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Old racehorses still want to run?
Old 04-30-2016, 02:11 PM   #1
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Old racehorses still want to run?

I bailed on the career job for what turned out to be ESR. DW and I are self employed doing various things part time with lots of flexibility with the aim of basically just covering our expenses and letting the portfolio ride. I think this is a far more sustainable way to live than my former existence, but from time to time I doubt myself. Its hard to let go of the driving ambition/the personal need too complete a big "mission." Every so often I hear about a former colleague or friend's promotion, new job, big things they are doing, etc. and it is a bit of a barb to me. Not that I wish them ill or am jealous, just that it opens up the scabs on whether I have made the right choice. Anyone else struggle with this sort of thing?

I suppose I should just listen to Marsellus Wallace:

"The night of the fight, you may feel a slight sting. That's pride ****ing with you. **** pride. Pride only hurts, it never helps."
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Old 04-30-2016, 02:34 PM   #2
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Not this racehorse. Being put out to stud was the best thing that ever happened to me.
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Old 04-30-2016, 02:59 PM   #3
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Old 04-30-2016, 03:01 PM   #4
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If you & DW are happy and safe, then that's what really matters.

I bet your health is much better too.


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Old 04-30-2016, 03:09 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
I bailed on the career job for what turned out to be ESR. DW and I are self employed doing various things part time with lots of flexibility with the aim of basically just covering our expenses and letting the portfolio ride. I think this is a far more sustainable way to live than my former existence, but from time to time I doubt myself. Its hard to let go of the driving ambition/the personal need too complete a big "mission." Every so often I hear about a former colleague or friend's promotion, new job, big things they are doing, etc. and it is a bit of a barb to me. Not that I wish them ill or am jealous, just that it opens up the scabs on whether I have made the right choice. Anyone else struggle with this sort of thing?

I suppose I should just listen to Marsellus Wallace:

"The night of the fight, you may feel a slight sting. That's pride ****ing with you. **** pride. Pride only hurts, it never helps."
It happens to me, so I understand your statement. My life has been fun, but it has not been full of career accomplishments.

I think it is pride, but we are men, and pride makes evolutionary sense, so at least some of us are going to feel it's prodding.

Ha
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Old 04-30-2016, 03:22 PM   #6
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Maybe the part time work is the problem. I know for me, I retired later than maybe most on this board, even though I owned my own software consulting business, it could never be part time. I couldn't do something if I did not give it my all, make it the best it could be. And I have to admit I did enjoy the accolades and praise when we achieved something difficult or bested the competition.

After two years now, I am fully vested in this retirement idea. I have no longer any need for accolades and have fully accepted the idea that I will no longer make any great achievements (even they were great only in my own mind) in my previous field. And I realize now, those achievement were mostly for someone else anyway.

Occasionally some projects have come up that I might be able to get that old buzz about, but now, after two years of real retirement, I have zero need or desire to do them.

But... If I were trying to work part time, whether in my old field, or a new one like blogging, writing, or whatever, I would be back in the trying to do my best work, pleasing others, needed accolades mindset again.

For me, I cannot work part time, and I am now very happy with my full time retirement. Can't say if it is right for you, but part time work would never work for me.

Maybe it is the same for you, you can tote that barge, or you can fish from the riverside, but it is hard to do them both.

Good luck with whatever you decide.
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Old 04-30-2016, 03:32 PM   #7
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I have the same thoughts from time to time, maybe I should have begun an encore career instead of retiring. Accomplishments are fewer and less meaningful now, but that's not a surprise - and the freedom is sure wonderful. After 5 years retired, I don't have anywords of wisdom, sorry. But I assume you will continue with your part time work.

I threw myself into volunteering, even took a board position to fill the void. But that came with it's own unique frustrations, and I backed away recently.

I know many here have no second thoughts on retiring, though it's a self-selecting group.
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Old 04-30-2016, 04:28 PM   #8
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Brewer, it sounds to me like you aren't done and you still have a burning desire to accomplish more in your career before you hang it up.

If so, that's a rotten feeling and it's hard to know what to suggest.

(My story: I was 61 by the time I retired. After spending most of my career as possibly the most driven and overly ambitious person who ever lived, by the time I retired the fire of ambition was burning out. I had pretty much given up on getting anything more done of any significance. Age discrimination is real and actually it is a big help in making that transition. When they start patronizing you, giving you important-sounding but meaningless titles, and making a big deal out of small accomplishments, you know you're done.)

Have you thought about going back to full time work for a while? Does that have any appeal for you?
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Old 04-30-2016, 04:37 PM   #9
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Not me. I've only been retired for 6 weeks, but have already discovered that I have a complete lack of interest in w*rk discussion of any sort. If fact, when meeting a group of former co-w*rkers, I sometimes dread that the conversation will eventually end up discussing office politics.
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Old 04-30-2016, 04:44 PM   #10
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I used to enjoy three or four good years out of a job and then get the itch to move to the next thing, sort of like how every September some people feel like they should be going back to school no matter how long they have been out of it. Perhaps that is what you are feeling, Brewer--you are ready to move on from the ESR to whatever the next thing is. Running a honey empire?
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Old 04-30-2016, 04:55 PM   #11
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Not me. I've come to realize that occupational successes come at a price. The price of freedom. IMO, freedom from work is a far better feeling than any job satisfaction gained through promotion, etc.
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Old 04-30-2016, 05:16 PM   #12
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Sounds as if there are some internal benefits for us lifetime non-achievers.
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Old 04-30-2016, 05:16 PM   #13
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I do not have a burning desire for any type of career, so no to your question.

However, I did some temp work a couple of years ago and really like it... I could contribute to a need for a company, but not get involved with any of the political stuff... and they actually paid you for all hours you worked...

I was basically on projects on my own, so I was able to go part time at times when they requested and it did not bother me at all...

So, hoping that another ST job will come up this year... maybe 3 or 4 months of PT work...

DW has said that I could substitute teach, but that does not hold any interest to me... and the pay is horrible...
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Old 04-30-2016, 05:17 PM   #14
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I worked part time in the energy business for the last few years (my own gig) and the projects were fulfilling as I worked along side some powerful and influential people. But no one yet has erected a bronze statue of me in front of the main office.
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Old 04-30-2016, 05:37 PM   #15
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Nope, no desire to return to work.

I do some self-employed stuff and have found since RE that I can take only a couple of weeks of any "gig".
Otherwise it really starts to feel like work and stressful.

I have a limited time left, and certainly would rather do what I want than die at my desk.
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Old 04-30-2016, 06:55 PM   #16
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No. I get so much fulfillment from non work-related accomplishments!

Maybe it is because I grew up in a family of farmers. There were no promotions, no exciting new jobs, no big mission to accomplish. Just the pride of the (same old) job well done. It probably shaped my career expectations.
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Old 04-30-2016, 07:40 PM   #17
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For every hour of pure adrenaline and joy of completing a big "mission", you also have to remember what came in the weeks before it:

5 - calls btwn midnight and 5 am for some major outage or offshore emergency
4 - escalations where your boss's boss caught heat that flew over your head which you spend a day trying to downgrade
3 - powerpoint decks which were rewritten a dozen times each to bleach out any meaning or original points or style, often with at least one rewrite being assigned on a friday due "first thing monday"
2 - OH **** moments where you realize your team has oversold the end result or agreed to something you would have said "NO" to, pieces you'll be picking up for the next 6 months...
1 - argument on the homefront (late to an event, missed a dinner, forgot to call to say you'd be late, didn't pick up the dry cleaning, etc.)

Miss that stuff too?
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Old 04-30-2016, 07:44 PM   #18
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Miss that stuff too?
+1

As much as I enjoyed the game while I enjoyed it, I always kept a keen accounting of what those wins cost me. The account never was in balance.
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Old 04-30-2016, 07:57 PM   #19
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ER is still years away for me, but I've thought about this. If I ever get antsy about not accomplishing something grand, I'd pick up masonry as a hobby. That way, I could build something handsome and durable. Something that could outlive me but would give pride and add value to my community. I'd likely only toil for 2-3 hours a day on it, but that can add up over a few years.
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Old 04-30-2016, 08:08 PM   #20
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I'll never forget the words of our company president at my retirement party: "If you experience an urge to return to work lasting more than four hours, seek immediate medical assistance."
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