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Old 01-23-2013, 07:53 AM   #21
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Actually, for the most part I liked my career job. Every job has some bad days and phases I suppose, mine was no exception, but especially the last ten years or so I enjoyed and only retired for reasons that had nothing to do with the work itself.

Isn't it amazing how often bad management can drive away hard-working intelligent people who otherwise enjoy their work and really don't want to leave? I see that so often on this board.

My current job is just that - a job. Not bad, not good, just there while I figured out where to go from here. And it pays well, which doesn't hurt either. But where you're at now is about where I am now too.

I'm now rereading Zelinski's How to Retire Happy, Wild and Free with a fresher eye toward where to go next, which in hindsight I did not have clearly defined at the time. Or, admittedly, defined at all. Oh well, I'm still learning about some things.

In the meantime there are a couple of immediate tasks to take care of, the main one being supportive of DW as she deals with a difficult phase with her father's life, selling the house and he in a nursing home.

Another task is making a more concerted effort to significantly reduce the amount of "stuff" we have. We're not candidates for "Hoarders" but there's a lot here we haven't used for years. Admittedly most of it is mine, not hers, partially because of the ingrained values of Depression-era parents who only reluctantly threw out anything. Cleaning out FIL's house, was a bit of an eye-opener. He was almost Spartan in the amount of stuff he had but when downsizing from a 3-bedroom house with a finished basement to a 1-bedroom apartment there was still lots left over.

Goodwill is going to be seeing a lot more of me.
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:43 AM   #22
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I completely get the OP's outlook, which is why I decided to ESR this year. (Well, I also reached FI so that was clearly part of the decision matrix, too.) I am thoroughly enjoying the extra "real life" time I'm getting now that I only have to go into the office a few days each week. Oddly enough, I'm also enjoying the "gray time" in the office a lot more, I think because the work itself isn't so bad and I enjoy socializing with people there. It was just the week in, week out, relentless 40+ hours chained to a desk routine that was bogging me down. Now, I feel like there's a much better, healthier balance between work and play.
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:09 AM   #23
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As I trudge along in my rut, I increasing find a hugely sharp divide between time that is my own (weekends, vacation, etc.) ad time in the cube.
...In contrast, time at work is "gray": time passes, I do what I have to do, I pass the time with friends and coworkers, but it is all somehow lacking in substance. I get free for a few days and I feel like I have awakened from a coma or something.

Anyone else feel this? Is it a consequence of chasing down age 40 later this year?

Yes, oh yes. And I must inform you that the post-40 years are even worse. Gray time is such a good way to describe it. Oh, the other things that you could be doing instead...
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:28 AM   #24
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I empathise with this. I'm well paid in my current "gray job", but it doesn't inspire me, the days drag and I find myself doing enough so I don't feel proud of what I'm doing. The effects can propagate through your life. But inertia is a powerful force, particularly when you've been somewhere for a while, have family to consider and the pay check keeps coming in. I recently turned down an offer of a job that I think I'd really enjoy and would have made me proud, but it would have meant a relocation and the combo of salary and benefits were worst than I get now, but if you loathe the 9-5 is it really worth the damage to the psyche and self respect?
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:47 AM   #25
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This problem is a big part of the reason many people buy lottery tickets.
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:54 AM   #26
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I used to think this way, but am training myself to focus on the positives of the job. My job allows me to live well, provide for my family, and save enough that I can hopefully retire early.

It's boring and provides no challenge, but at least I get to work inside and get a steady paycheck.
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:54 AM   #27
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This problem is a big part of the reason many people buy lottery tickets.
I prefer beer. Its a lot more reliable.
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:05 PM   #28
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The maths of a "gray" job is tricky.

Would your apparent ER date be earlier form a poorly paying inspiring job than from a well paid "gray" job. The premise being than you enjoy the inspiring job and the days pass quickly even if you had to work a bit longer.
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:25 AM   #29
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It's boring and provides no challenge, but at least I get to work inside and get a steady paycheck.
And there are plenty of people who would be grateful to have that.

"Fulfillment"and all that is wonderful but there is the matter of putting food on the table. Or having a table to put it on....
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:45 AM   #30
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And there are plenty of people who would be grateful to have that.

"Fulfillment"and all that is wonderful but there is the matter of putting food on the table. Or having a table to put it on....
If it was fun, they wouldn't call it work...
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:54 AM   #31
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And there are plenty of people who would be grateful to have that.

"Fulfillment"and all that is wonderful but there is the matter of putting food on the table. Or having a table to put it on....
I know that many people see work as just 8 hours to endure, but I remember a time when I loved my work. I don't any more and I miss that very much.
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:33 AM   #32
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I know that many people see work as just 8 hours to endure, but I remember a time when I loved my work. I don't any more and I miss that very much.
Loved? Been interested in, I have done that. Been motivated to do or felt like what I was doing was worthwhile? Yeah. Loved? Uhhh....
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:27 AM   #33
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Loved? Been interested in, I have done that. Been motivated to do or felt like what I was doing was worthwhile? Yeah. Loved? Uhhh....
Yes I think loved is good. As a kid I loved astronomy and I got to do that professionally for a while until I was lured away by bigger salaries.
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:42 PM   #34
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Loved? Been interested in, I have done that. Been motivated to do or felt like what I was doing was worthwhile? Yeah. Loved? Uhhh....
I'm with Brewer on this one.
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:51 PM   #35
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Loved? Been interested in, I have done that. Been motivated to do or felt like what I was doing was worthwhile? Yeah. Loved? Uhhh....
Same here. Although, I can honestly say there have been jobs I've had that, while I didn't "love" them, I did have the hots for them for extended periods of time.

Regarding the OP though, there's a lot more 'gray' in my job these days than there used to be.
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:58 PM   #36
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I can definitely identify with brewer and nun: I currently have a position that pays well but is no longer rewarding in much of any other way. I am high enough in the management chain to have people relying on my for their jobs but not quite high enough to force the changes that I believe could make the company sustainable. (I definitely do not have the political skills to gracefully engineer such changes.)

While I readily admit that I have no real right to complain and that others would love to be in my position, this does not change the fact that I find the situation exhausting.

Even though I think I have enough to walk away now with a reasonable chance of portfolio survival, each additional month of employment does increase the financial safety net. So, I continue to suffer from the one more dollar/year syndrome. Maybe I will find the cure in 2013.
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:40 PM   #37
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Loved? Been interested in, I have done that. Been motivated to do or felt like what I was doing was worthwhile? Yeah. Loved? Uhhh....
+1

I got the PERFECT job for me, probably the only job like it in the world. But one of the things nobody told me when I was younger (and I wish they had) is that when push comes to shove, a job is just a job, and not only that, a job is a job is a job.
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:03 AM   #38
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I know that many people see work as just 8 hours to endure, but I remember a time when I loved my work. I don't any more and I miss that very much.
There were plenty of times I looked forward to going to work, especially later on when I got into working computer crime cases. That was a way-cool job straight out of a 1960's science fiction novel and most days I went to work thinking "Wow, I can't believe they're actually paying me to do this!"

Admittedly I took a page out of What Color is Your Parachute? and persuaded my employer to create the job I wanted. Also, it took about four years for that to happen.

But it sure was fun while it lasted.
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:53 AM   #39
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most days I went to work thinking "Wow, I can't believe they're actually paying me to do this!"
Sounds like fun.

Lately, my job has come to resemble a minimum security prison. I am doing a 5 year term (vesting schedule), have no choice but to show up every work day, sit in my cell/cube, do what I am told, etc. The cafeteria food, bars on all the windows, and armed guards all over the place add to that feeling.

Good thing I get along with the other inmates and manage the occasional conjugal visit...
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:07 AM   #40
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Sounds like fun.

Lately, my job has come to resemble a minimum security prison. I am doing a 5 year term (vesting schedule), have no choice but to show up every work day, sit in my cell/cube, do what I am told, etc. The cafeteria food, bars on all the windows, and armed guards all over the place add to that feeling.

Good thing I get along with the other inmates and manage the occasional conjugal visit...
Hmmmmm, conjugating among employees inmates; you have a very open minded employer!
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