Author Topic: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?  (Read 17413 times)

winterfi

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What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« on: November 14, 2018, 10:01:58 AM »
For those of you have reached FI:

How has it changed your life in a way that you never realized it would?

Good or bad

TimeForFIRE

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2018, 01:53:01 PM »
One interesting result of being FI for the last few years is that on some level, I care less about how others perceive me at work so I show up more authentically and I speak truth to power...the results? Promotions and faster growth within my career. It's interesting how not being dependent on the job for security has freed me to perform at a higher level.

SKL-HOU

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2018, 03:20:20 PM »
One interesting result of being FI for the last few years is that on some level, I care less about how others perceive me at work so I show up more authentically and I speak truth to power...the results? Promotions and faster growth within my career. It's interesting how not being dependent on the job for security has freed me to perform at a higher level.

Sounds like "Office Space" :)

dougules

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2018, 03:25:20 PM »
One interesting result of being FI for the last few years is that on some level, I care less about how others perceive me at work so I show up more authentically and I speak truth to power...the results? Promotions and faster growth within my career. It's interesting how not being dependent on the job for security has freed me to perform at a higher level.

That's ironic.  Honestly that should also apply to people on their way to FIRE with a decent pile of $FU.  It's suprising how hard it is to internalize that mentality of not needing to care about the stuff that shouldn't matter. 

chasesfish

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2018, 06:39:27 PM »
One interesting result of being FI for the last few years is that on some level, I care less about how others perceive me at work so I show up more authentically and I speak truth to power...the results? Promotions and faster growth within my career. It's interesting how not being dependent on the job for security has freed me to perform at a higher level.

I still haven't accepted this.  I'm conflicted because I know I'm more talented and experienced than people being promoted above me, but took myself out of the running almost two years ago with some health issues my wife has been going through.   Now I just can't choose to work that much and the level of idiocy runs so deep in the company I couldn't tolerate working for the grandboss either.

SwordGuy

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2018, 08:40:34 PM »
One interesting result of being FI for the last few years is that on some level, I care less about how others perceive me at work so I show up more authentically and I speak truth to power...the results? Promotions and faster growth within my career. It's interesting how not being dependent on the job for security has freed me to perform at a higher level.

I still haven't accepted this.  I'm conflicted because I know I'm more talented and experienced than people being promoted above me, but took myself out of the running almost two years ago with some health issues my wife has been going through.   Now I just can't choose to work that much and the level of idiocy runs so deep in the company I couldn't tolerate working for the grandboss either.

There are other jobs at other companies, grasshopper.

Omy

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2018, 06:10:26 AM »
My unexpected result is that I am far less frugal now that we are FI. I used to track every penny, balance check books, calculate my net worth all of the time. I don't sweat over bills increasing or unexpected bills any more. We eat out a lot more. I can absorb most of what life throws at me financially with grace since I can just make it up by delaying retirement even further.

chasesfish

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2018, 07:05:13 AM »
One interesting result of being FI for the last few years is that on some level, I care less about how others perceive me at work so I show up more authentically and I speak truth to power...the results? Promotions and faster growth within my career. It's interesting how not being dependent on the job for security has freed me to perform at a higher level.

I still haven't accepted this.  I'm conflicted because I know I'm more talented and experienced than people being promoted above me, but took myself out of the running almost two years ago with some health issues my wife has been going through.   Now I just can't choose to work that much and the level of idiocy runs so deep in the company I couldn't tolerate working for the grandboss either.

There are other jobs at other companies, grasshopper.

I'm going to try the "retire early" part and stay in touch with my network if that doesn't work out

Dances With Fire

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2018, 09:26:15 AM »
For those of you have reached FI:

How has it changed your life in a way that you never realized it would?

Good or bad

Interesting question....Trying to find the "best" ways to explain it here. The DW and I are still the same frugal, adventurous couple we were 10-20 years ago, only we take things much more slowly today. Maybe that's an answer in it self, don't have to hurry for (most) anything anymore.

That said, in no particular order:


1) The ability to travel almost anywhere in the world if we chose to.

2) Far less worry about loosing a *job* (Was laid-off years ago.)

3) Ability for home/ auto repairs without much worry about cost.

4) Less worry about how much we make (or don't make) and our relationship with money.

5) Just KNOWING that I could quit anytime I wanted...

Financial.Velociraptor

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2018, 12:47:26 PM »
Improved bowel movements.  I'm convinced work related stress produces hormones that are binding agents.  My stools are smoother and more vigorous.  It a joy to squeeze one off now.  Never would have expected that.

marty998

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2018, 01:19:47 PM »
Improved bowel movements.  I'm convinced work related stress produces hormones that are binding agents.  My stools are smoother and more vigorous.  It a joy to squeeze one off now.  Never would have expected that.

2 words I don't want to see together when eating breakfast haha.

MasterStache

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2018, 02:56:40 PM »
For me it's how easy it has been to bring in some side income. I feel like I have a constant flow of carpentry work and have even turned down a couple jobs because I simply didn't feel like doing them.

jim555

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2018, 01:23:39 AM »
An unexplained desire for Grey Poupon and a butler.

deborah

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2018, 01:51:55 AM »
Life has been much better than I ever dreamed it would be.

Money is insignificant. Itís just there. Nothing to think about.

Cache_Stash

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2018, 04:56:16 AM »
Improved bowel movements.  I'm convinced work related stress produces hormones that are binding agents.  My stools are smoother and more vigorous.  It a joy to squeeze one off now.  Never would have expected that.

I experienced the same.  :)

Greystache

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2018, 06:55:16 AM »
Better Health. I never realized how much my job was affecting my health. Sitting at a desk for 8-10 hours a day was causing chronic back and hip pain that went away when I retired. I recently saw a commercial that claimed that prolonged sitting at a desk could be as harmful to your health as smoking. I am inclined to believe it.

FIREby35

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #16 on: November 16, 2018, 07:09:50 AM »
I have experienced both 1) the ability to speak up or otherwise be more confident in my positions due to not needing anyone else's approval and the resulting increase in competence and 2) the release of concern about small money decisions.

On both of those fronts I have a "boomerang" fear that I sometimes wrestle, that being that I will be too confident and piss people off and somehow get kicked out of my job and 2) that my lack of concern for money will somehow convert me into a spendthrift. I feel confident that is just self-doubt/fear talking so I carry on. Overall, it's been awesome.

soccerluvof4

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #17 on: November 17, 2018, 03:35:00 AM »
Improved bowel movements.  I'm convinced work related stress produces hormones that are binding agents.  My stools are smoother and more vigorous.  It a joy to squeeze one off now.  Never would have expected that.

I experienced the same.  :)



+3 funny but true!

TartanTallulah

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #18 on: November 17, 2018, 10:12:17 AM »
Improved bowel movements.  I'm convinced work related stress produces hormones that are binding agents.  My stools are smoother and more vigorous.  It a joy to squeeze one off now.  Never would have expected that.

I experienced the same.  :)



+3 funny but true!

Possibly +4, though it's too early to be certain that the calmness at the far end of my digestive system will turn out to be an enduring benefit of FIRE rather than a random fluctuation in the behaviour of a capricious intestine. Since I tended to be fine on vacation, I've long suspected that my innards disapproved of long days mostly spent seated at a desk and eating while I worked.

Also no mid-afternoon migraines. The headache was usually trivial, but the prodrome was an overwhelming feeling of fatigue which I really, really didn't need when I was trying to work.

And an overwhelming desire to sit very still and stare at nothing. I was warned about that, but I was determined that it wouldn't happen to me.

risky4me

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #19 on: November 17, 2018, 12:45:45 PM »
One of the things that I have learned to appreciate since retirement(one of so many), is while working I had a habit of wanting to get to the next weekend so I could do whatever I wanted with my day. I knew that time passes too quickly without focusing on the weekends. Now I control my time and cherish everyday.

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #20 on: November 17, 2018, 01:54:09 PM »
Since you just said FI and not ER, it's definitely been not worrying about the little things.  I feel like I have better control over my life and make better decisions because I can think more about the big picture and ignore *every little purchase*.  The Finance Buff once said that the opportunity cost of his ER is similar to spending a significant amount to not work.  On the flip side, I am FI but still like my work, so if I go to a new restaurant that sucks or feel ripped off for the quality, I don't stew over it like I did on the way to FI.  Little luxuries like tipping well, using toll roads to save time, buying popcorn and soda at a movie theater, fast passes at amusement parks - I never would've thought I'd be a frivolous spender like this.  I guess it is surprising that I got to FI, then got to 2x my FI number, and then the wealth building snowball just kept going...  and yet, I still can't justify buying an overpriced luxury car nor do I want a more expensive house.  Did put my daughter in private school and my wife can be a SAHP (she substitute teaches sometimes for fun), these are luxuries that I am grateful I can afford.

Now that I'm an expat, I'm glad I didn't ER yet, but I'm always on the lookout for a good time to start shedding the 35hr job (I'm in France).  Work has a lot of nice perks and I enjoy the project and team I am currently with (and learning about my French colleagues is fun, as a tourist, you don't get quite the same openness and willingness to discuss at length in English).  But it's nice to know I don't have to work if things aren't so rosy in the future, which will probably happen when I return to the US.  Mais tu ne sais jamais!
« Last Edit: November 17, 2018, 01:55:55 PM by EscapeVelocity2020 »

FIRE 20/20

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #21 on: November 17, 2018, 04:18:29 PM »
I have struggled with depression my entire life.  I've almost totally avoided medication due to side effects but I've kept it to a manageable level with very dedicated focus on treatment techniques that I learned in therapy during High School.  About 2 years ago, two things in my life changed.  I realized I was FI and I started meditating.   The last two years of my life are the only 2 years I remember where I didn't have the cloud of depression either settled over me or hovering ominously nearby.  It's gone - completely, totally gone - for the first time in my life.  I don't know if it was the meditation (which has been shown to be about as effective as medication and exercise, the two best treatments) or if it's reaching FI and no longer worrying about my career or money.  I'm not going to test it because I've found a number of other benefits from meditation and I'm sure as heck not going to "un-FI", so it will remain a mystery in my life as to which one (or if the combination) blew away my depression. 


Metta

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #22 on: November 17, 2018, 06:38:23 PM »
I've tried to grow my hair long since I was a teenager without luck. I tried special vitamins. Secret hair care regimens. I paid big money to be analyzed by a long hair expert. Most of this did nothing. (The long hair expert helped a bit.) After a while I accepted the idea that my hair would never grow much past my shoulders or upper back and went on with my life.

Now, without doing anything at all to encourage it, it is skimming my waist. Apparently my job was so stressful I was literally tearing out my hair and preventing it from growing. Who knew?

Maenad

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #23 on: November 18, 2018, 06:31:17 AM »
Improved bowel movements.  I'm convinced work related stress produces hormones that are binding agents.  My stools are smoother and more vigorous.  It a joy to squeeze one off now.  Never would have expected that.

Oh thank you, I needed that laugh! Whether you're honest or just being silly, I appreciate it. :-D

Also interesting to hear about meditation and depression. I've meditated regularly in the past but got out of the habit - sounds like a good one to start up again!

Tempname23

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #24 on: November 19, 2018, 05:08:07 PM »
 A little background, hurricane Micheal demolished our business, forcing our full retirement 5 weeks ago.
 We had house and vehicle damage, and have spent some money on repairs but have only received $5k as
a courtesy check from the insurance company.
This morning I grabbed the small pile of bills and was about to pay them online, and noticed if I paid all the bills there
would be very little left in my checking account. This is my first notice that when the business is not running, the checking account doesn't get funded! :-)
  I need to start figuring out how to keep money flowing into the checking account at least until the end of December.
My plan is to make a lump sum deposit into checking on January 1st and the see how much is left after one year.
Maybe I'll find an account that pays a little more than checking.
 We expect to spend under $50k a year.

flyingaway

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #25 on: November 19, 2018, 09:55:45 PM »
I am no longer interested in credit card rewards.

Dicey

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #26 on: November 20, 2018, 12:18:06 AM »
My financial life so optimized that I can buy whatever I want, because I never seem to want anything that I can't afford. It's pretty darn fun! Also, no more savings goals to hit. Whatever happens now is passive all the way, baby!

steveo

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #27 on: November 20, 2018, 03:02:17 AM »
I have struggled with depression my entire life.  I've almost totally avoided medication due to side effects but I've kept it to a manageable level with very dedicated focus on treatment techniques that I learned in therapy during High School.  About 2 years ago, two things in my life changed.  I realized I was FI and I started meditating.   The last two years of my life are the only 2 years I remember where I didn't have the cloud of depression either settled over me or hovering ominously nearby.  It's gone - completely, totally gone - for the first time in my life.  I don't know if it was the meditation (which has been shown to be about as effective as medication and exercise, the two best treatments) or if it's reaching FI and no longer worrying about my career or money.  I'm not going to test it because I've found a number of other benefits from meditation and I'm sure as heck not going to "un-FI", so it will remain a mystery in my life as to which one (or if the combination) blew away my depression.

Very interesting. My son (15 yo) had depression last year. I assume he will struggle with it for a long time. He is heaps better now and exercise has been the key.

Brokenreign

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #28 on: November 22, 2018, 02:59:25 PM »
Improved bowel movements.  I'm convinced work related stress produces hormones that are binding agents.  My stools are smoother and more vigorous.  It a joy to squeeze one off now.  Never would have expected that.

+5. I did not know how common this was until I read this thread.

sol

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #29 on: November 22, 2018, 03:29:28 PM »
I care less about how others perceive me at work so I show up more authentically and I speak truth to power...the results? Promotions and faster growth within my career. It's interesting how not being dependent on the job for security has freed me to perform at a higher level.

I had the exact opposite experience at work.  After I started hitting those magical financial milestones and started seeking some higher purpose at work besides keeping my head down, I got absolutely reamed for it.  My boss was angry with me.  My coworkers thought I was nuts.  "Why would you make waves?" they said.  "Why can't you just follow along quietly like everyone else?"  and "It's always sucked like this, you just have to endure it" became regular conversations with my peers.

So I think it's very dependent on your workplace.  I was a federal employee and the federal system is very regimented, with every interchangeable cog serving a specific purpose and no opportunities for you to do anything else, go anywhere else, say anything else.  The machine only works at all if you shut up and go back to your cubicle, no matter how broken it looks, because any dissent is perceived as disloyalty and you'll be branded as a problem employee. 

Back in March or April I went to my boss to talk about my career progress, about where I was headed and what I needed to do to get there, and she was horrified that I wasn't happy with my current position.  She told me I should be thankful to have my job, and reminded me that I could be fired on a moment's notice if I continued to ask questions.  I went in to talk about promotions, and she basically threatened to fire me instead.  That was the day I decided I was well and truly done.  After that it was only a matter of time before I played out the rest of the game and the last few turns made it crystal clear to me that I was making the right decision by leaving.

So no, I did not find that FI made me a better employee.  It made me a truly awful employee, by the standards of that workplace.  I started saying "no" to some of the bullshit tasks they wanted done, and there is no more unforgivable sin than refusing to swallow the bullshit, on schedule and in triplicate.

On the bright side, RE has had much more positive effects on my life than FI did.  My life is definitely better without a job weighing me down all the time.  I highly recommend it.

beer-man

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #30 on: November 22, 2018, 04:18:39 PM »
I care less about how others perceive me at work so I show up more authentically and I speak truth to power...the results? Promotions and faster growth within my career. It's interesting how not being dependent on the job for security has freed me to perform at a higher level.

I had the exact opposite experience at work.  After I started hitting those magical financial milestones and started seeking some higher purpose at work besides keeping my head down, I got absolutely reamed for it.  My boss was angry with me.  My coworkers thought I was nuts.  "Why would you make waves?" they said.  "Why can't you just follow along quietly like everyone else?"  and "It's always sucked like this, you just have to endure it" became regular conversations with my peers.

So I think it's very dependent on your workplace.  I was a federal employee and the federal system is very regimented, with every interchangeable cog serving a specific purpose and no opportunities for you to do anything else, go anywhere else, say anything else.  The machine only works at all if you shut up and go back to your cubicle, no matter how broken it looks, because any dissent is perceived as disloyalty and you'll be branded as a problem employee. 

Back in March or April I went to my boss to talk about my career progress, about where I was headed and what I needed to do to get there, and she was horrified that I wasn't happy with my current position.  She told me I should be thankful to have my job, and reminded me that I could be fired on a moment's notice if I continued to ask questions.  I went in to talk about promotions, and she basically threatened to fire me instead.  That was the day I decided I was well and truly done.  After that it was only a matter of time before I played out the rest of the game and the last few turns made it crystal clear to me that I was making the right decision by leaving.

So no, I did not find that FI made me a better employee.  It made me a truly awful employee, by the standards of that workplace.  I started saying "no" to some of the bullshit tasks they wanted done, and there is no more unforgivable sin than refusing to swallow the bullshit, on schedule and in triplicate.

On the bright side, RE has had much more positive effects on my life than FI did.  My life is definitely better without a job weighing me down all the time.  I highly recommend it.
Federal/union employment vs private/the rest of the world.
 I’ve experienced both and having a hefty FU account has helped me thrive in private employment whereas it was a hindrance in my unionized job


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Monkey Uncle

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #31 on: November 24, 2018, 04:44:09 AM »
I care less about how others perceive me at work so I show up more authentically and I speak truth to power...the results? Promotions and faster growth within my career. It's interesting how not being dependent on the job for security has freed me to perform at a higher level.

I had the exact opposite experience at work.  After I started hitting those magical financial milestones and started seeking some higher purpose at work besides keeping my head down, I got absolutely reamed for it.  My boss was angry with me.  My coworkers thought I was nuts.  "Why would you make waves?" they said.  "Why can't you just follow along quietly like everyone else?"  and "It's always sucked like this, you just have to endure it" became regular conversations with my peers.

So I think it's very dependent on your workplace.  I was a federal employee and the federal system is very regimented, with every interchangeable cog serving a specific purpose and no opportunities for you to do anything else, go anywhere else, say anything else.  The machine only works at all if you shut up and go back to your cubicle, no matter how broken it looks, because any dissent is perceived as disloyalty and you'll be branded as a problem employee. 

Back in March or April I went to my boss to talk about my career progress, about where I was headed and what I needed to do to get there, and she was horrified that I wasn't happy with my current position.  She told me I should be thankful to have my job, and reminded me that I could be fired on a moment's notice if I continued to ask questions.  I went in to talk about promotions, and she basically threatened to fire me instead.  That was the day I decided I was well and truly done.  After that it was only a matter of time before I played out the rest of the game and the last few turns made it crystal clear to me that I was making the right decision by leaving.

So no, I did not find that FI made me a better employee.  It made me a truly awful employee, by the standards of that workplace.  I started saying "no" to some of the bullshit tasks they wanted done, and there is no more unforgivable sin than refusing to swallow the bullshit, on schedule and in triplicate.

On the bright side, RE has had much more positive effects on my life than FI did.  My life is definitely better without a job weighing me down all the time.  I highly recommend it.

My experience was somewhat similar (I was also a Fed).  Once I reached FI, I felt a lot freer about speaking truth to power.  Turns out, power didn't really want to hear the truth.  They wanted me to kiss their asses and tell them what they wanted to hear.  So I really didn't experience a reduction in stress until I RE'd.  The most unexpected result of that post-RE stress reduction was that I lost about 15 lbs without really trying.  Though a lot of that was probably due to increased activity levels after I was no longer forced to sit in a chair for 9-10 hours straight every day.

Monkey Uncle

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #32 on: November 24, 2018, 04:45:02 AM »
Improved bowel movements.  I'm convinced work related stress produces hormones that are binding agents.  My stools are smoother and more vigorous.  It a joy to squeeze one off now.  Never would have expected that.

+5. I did not know how common this was until I read this thread.

+6.  Though it only happened after RE, not when I became FI.  Now I need to go take a crap...

former player

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #33 on: November 24, 2018, 04:55:08 AM »
I stopped going grey. The grey started to appear in my mid-thirties.  Since retiring 8 years ago  (FI for me came at the same time as RE, aged 50) no more grey has appeared, just the same couple of lighter streaks around my face.  Complete lack of stress now, I reckon.

FIREby35

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #34 on: November 24, 2018, 07:51:47 AM »
I care less about how others perceive me at work so I show up more authentically and I speak truth to power...the results? Promotions and faster growth within my career. It's interesting how not being dependent on the job for security has freed me to perform at a higher level.

I had the exact opposite experience at work.  After I started hitting those magical financial milestones and started seeking some higher purpose at work besides keeping my head down, I got absolutely reamed for it.  My boss was angry with me.  My coworkers thought I was nuts.  "Why would you make waves?" they said.  "Why can't you just follow along quietly like everyone else?"  and "It's always sucked like this, you just have to endure it" became regular conversations with my peers.

So I think it's very dependent on your workplace.  I was a federal employee and the federal system is very regimented, with every interchangeable cog serving a specific purpose and no opportunities for you to do anything else, go anywhere else, say anything else.  The machine only works at all if you shut up and go back to your cubicle, no matter how broken it looks, because any dissent is perceived as disloyalty and you'll be branded as a problem employee. 

Back in March or April I went to my boss to talk about my career progress, about where I was headed and what I needed to do to get there, and she was horrified that I wasn't happy with my current position.  She told me I should be thankful to have my job, and reminded me that I could be fired on a moment's notice if I continued to ask questions.  I went in to talk about promotions, and she basically threatened to fire me instead.  That was the day I decided I was well and truly done.  After that it was only a matter of time before I played out the rest of the game and the last few turns made it crystal clear to me that I was making the right decision by leaving.

So no, I did not find that FI made me a better employee.  It made me a truly awful employee, by the standards of that workplace.  I started saying "no" to some of the bullshit tasks they wanted done, and there is no more unforgivable sin than refusing to swallow the bullshit, on schedule and in triplicate.

On the bright side, RE has had much more positive effects on my life than FI did.  My life is definitely better without a job weighing me down all the time.  I highly recommend it.

My experience was somewhat similar (I was also a Fed).  Once I reached FI, I felt a lot freer about speaking truth to power.  Turns out, power didn't really want to hear the truth.  They wanted me to kiss their asses and tell them what they wanted to hear.  So I really didn't experience a reduction in stress until I RE'd.  The most unexpected result of that post-RE stress reduction was that I lost about 15 lbs without really trying.  Though a lot of that was probably due to increased activity levels after I was no longer forced to sit in a chair for 9-10 hours straight every day.

I find this to be really interesting. I work in the private, entrepreneurial world as a attorney that owns my own firm. In that context I get all the benefits of going straight to the truth. It helps attract the right kind of client. It helps me discover the power in cases much easier and sooner. I use it to great effect with opposing attorneys. There are so many situations where other people try some BS that must work with other attorneys where I just immediately shut it down as BS. So, that is great. In the private world, FI is a true power to be used.

On the other hand, I do work with federal officials regularly. I tell you, federal officials are the most obstinate because of the bureaucracy and lack of ability to make independent decisions. I've been on the receiving end of the energy you describe where speaking up makes you a "problem." The context for me is interesting because they can't actually control me because I am a private attorney, hired by private people, they don't control my money, they have a really hard time getting rid of me and I can force them to write down their inanities in official court documents by posing them the questions they are in denial about. I've learned some don't like having to sign their name next to certain things they do when they can't hide it in word games and anonymity - when they have to own their part in doing something they know is not right. Also, I represent people they are usually attempting to really damage who have nothing to lose. So, working with the feds is a sort of "Alice in Wonderland" experience for me.

All of that is not political, btw. I think it has to do with the federal structure and could be directed at any administration - some worse than others.

Either way, FI is a great release of my self-imposed limitations of speaking the truth to everyone.  But the reactions are wildly different.

Monkey Uncle

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #35 on: November 24, 2018, 01:28:52 PM »
I care less about how others perceive me at work so I show up more authentically and I speak truth to power...the results? Promotions and faster growth within my career. It's interesting how not being dependent on the job for security has freed me to perform at a higher level.

I had the exact opposite experience at work.  After I started hitting those magical financial milestones and started seeking some higher purpose at work besides keeping my head down, I got absolutely reamed for it.  My boss was angry with me.  My coworkers thought I was nuts.  "Why would you make waves?" they said.  "Why can't you just follow along quietly like everyone else?"  and "It's always sucked like this, you just have to endure it" became regular conversations with my peers.

So I think it's very dependent on your workplace.  I was a federal employee and the federal system is very regimented, with every interchangeable cog serving a specific purpose and no opportunities for you to do anything else, go anywhere else, say anything else.  The machine only works at all if you shut up and go back to your cubicle, no matter how broken it looks, because any dissent is perceived as disloyalty and you'll be branded as a problem employee. 

Back in March or April I went to my boss to talk about my career progress, about where I was headed and what I needed to do to get there, and she was horrified that I wasn't happy with my current position.  She told me I should be thankful to have my job, and reminded me that I could be fired on a moment's notice if I continued to ask questions.  I went in to talk about promotions, and she basically threatened to fire me instead.  That was the day I decided I was well and truly done.  After that it was only a matter of time before I played out the rest of the game and the last few turns made it crystal clear to me that I was making the right decision by leaving.

So no, I did not find that FI made me a better employee.  It made me a truly awful employee, by the standards of that workplace.  I started saying "no" to some of the bullshit tasks they wanted done, and there is no more unforgivable sin than refusing to swallow the bullshit, on schedule and in triplicate.

On the bright side, RE has had much more positive effects on my life than FI did.  My life is definitely better without a job weighing me down all the time.  I highly recommend it.

My experience was somewhat similar (I was also a Fed).  Once I reached FI, I felt a lot freer about speaking truth to power.  Turns out, power didn't really want to hear the truth.  They wanted me to kiss their asses and tell them what they wanted to hear.  So I really didn't experience a reduction in stress until I RE'd.  The most unexpected result of that post-RE stress reduction was that I lost about 15 lbs without really trying.  Though a lot of that was probably due to increased activity levels after I was no longer forced to sit in a chair for 9-10 hours straight every day.

I find this to be really interesting. I work in the private, entrepreneurial world as a attorney that owns my own firm. In that context I get all the benefits of going straight to the truth. It helps attract the right kind of client. It helps me discover the power in cases much easier and sooner. I use it to great effect with opposing attorneys. There are so many situations where other people try some BS that must work with other attorneys where I just immediately shut it down as BS. So, that is great. In the private world, FI is a true power to be used.

On the other hand, I do work with federal officials regularly. I tell you, federal officials are the most obstinate because of the bureaucracy and lack of ability to make independent decisions. I've been on the receiving end of the energy you describe where speaking up makes you a "problem." The context for me is interesting because they can't actually control me because I am a private attorney, hired by private people, they don't control my money, they have a really hard time getting rid of me and I can force them to write down their inanities in official court documents by posing them the questions they are in denial about. I've learned some don't like having to sign their name next to certain things they do when they can't hide it in word games and anonymity - when they have to own their part in doing something they know is not right. Also, I represent people they are usually attempting to really damage who have nothing to lose. So, working with the feds is a sort of "Alice in Wonderland" experience for me.

All of that is not political, btw. I think it has to do with the federal structure and could be directed at any administration - some worse than others.

Either way, FI is a great release of my self-imposed limitations of speaking the truth to everyone.  But the reactions are wildly different.

In my experience, it was mostly political ideology that drove the bullshit.  Although the federal bureaucracy can be maddening at times, I've found that that is generally the case with any large, complex, hierarchical organization.  What really ticked me off was when the political appointees in Washington pushed crap that folks at my level knew was wrong, but we had to do it anyway because that's what fit with the administration's ideology.  I was around long enough to go through the entirety of one Democratic administration and parts of two Republican administrations.  The Republicans seemed much worse, but the Democrats also did it to some degree. 

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #36 on: November 25, 2018, 05:10:56 AM »
In agreement with TimeForFIRE, although it is my wife that I encouraged to speak truth to power.  She was working in the school system and saw all sorts of waste and abuse of power.  Most teachers are too worried about their employment to speak up, but my wife came home day after day with tales about the nurse that clearly didn't like children (tell the Principal or Superintendent), the poor treatment of subs and new teachers (unpaid overtime like bus duty and decorating public areas), how technology is constantly bought but not used...  It's pretty great to have a job you don't need, a whole lot of leverage to make our little part of the world a better place.

FIREby35

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #37 on: November 25, 2018, 01:30:21 PM »
In agreement with TimeForFIRE, although it is my wife that I encouraged to speak truth to power.  She was working in the school system and saw all sorts of waste and abuse of power.  Most teachers are too worried about their employment to speak up, but my wife came home day after day with tales about the nurse that clearly didn't like children (tell the Principal or Superintendent), the poor treatment of subs and new teachers (unpaid overtime like bus duty and decorating public areas), how technology is constantly bought but not used...  It's pretty great to have a job you don't need, a whole lot of leverage to make our little part of the world a better place.

Amen.

chasesfish

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #38 on: November 26, 2018, 06:08:56 AM »
I'll chime in on this.

Our organization is under one of those intensive "strategic reviews" by a big consulting group.  Its basically the Bob's from office space.  There's all this anxiety running around and some of it warranted.

I have zero concern.  My only disappointment is that I'm sitting in a customer facing/revenue producing role and won't be eligible for a layoff.  I fully expect the consulting group to tell them we have about half of the revenue producers we need.  For whatever reason high level c-suite executives can't figure out that math.

fattest_foot

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #39 on: November 26, 2018, 08:12:06 AM »
I had the exact opposite experience at work.  After I started hitting those magical financial milestones and started seeking some higher purpose at work besides keeping my head down, I got absolutely reamed for it.  My boss was angry with me.  My coworkers thought I was nuts.  "Why would you make waves?" they said.  "Why can't you just follow along quietly like everyone else?"  and "It's always sucked like this, you just have to endure it" became regular conversations with my peers.

So I think it's very dependent on your workplace.  I was a federal employee and the federal system is very regimented, with every interchangeable cog serving a specific purpose and no opportunities for you to do anything else, go anywhere else, say anything else.  The machine only works at all if you shut up and go back to your cubicle, no matter how broken it looks, because any dissent is perceived as disloyalty and you'll be branded as a problem employee. 

Back in March or April I went to my boss to talk about my career progress, about where I was headed and what I needed to do to get there, and she was horrified that I wasn't happy with my current position.  She told me I should be thankful to have my job, and reminded me that I could be fired on a moment's notice if I continued to ask questions.  I went in to talk about promotions, and she basically threatened to fire me instead.  That was the day I decided I was well and truly done.  After that it was only a matter of time before I played out the rest of the game and the last few turns made it crystal clear to me that I was making the right decision by leaving.

So no, I did not find that FI made me a better employee.  It made me a truly awful employee, by the standards of that workplace.  I started saying "no" to some of the bullshit tasks they wanted done, and there is no more unforgivable sin than refusing to swallow the bullshit, on schedule and in triplicate.

On the bright side, RE has had much more positive effects on my life than FI did.  My life is definitely better without a job weighing me down all the time.  I highly recommend it.

My experience was somewhat similar (I was also a Fed).  Once I reached FI, I felt a lot freer about speaking truth to power.  Turns out, power didn't really want to hear the truth.  They wanted me to kiss their asses and tell them what they wanted to hear.  So I really didn't experience a reduction in stress until I RE'd.  The most unexpected result of that post-RE stress reduction was that I lost about 15 lbs without really trying.  Though a lot of that was probably due to increased activity levels after I was no longer forced to sit in a chair for 9-10 hours straight every day.

Not FIRE yet, but as a current Federal employee, I'm kind of glad to read both of these. We're definitely at a point of FU money, and I've taken it as an opportunity to speak up to superiors in a way my coworkers aren't. It hasn't gone well (I haven't been impacted negatively, but nothing positive came of any interaction). As such, I've basically decided to keep my head down for the remainder of my employment.

I've become the stereotypical "do the minimum" Federal employee because anything more than that only brings attention I don't want.

waltworks

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #40 on: November 26, 2018, 08:36:53 AM »
I guess maybe I was RE all along, because it didn't really change anything for my family. We pretty much do the same fun stuff whenever we want to, I still do a little (20 hours/week) work because I enjoy it, etc. We still have the same craptacular 15 year old Kia that mostly just sits in the driveway. We still don't have a TV or a modern computer.

I guess I no longer pay much attention to paying $12 to do drop-in hockey or other minor things like that. But my wife still tracks all our spending because she's a nerd.

My track wasn't really normal, though, in that I was always (after grad school, anyway) self-employed. So I've never worked a 9-5 job in a cubicle. I'm sure things would be much different if that was the case.

It's funny in a way, because I spent a lot of mental energy on the FIRE quest over the years and now I've realized it was mostly wasted stress since it didn't really change my life much.

-W

sol

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #41 on: November 26, 2018, 11:54:28 AM »
Another unexpected result:  I now love Mondays.

When I was working, Fridays were great and Mondays were a challenge.  I looked forward to a relaxing weekend at home with the family.

But now that I'm retired, it's the weekends that are stressful.  So much family stuff to do!  Places to go.  Homework to check, birthday parties, swim lessons, scouts, it's just craziness.  Monday mornings are a welcome respite, a chance to finally lie on the couch and just relax without anyone shouting at me.  No obligations.  I have all day to get around to the things I want to do.  The house is clean and finally stays clean.  It's great.

LifePhaseTwo

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #42 on: November 26, 2018, 12:57:29 PM »
Another unexpected result:  I now love Mondays.

When I was working, Fridays were great and Mondays were a challenge.  I looked forward to a relaxing weekend at home with the family.

But now that I'm retired, it's the weekends that are stressful.  So much family stuff to do!  Places to go.  Homework to check, birthday parties, swim lessons, scouts, it's just craziness.  Monday mornings are a welcome respite, a chance to finally lie on the couch and just relax without anyone shouting at me.  No obligations.  I have all day to get around to the things I want to do.  The house is clean and finally stays clean.  It's great.

+1. Exactly! And now my Sunday nights are relaxed, no more dreading Mondays.

SKL-HOU

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #43 on: November 26, 2018, 01:20:22 PM »
Another unexpected result:  I now love Mondays.

When I was working, Fridays were great and Mondays were a challenge.  I looked forward to a relaxing weekend at home with the family.

But now that I'm retired, it's the weekends that are stressful.  So much family stuff to do!  Places to go.  Homework to check, birthday parties, swim lessons, scouts, it's just craziness.  Monday mornings are a welcome respite, a chance to finally lie on the couch and just relax without anyone shouting at me.  No obligations.  I have all day to get around to the things I want to do.  The house is clean and finally stays clean.  It's great.

+1. Exactly! And now my Sunday nights are relaxed, no more dreading Mondays.

I cannot wait to get rid of the sunday afternoon anxiety! I want to love Mondays too! Unfortunately, I am quite a few years away :(

dougules

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #44 on: November 26, 2018, 04:12:04 PM »
Another unexpected result:  I now love Mondays.

When I was working, Fridays were great and Mondays were a challenge.  I looked forward to a relaxing weekend at home with the family.

But now that I'm retired, it's the weekends that are stressful.  So much family stuff to do!  Places to go.  Homework to check, birthday parties, swim lessons, scouts, it's just craziness.  Monday mornings are a welcome respite, a chance to finally lie on the couch and just relax without anyone shouting at me.  No obligations.  I have all day to get around to the things I want to do.  The house is clean and finally stays clean.  It's great.

+1. Exactly! And now my Sunday nights are relaxed, no more dreading Mondays.

I cannot wait to get rid of the sunday afternoon anxiety! I want to love Mondays too! Unfortunately, I am quite a few years away :(

This is enough of a thing for us that we actually have a Monday countdown, not weeks, days, or months.  Today is officially Monday 323, even if unofficially it's probably closer to 230.  I actually sometimes say "Monday 0" to talk about when we hit FIRE. 

Another thought, if weekends are so draining when you're retired, what does that say about how much rest and recovery time working stiffs are actually getting on the weekends?  A lot of working folks are doing the same amount of stuff on their weekends that are theoretically time to rest up for the work week ahead. 
« Last Edit: November 26, 2018, 04:16:45 PM by dougules »

Monkey Uncle

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #45 on: November 26, 2018, 05:58:54 PM »
Another unexpected result:  I now love Mondays.

When I was working, Fridays were great and Mondays were a challenge.  I looked forward to a relaxing weekend at home with the family.

But now that I'm retired, it's the weekends that are stressful.  So much family stuff to do!  Places to go.  Homework to check, birthday parties, swim lessons, scouts, it's just craziness.  Monday mornings are a welcome respite, a chance to finally lie on the couch and just relax without anyone shouting at me.  No obligations.  I have all day to get around to the things I want to do.  The house is clean and finally stays clean.  It's great.

My wife was a SAHM and our son was already out of the house by the time I FIREd, so we haven't experienced this weekend/weekday role reversal.  Instead, we just forget what day it is. 

Monkey Uncle

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #46 on: November 26, 2018, 06:01:10 PM »
I had the exact opposite experience at work.  After I started hitting those magical financial milestones and started seeking some higher purpose at work besides keeping my head down, I got absolutely reamed for it.  My boss was angry with me.  My coworkers thought I was nuts.  "Why would you make waves?" they said.  "Why can't you just follow along quietly like everyone else?"  and "It's always sucked like this, you just have to endure it" became regular conversations with my peers.

So I think it's very dependent on your workplace.  I was a federal employee and the federal system is very regimented, with every interchangeable cog serving a specific purpose and no opportunities for you to do anything else, go anywhere else, say anything else.  The machine only works at all if you shut up and go back to your cubicle, no matter how broken it looks, because any dissent is perceived as disloyalty and you'll be branded as a problem employee. 

Back in March or April I went to my boss to talk about my career progress, about where I was headed and what I needed to do to get there, and she was horrified that I wasn't happy with my current position.  She told me I should be thankful to have my job, and reminded me that I could be fired on a moment's notice if I continued to ask questions.  I went in to talk about promotions, and she basically threatened to fire me instead.  That was the day I decided I was well and truly done.  After that it was only a matter of time before I played out the rest of the game and the last few turns made it crystal clear to me that I was making the right decision by leaving.

So no, I did not find that FI made me a better employee.  It made me a truly awful employee, by the standards of that workplace.  I started saying "no" to some of the bullshit tasks they wanted done, and there is no more unforgivable sin than refusing to swallow the bullshit, on schedule and in triplicate.

On the bright side, RE has had much more positive effects on my life than FI did.  My life is definitely better without a job weighing me down all the time.  I highly recommend it.

My experience was somewhat similar (I was also a Fed).  Once I reached FI, I felt a lot freer about speaking truth to power.  Turns out, power didn't really want to hear the truth.  They wanted me to kiss their asses and tell them what they wanted to hear.  So I really didn't experience a reduction in stress until I RE'd.  The most unexpected result of that post-RE stress reduction was that I lost about 15 lbs without really trying.  Though a lot of that was probably due to increased activity levels after I was no longer forced to sit in a chair for 9-10 hours straight every day.

Not FIRE yet, but as a current Federal employee, I'm kind of glad to read both of these. We're definitely at a point of FU money, and I've taken it as an opportunity to speak up to superiors in a way my coworkers aren't. It hasn't gone well (I haven't been impacted negatively, but nothing positive came of any interaction). As such, I've basically decided to keep my head down for the remainder of my employment.

I've become the stereotypical "do the minimum" Federal employee because anything more than that only brings attention I don't want.

Yeah, I got my boss in big trouble twice during my last few months because he wouldn't "control" my candor.  Luckily he was also FI and could have retired years earlier, so he didn't give a shit either.

JoJoP

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #47 on: November 26, 2018, 07:31:52 PM »
My unexpected result is that I am far less frugal now that we are FI. I used to track every penny, balance check books, calculate my net worth all of the time. I don't sweat over bills increasing or unexpected bills any more. We eat out a lot more. I can absorb most of what life throws at me financially with grace since I can just make it up by delaying retirement even further.

Less frugal? This happened to us, too!  We spent so much time frugally saving our hard earned money,  that now we've got some distinctly spendy pants traits.  But, at heart, we are mustachians through and through.  I might spend more, but I still shop for a bargain while doing it.

Linea_Norway

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #48 on: November 27, 2018, 05:56:21 AM »
Another unexpected result:  I now love Mondays.

When I was working, Fridays were great and Mondays were a challenge.  I looked forward to a relaxing weekend at home with the family.

But now that I'm retired, it's the weekends that are stressful.  So much family stuff to do!  Places to go.  Homework to check, birthday parties, swim lessons, scouts, it's just craziness.  Monday mornings are a welcome respite, a chance to finally lie on the couch and just relax without anyone shouting at me.  No obligations.  I have all day to get around to the things I want to do.  The house is clean and finally stays clean.  It's great.

+1. Exactly! And now my Sunday nights are relaxed, no more dreading Mondays.

I cannot wait to get rid of the sunday afternoon anxiety! I want to love Mondays too! Unfortunately, I am quite a few years away :(

This is enough of a thing for us that we actually have a Monday countdown, not weeks, days, or months.  Today is officially Monday 323, even if unofficially it's probably closer to 230.  I actually sometimes say "Monday 0" to talk about when we hit FIRE. 

Another thought, if weekends are so draining when you're retired, what does that say about how much rest and recovery time working stiffs are actually getting on the weekends?  A lot of working folks are doing the same amount of stuff on their weekends that are theoretically time to rest up for the work week ahead.

As I now no longer work on Fridays, I am already noticing the effect. I prefer to do any shopping in physical shops on Friday, as Saturday will be much more crowded. Also the roads are very crowded on working days. I live to have time off on a day that other most people work.
I also enjoy the Saturday much more. By then I have done the necessary shopping the day before and still have a whole day off after it. Three day weekends are so much better than to day weekends.

sol

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #49 on: November 27, 2018, 08:24:01 AM »
I prefer to do any shopping in physical shops on Friday, as Saturday will be much more crowded.

I went to the grocery store on a Saturday by accident last week.  It was horrendous.  How did I ever put up with that?

It's much better at 10am on a weekday.  Just me and a bunch of gray-hairs, plus the occasional stay at home parent with young children in tow.