; at 60 hours it gets exhausting and fails to leave time for other life. Throw in regular night and weekend call, and I had to start reminding myself which part I loved. Then throw in paper work taking up more time than actual patient contact, and the balance started to tip. Semi-retired April 1 this year.

On the positive side is a growing family including grandkids who seem to like having us around (which won't last forever) and a few pretty time-consuming hobbies and I felt it was time to jump.

So, for me is was how much I work versus what I actually did. I find myself settling toward a 25% FTE as being good at this stage.
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As if you didn't know..If the above message contains medical content, it's NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient. Don't rely on it for any purpose. Consult your own doctor for all medical advice.
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Old 06-01-2010, 01:03 PM   #50
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I get/got deep satisfaction from my career, but at 50 hours it gets tiring; at 60 hours it gets exhausting and fails to leave time for other life....
So, for me is was how much I work versus what I actually did. I find myself settling toward a 25% FTE as being good at this stage.
DW is a Physician computer expert. Last year all the government physicians were removed from day to day medical computer system development, (a back breaking job) and she was given the long range planning job. At first she was distressed, but with no nights, no weekends, no 60 employees and contractors to supervise, she started smiling and realized just how nice things could be
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Old 06-01-2010, 02:44 PM   #51
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Funny, some of the happiest people, it seems, are those that essentially did that. Those trout/ski/surf bums, writers, painters, etc. that did exactly what they wanted and found a way (or didn't) to make money doing it. They didn't buy into the wife, 2.3 kids, house with a white picket fence and two cars in the garage mentality. They just lived how they wanted, on there terms and on their schedule.

Frankly, that scares the heck out of me. I like to think I am somewhat of a rebel (don't we all?), but living like that is scary. Then again, working for a living for 25, 35, 45 years is too.
I know a guy in his late 70s who has never done much to make money, and never failed to totally indulge his twin passions of mountain biking and fly fishing. He was an on and off house painter, despite having graduated in the 50s from an elite New England college. He was good looking and fun to be around, and he mostly was supported by women. No house husband stuff either, more or less the king of the house, when he was not busy biking or fishing. Each woman would eventually tire of this, but there was always another. I remember when he was about 60 and had started hanging out with a cute 28 year old lawyer he told me he thought he would make 28 his upper age limit for girlfriends. He moved back to California and I eventually lost contact with him. There must be some end point to this type of life, but I don't know.

As might be expected, he was a very happy man.
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Old 06-01-2010, 03:36 PM   #52
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...I remember when he was about 60 and had started hanging out with a cute 28 year old lawyer he told me he thought he would make 28 his upper age limit for girlfrineds. He moved back to California and I eventually lost contact with him. There must be some end point to this type of life, but I don't know.

As might be expected, he was a very happy man.
Groucho Marx specialized in marrying 22 yo women. He wanted them fresh.
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Old 06-01-2010, 07:32 PM   #53
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I know a guy in his late 70s who has never done much to make money, and never failed to totally indulge his twin passions of mountain biking and fly fishing. He was an on and off house painter, despite having graduated in the 50s from an elite New England college. He was good looking and fun to be around, and he mostly was supported by women. No house husband stuff either, more or less the king of the house, when he was not busy biking or fishing. Each woman would eventually tire of this, but there was always another. I remember when he was about 60 and had started hanging out with a cute 28 year old lawyer he told me he thought he would make 28 his upper age limit for girlfriends. He moved back to California and I eventually lost contact with him. There must be some end point to this type of life, but I don't know.

As might be expected, he was a very happy man.
I guess the point is living for the now. Sounds like a true hedonist. Not for everyone, but looks like fun.
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Old 06-01-2010, 07:44 PM   #54
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Groucho Marx specialized in marrying 22 yo women. He wanted them fresh.
Yup. And Liz married men the same age. She wanted them round 40 regardless of her age. See about 2:30 on.

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Old 06-01-2010, 08:20 PM   #55
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I know a guy in his late 70s who has never done much to make money, and never failed to totally indulge his twin passions of mountain biking and fly fishing. He was an on and off house painter, despite having graduated in the 50s from an elite New England college. He was good looking and fun to be around, and he mostly was supported by women....As might be expected, he was a very happy man.
I know an nonemployed lawyer who filled the same job except that he liked kids and seemed to hook up with rich divorcees, professional women and widows with a boat and a couple of kids. There were at least 5 over the time I knew him.
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Old 06-02-2010, 07:32 AM   #56
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Right now, yes, my job defines who I am. I have but one really good friend in the world other than my wife, who is my best friend. Problem is, I don't want it to be this way forever. I would really like to do other things, have a few friends, etc. As long as I let/force/allow myself to stay in this career, my job will define who I am. As soon as I step out of these shoes into some more comfortable slippers, that will be a thing of the past.

R
In one job I had, the overtime was exceeding the legal limit and it had to be fixed. I said to my six direct reports: "The problem is us!" and we set about to set a good example, arriving at 8:30 and leaving by 6 pm at the latest.

Within three months, overtime had dropped by an average of 1.5 hours/day.

After that, I always set a limit to how much time I devoted to the job at hand. And lived a richer life as a result.
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Old 06-02-2010, 08:25 AM   #57
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I used to really love my profession. I remember almost dancing into work most days to open up shop, and I had no problem working 50-60 hours weeks, six days a week. It was really satisfying the first 12 years or so, and the job definitely defined who I was. I was a car dealer, and I was pretty proud of that.

Then something happened after I hit a financial goal I set early on-- I got pretty risk averse and was more worried about losing about what we had saved than how to make more money in the business, so the next 4 years I was just going through the motions and milking the cash cow. The last two years were a nightmare as the business started falling apart due to my lack of attention and lack of desire to invest any profits into the business.

All this babbling makes me wonder, do any of 'yall have any goals in ER? I'm realizing that I may be goal driven and I think I may need to set some ER goals. I think I'm gonna start a new thread.............
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Old 06-02-2010, 09:45 AM   #58
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Me too!
OMG! I've found my other family here! I'm a slacker, too! First post here, hi, everyone. I already feel like I belong! Thanks!
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Old 06-04-2010, 09:36 PM   #59
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I don't think you should conflate the terms "job" and "profession". In many ways a profession defines who and what you are. A job simply describes who pays you for a task. Did Arnold Palmer stop playing golf when he retired?
As an Emeritus faculty member I gave up the "job" so I could enjoy the "profession". The sheer unadulterated pleasure of knowing that I did not have to open any mail from the provost was worth anything. (For non academics, mail from the provost essentially involves the administrative side of the university. It is by definition never good). My father was a well known author and safety expert. He completed the 4th edition of his book 4 weeks before he died at the age of 87. He had retired from his last "job" at the age of 59

I start class again on Wednesday. First lecture "What Engineers can learn from the sinking of the Titanic and how it applies to the Gulf oil spill". What's not to like?
Well stated on all accounts. I spent 35 years in academia (post-doc research, two-short-time teaching positions, and one long-time--30 years--teaching/research position) and I agree with virtually everything you said. Letters from the Dean or from the President were almost never good.
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Old 06-08-2010, 12:39 PM   #60
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My job for last 15 years was also computer programming but my love has always been art. So I found something I loved years ago. I just couldn't make a living at it. I was fortunate to be able to do something interesting in order to make a living. But as soon as it was financially feasible to leave it for what I loved, which is w*rk in its own way, I left. Not surprisingly it looks like there are a lot of reasons for ER on the forum based on the responses I've seen. When I've told certain people, like some of my doctors, that I've retired they look at me quizzically. At least some of them really do love their work and I think wouldn't know what to do without it. I envy them to a certain extent. If I'd been able to make a living from art then probably I'd still be working at that job. But you just never know. It could be that years of doing it would have made me ready for a big change.
Whoa - I was about to write the same thing. I tried to make a living making art but couldn't. I'll be leaving to go back to that - but not needing to make a living at it. And I work in IT - finally found a niche that paid well and was w**k I could do.

I think the people on this forum have been - for the most part - willing to save a lot of money and not buy in (all puns intended) to the pervasive culture of shopping a lot.

I actually hate shopping, for the most part, because it takes time and spends money. OTOH I know I'm not the norm.
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