Author Topic: Unprepared FIRE... one year later.  (Read 5176 times)

Extremely Fortunate

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Unprepared FIRE... one year later.
« on: October 17, 2018, 01:48:46 AM »
So I FIREd a little under a year ago (late 30s) and spent some time traveling.

I'm not sure what I should be doing with myself now that I have all this free time. I spend my days eating and wasting time on my computer like an unmotivated jobless bum, but I don't need to get a job.

Any ideas on what I should be doing with myself?

If there are any people in here who went through the same thing, I'd love to hear what you did so that your life had some purpose.

dutty

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Re: Unprepared FIRE... one year later.
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2018, 03:17:40 AM »
You could start by writing an exhaustive list of all problems faced by society on a local and global level. If you find yourself particularly drawn to helping solve or alleviate any of them then you can start to get involved. The great benefit of financial independence seems to be about being able to choose your work without worry of financial recompense rather than being able to put your feet up indefinitely, as it appears you have discovered first hand. You are able to choose work which can come in any form whether that's voluntary, low income, full-time, part-time, multiple jobs, physical or academic. You can mix and match it all. Quite the position to be in and you have no rush to do any of it. Enjoy!

terran

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Re: Unprepared FIRE... one year later.
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2018, 06:10:12 AM »
You might find this book helpful: https://www.amazon.com/How-Retire-Happy-Wild-Free/dp/096941949X/

Another that I want to read, but haven't yet is https://www.amazon.com/Purposeful-Retirement-Bring-Happiness-Meaning/dp/1633535037/ -- if you read it I'd appreciate a report back on what you think of it :-)

ysette9

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Re: Unprepared FIRE... one year later.
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2018, 09:24:28 AM »

Financial.Velociraptor

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Re: Unprepared FIRE... one year later.
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2018, 09:29:19 AM »
It is perfectly normal or at least average to have an existential crisis post work.  My experience is it passes.

You might want to dig into deeper questions than what to do.  Can you name your own personal core values?  If not, how in the hell will you build a life that is consistent with them?!?  If you are religious, start with a religious authority. If nay, I recommend Thoreau's "Walden".  You have been putting off some important inner work and your inner shadow material will haunt you until you address it whether you are working or not.

Good luck.

ROF Expat

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Re: Unprepared FIRE... one year later.
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2018, 02:41:11 PM »
What did you do with your spare time when you were working? 

What did you wish you could do more of then? 

Did you find your work rewarding?

DS

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Re: Unprepared FIRE... one year later.
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2018, 02:44:18 PM »
1. Appalachian Trail
2. Pacific Crest Trail
3. Continental Divide Trail
4. Te Aurora Trail
5. Long Trail
6. Hike All 14'ers
7. El Camino de Santiago
8. Bike across U.S.

austin944

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Re: Unprepared FIRE... one year later.
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2018, 08:03:52 PM »
You might want to dig into deeper questions than what to do.  Can you name your own personal core values? 

Are you talking about something like the following list of mine, or something different?

Desired Principles of Living
------------------------------
1) Simple, Frugal, Carefree living
2) Confront and Acknowledge Fears, but don't become Paralyzed by Fears
3) Pursue Healthy Lifestyle
  a) exercise
  b) diet
  c) socializing
4) Live for Today, instead of Living for Tomorrow
5) Freedom
6) Find Like-minded People and Make Friends with Them
  a) accepting of differences
  b) friendly
  c) non-consumerist
  d) reject superficial assessments of people (clothing, appearance, personality)
7) Like to help others who Want to be helped

Financial.Velociraptor

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Re: Unprepared FIRE... one year later.
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2018, 06:43:35 AM »
You might want to dig into deeper questions than what to do.  Can you name your own personal core values? 

Are you talking about something like the following list of mine, or something different?

Desired Principles of Living
------------------------------
1) Simple, Frugal, Carefree living
2) Confront and Acknowledge Fears, but don't become Paralyzed by Fears
3) Pursue Healthy Lifestyle
  a) exercise
  b) diet
  c) socializing
4) Live for Today, instead of Living for Tomorrow
5) Freedom
6) Find Like-minded People and Make Friends with Them
  a) accepting of differences
  b) friendly
  c) non-consumerist
  d) reject superficial assessments of people (clothing, appearance, personality)
7) Like to help others who Want to be helped

That is a good list.  Most people don't even have that much.  One of the good/bad things about FIRE is you suddenly have a lot of time for self reflection.  It is wonderful if you embrace it but can make you miserable if you are unprepared for your own shadow material.

matchewed

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Re: Unprepared FIRE... one year later.
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2018, 10:09:27 AM »
I'd recommend a secondary list of concrete actionable items that can get your ass moving. Higher view philosophical goals are good and all but you can wish all day to be there, or you can act to be there.

Loren Ver

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Re: Unprepared FIRE... one year later.
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2018, 11:08:12 AM »
You might want to dig into deeper questions than what to do.  Can you name your own personal core values? 

Are you talking about something like the following list of mine, or something different?

Desired Principles of Living
------------------------------
1) Simple, Frugal, Carefree living
2) Confront and Acknowledge Fears, but don't become Paralyzed by Fears
3) Pursue Healthy Lifestyle
  a) exercise
  b) diet
  c) socializing
4) Live for Today, instead of Living for Tomorrow
5) Freedom
6) Find Like-minded People and Make Friends with Them
  a) accepting of differences
  b) friendly
  c) non-consumerist
  d) reject superficial assessments of people (clothing, appearance, personality)
7) Like to help others who Want to be helped

I like this list and appreciate that it is simple which aligns with your point #1.

LoanShark

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Re: Unprepared FIRE... one year later.
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2018, 02:22:04 PM »
1. Appalachian Trail
2. Pacific Crest Trail
3. Continental Divide Trail
4. Te Aurora Trail
5. Long Trail
6. Hike All 14'ers
7. El Camino de Santiago
8. Bike across U.S.


Ditto!

FireHiker

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Re: Unprepared FIRE... one year later.
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2018, 02:40:01 PM »
1. Appalachian Trail
2. Pacific Crest Trail
3. Continental Divide Trail
4. Te Aurora Trail
5. Long Trail
6. Hike All 14'ers
7. El Camino de Santiago
8. Bike across U.S.


Ditto!

Ditto x2, except the biking

9. Wonderland Trail
10. visit all National Parks
11. Havasupai Falls
12. Grand Canyon rim to rim (to rim?)
13. take up ultra-running and start running 100 milers

Sigh, so many fun adventures, so little time...


Mr. Green

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Re: Unprepared FIRE... one year later.
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2018, 03:06:00 PM »
1. Appalachian Trail
2. Pacific Crest Trail
3. Continental Divide Trail
4. Te Aurora Trail
5. Long Trail
6. Hike All 14'ers
7. El Camino de Santiago
8. Bike across U.S.
That takes care of about 5 years right there!

MarciaB

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Re: Unprepared FIRE... one year later.
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2018, 03:13:44 PM »
If you like to read books that help work you through some of this stuff I recommend:

Martha Beck (Finding Your Own North Star is a favorite)

And I'm currently working through a book called Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans.

Both of these should be in your library.

capoevename

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Re: Unprepared FIRE... one year later.
« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2018, 01:26:43 PM »
Don't go hiking, like people suggested above. You already traveled and it didn't do it for you. It sounds like at this point in your life they will simply be distractions. What you're yearning for is meaning. No one can give you a prescription that will work. You have the time to figure this out. But you don't have to start from scratch. Learn from traditions; they embed the trial and errors of our ancestors over many many lifetimes. Christianity, Buddhism, Taoism, etc. Stoicism and Epicureanism if you're less inclined to organized religions. One is more than enough when practiced with true desire for answers. This is my only suggestion.

In the end, you'll find the purpose and joy of life come from the search of virtue and understanding and carrying of Nature's will.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2018, 01:28:50 PM by capoevename »

Hikester

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Re: Unprepared FIRE... one year later.
« Reply #16 on: October 22, 2018, 05:09:32 PM »
Firehiker, loanshark and DS, I know what you mean. Here are some more ideas,

Pick up a new sport,
Read books youíve always wanted to read
Travel
Take classes
Walk, bike or take public transport to destinations if not what you do
Explore your city
Help people or volunteer
Learn new language
Watch movies and shows didnít have time for before
Build something
Learn to cook
Become a parent
What did you want to do but couldnít when used to work? Do that

My list can get really long. Basically explore new things and see what brings you meaning.

AlwaysBeenASaver

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Re: Unprepared FIRE... one year later.
« Reply #17 on: October 22, 2018, 09:55:22 PM »
I'm FIRED 3 years. When I first FIRED, I immediately started a volunteer job, just a few hours a week, but filled a need in my community. I also participated in one-time volunteer activities when I saw ones that sounded fun. I'm doing other volunteer jobs now than I was 3 years ago. The nice thing is, I only have to do what I want to do, I can quit at any time, and there are always more volunteer jobs available when I want them! Maybe you can find something to volunteer for that interests you? It will give you a sense of purpose, help your community, and get you out of the house.

DoNorth

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Re: Unprepared FIRE... one year later.
« Reply #18 on: October 24, 2018, 08:03:41 AM »
I semi-FIREd from 37-39 while I built my house and did some PT work.  About 6 months, I went back to work doing a term position in southwest France for the next 18 month.  Didn't need to, but it's been a great choice so far.  Will return to FIRE in 2020. 

Car Jack

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Re: Unprepared FIRE... one year later.
« Reply #19 on: October 24, 2018, 01:39:46 PM »
So I FIREd a little under a year ago (late 30s) and spent some time traveling.

I'm not sure what I should be doing with myself now that I have all this free time. I spend my days eating and wasting time on my computer like an unmotivated jobless bum, but I don't need to get a job.

Any ideas on what I should be doing with myself?

If there are any people in here who went through the same thing, I'd love to hear what you did so that your life had some purpose.

Come on over to my house.  I've got 2 cords of wood still to split.  The splitting maul is next to the pile to the right of the driveway.  You can just stack it anywhere or if you want to be useful, walk it up the driveway and put it on the split wood stack across from the house.

If you finish that, I've got 100 other things that need doing.  Can you weld?

MasterStache

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Re: Unprepared FIRE... one year later.
« Reply #20 on: October 26, 2018, 05:33:24 AM »
1. Appalachian Trail
2. Pacific Crest Trail
3. Continental Divide Trail
4. Te Aurora Trail
5. Long Trail
6. Hike All 14'ers
7. El Camino de Santiago
8. Bike across U.S.


Ditto!

Ditto x2, except the biking

9. Wonderland Trail
10. visit all National Parks
11. Havasupai Falls
12. Grand Canyon rim to rim (to rim?)
13. take up ultra-running and start running 100 milers

Sigh, so many fun adventures, so little time...

I would love to hike at least part of all those trails. Maybe some day when the kids are grown and gone. Some folks don't really like hiking. I find it's a wonderful opportunity for self-reflection when it's just me and the trees. I like to recommend it as well to anyone who might seem "lost."

Calvin

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Re: Unprepared FIRE... one year later.
« Reply #21 on: October 26, 2018, 09:12:30 AM »
Great thread! I semi-FIREd about 2-3 years ago to start a business which is going great now. On track to be full FI in about 1-2 years. I've dealt with some of the same thoughts as the OP.

I'll second El Camino de Santiago! It's much more accessible than hiking the Appalachian Trail. You meet a ton of great people and it's a lot of fun. Check it out!

eco mom

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Re: Unprepared FIRE... one year later.
« Reply #22 on: October 26, 2018, 11:31:55 AM »
Love all the ideas in here. Many seem like great possibilities for when my kids are grown... or at least not so tiny.

I'm only 2 weeks in, and two small kids makes my FIRE a bit different, but I find that volunteering is helpful for sure so want to echo that sentiment. Surely there is some social justice cause that can get you excited. For me it's climate change.

Also, time with friends and family. Mentioned on DS's list, but worth an extra highlight.

Even if you're not religious, maybe try a church. Unitarian churches are atheist/agnostic-friendly and that would be one more way to find community and discover many ways to give back to your community as well.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Unprepared FIRE... one year later.
« Reply #23 on: October 27, 2018, 03:40:10 AM »
I'm closing in on 4 years of being fire'd and it took me along time as well but be careful what you wish for. Now I feel almost as overwhelmed as I did when I was working.

I learned to cook and took over all the cooking in the house.
If you own your own home then if it needs work start going to classes at the likes of Home Depot and start repairing /remodeling 1 room at a time.
Workout or exercise everyday.
Read
Journal
I dont travel abroad not my thing but i do go on 4 day to a week places max domestically or I get bored.
I have found alot of people older that I enjoy talking with
I fish
I challenge my self to find deals and savings so I do all the shopping
Get yourself in front of people.

I spent the first two years pretty much wondering if I was depressed because I went from running a business and being in charge of this and that to the couch. I did start out by exercising every day and then said I am not sitting down until 3pm  everyday.

Like others have said its a transition and for some longer than others. Dont beat yourself up about it but just push and challenge yourself a bit others wise you will just poison your mind with things unhealthy. If need be it wouldnt be the worse thing even if you dont need to work to work 15-20 hrs a week like at a box store to get around some people as well. I almost did that but now i dont have the time.

Good Luck!

MasterStache

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Re: Unprepared FIRE... one year later.
« Reply #24 on: October 28, 2018, 07:01:25 AM »
I spent the first two years pretty much wondering if I was depressed because I went from running a business and being in charge of this and that to the couch. I did start out by exercising every day and then said I am not sitting down until 3pm  everyday.

Like others have said its a transition and for some longer than others. Dont beat yourself up about it but just push and challenge yourself a bit others wise you will just poison your mind with things unhealthy. If need be it wouldnt be the worse thing even if you dont need to work to work 15-20 hrs a week like at a box store to get around some people as well. I almost did that but now i dont have the time.

Good Luck!
Excellent advice, really for any chapter of your life. I think most folks are just naturally challenged at work. But when you no longer work, you have to seek out challenges. One thing I try to make a point of doing (I believe MMM touched on this), is to take on something difficult everyday. If it's raining and dreary, go for a long walk. Pick up a sport (I play volleyball on Sunday nights now). Just find things to challenge yourself.

elliha

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Re: Unprepared FIRE... one year later.
« Reply #25 on: October 28, 2018, 07:25:28 AM »
I think the "three things"-model is good for making plans in life. "Three things I want to do for myself, this month, this year, within 10 years" Three things I want to do for others, this month, this year, within 10 years" "Three places I want to visit this year, within 5 years, within 10 years"

You could pick other titles for your list or other time periods but this is what I would pick. If you work I would "week" as a level for some of these things but that might not be necessary when you don't work but perhaps you should do this for the first months at least if you feel that you are quite passive nowadays.

Bateaux

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Re: Unprepared FIRE... one year later.
« Reply #26 on: October 29, 2018, 07:15:10 AM »
1. Appalachian Trail
2. Pacific Crest Trail
3. Continental Divide Trail
4. Te Aurora Trail
5. Long Trail
6. Hike All 14'ers
7. El Camino de Santiago
8. Bike across U.S.

My main reasons tor getting to FIRE.

DS

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Re: Unprepared FIRE... one year later.
« Reply #27 on: October 29, 2018, 08:03:54 AM »
My main reasons tor getting to FIRE.

I completed #1 at 23 y/o, which changed my mindset. Now seeking serial mini retirements to continue the list.