Author Topic: What did "decompression" look like for you?  (Read 6837 times)

Upstate NYer

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What did "decompression" look like for you?
« on: February 07, 2017, 04:19:58 PM »
Newly retired, completely unmotivated. Wondering what retirement looked like for other people when they were decompressing. Thanks.

Stachey

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Re: What did "decompression" look like for you?
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2017, 04:37:34 PM »
Only been nine months for me but there was definitely a span of time when I didn't feel motivated to do anything.  Just felt really tired and blase.

For me so far it has been:

first three weeks: very very happy!!!
next twoish months: super angry about former job (especially the last one)
then came the unmotivated phase.

Can't really say how long the unmotivated phase lasted but it didn't last very long.
I got busy with projects that I've always wanted to do but didn't have time to because of work.
Now I'm pretty excited every day about things to do.
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Bolshevik Artizan

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Re: What did "decompression" look like for you?
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2017, 04:58:29 PM »
Grew my hair, grew a beard and spent nine months doing nothing except looking after my son (which turned out to be a full time job for nine months). Then started to think about what to do next, and began pursuing my dream career of being a freelance writer with a side gig as a copywriter. Still doing that six months later...

Metric Mouse

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Re: What did "decompression" look like for you?
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2017, 06:34:45 PM »
Lots of exercise, partying, reading, relaxing. Long, long runs through my city in the first few weeks, just exploring places I might never have known existed. That lead to a burst of motivation where I realized 'hey, people with a lot less money than I have are travelling around the world. I should go do that for  awhile.  Without a job, there's no reason I need to stay in this particular city.'  And that was the end of decompression for me, and the start of what I really feel was my retirement.
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Re: What did "decompression" look like for you?
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2017, 08:12:29 AM »
Six week video game and junk food bender followed by four and half months of lacking any direction or purpose.  Most people say it takes about 6 months which was right for me.
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lthenderson

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Re: What did "decompression" look like for you?
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2017, 08:16:22 AM »
Took me a good year to decompress. Mostly it was finding a new base of friends since most of my old friends were still working nine to five jobs and were only available to do things on random weekends.

MsRichLife

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Re: What did "decompression" look like for you?
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2017, 05:04:39 AM »
FIRE'd 3.5 months ago. I'm still in decompression.

The first month was spent trying to run at the same pace I was when working, but focussing my efforts on getting our new life set up and going way too hard at 'retirement'.

The next two months I fell into a bit of a pit. Lacking motivation, really lethargic, sleeping lots.

I feel like I'm starting to come out of that and am putting some structure into my week and starting to set goals. Many of my goals relate to leisure activities I was to build into my life, building social networks and improving my health. Still can't even think about doing anything too productive.

I've allowed myself at least 12 months to decompress and somehow that feels like it might be about right.

MidWestLove

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Re: What did "decompression" look like for you?
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2017, 08:15:00 AM »
what people described matched my experiences and general phases of any transition (denial, anger, bargaining, etc.). I engineered my layoff, transferred responsibilities in preceded 6 months and was 'pre-notified' 60 days in advance (where you still paid normally but don't have to come to work with your access turned off followed by actual layoff when you get terminated in the system and receive severance). the first 60 days were straight up denial (they are still paying me), few months of anger followed by much greater happiness.

what I found working
- limit exposure to former (primarily work related) circle. my co-worker friends wanted to talk but all they wanted to talk about was work and I needed neither their pity nor their solutions (bargaining)
- let it pass , let is flow through you , whatever you are feeling in such transitions is natural and normal
- allow that tightly wound spring (I had 12-14 meetings each day with multiple cross country travel in any single month) to unwind in whatever way you want. don't be afraid to spend some money on things that bring you joy (assuming it is not self destructive), little video games, book "debt" catchup, or just outright soaking in a hot baths in a spa was awesome
- allow yourself to see what you were missing when you were too busy. I got great pleasure in watching my younger daughter developer her speech skills, her first crawl, first walk. Felt somewhat sorry for my working DW who may missed some of these moments..
 

spokey doke

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Re: What did "decompression" look like for you?
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2017, 09:34:11 AM »
more/better sleep...and slowly but surely, the dark circles under my eyes started to fade
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jim555

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Re: What did "decompression" look like for you?
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2017, 09:47:30 AM »
Retiring into a winter in a cold state can be rough.  This is my third winter and it is not fun to be stuck inside.

Upstate NYer

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Re: What did "decompression" look like for you?
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2017, 09:11:24 AM »
Thanks everyone for all of the great responses! Sounds like I should stop being hard on myself when I'm not being productive...I basically spend my time journaling, reading, binge watching a few episodes of something each day, exercise, spending time with my kid or friends, the occasional nap. The most productive thing I do is chores around the apartment or errands.

jim555, yeah I wouldn't have chosen to retire in the winter, but I couldn't face doing another conference at work. Have a lot of travel planned for March.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2017, 07:50:04 PM by Upstate NYer »

Tyler

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Re: What did "decompression" look like for you?
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2017, 11:22:40 AM »
Yeah -- cut yourself some slack.  You earned it!

I played a ton of video games, surfed the net, and caught up on lingering home projects that I had been putting off.  After a few months, I did start to feel a little aimless.  But I learned to interpret the feeling of boredom not as a negative thing, but as my brain's way of saying that it is finally open to new experiences.  And with the right mindset in place, I started looking for new opportunities.  Website ideas, hiking, meetups, art -- you name it.  Allowing the work fog to dissipate takes time, but in the long run you'll be better for it. 
« Last Edit: February 10, 2017, 11:33:48 AM by Tyler »
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soccerluvof4

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Re: What did "decompression" look like for you?
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2017, 03:24:51 PM »
Year and a half in and still figuring it out. Some would probably think I suffer from depression but I just enjoy seeing the kids off, working out.., doing shopping and chores...taking a nap and then chasing the kids at night. There are simply no rules when it comes to this. I am in the cold as well otherwise I would be walking a lot. Winter sucks.
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Exflyboy

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Re: What did "decompression" look like for you?
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2017, 01:04:39 PM »
My blog starts at the day I retired (blatant advertising.. see link below)

I retired 3 years ago.. took 7 months off.. got an offer I couldn't refuse and went back to work part time for just under 2 years.

The last 8 months have been full time retired.

I'd say now it doesn't feel weird to not go to work, but that took 6 months.

StetsTerhune

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Re: What did "decompression" look like for you?
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2017, 07:07:35 PM »
It's been 9 months for me. I'd say it's been 1 month on followed by 1 month off for that whole period. I'll be super active, reading , learning, traveling, doing. Then I'll get mentally tired and have a very relaxed month. I'm not sure yet if I just haven't found my balance yet, or if this is just how I am.

It's not a bad arrangement for me so far, I really enjoy both sides of it. It does make planning hard though -- I don't want to make any big, active plans for a few months from now if all I'm going to want to do at that moment is nothing.

Greystache

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Re: What did "decompression" look like for you?
« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2017, 07:42:02 AM »
It's been a little over two years since I retired.  My wife continued to work for 6 months after I quit, so I took over all the cooking and cleaning duties. I also did a lot home improvement projects like installing new windows and painting. In between major projects, i spent time on my hobbies and developed some new ones.  I learned some new skills by doing some tasks that I would have previously hired someone else to do, like changing brake pads on my car. But most of all, I spent as much time as possible outside.  I spent my entire career locked up in an office. I read outside, exercise outside, eat outside, etc. Fortunately I live in SoCal so I can do this year round, although it had been a bit damp lately.

zinethstache

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Re: What did "decompression" look like for you?
« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2017, 10:25:34 PM »
I am on week four of retirement. I really, really like to sleep in.

I am still pretty self-structured, DH whose been retired since 2011 is giving me lots of space. I like to walk with my family every morning which is 8:30 so I set my alarm at 7:30 so I can "slowly" wake up, but a couple of times a week I text them a "no walk for me". That 8:30 time is when the horses get fed and let out to graze for the day and I live right next to the barn. I am surrounded by retirees so am not alone... ever.

It's cold and icky here this winter and I refuse to walk in the snow or pouring rain. period. They tease me, but that is where I draw the line. I agree with posters on winter not being the best time to FIRE. Our prep for travel is very limited. But then I didn't want to rush out of town either.

We are stuck here at our temporary home until we sell our vehicles and the weather turns warm long enough for use to break down our winterized trailer. Did I mention I love to sleep in? NO MORE WAKING UP EVERY WEEKDAY AT 5:45!

I only text one co worker who I also like to craft with and we've become close friends. She is not talking about work at all which I appreciate. We have so many other topics to discuss, family, friends and hobbies. Someday I might ask her how the team is doing. I was one of the leaders, and daily manager of various projects.

I also enjoy online gaming daily - duration varies wildly, watching some silly dystopian future or sci fi series long off the air (love Netflix!), reading on DH's Kindle, organizing our traveling home, prepping for travel.

I anxiously await departing for warm weather, that's when I feel my "real" retirement will begin. So far I've had no depression, no listlessness, or feeling guilty for not doing enough, but there's lots of time for that to come. I've had 3 long naps though, each time I woke up I felt sluggish and tired, didn't like them much. I'd rather sleep 8 to 10 hours straight and not nap. DH is a 5 to 6 hour night's sleep, 2+ hour afternoon nap. I guess I do get some alone time, when he naps:)

I hear more snow is in the forecast...sigh... more forced down time inc.

oneyear

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Re: What did "decompression" look like for you?
« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2017, 02:42:47 AM »
Last week I had a heavy workload and a heavy weekend due to a family funeral with significant travel there and back. Went to the office yesterday and really wasn't feeling it. Not one bit. After chatting with my business partner I decided not to go in today. First time I've ever not gone into work without serious sickness or injury.

The company will still continue and I'm not worried about lost earnings. We've a team looking after things now.

I got up at 5.40, went to the gym and was home for the family waking. We've watched Disney and had breakfast together. It's the decompression   I needed right now.

Being FI = choices

Rollin

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Re: What did "decompression" look like for you?
« Reply #18 on: February 23, 2017, 01:28:04 PM »
Ha no decompression time here. FIREd because I was burning and yearning to do other things I couldn't do while working.  Left my job on a Friday afternoon.and was on the road the next morning for a 2 month climbing, hiking, biking,,camping trip to Washington and Oregon.  After that there was a long series of similar trips/adventures plus lots of outdoorsy and recreational stuff in my hood in between. Still do that stuff but dont feel as driven to do it all jow (before I get too old) so more settled now and relaxed as well as more OK with not having plans or doing things all the time. I do think what you're going thru is normal though for many people and you'll probably find your groove eventually.

+1, just instead of climbing, hiking, etc. it was an 11,000 mile motorcycle trip. Now, as I said pre-FIRE, "I'd like to spend more time with my parents", I'm am taking care of things that go along with both of them in hospitals and rehabs for months.

Still. I label my retirement pure "blissful!" It truly has been wonderful. I do add that the stress of the parents changing my idea of what I was going to do to some adjusting to, but I'm thankful that I have the time and energy to take care of them.

I'm getting reinforcements on occasion and plan accordingly. Tonight I'll be sitting over a few beers with a buddy and trying to decide on a four day bike/camp, hike camp, or boat/camp aboard trip next week...
I love being outside.

Upstate NYer

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Re: What did "decompression" look like for you?
« Reply #19 on: February 25, 2017, 09:32:57 AM »
More great responses, thanks!

Been retired for a month now. First week I went to Iceland. Since then, some days are lazy days, some days are more productive. Important thing is, I've stopped giving myself grief, for the most part, for the lazy days.

Volunteering once a month, getting interested in a few different things. Trying to build an exercise routine I can do at home as well as when I'm traveling--I have three trips planned for March. Spending more time with friends and family.

Still trying to find my footing, though.

« Last Edit: February 25, 2017, 09:35:09 AM by Upstate NYer »

Dicey

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Re: What did "decompression" look like for you?
« Reply #20 on: March 04, 2017, 11:29:43 PM »
Four years in and my first response is "I'm still decompressing".

Then I thought about a post I wrote over on the "Odd" Chore thread recently...

In my sales career, there never was a place labeled "good enough". You were always expected to make one more call, close another deal, achieve a higher percentage of goal, get your reports in faster, start the day earlier, work longer, ad infinitum.

Now that I don't have that relentless pressure, it seems like I'm not doing anything. Following the chore thread has made me realize that I get shitloads done. It just doesn't feel that way now, because I know when to stop, and when enough really is enough, unlike my former employer(s).




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Linda_Norway

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Re: What did "decompression" look like for you?
« Reply #21 on: March 06, 2017, 06:13:39 AM »
Retiring into a winter in a cold state can be rough.  This is my third winter and it is not fun to be stuck inside.

I understand this so well.

Winters can be fun though, when there are good snow conditions and you enjoy skiing of any kind. But this winter here where I live, the snow conditions have been terrible. Every week it snows a bit, and then rains and then freezes. Roads have been like skating rinks for the whole winter. And I haven't been able to ski 3 times a week like I did in most previous years. And then it is terrible sitting inside the house (for me now only in the weekends, as I am not FIREd yet).
I guess one solution could be to do like a lot of Norwegian pensioners and spend the winter months in a warm place like spain. And as a Mustachian then of course renting out your house.

vine

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Re: What did "decompression" look like for you?
« Reply #22 on: April 08, 2017, 10:04:33 PM »
I'll mirror some of the other responses:

First month or so I was elated. It felt like a great vacation.
Second and third month I was confused and questioning my decision. I didn't know what to do with myself when not working.
Months 4 - 8  I was very lazy, mostly just recovering. I also spent a lot of time with my family, something I had previously neglected.

By month 8 I realized it was time to start doing something, so I got on an airplane and have been traveling ever since. I'm now in month 19 and still loving it. A few months ago I started an online business for the fun of it.

I will say that having a serious hobby to focus on helps with the transition. For me that was skiing, I had a seasons pass and used it every single day no matter what. It's very important to get outside of your house everyday, or a funk sets in.

Spork

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Re: What did "decompression" look like for you?
« Reply #23 on: April 09, 2017, 09:53:02 AM »
Well, my decompression was interrupted.   About 4 months after FIRE, my Dad went into the hospital (out of town) and was there for 3 months before finally passing.  My decompression ended up being a many-week long vigil sitting by a hospital bed, sleeping in a flea bag motel and eating hot dogs/sandwiches out of the motel fridge.
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risky4me

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Re: What did "decompression" look like for you?
« Reply #24 on: April 09, 2017, 11:28:50 AM »
Well, my decompression was interrupted.   About 4 months after FIRE, my Dad went into the hospital (out of town) and was there for 3 months before finally passing.  My decompression ended up being a many-week long vigil sitting by a hospital bed, sleeping in a flea bag motel and eating hot dogs/sandwiches out of the motel fridge.

So sorry to hear of your loss. I only hope that it was a little less stressful not having to angst about what might be slipping by you at work. I also lost my father recently and my retirement gave me many more ways to help. I hope you find similar comfort.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2017, 02:28:22 PM by risky4me »
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