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FIRE --- How long to decompress and normalize
Old 01-16-2011, 06:54 AM   #1
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FIRE --- How long to decompress and normalize

I intend to FIRE later this year.

I have been in a prolonged "disgusted with w*rk" mood for about 5 years now with only brief respites in my outlook about my j*b.

How long did it take you to decompress and normalize after leaving the Dog eat Dog Rat Race?
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Old 01-16-2011, 06:59 AM   #2
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How long did it take you to decompress and normalize after leaving the Dog eat Dog Rat Race?
Not sure, but it did take me a couple of years to get that silly grin off my face...
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Old 01-16-2011, 07:05 AM   #3
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Decompress? About one day. Seriously, I was ready, and spent the previous 3+ years before retirement preparing for the transition (financially and emotionally), so it was not like walking off a bridge.

Normalize? Still working on it, over three years later. After having many j*bs over 45 years, I really don't know what "normal" is; however, I'm trying to get a handle on it. Give me another 30 years or so - maybe I'll figure it out...
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Old 01-16-2011, 07:37 AM   #4
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It took my MIL about 6 months before she had really rebounded. Seems like most people require 6 to 12 months, from what I have seen.

When I get there, I expect it will take more like a year because we will be relocating at the same time.
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Old 01-16-2011, 08:10 AM   #5
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It took my MIL about 6 months before she had really rebounded. Seems like most people require 6 to 12 months, from what I have seen.
Glad the OP asked, and this answer would be my guess. I am sure once I retire I will still wake up in the middle of the night and start tackling a work issue in my head, and then realize that it's not my problem anymore. Hopefully I'll chuckle and go back to sleep...
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Old 01-16-2011, 10:04 AM   #6
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I didn't hate my work nor was I disgusted with it. I was also able to leave it behind when on vacation quite easily.

It took me a couple of weeks to stop waking up at 6am and a couple of months to stop dreaming of work issues. I felt the stress drop off immediately. Two and a half years later, I still dream of work occasionally.

I was surprised by the importance that money took on after ER. For weeks I was thinking about it a lot - do we have enough, are we spending too much, are we invested correctly, what's the market doing. But that went away and I have a more balanced outlook now.

Anticipation is part of the joy of ER - relish it.
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Old 01-16-2011, 10:25 AM   #7
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Work was no longer fun or enjoyable, partially because I knew I didn't have to if I didn't want to. A summer of playing golf almost daily and riding my motorcycle almost daily helped speed the decompression process immensely.
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Old 01-16-2011, 10:51 AM   #8
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It took me four months to decompress and find a new life . The first few months I slept for incredible amounts and around the third month I started to get bored and joined a gym and started seriously selling on ebay .
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Old 01-16-2011, 11:07 AM   #9
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How long did it take you to decompress and normalize after leaving the Dog eat Dog Rat Race?
A week at most. It was like leaving behind an old, worn-out skin.
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Old 01-16-2011, 11:12 AM   #10
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"Decompress"? Maybe a few weeks of 2-3-hour naps to catch up on 20+ years of chronic fatigue. I took 100 days of leave and other acronyms before my actual retirement date, though, so by my first surfing lesson I was plenty decompressed.

"Normalize"? That's probably still a work in progress. Normalize as compared to what?
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Old 01-16-2011, 11:13 AM   #11
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Not sure, but it did take me a couple of years to get that silly grin off my face...
+1

Retirement is like an extended weekend... no, better than that, it is more like an extended vacation... no, better than that because you never have to return!

I'd say give yourself a month to figure out when you want to sleep, to then catch up on your sleep and practice napping, to figure out a new routine that you enjoy, and things like that. Don't really expect yourself to accomplish much of anything else for the first month other than enjoying your freedom. But really, it is amazing how fast the stress and baloney just falls off one's shoulders immediately after retirement.

One of the most wonderful things is watching the traffic reports on TV in the morning, while the worker bees are commuting and stuck in traffic. That is, it is wonderful if you happen to be awake in the morning at all!
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Old 01-16-2011, 11:20 AM   #12
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A co-worker has told me to quit as soon as I can, and that the first year especially is great. On that, I'd say a year.
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Old 01-16-2011, 11:26 AM   #13
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Took me no time at all because I had been working part-time for the previous 7 years, including the most recent 2 years only 2 days a week. Therefore, it was not a big transition from working 2 days a week to zero days a week. Working had become a nuisance to my nonwork life so I was simply ridding myself of it and the lousy commute which went with it.
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Old 01-16-2011, 11:41 AM   #14
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Going on Five years of FIRE now. It doesn't take long, and pretty soon you'll wonder why you ever thought about words like "decompress" and "normalize". Them's w__king words!

To quote a band (Timbuk 3) whose song my band likes to play, pretty soon you too will be singing,

Things are going great, and they're only getting better
I'm doing all right, getting good grades
The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades
I gotta wear shades
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Old 01-16-2011, 11:45 AM   #15
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It took 6 months of naps and doing little jobs around the house that hadn't been done before I started looking for a regular routine.

About that smile? It's still there 2 years later.

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Old 01-16-2011, 12:31 PM   #16
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6 months to decompress.

12 months (6 additional) to really get into the spirit of figuring out what I wanted to spend the next 5 years doing.

Audrey
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Old 01-16-2011, 12:36 PM   #17
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It's been a while...
About 3 months to decompress, slept a lot.
Have no idea what is normal but can create/change schedules/practices whenever I want.
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Old 01-16-2011, 02:54 PM   #18
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6 months to decompress.

12 months (6 additional) to really get into the spirit of figuring out what I wanted to spend the next 5 years doing.

Audrey
That's reassuring to hear. I expect it will take me at least that long to figure out what I want to be when I grow up...
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Old 01-16-2011, 03:26 PM   #19
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Probably took me 4 or 5 months, but six month in I still have relapses. I still feel like I have somewhere to go sometimes. I find myself just vegging in front of the computer like I did after work and on weekends trying to relax. Old habits die hard. But it's fun every time I realize I'm retired and can do what I want. I am developing a cuple of new hobbies and have begun writing, the "work" I prefer.

Honestly, I'm probably a bad example. I have two kids at home. It's not exactly what you usually think of as retirement. There are schedules, meetings, etc. DW and I can't just drop and go. In a year or so, they should be old enough to leave over night. In 5 1/2, they will be out (or they better be).
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Old 01-16-2011, 03:32 PM   #20
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Decompression time: 1.5 hours after my going away party
Adjustment: ongoing at 3 months.

Most of my friends busily went about rearranging their schedules so they were packed with things they enjoyed doing, but their lives are very business like in structure: gym at 8, golf at 10, volunteer M and Thu from 9 to 5, etc.

I took the opposite approach: cleaned the slate right away, figuring I'd add things that I like one at a time when it felt right. So far, very few things make the cut. I remain embarrassed at how much I enjoy lazy-bumhood. This will pass.

Right?
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