Slowly Sipping Coffee

Early retirement fail

Well, I have to admit it – I had a 16 hour run at early retirement and I failed. Miserably.

This past week, the kids were at school and Mr. SSC was at work on Monday and Tuesday. I thought this was going to be great, the house to myself, I can catch up on some hobbies, and I’d even gotten a lot of around the house chores done so I wouldn’t feel pressured to do those on my days off. I was all set to be able to relax and have free time for me to do as I chose… And I was restless and bored!!!  I wandered around the house finding random items to reorganize and put back in place. I even took two baths one day! (Seriously – that is more baths then I’ve taken in maybe 6 months!)  I had no idea what to do with all the free time (ie.8 hours).  Then, all this free time I had been looking forward to converted from restlessness to anxiety.  I just sat on the couch thinking “Oh crap! How am I going to retire early? How will I fill my hours? What will I do with myself? What if my plans to teach or volunteer or find part-time work don’t pan out? AHHHH!!!!”  I suppose I am too much of a go-go-GO person… the stillness was driving me crazy!

But then I thought, maybe this is a good thing to realize so far in advance – it gives me a few years to plan what type of part-time work or volunteering I might want to do.  I plan to be more involved with the kids’ school and extracurricular activities which will take a good portion of my time.  But what about the other 12 hours of the day?!  I often hear the advice that retiring isn’t just about money, but its a mindset too – and while I’ve got a plan for the money aspect, now I know I’ve got to start thinking about the psychological side of retiring and making a plan to keep my sanity intact!  My family has always suspected I would go crazy without a job, and now we know that I will.  I admit it –> Mom & Dad, you were right! (Thank goodness they don’t read this blog)

Then I was reminded of when my Dad retired about ten years ago, he had this same ‘restless’  problem for a couple of years before he was able to ease into a less “go-go GO” situation. It drove my mom crazy, because she hadn’t retired yet, and suddenly here my Dad was pacing the house, constantly asking, “What’s next, what’s the plan for the rest of the day, what are we going to do tomorrow?” And Mom replying, “Well, it’s only 8am, I don’t have any plans besides getting out of this nut-house to get away from all this pacing…” I worry that could be me and Mr. SSC. He’ll probably adapt pretty easily to the retired life (maybe too easily…erring on to the side of sloth).  Although, my dad was eventually able to settle into a retirement mindset,  so If he can do it, I know there’s some hope for me.

Has anyone out there gone through this and what did you do to prepare for retirement? Help me!!!

12 thoughts on “Early retirement fail

  1. Mrs. Maroon

    It’s funny how different people can be. I will have no trouble being retired. I can think of a hundred other things I’d rather do during the day than work. My trouble will be prioritizing what to do first! One of thesis activities to occupy my time will be cooking… More and more I make things from scratch. I even made bread this weekend! I definitely plan to do way more cooking when I have time. And read some – I liked seeing people share 2015 goals to read books. I know it is just a stage in my life right now but I don’t have a spare minute to read any books these days!

    1. Mrs SSC Post author

      I realized during my downtime, I did have quite a few projects I wanted to do – but they were BIG projects (like photo organizing) – stuff that I wanted to be able to spread out and work on for a week. In terms of reading more – I love to read. I am a reading nerd, but when the kids came along, I noticed I never seemed to have time… but then I bought a Kindle. It rocks. I get to read all the time now – just in 15 minute increments. Even while rocking baby girl to sleep, I may hold her a little bit longer just to read a chapter. Plus – I just use library books, so besides the initial investment of the Kindle – its not too bad of a cost.

    1. Mrs SSC Post author

      Yes – apparently I will get bored in three hours. I’m definitely going to look into volunteer work, and maybe I will even look into getting certified as a substitute teacher, or maybe a sports coach. I’ll be a soccer mom!!!

  2. Even Steven

    Planning ahead is so important on those days. If you don’t have anything planned to do, yeah it can get boring. You sit around the house, do a little bit of this and a little bit of that and you are bored senseless, maybe not today but in a few days. Plan, plan ahead.

    1. Mrs SSC Post author

      Its funny, the more I think about retirement – the more I am thinking about it as ‘hobby time’ and time to catch up on all the stuff and fun things I don’t get a chance to do with a 9-5 job.

  3. Sir Salty

    There’s an adjustment period to anything new. Even a vacation takes a few days to settle into. I can’t give you real advice, bc I’m not retired. But I imagine retirement is much different.

    But this is a good reminder that “not working” isn’t what we’re looking for. It’s the ability to “do” what we want that we’re looking for. The doing is the fun part.

    Fantastic blog, by the way. I really like the layout (& content).

    1. Mrs SSC Post author

      Thanks! You make a good point about decompression – even vacations take time to get into. Realizing my restlessness will be inevitable, I’ve started a list of project/business ideas for retirement – even though its a few years out!

  4. Emily @ Simple Cheap Mom

    When I first quit my job to start my own business I think I was violently ill for a week. My body needed some time to decompress. My pace is pretty slow now as a stay at home mom and I love it. I’ve never been go go go though.

    My mother in law retired last year and was planning to work part time, but she’s found that things just take up her day. My father retired and is probably more busy now with his side hustles than he was when he was working full time. So I guess everyone’s different.

    Maybe for your next trial period don’t do everything in advance? Leave a few things on your plate. It’s not like there won’t be any cooking/cleaning/errands to do when you’re retired. Throw in some projects and you’ll probably be busy enough.

    1. Mrs SSC Post author

      I am pretty sure I will have the shakes for at least the first month after I quit my job. You make a good point – my parents, especially my mom, talk all the time about how busy she is in retirement now… I guess I shouldn’t worry too much!

  5. ken

    This is the 10 week of retirement. First 6 weeks in florida. Now home with my wife and her mother watching fox new.
    Isn’t amazeing how quick you notice how irrelivant you feel.

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