Author Topic: How Do You Keep a Positive Perspective for the Long-Haul?  (Read 3105 times)

henramdrea

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How Do You Keep a Positive Perspective for the Long-Haul?
« on: October 05, 2019, 12:17:28 PM »
I'm feeling stuck, maybe if I'm honest with myself, perhaps even a little self-induced depression:

I'm on the other side of middle age and been working 30+ years, most of it in my healthcare career.  I'm bored, yet I have more than 9 years until I can *barely* retire (actually, we'll be fine if SS holds up) from full time work.  I'm coming up on a promotion next year which should decrease the boredom and add a little to the 'stache but I'm hardly excited by it.  Managing healthcare workers can be fraught with problems...

Here's the dumb things I keep doing that I know I shouldn't:

Looking at investments and home budgets every day (Mint), read about the successes of those who've safely arrived at retirement and wish it were me, grind away at trying to shave a fat budget (no real progress due to DW's food perspective, and penchant for "deals"), wondering if I'll even live long enough to see retirement (I'm healthy, but for the usual age-related pains), etc, etc.....kind of like a traffic accident, I can't stop looking.

Have you found good coping mechanisms for the grind, the doubts, the micro-obsessions as you've reached various milestones but still seeing the finish-line so far away?  Is this just a common late-middle-age dilemma?

I know it's just a "head-space" thing but feels pretty real to me.  Slap me around if you must.

Dicey

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Re: How Do You Keep a Positive Perspective for the Long-Haul?
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2019, 12:22:10 PM »
One thing I did was to only look at my balances monthly. I'd put it on a sticky and slap it on the wall in  my home office. It was helpful not to look every day.

GuitarStv

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Re: How Do You Keep a Positive Perspective for the Long-Haul?
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2019, 01:46:48 PM »
Make changes to your life to be happy now.  Even if they're little things, or slightly set you back on the path to retirement.  Get exercise, try to eat well, engage in activities that bring you happiness.  You'll have to learn to do these things in retirement anyway . . . so get a head start on them today.


Zikoris

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Re: How Do You Keep a Positive Perspective for the Long-Haul?
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2019, 03:50:16 PM »
I think you should really take a hard look at your FIRE plan if it requires 39+ years to reach any sort of success. I mean, it doesn't sound like it's a very good FIRE plan at all, honestly - what is that, like a 10% savings rate? Less? If I wrote out a FIRE plan and then realized it would require 39+ years of work, the crumpled wad of paper it was written on would break the sound barrier from how hard I threw it at the garbage can. It's a bad plan. Toss it and come up with a better one that has you retiring in a reasonable timeline, and you won't need to deal with things like keeping a positive perspective for 39+ years of grinding.

deborah

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Re: How Do You Keep a Positive Perspective for the Long-Haul?
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2019, 04:13:33 PM »
I think you should really take a hard look at your FIRE plan if it requires 39+ years to reach any sort of success. I mean, it doesn't sound like it's a very good FIRE plan at all, honestly - what is that, like a 10% savings rate? Less? If I wrote out a FIRE plan and then realized it would require 39+ years of work, the crumpled wad of paper it was written on would break the sound barrier from how hard I threw it at the garbage can. It's a bad plan. Toss it and come up with a better one that has you retiring in a reasonable timeline, and you won't need to deal with things like keeping a positive perspective for 39+ years of grinding.
To be fair to OP heís only just started with MMM, so heís planning to go from near 0 in 10 years.

However, youíre also new here, so you should have the new shiny armour that newbies wear. So why has it jaded so quickly? You need to be happy with what youíre doing now, whether that happiness comes from watching your money grow, watching sunsets or something else thatís frugal and makes your day. You need to be able to set your money flow up, and forget about that part of the equation and get on with your life. That may mean looking long and hard at what you, yourself spend, and playing games with yourself to reduce it. It may mean learning new skills so you can do more yourself and pay less to others. It may mean reviewing where household expenses have been in the past and working out the root cause of these and fixing it. It might be working with your wife to envisage your retirement so youíre on the same page and sheís so excited about the possibility that she comes on board too. Thereís lots to do!

henramdrea

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Re: How Do You Keep a Positive Perspective for the Long-Haul?
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2019, 06:35:22 PM »
I think you should really take a hard look at your FIRE plan if it requires 39+ years to reach any sort of success. I mean, it doesn't sound like it's a very good FIRE plan at all, honestly - what is that, like a 10% savings rate? Less? If I wrote out a FIRE plan and then realized it would require 39+ years of work, the crumpled wad of paper it was written on would break the sound barrier from how hard I threw it at the garbage can. It's a bad plan. Toss it and come up with a better one that has you retiring in a reasonable timeline, and you won't need to deal with things like keeping a positive perspective for 39+ years of grinding.

I really only have about 10 yrs left of working, but yes, it'll be a solid 40 years of work, not all of it terrible or un-rewarding.  I feel like the next 10 years are going to be the longest of my life!  Most of my stache is tied up in my big house which has appreciated nicely.  I have under $200k in investments and nearly $500K equity sitting in my house....no, not very balanced but that's where I am.  I'll sell in about 5 yrs, downsize and invest the lion's portion.

The finish-line is there, it's just still a long way off!  I think I need one of the MMM Jedi to tell this padawan it's going to be OK and why.

henramdrea

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Re: How Do You Keep a Positive Perspective for the Long-Haul?
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2019, 06:46:17 PM »
I think you should really take a hard look at your FIRE plan if it requires 39+ years to reach any sort of success. I mean, it doesn't sound like it's a very good FIRE plan at all, honestly - what is that, like a 10% savings rate? Less? If I wrote out a FIRE plan and then realized it would require 39+ years of work, the crumpled wad of paper it was written on would break the sound barrier from how hard I threw it at the garbage can. It's a bad plan. Toss it and come up with a better one that has you retiring in a reasonable timeline, and you won't need to deal with things like keeping a positive perspective for 39+ years of grinding.
To be fair to OP heís only just started with MMM, so heís planning to go from near 0 in 10 years.

However, youíre also new here, so you should have the new shiny armour that newbies wear. So why has it jaded so quickly? You need to be happy with what youíre doing now, whether that happiness comes from watching your money grow, watching sunsets or something else thatís frugal and makes your day. You need to be able to set your money flow up, and forget about that part of the equation and get on with your life. That may mean looking long and hard at what you, yourself spend, and playing games with yourself to reduce it. It may mean learning new skills so you can do more yourself and pay less to others. It may mean reviewing where household expenses have been in the past and working out the root cause of these and fixing it. It might be working with your wife to envisage your retirement so youíre on the same page and sheís so excited about the possibility that she comes on board too. Thereís lots to do!

I'm not sure why I've gotten jaded so quickly.  My youngest will be graduating HS and I'll be 60!  We were 42 when we adopted her.
I guess I'm on my own curve, and can't or shouldn't be comparing myself with others, especially those younger than me who were somehow able to stash near 7 figures so quickly.

Do any of you set short term goals or objectives to hit, say every 6 months or so and then stick to them, re-assess and re-set?  Maybe that would make the time feel shorter.

Deborah, you're right.  I need to stop wishing my life away, re-discover the things that used to bring happiness.  Set the retirement contribution to max and let it ride.

mistymoney

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Re: How Do You Keep a Positive Perspective for the Long-Haul?
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2019, 08:37:43 AM »
I think you should really take a hard look at your FIRE plan if it requires 39+ years to reach any sort of success. I mean, it doesn't sound like it's a very good FIRE plan at all, honestly - what is that, like a 10% savings rate? Less? If I wrote out a FIRE plan and then realized it would require 39+ years of work, the crumpled wad of paper it was written on would break the sound barrier from how hard I threw it at the garbage can. It's a bad plan. Toss it and come up with a better one that has you retiring in a reasonable timeline, and you won't need to deal with things like keeping a positive perspective for 39+ years of grinding.

I really only have about 10 yrs left of working, but yes, it'll be a solid 40 years of work, not all of it terrible or un-rewarding.  I feel like the next 10 years are going to be the longest of my life!  Most of my stache is tied up in my big house which has appreciated nicely.  I have under $200k in investments and nearly $500K equity sitting in my house....no, not very balanced but that's where I am.  I'll sell in about 5 yrs, downsize and invest the lion's portion.

The finish-line is there, it's just still a long way off!  I think I need one of the MMM Jedi to tell this padawan it's going to be OK and why.

I'm no jedi, but the stache is small and the house is large. Are there kids at home? What is the draw for keeping the house for another 5 years?

The next 10 years will - unfortunately! - speed right by faster than any other 10 year period, as you likely are aware.

My advice:

Draw up a plan that works, with a couple of contingencies for housing market drops, stock market drop, whatever.

Then work the plan and focus on other things about life, whatever those may be.

Stop waiting for prom, enjoy today, enjoy the journey.

Hobbies, low-cost travel, whatever you makes it for you.

KBecks

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Re: How Do You Keep a Positive Perspective for the Long-Haul?
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2019, 09:30:00 AM »
Would a job change freshen up your perspective?

mozar

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Re: How Do You Keep a Positive Perspective for the Long-Haul?
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2019, 10:08:23 AM »
You sound like you are actually depressed and a job change and learning new skills aren't going to change things. Therapy, reading self help books, serious self reflection can all help.

Malcat

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Re: How Do You Keep a Positive Perspective for the Long-Haul?
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2019, 10:43:02 AM »
I don't know what you need, but you need something.

Maybe therapy, maybe a new job, maybe sell the house, maybe all or none of the above.

As someone who was hit in their 30s with very serious and life changing illness, I can tell you that wishing away what are probably some of your strongest and healthiest remaining years is a terrible idea.

You need to identify what your barriers are to happiness and deal with them now. FIRE may remove some of those barriers, but it won't make you happy.

You already have all of the resources you need to live a full and happy life, so get on it.

henramdrea

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Re: How Do You Keep a Positive Perspective for the Long-Haul?
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2019, 10:28:19 PM »
Thank-you for the replies.  I'm taking them to heart and they've confirmed some things for me I think:

Reason for staying in the house has more to do with the school district we're in for my youngest.  It's the best in the area.  Once she's in HS we'll be looking for other options.  DW and I have agreed to sell this place at no greater than 5 yrs. hence.

Job...definitely.  Initially, I loved the job.  It was easy, pays fairly well, people are kind and I have mostly motivated clientele I see.  The drive sucks (42 mi....one way!), some of the incompetence is hard to watch, the younger people I work with can be full of themselves.  I've committed to another year there which will give me time to look for something closer to home.

Hobbies....I need to get back to those.  Hiking season is here, so I'll get back to that which will help clear my head.  DW and I need to reinstate date night again, we've fallen off the wagon there (not a hobby of course, but still enjoyable).  I'll get back to working on my motorcycles again so I can explore out further.

Therapy....never tried it, but have thought about it, especially lately.  Any particular type you all have had some decent results with?

chemistk

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Re: How Do You Keep a Positive Perspective for the Long-Haul?
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2019, 05:45:12 AM »
I guess I'm on my own curve, and can't or shouldn't be comparing myself with others, especially those younger than me who were somehow able to stash near 7 figures so quickly.

I need to stop wishing my life away, re-discover the things that used to bring happiness. 

You sort of answered your own questions here. I, too, look in awe at the people who cruised toward retirement in six-figure salaries. If I could go back in time, I'd wallop myself for not actually caring enough about school to put myself in a position to be able to do that. But we're all on our own curve, and it's so much easier to think the grass in greener and all that.

That commute is killer, and I would bet finding something more interesting closer to home will open a number of opportunities to find meaningful activities.

mistymoney

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Re: How Do You Keep a Positive Perspective for the Long-Haul?
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2019, 07:02:27 AM »
Thank-you for the replies.  I'm taking them to heart and they've confirmed some things for me I think:

Reason for staying in the house has more to do with the school district we're in for my youngest.  It's the best in the area.  Once she's in HS we'll be looking for other options.  DW and I have agreed to sell this place at no greater than 5 yrs. hence.

Job...definitely.  Initially, I loved the job.  It was easy, pays fairly well, people are kind and I have mostly motivated clientele I see.  The drive sucks (42 mi....one way!), some of the incompetence is hard to watch, the younger people I work with can be full of themselves.  I've committed to another year there which will give me time to look for something closer to home.

Hobbies....I need to get back to those.  Hiking season is here, so I'll get back to that which will help clear my head.  DW and I need to reinstate date night again, we've fallen off the wagon there (not a hobby of course, but still enjoyable).  I'll get back to working on my motorcycles again so I can explore out further.

Therapy....never tried it, but have thought about it, especially lately.  Any particular type you all have had some decent results with?

sounds like a good plan! Start there, and then push harder if you are still in the weeds. I don't know a lot about "types" of therapy, but I would look at cognitive-behavioral therapy, I think!

Malcat

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Re: How Do You Keep a Positive Perspective for the Long-Haul?
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2019, 07:12:14 AM »
Re: types of therapy

Your issues are pretty run of the mill life stress problems, so any properly educated therapist should be qualified to help.

As I always caution though, in many jurisdictions "therapist" is not a regulated title, so I always recommend either researching what the qualifications are in your jurisdiction or just playing it safe by seeking out a clinical psychologist, which means they have a doctorate specifically in counselling.

slappy

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Re: How Do You Keep a Positive Perspective for the Long-Haul?
« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2019, 07:18:05 AM »
Thank-you for the replies.  I'm taking them to heart and they've confirmed some things for me I think:

Reason for staying in the house has more to do with the school district we're in for my youngest.  It's the best in the area.  Once she's in HS we'll be looking for other options.  DW and I have agreed to sell this place at no greater than 5 yrs. hence.

Job...definitely.  Initially, I loved the job.  It was easy, pays fairly well, people are kind and I have mostly motivated clientele I see.  The drive sucks (42 mi....one way!), some of the incompetence is hard to watch, the younger people I work with can be full of themselves.  I've committed to another year there which will give me time to look for something closer to home.

Hobbies....I need to get back to those.  Hiking season is here, so I'll get back to that which will help clear my head.  DW and I need to reinstate date night again, we've fallen off the wagon there (not a hobby of course, but still enjoyable).  I'll get back to working on my motorcycles again so I can explore out further.

Therapy....never tried it, but have thought about it, especially lately.  Any particular type you all have had some decent results with?

Re: therapy, if your employer has an employer assistance program, they can set up you up with some options and they usually cover the first couple of visits. It will remove the barrier to getting started and if you don't click with the first person on the list of participating therapists, you can choose someone else.

Laura33

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Re: How Do You Keep a Positive Perspective for the Long-Haul?
« Reply #16 on: October 07, 2019, 07:30:08 AM »
I may well be reading too much into this, but "easy" jobs tend not to be satisfying long-term.  We are hard-wired to want to learn/grow, and so coasting along tends to deprive us of that sense of purpose.  In addition, it sounds like your kids are getting older and thus more self-sufficient.  My own therapist had an invaluable insight: my depression set in right when I expected to be happy, because my DD was driving and taking care of a bunch of boring logistical stuff that I hated, my DS was in MS and much more self-sufficient, and work was slow.  So I had all this free time for date nights, for cooking big dinners, for the gym, and all that other fun stuff that goes by the wayside when life happens.  But the reality was that that free time also generated an overwhelming sense of not being needed any more, of not really having anything that felt like a purpose. 

Like I said, I may be reading too much into this, because you are not me.  But are you largely coasting in life, between the easy job and easier/older kids?  Because that's fun, but not satisfying.  Definitely go talk to a therapist (I found medication to be pretty life-changing myself).  But also consider whether you need a little more challenge in your life, something to push yourself to grow in.

FunkyChopstick

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Re: How Do You Keep a Positive Perspective for the Long-Haul?
« Reply #17 on: October 07, 2019, 09:10:22 PM »
CBT , cognitive behavioral therapy,  is amazing. It breaks a feeling or reaction down in the smallest steps and you teach your brain to not over react. But honestly just talking to a stranger, someone with no dogs in your hunt, feels fantastic. Worth the money and effort.

henramdrea

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Re: How Do You Keep a Positive Perspective for the Long-Haul?
« Reply #18 on: October 08, 2019, 07:00:53 AM »
Thank-you all again for the thoughtful replies.  I'd forgotten about the EAP most employers have,  I usually just gloss over this part of the benefits package.  I've heard of CBT before and its benefits.  Not sure if my insurance covers that but it's worth a look.

I may well be reading too much into this, but "easy" jobs tend not to be satisfying long-term.  We are hard-wired to want to learn/grow, and so coasting along tends to deprive us of that sense of purpose.  In addition, it sounds like your kids are getting older and thus more self-sufficient.  My own therapist had an invaluable insight: my depression set in right when I expected to be happy, because my DD was driving and taking care of a bunch of boring logistical stuff that I hated, my DS was in MS and much more self-sufficient, and work was slow.  So I had all this free time for date nights, for cooking big dinners, for the gym, and all that other fun stuff that goes by the wayside when life happens.  But the reality was that that free time also generated an overwhelming sense of not being needed any more, of not really having anything that felt like a purpose. 

Like I said, I may be reading too much into this, because you are not me.  But are you largely coasting in life, between the easy job and easier/older kids?  Because that's fun, but not satisfying.  Definitely go talk to a therapist (I found medication to be pretty life-changing myself).  But also consider whether you need a little more challenge in your life, something to push yourself to grow in.
This is interesting and I was just reading up on a post in Quora about how we as humans were meant to overcome, problem-solve, avoid getting eaten and avoid starvation.  Now in modern times we don't have to do much of the lasbt 2 but we were not meant to go through life without significant challenges and problems to solve.  I think that's why we seek out thrills like running half-marathons, going on long, treacherous hikes, jumping out of perfectly good airplanes, etc.
I left a high-stress job in Seattle and deliberately accepted this significantly dialed-back position here in AZ.  For the first year or two, I really loved it.  It was just the right thing at that time.  Fast-forward only two years later and all I see are endless weeks of 4 10 hour days with a long commute on either end, a Friday taken up by some rest and a side-gig (I'm well over 50 hour with all that) and a weekend with the usual chores.  It's not a hard life but.......dang I can't fathom 10 more years!
I will accept the promotion as it will build my resume, probably allow me to drop the side-gig which is only more of the same and only meant to add a few extra $.  I think you're on to something Laura33 and it's been confirmed from a few other sources and should be a warning to me once I eventually do retire:  boredom is going to ruin me.  Can't do it, the brain will just rot.
One reason I've been avoiding challenges as of late is the old fear of failure.  I end up going negative on myself when I fail at something ("yep, well there I go again, just one more screw-up..you're nothing but a screw-up henramdrea, may as well just not try to begin with")  The gray matter says that's just wrong, bad, thinking so stop it!  Then that bad thinking becomes the failure.....grrr.  Now I'm sounding self-centered.

Thank-you sincerely for the insights, I'm reading every one.

Laura33

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Re: How Do You Keep a Positive Perspective for the Long-Haul?
« Reply #19 on: October 08, 2019, 08:47:34 AM »
One reason I've been avoiding challenges as of late is the old fear of failure.  I end up going negative on myself when I fail at something ("yep, well there I go again, just one more screw-up..you're nothing but a screw-up henramdrea, may as well just not try to begin with")  The gray matter says that's just wrong, bad, thinking so stop it!  Then that bad thinking becomes the failure.....grrr.  Now I'm sounding self-centered.

This is the best reason of all to try something completely new and challenging. 

My own frolic and detour:  I started at a Crossfit gym at 50.  Out of shape, overweight, pissed off with where I had let myself get, 100% terrified of trying to hang with all the fit, buff youngsters.  Fast-forward 3 years and it's the best thing I ever did outside of marrying my DH and having my kids.  I am still old, still overweight, my cardio still sucks, and I still can't do one. freaking. pull-up.  But I feel like such a bad-ass every day.  Because I am stronger now than I was in my 20s.  Because I go, and I make it through, and I do more than I thought I could (I remember trying and trying and trying for well over a year to get my bench press up to 100 -- and now I'm at 130).  Because no one there believes I'm 53 and is shocked to find out.  But most of all:  because it makes me realize that life after 50 is not one long slog downward into obsolescence and decrepitude, unless I choose it to be.  My best years do not have to be behind me; I may never beat my old 5K time or be able to pull an all-nighter again, but I can still learn things and achieve things I never even thought about when I was younger. 

And that, btw, has changed my whole outlook on my life.  It's not about the gym -- it's about how what that gym brought out of me made me realize about myself and my capabilities.  YMMV, of course; you are not me.  But generally, I find that being afraid of something is the strongest signal of all that it's time to push myself out of my comfort zone.

(Except skydiving.  Never going to do that, period.)

NextTime

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Re: How Do You Keep a Positive Perspective for the Long-Haul?
« Reply #20 on: October 08, 2019, 09:59:37 AM »
Re: types of therapy

Your issues are pretty run of the mill life stress problems, so any properly educated therapist should be qualified to help.

As I always caution though, in many jurisdictions "therapist" is not a regulated title, so I always recommend either researching what the qualifications are in your jurisdiction or just playing it safe by seeking out a clinical psychologist, which means they have a doctorate specifically in counselling.


That depends on the state in which you live. My wife is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist with a Master's degree. They take the same licensing exams and she actually holds a higher license than some Ph.D.'s

Malcat

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Re: How Do You Keep a Positive Perspective for the Long-Haul?
« Reply #21 on: October 08, 2019, 10:34:21 AM »
Re: types of therapy

Your issues are pretty run of the mill life stress problems, so any properly educated therapist should be qualified to help.

As I always caution though, in many jurisdictions "therapist" is not a regulated title, so I always recommend either researching what the qualifications are in your jurisdiction or just playing it safe by seeking out a clinical psychologist, which means they have a doctorate specifically in counselling.


That depends on the state in which you live. My wife is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist with a Master's degree. They take the same licensing exams and she actually holds a higher license than some Ph.D.'s

That's why first and foremost, I recommend researching local jurisdiction qualifications.

NorCal

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Re: How Do You Keep a Positive Perspective for the Long-Haul?
« Reply #22 on: October 08, 2019, 11:53:49 AM »
To me, the biggest mental help is ACTION. 

You need to focus your mind on something proactive you can do to make your life better.  It's different for everyone, but here's some things that have worked for me:

1. Take on a project or skillset that will improve your self sufficiency or FI date.  Maybe learn how to maintain your own car, or find some DIY projects to improve home energy efficiency.
2.  Pick up a hobby.  Home wine and/or beer making is a personal favorite.
3.  Try your hand at real-estate investing.

My mind is more at peace whenever I am taking positive actions (outside my day job) to improve life.

EscapedApe

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Re: How Do You Keep a Positive Perspective for the Long-Haul?
« Reply #23 on: October 10, 2019, 12:30:45 PM »
Try looking at it like weight loss:

If you check the scale every day, progress will seem slow. You might even discourage yourself, because sometimes the scale tips back up for reasons that have nothing to do with your exercise (water retention, for example).

Instead, look at the TRENDS. Over time, your net worth is increasing. Over time, your calmness and sense of security is improving. You have fewer worries, less anxiety, and a growing sense of optimism.

Don't look at where you want to be, look at how far you've come.

As for helping with the mind set, MMM recommends acting like you're already retired right now, and I agree. Think about the kinds of tings you want to accomplish in retirement and start doing those things right now, in small measures. Pick up a hobby you've been thinking about, or start working on a personal project. That way, the transition will feel seamless, and you can start tasting your victory sooner rather than later.

As you behave, so shall you become.

SilentC

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Re: How Do You Keep a Positive Perspective for the Long-Haul?
« Reply #24 on: October 12, 2019, 09:58:03 AM »
I think itís important to realize that a lot of these people that ďmade itĒ at a young age for the most part have no kids and decent dual incomes, and they are probably not retiring with enough even then. Iím more impressed with someone who raised a family, put kids through school etc and still managed to retire before 67.  If you are starting late in the game and going zero to done in 10 years thatís awesome.  Itís not a race, you may end up having had a much more fulfilling life than a whipper snapper who ďretiresĒ at 30 with no kids and unable to afford an international plane ticket or tickets to the ballet for that matter. 

draco44

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Re: How Do You Keep a Positive Perspective for the Long-Haul?
« Reply #25 on: October 12, 2019, 11:58:26 AM »
It's not about the gym -- it's about how what that gym brought out of me made me realize about myself and my capabilities.

Laura33's post about taking up something new as an adult and pushing through despite the fear of sucking / looking silly really spoke to me.

henramdrea, I've gone through periods of having the same sorts of spiraling thoughts you reference in your posts here, and noticed that I didn't see much in your comments about what you want you retirement to be. What are you retiring towards? What are you looking forward to? More time with your significant other? A crazily ambitious motorcycle trip to every national park in the US? Hiking your local trails? These are all great things.

However, you also specifically mention a fear of boredom in retirement.  If that's the case, maybe you are someone who needs to think of retirement not just as a chance to reconnect with past interests, but trying new challenges as well. A lot of the commenters so far have talked about hobbies, mostly as a pleasant way to fill your time and distract you from darker thoughts, but I appreciated Laura33's comment about how trying something new can also help you built increased confidence in yourself and have faith that you can grow in ways that may seem impossible at first.

I'm on a similar journey as Laura33, in my case learning how to play guitar as an adult beginner, and so far it's been incredibly rewarding, even if I can't yet reliably play an F chord. If your old interests inspire little more than a feeling of "I need to get back to those," maybe don't force it and try something new instead. Also remember that whatever you try doesn't have to be forever. In addition to working on my long-term hobby goal of learning guitar, I love taking one-off workshops in all kinds of crazy shit I have no intention of pursuing seriously, like saber fencing and natural plant dying. I feel like doing so expands my world. At a minimum you have something interesting to chat about at your next BBQ, and maybe you'll stumble onto something that you love more than would have ever imagined.

henramdrea

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Re: How Do You Keep a Positive Perspective for the Long-Haul?
« Reply #26 on: October 12, 2019, 03:43:08 PM »
I'm historically an active person and have done quite a few adrenaline-inducing activities:  surfing, mountain climbing, motorcycle racing, traveling Europe on a shoestring budget, I've seen and done a lot already in my time.  Some things would be a little too risky now at my age (motorcycle racing and surfing big waves for instance..high chance of injury or death).  There's different ways I'm looking into now for more safe activities that can still provide that certain rush.

After starting this thread, I resolved to do some things out of the usual this weekend.  Today, I've already hiked up a small "mountain" and back, installing a ceiling fan, made dinner for a friend.  I really do feel better.  I work 4 10 hour days with a side gig (similar work to my 40 hour job) and yesterday I didn't have any gig-work planned.  It felt great to have a day off.  I think I may accept less gig-work on my Fridays and start exploring some different things to do in that time, maybe work at the local motorcycle shop for the fun of it, I don't know.

draco44, I actually am an intermediate guitar player, and I do enjoy doing that once in a while.  We'll see, maybe I'll find some other old-farts and we'll start a Smith's tribute band or something (half-joking).

I looked into CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) and I'm not sure that approach is what I need.  I'll keep looking, because I've experienced depression before for no good reason.  Keeping busy with challenging activity that I can have some success with has helped though.  I did actually get DW to start talking about the grocery budget with me.  We'll see if we can bring it down from $1000 per month to $800.  Baby steps.  Small successes none the less. :)

I've had a good week.  You guys have been helpful.

BECABECA

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Re: How Do You Keep a Positive Perspective for the Long-Haul?
« Reply #27 on: October 12, 2019, 08:42:36 PM »
...
One reason I've been avoiding challenges as of late is the old fear of failure.  I end up going negative on myself when I fail at something ("yep, well there I go again, just one more screw-up..you're nothing but a screw-up henramdrea, may as well just not try to begin with")  The gray matter says that's just wrong, bad, thinking so stop it!  Then that bad thinking becomes the failure...
...

Someone posted this helpful article on these forums in another thread (I canít seem to find the original post now, but Iíd saved the article). Itís about how to deal with your inner critic:
https://www.psychalive.org/5-things-to-do-when-your-inner-critic-takes-over/