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Old 04-12-2013, 08:00 PM   #21
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Its funny, when I am in the woods by myself or on vacation someplace beautiful with the family and camper, I can leave it all behind. Sometimes I can do so for a few hours, sometimes for days at a time. But its such a relief that I found myself in my favorite hunting grounds in 20F weather in February lugging around a LOT of gear (safety stuff, heavy clothing, hunting gear, etc.) even times when I probably would have readily admitted all of the critters I was supposedly after were hunkered down to wait for warmer weather. Didn't matter how cold I got - the sense of relief and joy at being outside and away from all the crap more than made up for it. I cannot help but wonder if that is part of what is propelling me toward the exit door.
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:12 PM   #22
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As a retiring MD, I won't feel I can relax until the statute of limitations on getting sued has been passed.
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:13 PM   #23
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About 6 months. Though occasionally still have nightmares about some safety corner cutting attempts in train maintenanance, about which I had to battle the chinken $hit pencil necked geeks. D*mn them all. REMFs. ugh.
Sounds like it still wells up in you from time to time.

A stress filled job like yours (especially with people's safety on the line) must set something into your psyche that lasts. I know it took 20 years for me to get rid of the missed college finals dream. I only hope that w*rp cr*p dreams don't last 20 years after ER. Luckily, my nightmares are only of making boring slides for executives who don't really care. I don't have to worry about trains running off the rails.
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:19 PM   #24
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I would dream about the office regularly for the first 3 months, and subconsciously find myself solving work problems throughout the day.

I've been out a little over 6 months now and no longer think about work at all
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:36 PM   #25
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As a retiring MD, I won't feel I can relax until the statute of limitations on getting sued has been passed.
Can't you buy a tail policy and be done with it (at least from a litigation perspective? I ended by last practice years working for large institutions, though in a very risky specialty. Sue me and you're suing the state of Florida.

Back to Brewer's OP: for me, retirement had many phases, often simultaneously. There are personal issues, professional issues to clean up, unanticipated health concerns, self-image readjustment, new family challenges resulting from turf wars or large amounts of unaccustomed time together.

LIberation was the predominant emotion. It started sky high and has yet to drop very much.
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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 04-12-2013, 08:40 PM   #26
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It's a great question. In my case, after leaving megacorp I went overseas for a few months and felt completely decompressed while I was away. However upon returning home some of the negative feelings and anxieties came back. Sometimes I had nightmares about work. It wasn't an ongoing anxiety but rather it came and went. Seeing some of my old work colleagues for drinks or lunch contributed to these feelings of anxiety. I wonder if it is a kind of PTSD. Anyway it has been over 18 months now and the negativity is almost all gone.
I too wonder if it is a kind of PTSD. Not to the same degree as soldiers who come back from combat, but maybe a milder form. Like you, I have more nightmares after I either see a former coworker or even get an email from one. It's slowly getting better, though.
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:48 PM   #27
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Its funny, when I am in the woods by myself or on vacation someplace beautiful with the family and camper, I can leave it all behind. Sometimes I can do so for a few hours, sometimes for days at a time. But its such a relief that I found myself in my favorite hunting grounds in 20F weather in February lugging around a LOT of gear (safety stuff, heavy clothing, hunting gear, etc.) even times when I probably would have readily admitted all of the critters I was supposedly after were hunkered down to wait for warmer weather. Didn't matter how cold I got - the sense of relief and joy at being outside and away from all the crap more than made up for it. I cannot help but wonder if that is part of what is propelling me toward the exit door.
I was in a job (recently) where I was on call every other week. This went on for 7 years. I sometimes wonder if this helped to rekindle my love of backpacking. I can escape way out in the woods where no one can reach me. It isn't just backpacking I like, but long distance backpacking.

I really hope I still have the hunger to backpack once I retire. I would be disappointed to find out that my passion goes away once I retire (in 4 weeks!!!!).
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:10 PM   #28
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Can't you buy a tail policy and be done with it (at least from a litigation perspective? I ended by last practice years working for large institutions, though in a very risky specialty. Sue me and you're suing the state of Florida.

Back to Brewer's OP: for me, retirement had many phases, often simultaneously. There are personal issues, professional issues to clean up, unanticipated health concerns, self-image readjustment, new family challenges resulting from turf wars or large amounts of unaccustomed time together.

LIberation was the predominant emotion. It started sky high and has yet to drop very much.
I will have a tail...that covers some but not Every Financial aspect of litigation, but that is only a part of the hassle and unpleasantness that getting sued can be.
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:18 PM   #29
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I was in a job (recently) where I was on call every other week. This went on for 7 years. I sometimes wonder if this helped to rekindle my love of backpacking. I can escape way out in the woods where no one can reach me. It isn't just backpacking I like, but long distance backpacking.

I really hope I still have the hunger to backpack once I retire. I would be disappointed to find out that my passion goes away once I retire (in 4 weeks!!!!).
Yeah, I make a point of taking my vacations outside of cell service. Sorry, I am in the middle of a million acres of National Forest. Work pronblems take a abckseat to dealing with bears.
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:29 PM   #30
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As a retiring MD, I won't feel I can relax until the statute of limitations on getting sued has been passed.
I've heard similar from many retiring doc's.
For OB's that can mean 18-21 yrs
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Old 04-13-2013, 05:29 AM   #31
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Retired in September 2012 at 57. Still get calls from former employer for advice and an occasional small project for which I bill large fees as I really don't want the work. DW would say I haven't decompressed and the fact I take these small assignments demonstrates I can't let go. As for me I do want to cut completely loose but I'm concerned about the economy and potential collapse which makes me feel I should keep earning as long as I can. My assets allocation is 50/50 and Firecalc says I'm good to age 98 even if I never draw my corporate pension which starts at 65. I've had health issues, cancer and neuralgia. The neuralgia likely resulted from stress in a pressure cooker job.

A former colleague has asked me to consider a large consulting project with his megacorp which will be lucrative and add a nice cushion to our savings, but will require me to work all summer and cancel our travel plans. Plus last employer is increasing the number of requests for help. I also have a potential opportunity to teach at a nearby university business school. DW says no to all as she is concerned the stress will affect my health and she wants to get on with full retirement. I'm still considering the project so it is true I haven't decompressed.
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Old 04-13-2013, 06:43 AM   #32
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About year for me. We moved within a month of retirement and were busy with the new house and learning a new area, but at a much slower pace than working people do. "Hey, we've got all day...."

But the job was high visibility, high stress, and things moved quickly. Not having that took quite a while to get used to. What I'm doing now is much more relaxed and low stress.
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Old 04-13-2013, 06:58 AM   #33
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The feelings of liberation and freedom came instantly. I mean, walking from the office to the car for the last time, instantly. Getting used to the wealth of time available to use for myself was a gradual process but after 9 years of ER I'm very well acclimatized.
The bounty of opportunity that accompanies freedom from schedules and responsibilities is limitless and whenever I pause to ponder that for a moment the feelings of elation wash over me. Seriously, it's that good.
Finding this forum helped me prepare, and provided the confidence in the possibility that life like this is possible. This might not be for everyone but when I read about your enjoyment of the winter woods I'm pretty sure you'll do just fine.

Thanks for helping me to be where I am.
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Old 04-13-2013, 07:40 AM   #34
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As a retiring MD, I won't feel I can relax until the statute of limitations on getting sued has been passed.
Retiring on Friday and honestly never thought about continuing to worry! Thanks a lot!. But like you will be covered by my policy....
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:34 AM   #35
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About 6 months. I had a large staff and was working 60 hour weeks.

The first 3 months to recover from exhaustion. A nap every afternoon, the next three months to begin to find a daily routine. It's been 4 years +, I still have dreams occasionally, but they the ones you have just before waking up.

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Old 04-13-2013, 12:43 PM   #36
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I think it took me several months to adjust. I was not completely burned out so maybe I recovered more quickly than most. During the first few weeks of ER, I pretty much kept a work-like pace, waking up early and doing tons of projects around the house. After a few months, I kinda crashed. Projects were done, and I would wake up in the morning feeling a bit anxious and wondering how I would occupy my day. I felt like I should be doing something and felt guilty for being idle. I think it was the real transitional/decompression phase for me. I got over it in a matter of months and finally found my ER groove.
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Old 04-13-2013, 03:21 PM   #37
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6 months for the bulk of it. Fortunately I had given myself permission to be a goof off for at least 6 months, so I didn't stress over it or try to make detailed long term plans.

After 1 year, I felt completely past any residual work trauma. At this point it became much more clear what I wanted to do for at least the next 5 years if not longer. I was glad I had let myself experiment/try things for the prior 6 months without making any long-term commitments.

About once a year I have a "back at work" dream. I wake up and wonder where the heck that came from because it's totally foreign now.
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Old 04-13-2013, 03:49 PM   #38
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Sounds like 6 to 12 months is about the average range. I like the idea of setting aside that amount of time, just to decompress.
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Old 04-13-2013, 04:08 PM   #39
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Like some others here, I worked part-time for a while before fully ERing, so there was little change from that to not working at all.

This means the big change was switching to part-time originally, which for me was in 2001 when I worked full time then worked part-time, mostly from home. My commute went from 5 days a week to 1 day a week with my weekly hours going from 37.5 to 20. Took about a week to get used to that.

In 2003 I had a setback as the telecommute went away but the part-time remained. My commute went from 1 day a week to 3 days a week. NEVER got used to that, as I knew even then that it would be my eventual undoing. In 2007, I was able to reduce that to 2 days commute per week and 12 hours worked. Liked that reduction at first but it did not last long.

In late 2008 I left work altogether, ERing. Going from 12 hours and 2 days commute to zero of both took me at most a week to get used to, as by that time work had become little more than a nuisance getting in the way of my other activities.
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Old 04-13-2013, 09:23 PM   #40
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The feelings of liberation and freedom came instantly. I mean, walking from the office to the car for the last time, instantly. Getting used to the wealth of time available to use for myself was a gradual process but after 9 years of ER I'm very well acclimatized.
The bounty of opportunity that accompanies freedom from schedules and responsibilities is limitless and whenever I pause to ponder that for a moment the feelings of elation wash over me. Seriously, it's that good.
Finding this forum helped me prepare, and provided the confidence in the possibility that life like this is possible. This might not be for everyone but when I read about your enjoyment of the winter woods I'm pretty sure you'll do just fine.

Thanks for helping me to be where I am.
+1 on the call out to the forum and the feelings of elation.
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