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Two Weeks In... Not Exactly What I Expected
Old 06-17-2014, 09:17 AM   #1
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Two Weeks In... Not Exactly What I Expected

... 'tis better, in most respects.

My last day was on Monday, 6/2. That day, as were the days and weeks leading up to it, was rather surreal. After decades of work, of being utterly beholden to my employer for economic security, of having this heavily laden structure of schedule and responsibility imposed upon me, the notion of being free of all that seemed... fantastical. Even after I had given notice and even as the last day slowly approached.

Well, talk about falling into the briar patch.

Like many here, I have long been very detail-oriented with respect to all things financial. I love the markets. I love investing. I'm fascinated by the complexities of human behavior which inform it. I love the math.

What lay behind that years-long near obsession, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, was the distant hope of becoming free. Of wrenching that bloodied scepter from the hands of those that have long wielded it and tossing it to the ground. Of turning my narrowed eyes upon them and quietly averring "never again."

You could run the numbers. You could turn the concept around in your mind. You could imagine it. It was a rational thing, after all. But emotionally, actually achieving it seemed phantasmagorical. A dream.

Surreal indeed.

Only two weeks in, I'm a very junior member of the retireati. But what I can say is that it is both different and better than what I had imagined.

I thought, from having heard from so many ahead of me, that I might have a period of transition to go through. For me, it didn't really seem to take any time at all. The first days held a quiet, relaxed clarity. And the first Sunday evening - when I rightly might have expected, out of habit, to still feel a tug of the old blues, like I had every other Sunday since I've been an adult - I felt instead nothing but a wash of quiet satisfaction.

I can offer that motorcycle rides during the week have a very different character than do those Saturday-Sunday jaunts.

Being able to go to bed when you want, get up when you want, and take a nap whenever you want, is one of the finer pleasures of life. And getting eight hours of sleep after a lifetime of being shorted... well, you just feel better all the time.

What I didn't expect is that my love of finance would so quickly be put in a box. I'm two issues behind on my subscription to Grant's Interest Rate Observer. The stack of The Economist and Fortune magazines is growing. And I haven't visited here - my favorite place on the web - in two weeks. I have no doubt I'll get back to these things. But I find it curious that something that I loved so deeply, for so long, became somehow different once it was no longer the means towards an end.

This morning at breakfast my wife asked what I was going to do today. I thought about it for a moment, then replied "I think I'll go take some pictures."

Indeed. So I'm going to wrap this up, grab up my Leica's, and go find something interesting from which to make art.

Tomorrow I'm going to climb on the Harley and head off to West Virginia for a couple days. Because a road trip is always a good thing.

And because I can.
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Old 06-17-2014, 10:27 AM   #2
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Fabulous description of your first weeks post-retirement.

Welcome to the retireati.

omni
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Old 06-17-2014, 10:47 AM   #3
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Signs of a well planned retirement.
Congratulations!

You're a wonderful writer - maybe you'll indulge in that art form too.
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Old 06-17-2014, 10:48 AM   #4
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Great post. Thanks for describing the first two weeks. Congratulations!
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Old 06-17-2014, 10:50 AM   #5
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Wonderful!
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Old 06-17-2014, 11:12 AM   #6
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Great post!
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Old 06-17-2014, 11:29 AM   #7
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It is quite a nice luxury to be able to call each day completely your own. Glad to hear you are enjoying retirement so far.
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Old 06-17-2014, 12:37 PM   #8
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Fabulous post Jager!

....'because you can'...indeed.

Congratulations!
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Old 06-17-2014, 12:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jager View Post
Tomorrow I'm going to climb on the Harley and head off to West Virginia for a couple days. Because a road trip is always a good thing.

And because I can.
Good health is also a permitting factor, not just finance. We tend to forget that until we do not have it anymore.
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Old 06-17-2014, 01:40 PM   #10
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Because a road trip is always a good thing.
I agree, go on the road trip; and the best part is you do not have a fixed schedule to control your days. Or more importantly a fixed schedule to have to return back to work!

Congrats on becoming retired.
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Old 06-17-2014, 01:47 PM   #11
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... 'tis better, in most respects.

Because a road trip is always a good thing.

And because I can.

Amen, Amen, AMEN!!! Congratulations, great post and writing. Looking forward to hearing more!
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Old 06-17-2014, 03:00 PM   #12
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Good thoughts, Jager. There is something very liberating about having control of your time. Very liberating.
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Old 06-17-2014, 03:26 PM   #13
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Even after I had given notice and even as the last day slowly approached.

<snip>

And the first Sunday evening - when I rightly might have expected, out of habit, to still feel a tug of the old blues, like I had every other Sunday since I've been an adult - I felt instead nothing but a wash of quiet satisfaction.
My last day will be 6/30. And every day is extremely slow. I feel like a kid waiting on Christmas. I'll be done after the second busiest time of the year with "daily beating"s leading up to that monday, the 30th. Hopefully my last "blue sunday night" (which I experience every sunday night) will be my last.

Thank you for your great writing...
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Old 06-17-2014, 04:05 PM   #14
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Ah, that's poetic!
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Old 06-17-2014, 05:16 PM   #15
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Great post Jager! And yes - a road trip is always a good thing. It's great planning and taking road trips when there are no work related time constraints.
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Old 06-17-2014, 06:17 PM   #16
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Jager, I desperately needed to read a post like that.

My desired ER date is drawing closer, and I have started to have nagging doubts creep into my mind as to the wisdom of walking away from a generous income at a fairly young age (in retirement terms).

As I read each sentence of your post, my doubts were steadily replaced by excitement and anticipation. You managed to sum up very tidily why I MUST NOT back away from my decision to ER... thank you Jager.
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Old 06-19-2014, 12:46 PM   #17
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Absolutely do it. My experience was similar!

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Early Retirement Forum mobile app
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Old 06-19-2014, 11:08 PM   #18
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Inspiring. Thank you!
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Old 06-20-2014, 05:44 AM   #19
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Jager, I desperately needed to read a post like that.

My desired ER date is drawing closer, and I have started to have nagging doubts creep into my mind as to the wisdom of walking away from a generous income at a fairly young age (in retirement terms).

As I read each sentence of your post, my doubts were steadily replaced by excitement and anticipation. You managed to sum up very tidily why I MUST NOT back away from my decision to ER... thank you Jager.
+1

And you are an excellent writer. I hope you contribute more posts about your experiences.
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Old 06-20-2014, 06:20 AM   #20
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You have very nicely described circumstances and perspective.
The experience seems to keep getting better too.

You write so well that I'm eager to see some of your photography also.
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