Author Topic: Going back to work after FIRE  (Read 5304 times)

rae09

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Going back to work after FIRE
« on: January 05, 2021, 01:03:20 PM »
It's been 3 months into FIRE for me and I'm debating if I should start looking for a job. The first week of FIRE was a relief but that didn't last long. I still get up at the same time in the morning since I have a pet. As the weeks go by, I find myself procrastinate more and hence, can't help but feel and think that I'm lazy. DH is still working and the travel restrictions due to COVID isn't helping either. So, as I'm "stuck"at home, I find myself wonder if I should look for another job to keep me busy and my brain exercised (it's not so much about the money. I'm pretty sure we have enough already).
I mean, I can always be cleaning and cooking, but I find that I would rather work and pay someone else to do the cleaning part than do it myself.

Anyone else with the same experience? What did/do you do/plan to do?
Should I give it several more months to settle down?

herbgeek

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2021, 03:51:53 PM »
Yes, I feel slackerish often.  Mostly because I can't do retirement the way I'd intended due to the pandemic.  However I'm also 60, and so the likelihood I could get rehired in tech is slim/next to zero (even if I were inclined to go that way).

I don't cook and clean all day because I don't like to do that.  I take classes on line, and craft and garden and have a glass of wine at 3pm most days and get outside even though its cold, and do a bunch of other things.   So lots of things, but not the type of big-work-project stuff I'm used to, so I feel I'm living under my potential.  I'm still looking for something to really pour my passions into, and I've been retired 1.5 years.  I'd say give yourself some time, try new things, see where it leads.

Model96

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2021, 04:04:42 PM »
I love that I can be lazy when I want to with FIRE, but only work an occasional temp casual job through an agency if I think I will learn a new skill or two. My days are full of fixing stuff all in and around houses and cars and gardens and the occasional educational course. Also considering joining one of the local volunteer emergency services for something different. Everything can be a hobby if you want!

Paul der Krake

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2021, 05:44:31 PM »
Start playing chess online, you will lose to 8 year old girls and feel even worse, but your days will be consumed.

ixtap

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2021, 05:46:56 PM »
Dear lord, and here I am wondering how I am going to fit everything in tomorrow! I have a Zoom class to teach in the evening and the non profit I am teaching for hasn't updated the slides since...well, based on the images used, I would guess they haven't been updated in this century, even though it *says* 2008 on the CD.

John Galt incarnate!

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2021, 05:49:41 PM »
It's been 3 months into FIRE for me and I'm debating if I should start looking for a job. The first week of FIRE was a relief but that didn't last long. I still get up at the same time in the morning since I have a pet. As the weeks go by, I find myself procrastinate more and hence, can't help but feel and think that I'm lazy. DH is still working and the travel restrictions due to COVID isn't helping either. So, as I'm "stuck"at home, I find myself wonder if I should look for another job to keep me busy and my brain exercised (it's not so much about the money. I'm pretty sure we have enough already).
I mean, I can always be cleaning and cooking, but I find that I would rather work and pay someone else to do the cleaning part than do it myself.

Anyone else with the same experience? What did/do you do/plan to do?

Should I give it several more months to settle down?


I planned for lots of free time for relaxation which is mostly what I do as a FIREee.

Yes OP, I think for several more months you should try to settle down and  relax.


The options of relaxation and procrastination are major benefits of your FIREtirement when the days of  "go,go,go," "rush, rush, rush," and "do,do,do" are over.

There's nothing wrong with relaxation; it isn't slothful.

Relaxation is good for you OP.

Keep your brain exercised via  your keyboard by reading, studying, and discussing (right here at MMM) topics that interest you.


HAPPY RELAXATION!
« Last Edit: January 05, 2021, 09:55:36 PM by John Galt incarnate! »

chevy1956

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2021, 06:56:18 PM »
I just want to state that I think the post FIRE time is really really tough. I know that this sounds crazy but it's been tough for me. I always thought the decompression stage that is talked about was crap. I'm also about 3 months into retirement. I really wish this period was discussed even more.

Some random points from myself:-

1. If you want to go back to work go back to work. Personally I would give this more time if I was you because as I've stated I really think that this is a tough phase. I can't believe it is tough but to me it is tough.
2. I really didn't work to hard and I'm loath to call this a decompression stage. I consider it though an adjustment phase.
3. I smoke pot and I'm having a break now. I've never been a big smoker but I think going drug free feels really good. I will smoke pot again but I have to have time out.
4. For NYE I typically buy a bottle of wine and drink it. I had 2-3 small glasses this NYE and threw out the rest of the bottle. I don't have an urge to get drunk.
5. I've started reading and sleeping more throughout the day. I've always read a lot (50 books a year on average) but it's taken me a while to get comfortable just reading and lying in bed when I've decided I've done enough for the day.
6. I've been fighting more with my wife. We have to adjust to being in each others face all day.
7. I have no urge to go back to work.
8. I'm starting to feel I'm getting through this phase.
9. I like the idea of working through your values, You can do that in heaps of different ways. I read stoic philosophy books or similar to this.
10. It's going to take me longer to get through this. It's such a massive adjustment. I'm not making any big decisions yet.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2021, 07:05:37 PM by chevy1956 »

xbdb

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2021, 07:07:38 PM »
As the weeks go by, I find myself procrastinate more and hence, can't help but feel and think that I'm lazy.


You need to give it some more time. There is a decompression period you need to go through - you can't just flip a switch. Give yourself the time to decompress. I recommend reading How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free by Ernie J Zelinski. We live in a wonderful time, you can do almost whatever you want.

Malcat

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2021, 07:31:03 PM »
Lol, you're still very early days. Your brain hasn't gotten used to there no longer being a delineation between work and leisure.

It takes awhile for your brain to adjust to a reality where you can push yourself really hard to do things by choice, that you don't need a job to structure your productivity for you.

It took me at least 6 months before I stopped feeling like my free time was supposed to be leisurely, the way it was before between work shifts.

Now my time is just my time, I do a ton of projects, sign up for classes, and help out friends and family with their projects. Most of my days are pretty busy, but rarely overloaded.

I help DH with his work quite a bit, and Indigenous consultation is a big part of a lot of the projects in government right now, and it occured to me that my knowledge of First Nations is somewhat outdated and I'm really not up to speed on current reconciliation issues, so I registered for a 12 week online university course.

That's what being retired is like for me now, 10 months later. If I have a sudden curiosity about anything, it's the easiest thing in the world to commit 12 weeks to study it. Why not?

It really did take awhile to get here, but now time feels nice and fluid. Like I live far more in the present rather than alternating productivity and leisure.

I also no longer feel like things need to be done towards a goal. I don't have to prioritize what I study for the sake of broadening my professional skill set, I can just learn something because I'm interested and I have the time.

I don't have to make all of my effort count. I just follow whatever is interesting. I suddenly decided I wanted platinum blonde hair. No real reason, it just struck me as something I wanted to do, so I invested many hours into learning how not to melt my hair off or blind myself with highly toxic chemicals.

Now...I accidentally ended up with magenta hair, but that's not the point. All I had to do was learn how to fix that, which I did.

My point is, I felt like doing it and I took the time to do it, for no real reason other than it seemed like a fun thing to do. And again, why not?

Give it time, and try to get out of your comfort zone. You are only auto-piloting back to work because that's what your lifetime of habits knows will keep you occupied and stimulated. Well fuck that, try new habits.

Now, I'm not saying never go back to work. I'm quite young and fully intend to work in the future, but in the meantime, I'm fully embracing this new relationship I have with my own motivation and energy.

Oh, speaking of "auto pilot", I'm also reading books about flying, in case I get serious about getting my pilot's license.
Because? You guessed it. Why not?

sui generis

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2021, 09:00:58 PM »
I agree with basically everyone else that you need to give it more time.  The fact that you are thinking about going back to work significantly because you are procrastinating and feel lazy tells me you have an opportunity to work more on framing your story and investigating your values than that you should run back to work as a superficial solution to a "problem". 

There are many ways to stay busy and keep your brain exercised other than working, cooking or cleaning.  So I would:

1) find other ways to make yourself feel productive and busy other than those 3 things in the short term, while also *trying* to give yourself a break and practice not always having to be so busy; and

2) for the longer term, do some deep introspection, maybe even counseling with some sort of life coach on your values and whether you think "busy" and "productive" are values you should be pursuing vs. other values you might have such as "making a difference", "exanding your knowledge" or "fostering relationships".

I feel like going back to work is the easy way out of the discomfort you are feeling right now.  If you do that now, you'll just feel the same way again whenever you do retire, even if it's not till 70.  That's what happened to my dad (who did retire younger than 70). And he couldn't go back to work, but also never found something else to latch onto.  He was dead less than 2 years after he retired.

DrinkCoffeeAndStackMoney

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2021, 08:49:59 AM »
Lots of great feedback here already.

To the OP... I'd say give it more time to become the new normal. I'd bet as time goes on and you decompress more you'll find more meaningful things to you to fill your days. Also, relaxing/lazy/do nothing days are not slothful/lazy; the issue is that it's hard for most people to think otherwise because we are conditioned/programmed basically from pre-school age to always be productive, that you owe something to society, and that your best is always improvable and never enough.

Relax and enjoy your new freedom. If you still feel this way in a year go find a job.
Good luck to you.

Dicey

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2021, 09:08:49 AM »
I'm eight years into FIRE and DH still works. I have a lot to say on this subject, but I have to drag myself out of this warm bed and get moving, because it's my day to volunteer at the thrift store. Can't wait!

rae09

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2021, 06:13:37 PM »
Thanks everyone for chiming in. I feel the pandemic has a lot to do with my situation. I envisioned my retirement full of traveling. DH is also still working and I don't really want to travel alone and with COVID, I can't even travel with my mom who's retired or plan any trips with my girlfriends during their vacation.
It was easier the first month since we got to do several road trips and camping trips. With winter coming in, it's no longer possible to travel without staying in a hotel/Airbnb and I'm not willing to do that just yet.

As @herbgeek said about living under potential... I'll hit the big 4 this year and I feel I can do so much more than just checking out and do nothing. I'm really not trying to brag but I've seen how difficult it is for a lot of people (friends and family) to make money and I feel that I'm in a place where making money is something I'm pretty good at doing. Hence the urge to work more, make more, and maybe help more people while adding more to our savings account at the same time so we can upgrade to a nicer house in a nicer neighborhood, enjoy our vacation in a nicer hotels vs budget travels (gotta admit I'm not a saint so there is a personal agenda in it).

However, I think @sui generis has a valid point about doing deep introspection. I recently learned that it is very likely my mother was/is pretty high on the narcissist spectrum and I've become a codependent as a result. I've been doing a lot of reading to heal myself and it's been a great progress. I suspect the feeling that I need to be useful might have something to do with this. I can't even take a nap without feeling guilty that DH is working in the other room (he's completely fine with me doing nothing btw, it's just the voice in my head telling me I should be doing something else instead of napping).

Looks like I have homework to do.

sui generis

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2021, 06:21:41 PM »
Thanks everyone for chiming in. I feel the pandemic has a lot to do with my situation. I envisioned my retirement full of traveling. DH is also still working and I don't really want to travel alone and with COVID, I can't even travel with my mom who's retired or plan any trips with my girlfriends during their vacation.
It was easier the first month since we got to do several road trips and camping trips. With winter coming in, it's no longer possible to travel without staying in a hotel/Airbnb and I'm not willing to do that just yet.

As @herbgeek said about living under potential... I'll hit the big 4 this year and I feel I can do so much more than just checking out and do nothing. I'm really not trying to brag but I've seen how difficult it is for a lot of people (friends and family) to make money and I feel that I'm in a place where making money is something I'm pretty good at doing. Hence the urge to work more, make more, and maybe help more people while adding more to our savings account at the same time so we can upgrade to a nicer house in a nicer neighborhood, enjoy our vacation in a nicer hotels vs budget travels (gotta admit I'm not a saint so there is a personal agenda in it).

However, I think @sui generis has a valid point about doing deep introspection. I recently learned that it is very likely my mother was/is pretty high on the narcissist spectrum and I've become a codependent as a result. I've been doing a lot of reading to heal myself and it's been a great progress. I suspect the feeling that I need to be useful might have something to do with this. I can't even take a nap without feeling guilty that DH is working in the other room (he's completely fine with me doing nothing btw, it's just the voice in my head telling me I should be doing something else instead of napping).

Looks like I have homework to do.

I'm glad the comments have been thought-provoking! 

I do notice that you cited some more substantive reasons in this post for going back to work.  I mean, lots of folks on this forum would disagree with the idea of going back to work to have a nicer house or be able to take nicer vacations, sure.  But those are at least goals that you may want to achieve via work, rather than work being an escape from negative feelings that may have nothing to do with going back to work.

Good luck!

Linea_Norway

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2021, 03:59:49 AM »
During the first 9-10 months of FIRE, I felt like I had to be super productive in my own way. Like foraging lots of plants and mushrooms which is my hobby. I have been picking and preserving like a maniac. And also reading lots of books, almost 100 last year, partly for pleasure, but also because I now could. This behaviour was definitively a leftover thing from my stressful job and living a hyper productive private life during FT work.
First in recent months I have been able to feel more relaxed. This year, I am not going to count my read books. There is still the urge of having to do something active every day, otherwise it is a day wasted. But that is of course good for health reasons, so I'll stick to that goal. But I am not putting up requirements of what that activity should be.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2021, 02:10:31 AM by Linea_Norway »

Malcat

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2021, 06:59:26 AM »
Thanks everyone for chiming in. I feel the pandemic has a lot to do with my situation. I envisioned my retirement full of traveling. DH is also still working and I don't really want to travel alone and with COVID, I can't even travel with my mom who's retired or plan any trips with my girlfriends during their vacation.
It was easier the first month since we got to do several road trips and camping trips. With winter coming in, it's no longer possible to travel without staying in a hotel/Airbnb and I'm not willing to do that just yet.

As @herbgeek said about living under potential... I'll hit the big 4 this year and I feel I can do so much more than just checking out and do nothing. I'm really not trying to brag but I've seen how difficult it is for a lot of people (friends and family) to make money and I feel that I'm in a place where making money is something I'm pretty good at doing. Hence the urge to work more, make more, and maybe help more people while adding more to our savings account at the same time so we can upgrade to a nicer house in a nicer neighborhood, enjoy our vacation in a nicer hotels vs budget travels (gotta admit I'm not a saint so there is a personal agenda in it).

However, I think @sui generis has a valid point about doing deep introspection. I recently learned that it is very likely my mother was/is pretty high on the narcissist spectrum and I've become a codependent as a result. I've been doing a lot of reading to heal myself and it's been a great progress. I suspect the feeling that I need to be useful might have something to do with this. I can't even take a nap without feeling guilty that DH is working in the other room (he's completely fine with me doing nothing btw, it's just the voice in my head telling me I should be doing something else instead of napping).

Looks like I have homework to do.

I have a therapist who specializes in children of narcissists. Do not underestimate how profoundly having a narcissist parent can fuck you up.

The sick part is that it fucks you up in a way that society heavily rewards, because it makes you a great employee, highly driven, compulsively helpful, and generally very responsible.

I mean, that all sounds great, except that it makes living in your own mind a bit of a constant torture chamber...no big deal, right?

Anyway, I recommend therapy, really, really good therapy.

You're young, you're financially secure, and you have everything you need to have an incredibly rich and deeply satisfying life. Don't waste it just because you had some deranged parenting. No matter what maladaptive emotional patterns you picked up as a kid, they're all resolvable. It just takes a bit of effort and some high quality help.


Financial.Velociraptor

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2021, 03:32:18 PM »
@rae09

I'll echo you need more time.  FIRE doesn't really start to click for most people for at least 6 months, post-work.  If your situation was toxic you probably need even more time.

A really productive guy in his lifetime was Thoreau.  Really recommend you read his "Walden".  Which reads a lot like a dude goes into the woods to fiddle-fart around.  It's really about a man who goes inside himself (mostly to fiddle-fart around).  Therein he finds his own personal truth and beauty.  That process has been a valid one for centuries and clearly took several months even back in the day.  1) Know Thyself 2) To thine own self be true.

I'll add this that I posted for 4tify: https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/post-fire/advice-on-shedding-identity/msg2765823/#msg2765823

Lack of contentment may mean you have core values that aren't being fulfilled.  Can you even name your core values?  Not the ones work told you have.  Your own real personal ones.  Build a life around those.

FreshlyFIREd

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2021, 09:09:06 AM »
I'm on my fourth year of retirement. I have only had a few "free" days. I have no pets. I still get up like I am going to work. I am mostly home because of the pandemic. There is always plenty to do.

No one could pay me enough so that they could demand that I do "x", and have "x" completed by "y". We've been there and we've done that.

I do like to take an afternoon nap. And it really feels special to stay in bed longer if it's rainy or cold outside.

And it feels really special on Sunday nights - not to have that anxiety of what's waiting for you on Monday morning.

And traveling feels really special when I don't have to jump through hoops before vacation ... and ... the hell that you go through when you get back.

I feel free for the first time in my life.

Model96

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2021, 02:15:36 PM »
Since I have FIREd, I have been asked quite often what I do or have done or plan to do today or in general.
The verbal answer always varies, but my first thought is always 'whatever the hell I want'.

rae09

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #19 on: January 08, 2021, 06:07:25 PM »
I have a therapist who specializes in children of narcissists. Do not underestimate how profoundly having a narcissist parent can fuck you up.

The sick part is that it fucks you up in a way that society heavily rewards, because it makes you a great employee, highly driven, compulsively helpful, and generally very responsible.

I mean, that all sounds great, except that it makes living in your own mind a bit of a constant torture chamber...no big deal, right?

Anyway, I recommend therapy, really, really good therapy.

You're young, you're financially secure, and you have everything you need to have an incredibly rich and deeply satisfying life. Don't waste it just because you had some deranged parenting. No matter what maladaptive emotional patterns you picked up as a kid, they're all resolvable. It just takes a bit of effort and some high quality help.

Unfortunately, I know too well how bad a narcissist parent can eff someone up. I've been living it every day for almost 40 years :)

For the longest time though, I couldn't figure out what's wrong with me and why I am the way I am. I don't recall having anyone who understands what I went through and when I tell my story to someone, it usually ended up with me being blamed. I still remember how excited I was the day I learned about co-dependency. It was an absolute eye opening and I embraced the road to recovery with open arms.

And you're absolutely right about how it makes us wonderful employees! Anytime something happened, I was the one trying to put the fire out and save everyone. It was more than tiring and I'm glad I've learned to stop doing that. But yes, still a lot more bad programming to change.

Malcat

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #20 on: January 08, 2021, 07:37:18 PM »
I have a therapist who specializes in children of narcissists. Do not underestimate how profoundly having a narcissist parent can fuck you up.

The sick part is that it fucks you up in a way that society heavily rewards, because it makes you a great employee, highly driven, compulsively helpful, and generally very responsible.

I mean, that all sounds great, except that it makes living in your own mind a bit of a constant torture chamber...no big deal, right?

Anyway, I recommend therapy, really, really good therapy.

You're young, you're financially secure, and you have everything you need to have an incredibly rich and deeply satisfying life. Don't waste it just because you had some deranged parenting. No matter what maladaptive emotional patterns you picked up as a kid, they're all resolvable. It just takes a bit of effort and some high quality help.

Unfortunately, I know too well how bad a narcissist parent can eff someone up. I've been living it every day for almost 40 years :)

For the longest time though, I couldn't figure out what's wrong with me and why I am the way I am. I don't recall having anyone who understands what I went through and when I tell my story to someone, it usually ended up with me being blamed. I still remember how excited I was the day I learned about co-dependency. It was an absolute eye opening and I embraced the road to recovery with open arms.

And you're absolutely right about how it makes us wonderful employees! Anytime something happened, I was the one trying to put the fire out and save everyone. It was more than tiring and I'm glad I've learned to stop doing that. But yes, still a lot more bad programming to change.

Well, know that I understand you, but also know that I understand that what you are dealing with won't be resolved easily. It is resolvable though, but you do probably need highly skilled support.

Rest assured though, resolution is very possible. I haven't been that "perfect" employee in years, and "boundaries" is my favourite word.

Oh, and I am deeply enjoying my temporary retirement.
It can be done. No matter how entrenched you feel this crap is, it can be processed and retired. It doesn't need to be who you are.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2021, 11:02:34 AM »
I definitively agree with those that say you need more time. It took me well over a year if not two before I figured things out for myself as I was self employed and lost a sense of worth to a degree. The whole pandemic is just magnifying this for you as well I would think. I really had to push myself to start doing things and then challenge myself to add to it a bit more as time went on. Now almost 6 years in I have found kind of a medium of working-out, doing some projects, and relaxing. I always had to be an overachiever and it was tough to feel like I was underachieving and lazy. But now as I mentioned barring a reason I would have to go back to work no-way. You might be one though that needs something to help you through these times with the pandemic to stimulate your mind so maybe do something PT or volunteer but I would give it till summer first and see if we move past this.

Nutty

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #22 on: January 09, 2021, 08:52:45 PM »
Lol, you're still very early days. Your brain hasn't gotten used to there no longer being a delineation between work and leisure.

Oh, speaking of "auto pilot", I'm also reading books about flying, in case I get serious about getting my pilot's license.
Because? You guessed it. Why not?
Interesting.  After I left my last job, I decided that I needed to have fun even or especially at work.  I wasn't hating the old job as much as I had, but it had potential.  As the savings grow, I'm losing the delineation.  Yep, I'm the old guy cracking jokes, but also has technical expertise and job dedication.  Not to retirement yet, but I like to think I'm FI.

Just got bumped out of management.  My manager peers are concerned.  Same pay, less responsibility.  I'll let you know when I find a downside.

Do try flying.  I solo'd at 18 and decided it wasn't any more exciting than driving.  Lots more ways to kill yourself, but as long as you missed the big rock, you could recover.  It was thrilling for a bit.  Try it, you might like it.

Malcat

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #23 on: January 10, 2021, 01:51:31 AM »
Lol, you're still very early days. Your brain hasn't gotten used to there no longer being a delineation between work and leisure.

Oh, speaking of "auto pilot", I'm also reading books about flying, in case I get serious about getting my pilot's license.
Because? You guessed it. Why not?
Interesting.  After I left my last job, I decided that I needed to have fun even or especially at work.  I wasn't hating the old job as much as I had, but it had potential.  As the savings grow, I'm losing the delineation.  Yep, I'm the old guy cracking jokes, but also has technical expertise and job dedication.  Not to retirement yet, but I like to think I'm FI.

Just got bumped out of management.  My manager peers are concerned.  Same pay, less responsibility.  I'll let you know when I find a downside.

Do try flying.  I solo'd at 18 and decided it wasn't any more exciting than driving.  Lots more ways to kill yourself, but as long as you missed the big rock, you could recover.  It was thrilling for a bit.  Try it, you might like it.

I LOVED my work. Genuinely looked forward to it.
Still, the structure of work hours vs personal hours took time to fade. It took a bit of time before doing things in my downtime became effortless.

For the first while, I was still productive, but I felt this almost constant nag to do things, because it took effort to be active in my "down time". Now it takes no effort, I just go with the flow and do things.

The flying will really depend on what I decide to do next. I'm not staying retired, but I'm also not deciding on anything quite yet, so we'll see.

Dicey

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #24 on: January 10, 2021, 04:52:55 AM »
Since I have FIREd, I have been asked quite often what I do or have done or plan to do today or in general.
The verbal answer always varies, but my first thought is always 'whatever the hell I want'.
My first thought, every time this thread pops up is, Noooooooo!

Nutty

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #25 on: January 10, 2021, 09:25:20 AM »
Lol, you're still very early days. Your brain hasn't gotten used to there no longer being a delineation between work and leisure.

Oh, speaking of "auto pilot", I'm also reading books about flying, in case I get serious about getting my pilot's license.
Because? You guessed it. Why not?
Interesting.  After I left my last job, I decided that I needed to have fun even or especially at work.  I wasn't hating the old job as much as I had, but it had potential.  As the savings grow, I'm losing the delineation.  Yep, I'm the old guy cracking jokes, but also has technical expertise and job dedication.  Not to retirement yet, but I like to think I'm FI.

Just got bumped out of management.  My manager peers are concerned.  Same pay, less responsibility.  I'll let you know when I find a downside.

Do try flying.  I solo'd at 18 and decided it wasn't any more exciting than driving.  Lots more ways to kill yourself, but as long as you missed the big rock, you could recover.  It was thrilling for a bit.  Try it, you might like it.

I LOVED my work. Genuinely looked forward to it.
Still, the structure of work hours vs personal hours took time to fade. It took a bit of time before doing things in my downtime became effortless.

For the first while, I was still productive, but I felt this almost constant nag to do things, because it took effort to be active in my "down time". Now it takes no effort, I just go with the flow and do things.

The flying will really depend on what I decide to do next. I'm not staying retired, but I'm also not deciding on anything quite yet, so we'll see.
I loved the last job too.  Challenging.  Interesting.  Rewarding.  Unfortunately, all the things that no one likes too.  Time consuming.  Demanding.  No time off.  Not rewarded for your best effort (great big stick, tiny carrot that you never got).  That last one really got me.  I was no where near close to FI or what that meant.  Found another job with only 40 hrs/week and a 25% base pay bump.  Culture shock hit me squarely between the eyes and I was lost at the new place.  After slowing down and realigning with a lot of searching internally and externally, I think I could retire tomorrow.  Finding a purpose is a challenge that I'm looking forward to in retirement and I've got a couple ideas.

teltic

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #26 on: January 22, 2021, 05:45:29 PM »
This has been fun to read.  I was completely burned out at my job and decided to quit.  I wasn't quite FI then; but I am now (thanks stock market). 

I never thought about getting a job until recently (On month 7 now).  Winters are slow.  Cold. Not too much to do.  I read a lot of books up until November-ish... and for whatever reason; the desire to read stopped.

I played A LOT of sports during the summer.  This has been probably my biggest takeaway from this break from work.  I LOVE SPORTS.  It's been years since I played in a league (because who pays to play sports?  That's not mustashian!). 

I lost 20 pounds since quitting... I have recently gained 10 of it back.... But hey, winters suck. haha

I bought both the Ikon & Epic pass, thinking I would live out of an RV and travel the US and hit every ski resort!  That was fun until... It wasn't.  I hit 18 resorts.  Ski'd probably 50 days... Haven't gone skiing at all this week.

I'm currently working on my house; fixing holes in drywall and repainting.  It's been fun to learn!  To become better at something... Which is one reason why I think I miss work.  The growth of learning some sort of skill.

I hope to stay unemployed for a year... But I'm starting to wonder if I got this whole thing wrong (for me). Reflecting on my 7 year career; I wonder if I could have learned more and become a better expert in my field. Once that timer showed less than 2 years till FIRE; I didn't give a shit about my job.  I think that hurt me a bit (both as an employee; and just an ambitious person overall). 


I miss growth.  Yes, I could grow on my own time and learn new languages/skills/etc... But I'm currently proving to myself that reading isn't very fun... Video games is only fun for so long... Fixing up the house have been rewarding (but for only so long before I become disinterested).

If/when I go back to work... It will have to be work that I find is interesting.  Nothing less.  Im happy with my decision to FIRE; but I think FU money is more powerful than FI money.  My brain is fresh and I want to produce.  I miss the comradery with my coworkers (thought I'd never say that).  The problems you solve at work is much different than the ones at home.  I miss spreadsheets hahaha.

Goodluck with your retirement!  Take things slow :)



freeatlast

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #27 on: January 23, 2021, 12:25:41 AM »
After 2 years of FIRE I want back to work during the pandemic. My gym was closed, my in person classes were cancelled and my husband, who usually travelled for work, was home ALL the time. So, I figured, why not? Well, I lasted less than 5 months. I had no time to myself, started to feel the anxieties and pressure of the job - the stress hit me all over again. But, it did confirm my decision to FIRE and I did make enough money to justify some pretty pricey online art classes and art supplies :).

I do think 3 months is not enough time to decompress. But say, if, in six more months, you are still truly thinking you would be happier at work, why not try going back?  Worst that happens is you make some extra money, realize you made a mistake, then quit. Best that happens is that you have a job that makes you happier than you were before OR you have confirmed your choice to FIRE. Thereís not a big downside to trying a new job in my opinion.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2021, 12:31:13 AM by freeatlast »

2sk22

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #28 on: January 23, 2021, 03:41:51 AM »
It has now been almost four months since I retired. I can honestly say that I have not missed being at work for even a second since I retired.

I am fundamentally a creative person and retirement has finally given me the time to actually start creating stuff again. Early in my career, I used to have time for creative hobbies but as I got paid more, expectations also increased. Before I retired, my work was sufficiently exhausting that I progressively became a passive consumer of media when not working.

BikeFanatic

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #29 on: January 23, 2021, 05:16:49 AM »
Rae09 wrote
Quote
I don't recall having anyone who understands what I went through and when I tell my story to someone, it usually ended up with me being blamed. I still remember how excited I was the day I learned about co-dependency. It was an absolute eye opening and I embraced the road to recovery with open arms.

I just retired myself and I am in the adjustment period, feeling a little lost, but NOT wanting to go back to work!
Regarding the Narcissist  in your family I do recomend you tube videos, sort of a support group in the comments sections, listening to other experiences and some really good discussions by experts here is one prolific youtuber, Dr Ramini
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1JVHyTBAbw

rae09

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #30 on: January 26, 2021, 02:09:01 PM »

I just retired myself and I am in the adjustment period, feeling a little lost, but NOT wanting to go back to work!
Regarding the Narcissist  in your family I do recomend you tube videos, sort of a support group in the comments sections, listening to other experiences and some really good discussions by experts here is one prolific youtuber, Dr Ramini
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1JVHyTBAbw


Congratulations on your retirement!

Thanks for the link. I watch a lot of youtube videos from life coaches and learned a lot about narcissistic abuse and how to recover from it. It was a painful journey but it really helped me draw boundaries from others. Being a highly sensitive person who knew no boundaries, I used to feel drained every other day or so. But I've had only few lows in the past 2 years after finding Lisa's videos and also learning how to ground myself. I still lose it every now and then when I talk to my mom but not as often and as bad as before.

This is one of the life coaches I follow who focuses on narcissistic abuse: https://www.youtube.com/user/lisaaromano1

ItsALongStory

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #31 on: January 27, 2021, 01:44:15 AM »
Thanks to OP and to everyone who has chimed in, the OP's sentiment is very familiar for me as I'm also right around the same 4 month period into my open ended sabbatical (expect to go back at some point). When I pulled the plug we sold all of our belongings in the US and moved to Europe to pursue slow travel. We have now been 'stuck' in a beach location in the Algarve. We feel super fortunate to be able to spend lockdown here as you can imagine.

My SO had been retired for 16+ years so since I joined her it's been a bit of an adjustment. We did spend 12-13 months constantly together in the beginning of our relationship but this is very different. She is very outgoing/extravert and struggling mightily with the COVID restrictions. Add to that that we moved to Europe in September where we have near zero local network and it just complicates things.

With everything that was going on I certainly didn't think enough about how I'd keep busy even as it was clear that COVID would significantly impact our ability to travel in year 1. This period is an 'open ended sabbatical' so I'm purposely staying in touch with my prior co-workers partly because that is my friend circle and because I want to keep those relationships alive if and when I do decide to go back.

The biggest contrast between my wife and I so far has been that when I wake up I'm always asking what the plan is, what we're gonna do today etc. Generally my wife's response is along the lines of 'I don't know, we'll see'. It turns out that despite not being big on structure, there is a nagging desire to have a few anchor points throughout the day that I can mentally plan around.

It's taking me a bit to get used to that so I have focused on some other things:
1. I've started probably 8 distinctly different courses/learning paths on LinkedIn learning
2. I've really focused on my health and fitness, spending an hour a day or more working on that. I've lost some weight but could do better.
3. I've taken on more of the household tasks that I complete while listening to a podcast/LI Learning class.
4. Gotten actively involved in a local online FI community, looking to turn that into some sort of volunteering opportunity.

What I need to figure out more in the near term:
1. What is/are the mission(s)/passion(s) I want to focus on moving forward?
2. Mindlessly browsing online news/financial websites is literally adding nothing to my life so may be in need of a low information diet.

My best friend is also on the path to FIRE but he keeps asking when I will come back to my former employer. I have no intention to do that anytime soon but it's making me think I may want to make a more formal commitment to a cause, a new business venture or newly discovered hobby. As time goes on and COVID restrictions reduce I certainly expect that I'll have less time (we're planning on being nomadic slow travelers) to think about all of this but that won't be for a few more months.

All in all I suppose I'm also still in the 'figuring all of this out' stage of my journey but having moved continents, sold all of our belongings makes it a bit more challenging to just go back to work. And that might be a blessing in disguise :-)

Linea_Norway

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #32 on: January 27, 2021, 10:59:10 AM »
@ItsALongStory why don't you make a plan for the next day the evening before? I often find it easier to go somewhere if I am a bit prepared and know when to get out of the door.

Megs193

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #33 on: January 28, 2021, 10:26:42 AM »
I literally could have written this post word for word. I quit my job in November. I didnít hate it but the bad started to outweigh the good. DH could retire but he loves his job and doesnít want to. I am sooo bored. I cook fancy meals and my house is always spotless but I still find myself bored and watching too much Netflix. I had a long conversation with a friend and decided I owed it to myself  to give it a full year to adapt. I think the pandemic has made things difficult because we would normally have more options on how to fill our days. Does your DH work remotely?  Mine does so we have decided to spend a month renting a house in Florida for a change of scenery and the ability to go to the pool and beach each day.

ItsALongStory

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #34 on: January 29, 2021, 02:50:40 AM »
@ItsALongStory why don't you make a plan for the next day the evening before? I often find it easier to go somewhere if I am a bit prepared and know when to get out of the door.

Good suggestion but we are in a pretty strict lockdown currently so not a lot of plans to make. I'll make it a plan when we can start doing stuff once again.

dorf

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #35 on: January 30, 2021, 07:17:07 AM »

I have "retired" a couple times now.  The first time, I went right into another job be cause I had always planned to do so.  The second time, I went back to work, it was to fulfill a expectation of myself that I just wanted to achieve.  When I finished that job, I was truly retired with no need to ever work again.

I was fairly young, had young kids and a stay at home wife.  Because of the kids, some of my ideals of retirement were not practical.  Knowing that my wife and I are were not really cut out for being our kids teachers, we were tied to schools.  Plus I felt that the social aspects of school were important to our kids.  I was used to getting up early (5:00 am) so I continued to do so with no alarm.  I would drink coffee, watch the news and read.  I took the kids to school, rode my bike and would cut grass or do maintenance on various properties.  Then I would goof off by reading or watching movies/TV shows.

As time went on, I found myself watching more news.  I became efficient at maintaining properties and did not feel the need to exercise as much as I used to.  Projects That I wanted to do did not seem as imperative as I once thought.  Because My time was my own, I did not have to plan on meeting any deadlines.  Projects were put on a back burner because I could do them whenever I felt like it.  Occasionally a "must do" project would come up.  Tenant turn, roof repair, termites, etc.  I could gear up and complete the project but then return to being laxsadasical.  I planned great vacations for the family when the kids were out of school.  Rejuvenated old hobbies.  Some hobbies lost their appeal.  Some I found were not as enticing as when they increased my work capacity.  Maybe the drive was no longer there to improve my skills and abilities.

I found myself watching more news, drinking more coffee and getting lazier.  I still fulfilled all my obligations but began finding myself less interesting.  When I caught myself watching news up until "The View" started, and became intrigued by the teasers for the View, I knew I had a problem.  I looked back and could see myself becoming more slothful.  And dull.

I tried rejuvenating myself and began a regimen of physical training.  Got in great shape but it seemed aimless and pointless.

One day, I saw a sign for Help Wanted at a machine shop.  I offered to work for free for a week to see if the job was for me.  After that week, I kept working  for nearly a year.  I learned a lot.  Worked for nearly nothing.  Biked back and forth to work.  I felt fulfilled.  I noticed that my time off became more productive.  Because of my schedule, 4 days of 10 hours, I had to plan what to do on my days off.  It was just enough work to prompt me to plan and complete projects because I couldn't do them whenever I felt like it.

I limited out on the machine shop job when I stopped learning and the management made some questionable decisions.  At the same time, one of my old jobs offered me a part time position.  Well paid with a schedule that was regular but at the same time limited and the variability of time off when ever I wanted it. 

Now I work 3 days a week and find I have more purpose and renewed interest in hobbies.  It doesn't hurt that I have extra money to spend on my family and pursuit of hobbies.  I've begun setting aside money for future travels.  Hopefully COVID issues will be resolved to the point that some of our planned adventures work out.  I am no longer the dull person I saw myself as when I did not work at all.  I think that I will continue to evolve and improve. 

It is great to be financially independent and at the same time working at a job I enjoy with people that enrich my day.  When my kids are no longer at home, I'm hopeful that my wife and I will have more travel adventures.  I think I will continue to work but drop down to 10 or 20 hours a week.  Maybe that will be enough to keep me on track. 

Some would say that is not really retired.  So what.  To me it has become more important to live a good life than fit into someone else's definition of FIRE.


rae09

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #36 on: February 01, 2021, 08:02:45 PM »
Update for a month later - today, I took a nap. It has been challenging this time of the year to take any naps since the day is short and I like to walk the dog before it gets dark and cold. But today, I decided to do so. I napped for an hour and woke up to look around and saw my husband was not in the room. I honestly thought that was morning since it's been cloudy here all day. Took me a while to process that it was in the afternoon.
It felt really good so maybe I'll try to do that more often. I'm starting to think all of you are right and I just need to give myself more time to decompress.


I literally could have written this post word for word. I quit my job in November. I didnít hate it but the bad started to outweigh the good. DH could retire but he loves his job and doesnít want to. I am sooo bored. I cook fancy meals and my house is always spotless but I still find myself bored and watching too much Netflix. I had a long conversation with a friend and decided I owed it to myself  to give it a full year to adapt. I think the pandemic has made things difficult because we would normally have more options on how to fill our days. Does your DH work remotely?  Mine does so we have decided to spend a month renting a house in Florida for a change of scenery and the ability to go to the pool and beach each day.

If only we live nearby!
Yes, DH works remotely. I think that is a great option and I can't wait to do so as well. I am still holding off any traveling until COVID ends though (maybe it's paranoia on my side since I've known several people who died from COVID).
Can I ask what do you do with your home? Do you rent it out or just leave it empty?
My brain is still not used to this spending mentality and I'm having difficulty justifying paying mortgage and rent at the same time.

rae09

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #37 on: February 01, 2021, 08:58:04 PM »
The biggest contrast between my wife and I so far has been that when I wake up I'm always asking what the plan is, what we're gonna do today etc. Generally my wife's response is along the lines of 'I don't know, we'll see'. It turns out that despite not being big on structure, there is a nagging desire to have a few anchor points throughout the day that I can mentally plan around.


I can totally relate. I find myself asking DH what the plan is for the weekends and his answer is more or less, I don't know yet :)
I tried the non-structure way and I can't get things done. So I went back to my old habit and put the chores and my to do list back on the calendar and it works better for me. Maybe you try and see if it works for you too.