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Old 11-20-2017, 10:10 PM   #21
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In retirement I don't feel as strongly about a lot of things, since I'm not fighting the rat race. Removing stress and staying healthy has been the major focus of my retirement. My only job is to take a daily walk and to eat right. I also spend a few hours each week working my self-improvement program.

I avoid the highways and local stores during busy times; and my calendar is almost vacant except for the occasional doctor visit and fun activities/travel we have planned. I put a lot less miles on my car than I used to because of the traffic, and not really having to go almost anywhere. Sometimes it's kind of surreal driving to the beach in the morning past the huge lines of cars waiting to get onto the freeway, and remembering that I used to do that every day.

If something feels like it's too stressful today, I'll do it tomorrow, or maybe not at all. We've also cut our cable TV and I spend my online time watching comedy videos, good podcasts or researching topics of interest online (a.k.a. 'shopping' for my next gadget).

There are always activities that need attention, but I can be much more relaxed about completing tasks quickly and take my time. There's always tomorrow; and if not, then it wasn't what I should be doing anyway. Most of my long-range planning has been tossed in favor of living in the moment and enjoying my hobbies. The only planning I've been doing is planning to catch up with old friends and family.

It may sound totally trite, but I love stopping to smell the roses much more than I thought I would.
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Old 11-20-2017, 10:32 PM   #22
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Great Topic-OP. FIRE in 3-5 years and hope I'm not breaking rules posting on here but wanted to give my inputs that this helps even when working:

Meditation started me on this path and I've done away with the following:
* I gave up the Football and I have so much time on weekends now (and such low stress). I never realize how much stress I had being a football fanatic.
* Avoid Most News , especially politics.
* Gave up unhealthy food (This one is the toughest as I never knew how much of my social interactions with friends were around food). I go out less and interact a bit less socially as I do maybe half of the happy hours and football games at Buffalo Wild Wings. On a positive note, I started some hiking and other weekend activities with the same folks to get some healthy social time in and its slowly growing on people. My body feels so much better.
* Cars - I get a bug to get a fast sports car - Porsche or Maserati every few years and then barely drive it and end up selling it. Now, I've realized I don't really need these as they take more maintenance and I get just as pleasure out of my BMW and I don't have to worry about scraping it on a curve or parking on the street ,etc.
* Care a lot less about what other people think - In the past, I'd freak out about having the house Uber clean for parties and having all kinds of different foods. Now, with kids, I've realized with kids, Life happens. All our friends are good people and learning to focus more on substance and find and phase out my own anxieties.

Next up is learning to compartmentalize and leave work at office
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Old 11-20-2017, 10:45 PM   #23
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Eliminating the long, tiring, and often sickening commute was the single biggest stress eliminator due to my ER 9 years ago.


Before that, being able to avoid crowds and traffic after switching to working part-time in 2001 was a big stress eliminator. Simply being able to do my regular errands on weekday mornings between 10 AM and 12 noon was a big help in eliminating stress.


I have always been an introvert, so the less daily interaction with most people out of my small comfort zone, the better. Being ERed has greatly achieved that.
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Old 11-20-2017, 11:05 PM   #24
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That's when you say "I honestly haven't been following football much lately. I spend a lot more time doing X. You ever done X? Pretty badas5 huh?"

That how I respond to sports small talk. That or the glazed look in my eyes and my inability to respond verbally tells them exactly how interested I am in sports. Speaking of which, I have to log off soon so I can practice that glazed look for Thanksgiving lunch at the in-laws (big sports fans of some east coast teams and I think they're still playing NFL football this time of year??)
I am going to practice the same look.


Today, I got a bit of stress trying to pick which restaurant to go to. Damn, why do we have to eat?
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Old 11-20-2017, 11:05 PM   #25
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I think it's the type of stress for me. I still like the stress of playing somewhat competitive sports. I don't care enough about spectator sports to get stressed about them, but I still enjoy watching sometimes. Volunteering in disaster relief can be stressful at times, but it's a rewarding kind of stress.

But after almost 40 years of being on deadlines, I became really resistant to any sort of imposed schedule once I retired. Just have no interest in having any but unavoidable deadlines. And I try my best to avoid the bad traffic times, even though they're not that stressful when I'm not in a real hurry.
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Old 11-20-2017, 11:07 PM   #26
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.
* Gave up unhealthy food (This one is the toughest as I never knew how much of my social interactions with friends were around food). I go out less and interact a bit less socially as I do maybe half of the happy hours and football games at Buffalo Wild Wings. On a positive note, I started some hiking and other weekend activities with the same folks to get some healthy social time in and its slowly growing on people. My body feels so much better.
Yep. We used to go out tons, daily when w*rking, almost every other day in retirement. Recently we realized that DW and I can make food that is usually tastier and healthier, and certainly cheaper than any local restaurant. My pour-over coffee, in the comfort of my home in my PJ's, can't be beat.

We still like to eat out to get an occasional break from cooking and, especially, cleaning up. Also, during the summer we eat out tons still since we're out all and don't feel like w*rking for food. Just more fun to sit in a cafe after actively enjoying the outdoors all day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scrabbler1 View Post
I have always been an introvert, so the less daily interaction with most people out of my small comfort zone, the better. Being ERed has greatly achieved that.
Oh yes! It's nice to be able to avoid forced socializing, like w*rk team building (aka drinking cheap booze with strangers all night) and holiday parties with bad food and even worse music. Better yet, no interpersonal, political w*rk drama...
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Old 11-21-2017, 12:21 AM   #27
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We ER'd just over a year ago, and I'm still figuring out the right balance for me. I'm definitely less stressed, having no more work deadlines, difficult people, or commuting hell to deal with. In the beginning, I overscheduled my time as if I had to fill up my calendar. Then we did quite a bit of travel and now I'm hesitant to commit to many plans. I like having plans with friends as I'm a social extrovert, but I also like having down time for rest and spontaneous activities. Not sure yet if the right balance for me. DH on the other hand has settled in beautifully. He doesn't tend to schedule much, and is content to putter around at home with no plans.
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Old 11-21-2017, 05:33 AM   #28
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This pretty much sums up my philosophy in retirement.
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Old 11-21-2017, 08:26 AM   #29
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I'd totally fogotten about this song until I read this thread:
https://www.youtube.com/embed/qp9dc9im3-M

I used to tell people "I don't get job stress. I GIVE job stress."

The truth is, I started avoiding stress years before I retired. Once I made the decision not to try to claw my way any farther up the corporate ladder, life at w*rk became much less stressful. And frankly, I think I was a more valuable employee for it. I could do what needed to be done, and say what needed to be said, without worrying about the political implications.

I think a related topic, touched on in some of the posts above, is shedding responsibility to reduce stress. My parenting years were, shall we say, pretty intense. At some point I realized taking on responsibilities, especially for other people, was a problem. Letting others take responsibility for their own decisions was a starting point. But material things can also bring responsibilities, as can decisions like getting a new pet.

I still take on more than I should sometimes, but I try to make sure it's always a conscious decision. I walked away from a fairly high-level position in a volunteer organization I belong to when my term was up, took a year off, then got back into doing just the things I like doing, which is also where I can do the most good. I avoid the politics of the organization to the extent possible, which significantly lowers the stress.
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Old 11-21-2017, 08:46 AM   #30
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I had to master stress management during my work life. The higher I rose, the more frequent the opportunity for stress.

Being retired 15 years, I avoid most stress and use the techniques for others. The Carnegie book "How to stop worrying and start living" was my bible during working years.

Occasionally, I find myself worrying unnecessarily, like when my oldest son was diagnosed with testicular cancer last year. But then I swat myself on the side of the head and straighten up.
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Old 11-21-2017, 09:18 AM   #31
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When working, stress from the workplace overshadows most other sources of stress. When workplace stress goes away, other things bubble to the top; things I rarely noticed when working.
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Old 11-21-2017, 11:15 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by robnplunder View Post
I have been retired for two years now and I have realized that I have given up (or trying very hard) on things that gives me stress. It includes things like following any sport team, staying away from family members who only call when they are in trouble, avoiding to go out during traffic ours, ... Instead, I pick activities, hobbies and interests which won't bring stress. Did this change happen to you soon after ER? Care to share?
Yes, I now avoid a lot of competitive stuff. Like you mentioned, watching a game and rooting for one side. It can ruin your day. I used to run with a local club but now just run in the hills and don't worry about my run times. Sometimes I just stop and watch a bird or deer.

Some activities I now do:

reading the comics
fiction novels where the bad guy gets his just deserts
astronomy for when I really want to get out of Dodge
modestly serious about watercolor sketching
gardening, getting dirty and using my pick occasionally for a good workout
running in the park and moderate gym workouts

Most of my news is from reading because I can much more easily control what I want and ignore the rest.
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Old 11-21-2017, 11:35 AM   #33
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My largest stress reduction since retiring.......no more stressful quarter ends dealing with profit, revenue, and sales targets vs actuals and stretch goals to boot. And watching for every HQ journal entry, unanticipated expense accrual or some obscure FAB 30 audit call that prevented the recognition of some revenue or sales recognition.
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Old 11-21-2017, 12:35 PM   #34
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"Giving up on all things that gives me stress ..."

What stress? Let's hope the market will not crash like it did in 2008. That would cause some stress, although more for the younger ERs or ER-to-be's.

Else, it's like this French song "Il est libre, Max" ("He is free, Max").

Il Est Libre, Max / He Is Free, Max

Il met de la magie mine de rien dans tout ce qu'il fait / He puts magic in everything that he does
Il a le sourire facile, même pour les imbéciles / He has the easy smile, same as sported by fools
Il s'amuse bien, il tombe jamais dans les pièges / He plays well, he never falls into traps
Il se laisse pas étourdir par les néons des manèges / He does not get dazed by neon signs of carousels
Il vit sa vie sans s'occuper des grimaces / He lives his life without the frowning
Que font autour de lui les poissons dans la nasse / Of those around him, those fish caught in a net

Refrain
Il est libre Max / He is free Max
Il est libre Max / He is free Max
Y'en a même qui disent qu'ils l'ont vu voler / There are people who even say they saw him fly

Il travaille un petit peu quand son corps est d'accord / He works a little when his body agrees to it
Pour lui faut pas s'en faire, il sait doser son effort / For he does not push hard, he paces himself
Dans le panier de crabes, il joue pas les homards / In a basket of crabs, he does not pretend to be a lobster
Il cherche pas à tout prix à faire des bulles dans la mare / He does not stir up trouble at all cost

Refrain

Il regarde autour de lui avec les yeux de l'amour / He looks around him with eyes of love
Avant que t'aies rien pu dire, il t'aime déjà au départ / Before you can say something, he already loves you
Il fait pas de bruit, il joue pas du tambour/ He raises no ruckus, he does not beat on a drum
Mais la statue de marbre lui sourit dans la cour / But the marble statue in the court smiles at him

Refrain

Et bien sûr toutes les filles lui font leurs yeux de velours / And there are surely girls who had velvet eyes for him
Lui pour leur faire plaisir il leur raconte des histoires / To please them, he tells them stories
Il les emmène par-delà les labours / He takes them beyond the plowed field
Chevaucher les licornes à la tombée du soir / Riding unicorns until dusk

Refrain

Comme il a pas d'argent pour faire le grand voyageur / Because he has no money to be a great traveler
Il va parler souvent aux habitants de son coeur / He talks often to people in his heart
Qu'est-ce qu'ils se racontent, c'est ça qu'il faudrait savoir / What they tell him is what he needs to know
Pour avoir comme lui autant d'amour dans le regard / To have as much love as he does

Refrain

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Old 11-21-2017, 03:06 PM   #35
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Occasionally, I find myself worrying unnecessarily, like when my oldest son was diagnosed with testicular cancer last year. But then I swat myself on the side of the head and straighten up.
I do that all too often. I am trying harder to stop worrying about or try to fix things I have no control over. E.g, my onset of my mom's dementia, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes - I realize there is very little I can do, given her lifestyle and personality.
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Old 11-21-2017, 04:01 PM   #36
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I gave up watching televised news...all of it, any channel. I don't care if someone did something to someone else or that some politician got caught stealing of doing something immoral.

No Facebook....period!
Same here, great minds think alike!

The only TV I see is at the gym and they have the sound off and closed captioning on and that's plenty of exposure for me. About once a week or so DW will want to show me something on FB but that's about it. I do get the local daily newspaper but I find that relaxing, not stressful.
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Old 11-21-2017, 04:05 PM   #37
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AT some point in my w*rk days, the stress got so ridiculous that I made a conscious decision to refuse it (the stress, not the work). I felt as though I would be punished for 'not caring', but it's what I had to do in order not to not have a meltdown of some sort. It worked. No meltdown and kept my job too! Now that I'm retired, my stress is never (knock on wood) as bad as the w*rking years, but it does show up now and then due to outside forces intruding, such as a commercial property next door, or an insurance company not honoring my parents' long term care contract, etc.
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Old 11-21-2017, 05:40 PM   #38
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This pretty much sums up my philosophy in retirement.

https://youtu.be/h5Pap_W1oqM
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Old 11-21-2017, 07:00 PM   #39
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Ditto here!!
  • stopped communicating with a train wreck sister & brother. still in close contact with 2 other sisters
  • used to trade a lot like 300+ a year but barely at all this year
  • only volunteer at activities that I find pleasurable or fun and I refuse to get suckered into doing more than I find worthwhile
  • drive non commute times
  • leave the room when political conversations get tense
Replacing with:
  • 2.5-3 mile walk per day
  • daily coffee with friends
  • travel
  • learning new hobbies
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Old 11-22-2017, 06:25 AM   #40
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After two layoffs in 2014/2015, I had 6-month breaks where I took long walks, juggled home projects, and counted the pennies in my piggie bank. BP came down quite a bit.

Going back to a job, with two commutes each day, eventually BP went up again. Back to 2 meds.

I stay away from all things political. Take a walk through the beautiful environment where I work.

Also, don't sweat the appointments that may pile up. Healthcare appointments seem to carry a lot of stress. For some reason, even the simplest prescription or examination is made more difficult each time.
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