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Old 03-12-2009, 12:44 PM   #81
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Ahh - Finland - one of the more interesting places I've been on this earth and some of the more interesting people as well. I'll never forget my week in Finland in December (yes, it was cold). I'd like to go there and/or Noway in the summertime someday.

Hubby and I have a trip to Iceland planned this Memorial Day - I'm looking forward to that!
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Old 03-12-2009, 03:07 PM   #82
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So few have heard the sound of true silence. A pity.

It takes a while to discover that in true exterior silence, you can hear your nervous system and your blood stream at work.

Happy listening.
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Old 03-12-2009, 04:17 PM   #83
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Ahh - Finland - one of the more interesting places I've been on this earth and some of the more interesting people as well. I'll never forget my week in Finland in December (yes, it was cold). I'd like to go there and/or Noway in the summertime someday.

Hubby and I have a trip to Iceland planned this Memorial Day - I'm looking forward to that!
Third generation. Try the bullcrap where they get ya drunk - run out of the Sauna roll in the the snow or jump in the ice cold lake and try and convince yourself it's fun/builds chararcter/etc. And you are supposed to self flagellate with Birch branches.

Luckily - in the late 50's - girls, cars, drive-in's and plenty of nice loud Rock and Roll music.

That plus 30 yrs in New Orleans - you can never go home again.

Hot tub and Cheeseburgers.

heh heh heh -
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Old 03-13-2009, 08:02 AM   #84
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So few have heard the sound of true silence. A pity.

It takes a while to discover that in true exterior silence, you can hear your nervous system and your blood stream at work.

Happy listening.
Experience complete silence
And complete darkness
Alone
Deep in a cave

Then come out of the cave
In the middle of the night
Springtime
Smell of honeysuckle

Breathless

Great to be Alive
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Old 03-13-2009, 07:43 PM   #85
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Third generation.



Hot tub and Cheeseburgers.

heh heh heh -
Oh, "Cheeseburgers". Thought you said Hot tub and Cheerleaders. Changes everything! Heh, heh.
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Old 03-13-2009, 10:15 PM   #86
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Great post Nords. I've been thinking about it for a few days.

This morning, listening to NPR, I heard this report:
According to Jackie Andrade, a professor of psychology at the University of Plymouth, though many people assume that the brain is inactive when they're bored, the reverse is actually true.
"If you look at people's brain function when they're bored, we find that they are using a lot of energy — their brains are very active," Andrade says.
The reason, she explains, is that the brain is designed to constantly process information. But when the brain finds an environment barren of stimulating information, it's a problem.

"You wouldn't want the brain to just switch off, because a bear might walk up behind you and attack you; you need to be on the lookout for something happening," Andrade says.

So when the brain lacks sufficient stimulation, it essentially goes on the prowl and scavenges for something to think about. Typically what happens in this situation is that the brain ends up manufacturing its own material.
The story was about doodling, of all things. It seems that the professor did experiments that showed doodlers retain more information than non-doodlers when listening to a boring presentation. Apparently, doodling can actually provide just the right amount of stimulation during a listening task. The doodling keeps the brain from lapsing into day-dreaming, where the presenter's words are shut out almost entirely.

What's my point? I'm thinking there's a scientifically-provable basis in this joy of "being" so many have found in ER. Many of you seem to have a harnessed the brain's horsepower in a way that allows you to shut out the noisy (but ultimately unfulfilling) stimulation of a day defined by work. Freed of the need to listen to other's boring presentations (or use doodling to keep half your mind on today's speaker) your mind is now free to "daydream" productively.

If you're lucky. As you say:
"Anyone can learn to be a hyperactive overachiever. It takes real skill to master the challenge of just sitting there and doing absolutely nothing."
Bored? Try Doodling To Keep The Brain On Task : NPR

The research report (caution: very dry and academic):
Wiley InterScience :: Session Cookies
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Old 03-16-2009, 06:08 PM   #87
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"Anyone can learn to be a hyperactive overachiever. It takes real skill to master the challenge of just sitting there and doing absolutely nothing."
I'm going to show this to my wife so she will appreciate that this is just another one of my real skills.
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Old 03-16-2009, 06:28 PM   #88
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My first fishing lesson was: Don't just do something, sit there.
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Old 03-25-2009, 05:23 PM   #89
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To torture the metaphor even further, people can easily spend $3/day on cable TV or cell phone bills. But unless that's being subsidized by an employer, it's hard to feel virtuous about saving for ER without cable (let alone HD) and not being able to yak at will.!
Well, I have neither a cell phone, nor cable. If people want to spend money on such things, that's entirely their choice; but the absence of electronic amenities certainly doesn't constitute deprivation. Indeed, my own reasons for doing without are not economic.

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If we tell people to forsake their daily caffeine to worship the putative benefits of simple living, then I doubt the pews will fill with converts.
Quite likely. But then, I'm not interested in proselytizing. People have various values, and are free to make their own decisions accordingly.
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Old 05-07-2009, 03:13 PM   #90
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Wow, great post Nords.

I'm currently in month 2 of my ER from the car business, and it's been a struggle to get adjusted. Your post describes me perfectly-- I was consumed by my work for 20 years running our car dealership, and when I was not at work I was constantly thinking about it.

When I first quit I didn't know what to do with myself at first at all. DW got a job as soon as I shut down the store (my recommendation-- and a stupid one), and now I find myself alone having to manufacture things to do. So far my routine has been to get up early (5:30-- habit), make coffee, feed the dog and cat, wake up DW and kids, make them some breakfast and then drive the kids to school. When I get back DW and I usually chat for awhile and drink some more coffee and then she is off to work. When they are gone I mow the yard. A lot. We have a 1 acre lot and what's not house is filled with carpet grass, and I find myself mowing two to three times a week since I have to break it up in sections. I like to cook and for the first month I was cooking all sorts of great meals, but the novelty of that has already worn off and my meals are getting more ordinary. I clean house (hate that). Surf the net (like that). Go grocery shopping. Then I pick up the kids and help them with homework if they need it and take them to baseball practice and stuff.

My brain seems to need something productive to do, but I have not figured out what yet. I don't feel like what I'm doing is very productive so I don't really feel good about myself at the end of the day. DW and I have discussed doing something together-- maybe something that will make a little money and be fun, but nothing has come of it yet.

I feel like I'm wandering around in the "fog of retirement" currently, but I look forward to it lifting and I feel confident it will eventually.
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Old 05-07-2009, 03:49 PM   #91
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I retired from the Navy back in December, and I took terminal leave beginning in October. After I retired, I hung around the house doing housework, getting things in order, and running kids around here and there. I also began to referee basketball and had a blast! I also completed 1 of the last 2 classes for my Bachelors Degree.

Back in April, I found out that the local golf course on the Air Force base was hiring for Pro Shop personnel. I went in and got me a job! Even though it is a "job", it sure as heck doesn't feel like work! I get paid $7.50/hr, and I have been averaging about 30 hours a week. There is nothing like being around golf for a living!!!! I move carts, check people in, sell beer/soda/sandwiches, get tournaments ready. The Manager eventually wants me to help him repair/regrip clubs and do lessons also! It is the perfect job for me!

Also, I umpired high school softball/baseball games for the past 6 weeks. I made over $2,000 doing that!

I am also finishing up my last class for my bachelors degree and will begin to work on my Master's Degree since my RICH Uncle named Sam is paying me to go to school (aka GI Bill).

Good Luck! I love the stress free lifestyle so far!
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Old 05-07-2009, 03:55 PM   #92
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I feel like I'm wandering around in the "fog of retirement" currently, but I look forward to it lifting and I feel confident it will eventually.
From your "bounced check" thread it appears that Chrysler will keep you entertained for a while.

If surfing's not an option yet, Zelinski's "Get-A-Life" tree was a very helpful tool. Frankly I'm surprised that your kids haven't upped their crisis/drama/angst output to fill all your free time...

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Good Luck! I love the stress free lifestyle so far!
Beats the heck outta floating around listening to BAINBRIDGE shooting at pirates, eh?
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Fog of work
Old 05-07-2009, 07:07 PM   #93
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Fog of work

I really enjoy all the posts here! Much food for thought about reclaiming oneself when one gets off the w**k treadmill. I have some ideas of what I want to do, and if I were entirely honest with myself, I could early retire now and put some of them into action(travel, volunteering, gym workouts early in the morning, cultural events, being of more consistent help to my elderly Aunt and a handicapped cousin both of whom live at a distance). I think a large part of why I stay is that I have an easy, fairly lucrative job, and a lot of my social life revolves around long-time friends at w**k. Hard to leave the safety net of a structured day. This forum is a great place to learn from folks who have successfully navigated the transition.
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Old 05-08-2009, 07:18 AM   #94
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...I had learn to relax and do nothing at all, just for short periods of time. That was not trivial.
...After almost 2 years of FIRE, I have migrated to intermediate "being". My loom is not silent.
A 3 month update...my FIRE transformation feels very complete now.

The catalyst - I watched a movie the other night that had a profound effect on me. "Flash of Genius" is the story of Dr. Robert Kearns, inventor of the intermittent windshield wiper motor, and his years-long struggle to get proper credit and compensation.
Kearns' story touched me in ways I cannot fully explain here. All I will say is his experience and mine have a lot of commonality, with mine on a much smaller scale and of shorter duration. His idea was stolen, mine was short-circuited in spite of 2 issued patents and 2 still on deck. Enough said.
After the movie, I treated dh2b to a core dump of what went down, soup to nuts. He already knew bits and pieces. His reaction...

It was like having an unfinished project sitting around begging to be completed. I was finally able to place it back on my loom and finish it up.
It took me over 2 years (slow learner ) since FIRE to achieve mental closure on a real tooth-grinder.
I finally threw that heavy anchor overboard sans retrieval line.

This feels wonderful.
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Old 05-08-2009, 09:01 AM   #95
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Wow, great post Nords.

I'm currently in month 2 of my ER from the car business, and it's been a struggle to get adjusted. Your post describes me perfectly-- I was consumed by my work for 20 years running our car dealership, and when I was not at work I was constantly thinking about it.

When I first quit I didn't know what to do with myself at first at all. DW got a job as soon as I shut down the store (my recommendation-- and a stupid one), and now I find myself alone having to manufacture things to do. So far my routine has been to get up early (5:30-- habit), make coffee, feed the dog and cat, wake up DW and kids, make them some breakfast and then drive the kids to school. When I get back DW and I usually chat for awhile and drink some more coffee and then she is off to work. When they are gone I mow the yard. A lot. We have a 1 acre lot and what's not house is filled with carpet grass, and I find myself mowing two to three times a week since I have to break it up in sections. I like to cook and for the first month I was cooking all sorts of great meals, but the novelty of that has already worn off and my meals are getting more ordinary. I clean house (hate that). Surf the net (like that). Go grocery shopping. Then I pick up the kids and help them with homework if they need it and take them to baseball practice and stuff.

My brain seems to need something productive to do, but I have not figured out what yet. I don't feel like what I'm doing is very productive so I don't really feel good about myself at the end of the day. DW and I have discussed doing something together-- maybe something that will make a little money and be fun, but nothing has come of it yet.

I feel like I'm wandering around in the "fog of retirement" currently, but I look forward to it lifting and I feel confident it will eventually.
Find a cause or an organization that needs help and that you want to. I spent 6 years as an officer and president of the local chamber, and it was rewarding. Had I been retired, it would have been even more so. When I am retired, wherever DW and I find ourselves, I will be vounteering for worthwhile causes, it's just something I do.........
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Old 05-08-2009, 09:13 AM   #96
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Find a cause or an organization that needs help and that you want to. I spent 6 years as an officer and president of the local chamber, and it was rewarding. Had I been retired, it would have been even more so. When I am retired, wherever DW and I find ourselves, I will be vounteering for worthwhile causes, it's just something I do.........
I will heartily second this motion.
Cardude, your skiils would be a tremendous asset for any volunteer organization. Even if you start out as a grunt, people will recognize your talents in short order.
Only take on what makes you feel good. Remember to say NO as well as YES and you'll be fine. Go get 'em!
I myself went very gung ho with volunteering for the first year and a half so I wouldn't drive everyone (within a 5 mile radius) bonkers with my pent up energy. At 2 years plus of FIRE, I have backed off it a lot now except for my monthly food bank. Just another phase of FIRE. I'll pick up on another volunteer activity when it falls under my feet.
If you need ideas or links, just say so and I will post them for you. I have a small collection copied and pasted inside one of my reminder appointments.
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Old 05-08-2009, 11:36 PM   #97
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Every once in a while the title of this article comes up in our household conversations:
"Candy striper my ass!"

Sometimes the paid employees of non-profits aren't quite the caliber you'd expect. Other times there's a reason they're looking for a volunteer to do certain jobs... but hopefully this article is out of date.
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Old 05-09-2009, 08:25 AM   #98
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Back in April, I found out that the local golf course on the Air Force base was hiring for Pro Shop personnel. I went in and got me a job! Even though it is a "job", it sure as heck doesn't feel like work! I get paid $7.50/hr, and I have been averaging about 30 hours a week. There is nothing like being around golf for a living!!!!
One of the guys I used to work with found the same salvation doing the same thing. The perk of course is free golf.
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Old 05-09-2009, 08:51 AM   #99
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The "fog of work" can continue for months, years, even decades. Maybe work is fun, maybe planning is too hard or even scary, or maybe we're too busy with the daily minutiae to focus on the long-term picture.

<snip>

It's the same for the "fog of work". People have to give themselves a break from their daily busy-ness to practice living retirement without a huge catch-up To-Do list. No traditional cross-country family vacation or painting the house or writing the Great American Novel… just "being" for a while instead of "doing".
That was the part I had a hard time with. So driven and busy with work and hobby and family there was little time for myself. It took a few years to decompress and often thinking "Now what? What do I do next?" And then the light bulb came on: "Why do I have to do anything?"

The answer is that I don't.

So I have this easy part time/full time job (for now) that is okay but is certainly not the center of my life. It is clearly temporary and whether "temporary" turns out to be one year or five, it doesn't matter. If I went in tomorrow and found out I'd been fired I really wouldn't be too upset about it.

And that is a great place to be.
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Old 05-09-2009, 09:49 AM   #100
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If I went in tomorrow and found out I'd been fired I really wouldn't be too upset about it.

And that is a great place to be.
I actually got "fired" from "volunteer" patrol/security duty I was doing for my community association. Apparently, the Chief of geezer patrol didn't like my "layed back" attitude, my refusal to wear their stupid hat, I wore a yankees cap instead, and my refusal to go by his anal rules, so they fired me from something I wasn't even paid for.

He said I did not fit the image of a professional. He was a fed cop in his former life.

I guess the community board couldn't deal with his anal ways either, so they fired him and invited me back. I said "no way jose", unless I can ride patrol in my bathrobe and slippers. They thought about it, then said I may slip over my robe and they would have insurance problems.

Jug
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