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Six Weeks: A Taste of FIRE
Old 05-01-2008, 11:58 AM   #1
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Six Weeks: A Taste of FIRE

Well I'm just a few days away from taking the longest leave of my working life so far: six weeks. We are having our second baby so I know I'm going to be busy during it.

My question is this: if you've taken a leave yourself did you find it really hard to go back to w*rk afterwards? Or did it really help you motive yourself to FIRE? Thanks.
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Old 05-01-2008, 12:36 PM   #2
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I have the option of taking sabatical - up to 3 months - but won't. 1) It is at half pay and 2) I doubt I could get the ambition up to return...

Taking time of for a kid though is different. Its w^&k of a different sort

DD
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Old 05-01-2008, 12:58 PM   #3
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I took a six week leave of absence once. It was the best thing I ever did. It wasn't too bad returning because while I was gone I decided I would quit my job a few months after returning.
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Old 05-01-2008, 04:57 PM   #4
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I take a good three -four weeks off once a year and I do not think you can begin to get the FIRE feeling until you are ACTUALLY gone --- I mean I always am thinking -- "Ugh a week of vacation is gone already..." and before I know it I am back to work looking for the next break.

Oh for the day when my time is MINE.

Returning back to work sucks
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Old 05-01-2008, 07:13 PM   #5
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I'm about to take 30 days of me time in a couple weeks. I cannot wait, and the day I have to go back to work is going to be incredibly difficult. If only I actually had the option of not returning.
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Old 05-01-2008, 07:22 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Canadian FIRE View Post
Well I'm just a few days away from taking the longest leave of my working life so far: six weeks. We are having our second baby so I know I'm going to be busy during it.
Hope everything goes well! Are you the DW or the DH? Why only 6 weeks? Why not split the 52 weeks equally?

Anyhooo....parental leave is hardly the same as FIRE. You will see more poop than you ever thought possible!
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Old 05-01-2008, 08:48 PM   #7
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I took unpaid paternal leave of one month for both my children. The time of was nice and when I was not helping out I did use it to work on my FIRE plan. Vacations where the same way in that I would get all depressed toward the end knowing that I had to go back to W*rk!

FIRE changed all that! Though it has only been four months a still joke about everyday being a Saturday! Fire is all I dreamed it would be and more and well worth the 80+ hour weeks holding down two jobs to make it happen sooner.
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Old 05-01-2008, 09:57 PM   #8
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DW took nine months off after the birth of each of our two kids, worked mostly part time for four or five years after that and then took a three year leave of absence (the longest allowable) when the youngest was 10. She's been back full-time at mega-corp for three years now. I don't think that her attitude changed much. She liked being off work but she's also pretty happy with her job so although she naturally does many of the things that enable FIRE, e.g. LBYM, it isn't something that she's really concerned about.

MB
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Old 05-01-2008, 10:14 PM   #9
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I took 4 months off in 2006. I recall the first 4 weeks was complete bliss because I no longer had to listen to my idiot manager. Then I had prepare for the Chuck Free time Away exam, so the last 3 months didn't feel that great. I will try to take a real vacation without some major project hanging over my head. I don't know why, but there is just always some major project I'm working on. Strange as heck.
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Old 05-02-2008, 12:24 AM   #10
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I can't stand taking orders, and I've never worked longer than a year at one place, so most of my life has been a series of vacations. One time during college I lived in my car for 8 months just because I didn't feel like working full time anymore.

But now that I'm freelance, if I feel like biking across the country on a whim I just send an e-mail to my agencies saying I won't be requiring any assignments for 10 days. I love working freelance.
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Old 05-02-2008, 02:54 AM   #11
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I took an 8 week leave in 1996 (to bike across the country). The first couple
days back felt strange, but after that everything was back to normal. It was one
of the triggering events that made me go from 'investing as much as I could' to
'start deciding how much I needed and when I would get there' - I planned on
2008, but hit my ### in 2004 and retired in 2006.
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Old 05-02-2008, 06:01 AM   #12
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I took off 4-6 weeks last year...it isnt the same as totally unplugging since some thoughts of work come in...
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Old 05-02-2008, 04:17 PM   #13
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Hope everything goes well! Are you the DW or the DH? Why only 6 weeks? Why not split the 52 weeks equally?

Anyhooo....parental leave is hardly the same as FIRE. You will see more poop than you ever thought possible!
I'm DH. My wife is self employed and taking the full year off, so we can't use the EI program for her. I just can't afford to take off the full 36 weeks parental leave with my wife's business shut down for a year (daycare).

Oh well I'm enjoy the time off anyways. Thanks for the feedback everyone.
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Old 05-07-2008, 11:52 AM   #14
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I just went back to w*rk after about 6 months of freedom. I was pretty apprehensive about going back, but I got into it and I'm enjoying the company (the company of my co-workers).

I think the biggest problem, was that I have spend so much time working toward FIRE that I never took much time for life and living. If you have the reputation for being a workaholic - watch out! You'll be free and totally bored and basically wasting away.

So, with this realization, I'm really making an effort to keep the 9-5 as only a 9-5 and skipping out on any side or freelance work that may come my way.

Going back to work however has given me an extra income boost that I will use to outsource my FIRE ambitions with side businesses which require little to no time to manage.

Here's the recap:
1 month off is great...
2 months awesome...
3-4 months started to wonder what the heck I was doing... was sleeping in very late every day - basically being a bum
5-6 months: realized I was turning into a bum, and started to get on track, joined a meditation group, started working out, cooking, reading etc.


Good luck to you. I suggest 'the Joy of Not working' as a light read for anyone preparing for FIRE whether it be a short term or long term engagement.

Cheers.
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