Author Topic: sol fails at retirement  (Read 24004 times)

arebelspy

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Re: sol fails at retirement
« Reply #150 on: February 28, 2019, 10:53:52 PM »
Well played.

Thread title is misleading. Should be "sol succeeds at retirement".
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Dicey

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Re: sol fails at retirement
« Reply #151 on: February 28, 2019, 11:16:40 PM »
Thanks for the update!

RetiredAt63

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Re: sol fails at retirement
« Reply #152 on: March 02, 2019, 11:06:01 AM »
Well played.

Thread title is misleading. Should be "sol succeeds at retirement".

Maybe he could retitle it:

"sol fails succeeds at retirement"


As is obvious, I didn't retire early by forum standards.  You couldn't pay me enough or find a fascinating enough job to lure me out of retirement.

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Re: sol fails at retirement
« Reply #153 on: March 20, 2019, 09:26:09 PM »
Well played.

Thread title is misleading. Should be "sol succeeds at retirement".

Sol Realizes that Retirement is Exactly Where he Ought to Be.

Moustachienne

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Re: sol fails at retirement
« Reply #154 on: March 24, 2019, 11:05:30 PM »
This is a great thread!  After a year or so of full on retirement, DH finagled his way into a 2-3 day a week job that lets him engage with interesting technical problems and play with sophisticated equipment.  Since we don't need the money in any way, he keeps 75% of his pay for his hobbies and 25% goes into our "family fun" slush fund, sort of my pay for setting him up with lunches a couple of times a week. :)

At about the same time I was offered the chance to take on a consulting type gig.  I could see exactly how to do it, the people are great, the goal is worthy, and there would have been some pleasure in writing recommendations I wouldn't have to implement but I turned it down with no hesitation.  My brainstorming, workshopping, consulting, cajoling, strategic planning days are OVER.

Like Sol, DH and I are both winning at retirement!

Dicey

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Re: sol fails at retirement
« Reply #155 on: March 25, 2019, 12:09:48 AM »
This is a great thread!  After a year or so of full on retirement, DH finagled his way into a 2-3 day a week job that lets him engage with interesting technical problems and play with sophisticated equipment.  Since we don't need the money in any way, he keeps 75% of his pay for his hobbies and 25% goes into our "family fun" slush fund, sort of my pay for setting him up with lunches a couple of times a week. :)

At about the same time I was offered the chance to take on a consulting type gig.  I could see exactly how to do it, the people are great, the goal is worthy, and there would have been some pleasure in writing recommendations I wouldn't have to implement but I turned it down with no hesitation.  My brainstorming, workshopping, consulting, cajoling, strategic planning days are OVER.

Like Sol, DH and I are both winning at retirement!
I love this story. Good for you!

soccerluvof4

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Re: sol fails at retirement
« Reply #156 on: March 25, 2019, 05:14:09 AM »
Sol , Welcome back to the Fire'd side of things. I was trying a little experiment and I might again if things get stale but after a week I walked away because they asked me to do more. I have 2 at home yet and going on four years are gig so far is working too. I found it tough working and asking myself Y am I doing this right now. But like I said I cant say I wouldn't do it again but If i do it wont be till next fall. And even then it would be doubtful. Its a win because its a learning experience for ya!!

Aelias

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Re: sol fails at retirement
« Reply #157 on: March 27, 2019, 09:24:17 AM »

It snowed!  The kids were home all day, and there was sledding to do and hot chocolate to make.  I had to shovel the driveway.  Netflix called to me.  I had to get a haircut.  My volunteer gigs needed my attention.  I went skiing.  I just couldn't be bothered to sit down and dig into spreadsheets.  Sooooo boring.


This gave me a chuckle.  This slow trickle of puttering and day-to-day to do's is exactly how I'm envisioning retirement. 

I can't be expected to sit down and work!  I need to go to the library today! And the pharmacy! Also, it's granola-making day! And tomorrow is entirely out because I'm going to swim laps! And the weather is going to be nice soon!  Can't miss that!

It's hard to overstate how much I'm looking forward to this.

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Re: sol fails at retirement
« Reply #158 on: March 27, 2019, 06:13:46 PM »
Who goes to a courtesy interview if they have zero intention to go back to work? I mean TRULY zero intention!
If I were in your shoes, I would ask myself what is the real reason I accepted to speak with that company in the first place. Whatever that reason is, you should make no apologies for accepting another job.

sol

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Re: sol fails at retirement
« Reply #159 on: March 27, 2019, 06:28:35 PM »
Who goes to a courtesy interview if they have zero intention to go back to work? I mean TRULY zero intention!
If I were in your shoes, I would ask myself what is the real reason I accepted to speak with that company in the first place. Whatever that reason is, you should make no apologies for accepting another job.

I did ask myself that question.  And I relayed some of the answers in this thread. 

Ultimately, I thought it might be interesting.  It was not.  So I don't do it anymore.

arebelspy

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Re: sol fails at retirement
« Reply #160 on: March 27, 2019, 07:05:15 PM »

It snowed!  The kids were home all day, and there was sledding to do and hot chocolate to make.  I had to shovel the driveway.  Netflix called to me.  I had to get a haircut.  My volunteer gigs needed my attention.  I went skiing.  I just couldn't be bothered to sit down and dig into spreadsheets.  Sooooo boring.


This gave me a chuckle.  This slow trickle of puttering and day-to-day to do's is exactly how I'm envisioning retirement. 

I can't be expected to sit down and work!  I need to go to the library today! And the pharmacy! Also, it's granola-making day! And tomorrow is entirely out because I'm going to swim laps! And the weather is going to be nice soon!  Can't miss that!

It's hard to overstate how much I'm looking forward to this.

It's good while it is.

For me, I could only do so much of it.

And I don't consider myself type A, or a high achiever, but rather lazy. But still, I need more purpose.

Still working on that.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

sol

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Re: sol fails at retirement
« Reply #161 on: March 27, 2019, 07:19:12 PM »
But still, I need more purpose.

We all need purpose.  Mine just isn't to be found in spreadsheets.

arebelspy

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Re: sol fails at retirement
« Reply #162 on: March 27, 2019, 07:41:29 PM »
But still, I need more purpose.

We all need purpose.  Mine just isn't to be found in spreadsheets.

I don't think my purpose is there either, especially doing spreadsheets for someone else's purposes.

However, in an amusing coincidence, I was just wondering about that about ten minutes ago.

A few threads ago someone mentioned "flow" and the only time I can recall achieving that state is when working on various FI or Real Estate spreadsheets, and up until 2am without realizing how late it had gotten.

We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

Linea_Norway

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Re: sol fails at retirement
« Reply #163 on: March 28, 2019, 12:59:23 AM »
But still, I need more purpose.

We all need purpose.  Mine just isn't to be found in spreadsheets.

I don't think my purpose is there either, especially doing spreadsheets for someone else's purposes.

However, in an amusing coincidence, I was just wondering about that about ten minutes ago.

A few threads ago someone mentioned "flow" and the only time I can recall achieving that state is when working on various FI or Real Estate spreadsheets, and up until 2am without realizing how late it had gotten.

Yes! Often when I was working on my extremely complicated FIRE spreadsheet at work, I would forget the time completely and would suddenly work up a lot of flexitime hours.

Now I have a much simpler version that doesn't need quite as much maintenance, so I seldom get into that flow again. Both :-) and :-(.

Aelias

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Re: sol fails at retirement
« Reply #164 on: March 28, 2019, 01:03:26 PM »

It snowed!  The kids were home all day, and there was sledding to do and hot chocolate to make.  I had to shovel the driveway.  Netflix called to me.  I had to get a haircut.  My volunteer gigs needed my attention.  I went skiing.  I just couldn't be bothered to sit down and dig into spreadsheets.  Sooooo boring.


This gave me a chuckle.  This slow trickle of puttering and day-to-day to do's is exactly how I'm envisioning retirement. 

I can't be expected to sit down and work!  I need to go to the library today! And the pharmacy! Also, it's granola-making day! And tomorrow is entirely out because I'm going to swim laps! And the weather is going to be nice soon!  Can't miss that!

It's hard to overstate how much I'm looking forward to this.

It's good while it is.

For me, I could only do so much of it.

And I don't consider myself type A, or a high achiever, but rather lazy. But still, I need more purpose.

Still working on that.

I can understand that.  I'm not FIREd yet - probably another 8 years or so. I suspect many people who know me would call me a Type A / high achiever, but I have a deep yearning to not be that anymore.  To decide that I've climbed the ladder high enough and jump off.  If for no other reason than to answer the question, "What would I do if I didn't have to do anything?"

I don't think I can remember a time when I didn't have external motivators driving me forward.  I really want to know what truly internal motivation feels like.  I suspect there will be a good bit of puttering / detox time while that takes hold.

sol

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Re: sol fails at retirement
« Reply #165 on: March 28, 2019, 01:32:46 PM »
I suspect there will be a good bit of puttering / detox time while that takes hold.

I really don't like the word "puttering".  I think it carries a very negative connotation for most people, an implicit assumption that whatever you're doing is somehow less important, or less admirable, or otherwise less worthy than something not called puttering.  I violently reject that assumption.

I like working in my yard and garden, and building things in my garage, and do not accept that they are any less meaningful just because I'm not being paid to do them.  I have found these activities to be personally rewarding.  I look forward to spending a few hours each day by myself, improving my immediate living environment in tiny but additive ways.  I like doing that work surrounded by all of my previous improvements, because I get to enjoy the fruits of those labors even as I continue to labor.

My former professional workday, by contrast, was often a complete waste.  It was easy to spend an entire 8 hour day and basically accomplish nothing of lasting value, and to not even enjoy the process of doing nothing useful.  I hated mandatory online training courses, and filling out timecards, and requesting permission to requisition office supplies.  I hated being obligated to respond to email chains that did not require my response for any other reason than that someone wanted me to take time out of my life to give them my attention, usually just to acknowledge them without actually offering them anything.  I hated group progress report meetings where everyone reported on what they had done, but no one listened to what anyone had done.  All of THAT nonsense was more accurately labeled "puttering", a complete waste of my life energy.

My day-to-day life activities now do not feel like puttering, they feel like life.  Buying and preparing food.  Tending my garden.  Going on bike rides with my kids.  Chatting with my neighbors, going for haircuts and dentist appointments, leisurely dinners with my parents, these are the very fibers of life's tapestry.  Nothing I ever did in a cubicle feels half as important to me, now, as these sorts of mundane daily activities. 

Which is kind of shocking to me considering how absolutely critical I felt my job was, when I had a job.  I think it's really easy to contemporaneously post-rationalize your job, to convince yourself that all of that stress and obligation is worthwhile because your job is important.  But now that I've given it up, it just looks silly to live like that.  No one's job is really that important.  There is always someone else willing to do it in your place, and if not then it's probably a job that doesn't need doing.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2019, 03:09:06 PM by sol »

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Re: sol fails at retirement
« Reply #166 on: March 28, 2019, 02:01:07 PM »
I suspect there will be a good bit of puttering / detox time while that takes hold.

I really don't like the word "puttering".  I think it carries a very negative connotation for most people, and implicit assumption that whatever you're doing is somehow less important, or less admirable, or otherwise less worthy than something not called puttering.  I violently reject that assumption.

I like working in my yard and garden, and building things in my garage, and do not accept that they are any less meaningful just because I'm not being paid to do them.  I have found these activities to be personally rewarding.  I look forward to spending a few hours each day by myself, improving my immediate living environment in tiny but additive ways.  I like doing that work surrounded by all of my previous improvements, because I get to enjoy the fruits of those labors even as I continue to labor.

My former professional workday, by contrast, was often a complete waste.  It was easy to spend an entire 8 hour day and basically accomplish nothing of lasting value, and to not even enjoy the process of doing nothing useful.  I hated mandatory online training courses, and filling out timecards, and requesting permission to requisition office supplies.  I hated being obligated to respond to email chains that did not require my response for any other reason than that someone wanted me to take time out of my life to give them my attention, usually just to acknowledge them without actually offering them anything.  I hated group progress report meetings where everyone reported on what they had done, but no one listened to what anyone had done.  All of THAT nonsense was more accurately labeled "puttering", a complete waste of my life energy.

My day-to-day life activities now do not feel like puttering, they feel like life.  Buying and preparing food.  Tending my garden.  Going on bike rides with my kids.  Chatting with my neighbors, going for haircuts and dentist appointments, leisurely dinners with my parents, these are the very fibers of life's tapestry.  Nothing I ever did in a cubicle feels half as important to me, now, as these sorts of mundane daily activities. 

Which is kind of shocking to me considering how absolutely critical I felt my job was, when I had a job.  I think it's really easy to contemporaneously post-rationalize your job, to convince yourself that all of that stress and obligation is worthwhile because your job is important.  But now that I've given it up, it just looks silly to live like that.  No one's job is really that important.  There is always someone else willing to do it in your place, and if not then it's probably a job that doesn't need doing.

Yes, yes and yes!

I too took a few assignments post FIRE, and I really enjoyed them (especially the paycheck$). Ultimately I realised however, those hobby jobs cut down on my fleaxibility to change my mind on a whim and go do something different.

In other words I was voluntarily chaining myself back to the treadmill.

My recent trip overseas was a prime example of this. Literally on a whim I asked DW if she'd be OK if I went off on a three week tropical diving vacation by myself?.. She said yes..:)

That kind of "heck yeah lets do this today" with (almost) no responsibilities holding me back was the true meaning of freedom..:)

As long as you have enough $$ to fund such a whimiscal lifestyle of course..:)

sol

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Re: sol fails at retirement
« Reply #167 on: March 28, 2019, 03:21:35 PM »
Being FIREd means I can putter to my heart's content and not worry a bit about optimizing my time or my energy.  What a lovely way to spend a beautiful spring day!

It sounds to me like you ARE optimizing your time and energy.  Any day's activities that can be described as "lovely" sounds pretty optimized to me.

The whole point of financial independence is that you get to choose how to spend your time, for what is probably the first time since your early childhood.  You've worked hard under constrictive conditions to achieve that sort of freedom, and once you have it you're instantly set free.  For some people, that means pouring themselves back into some other form of labor, and that's fine.  For others, that means sitting in a favorite chair re-reading favorite novels for eight hours every day.  Those are both perfectly "optimized" schedules if they are what you genuinely most want to do. 

The western world's focus on "productivity" instead of happiness now seems to me to be a grossly distorted way of looking at things, for the benefit of economic prosperity and the employers who seek to make money from your labor.  The Puritan work ethic seems to suggest we should all suffer endlessly, not for the glory of God but for the glory of the State.  Fuck that noise, man.  My life is mine to live, finally, and if I want to spend my day making furniture and cleaning out flower beds instead of making powerpoint presentations and cleaning up data tables then that's what I'm going to do, and I will feel not an ounce of guilt for making the world a better place instead of making my employer another dollar.

arebelspy

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Re: sol fails at retirement
« Reply #168 on: March 28, 2019, 03:37:46 PM »
I 100% agree with you sol.

And I personally have no need to feel productive, ever.

But I also don't enjoy gardening, or video games, or most things that involve "puttering."

I'm looking forward to not having toddlers at some point, as I think doing jigsaw puzzles once in awhile could be a good puttering activity.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

Dicey

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Re: sol fails at retirement
« Reply #169 on: March 28, 2019, 03:45:21 PM »
So far today, I've skipped breakfast, done a jigsaw puzzle, had leftovers for lunch, and am about to take a shower and get dressed 2:45 pm. Oh, I have one load of laundry going, and we're having guests for dinner. Tacos. Easy-peasy.

Rough day, but I can handle it.

sol

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Re: sol fails at retirement
« Reply #170 on: March 28, 2019, 04:18:08 PM »
So far today, I've skipped breakfast, done a jigsaw puzzle, had leftovers for lunch, and am about to take a shower and get dressed 2:45 pm. Oh, I have one load of laundry going, and we're having guests for dinner. Tacos. Easy-peasy.

Rough day, but I can handle it.

So far today, I had a fantastic morning mocha in my kitchen with a view of the mountain, and then shoveled potting soil with my dad for an hour.  We had 12 yards delivered a few days ago, and the pile isn't quite gone yet.  Then I showered off the dirty and pulled one of my kids out of school to go see a pediatric dentist, where I amazed the staff by solving their Rubik's cube.  We had lunch, worked on Kindergarten homework together, made a pinewood derby car, and played in the yard until the neighbors came home from school and they all went over there to play together.

I can't find a single thing on that list I would replace with a single hour of cubicle time, at any reasonable price.  You could offer me $100/hour to give up any single hour of today and I would chuckle gently right in your face. 

What's another $100 at this point?  Another thousand?  I have decades worth of my expenses saved up already, and the whole idea of sacrificing a day like this to add another infinitesimal increment to that total just seems ridiculous.

arebelspy

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Re: sol fails at retirement
« Reply #171 on: March 28, 2019, 04:30:21 PM »
So far today, I had a fantastic morning mocha in my kitchen with a view of the mountain, and then shoveled potting soil with my dad for an hour.  We had 12 yards delivered a few days ago, and the pile isn't quite gone yet.  Then I showered off the dirty and pulled one of my kids out of school to go see a pediatric dentist, where I amazed the staff by solving their Rubik's cube.  We had lunch, worked on Kindergarten homework together, made a pinewood derby car, and played in the yard until the neighbors came home from school and they all went over there to play together.

I can't find a single thing on that list I would replace with a single hour of cubicle time, at any reasonable price.  You could offer me $100/hour to give up any single hour of today and I would chuckle gently right in your face. 

What's another $100 at this point?  Another thousand?  I have decades worth of my expenses saved up already, and the whole idea of sacrificing a day like this to add another infinitesimal increment to that total just seems ridiculous.

Beautiful.

I definitely agree, I wouldn't sell any of my time. But that also doesn't mean I'm enjoying every minute. I'm glad you seem so content.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

sol

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Re: sol fails at retirement
« Reply #172 on: March 28, 2019, 09:17:45 PM »
I wouldn't sell any of my time. But that also doesn't mean I'm enjoying every minute. I'm glad you seem so content.

Are you struggling with retirement, rebs?  Want to tell us about it?

I've found a variety of ways to voluntarily add the good kind of stress to my life.  I have two (maybe three, depending on how you count them) different volunteer gigs going, which each require a few hours per week and keep me feeling very connected to my community and my neighbors.  I get to help people solve problems, and hold positions of imaginary authority that feed my ego.  I play music recreationally with two different groups of people, but not more than once per week.  And I devote waaay more time to being a parent than I used to, which feels like a worthy use of my limited remaining lifespan even at moments when I'm pretty unhappy about it.

I don't need to "enjoy every minute of it" but taken together I never feel idle or lazy.  I don't think I've had a single moment of identity crises since retiring, the way so many people seem to mention struggling with once they step away from what was previously their life's work.  I still have my PhD even if I'm not "using" it, and I still identify as a scientist even though no one is paying me to do science anymore.  Because how could I not?  I felt like a scientist long before I ever got a job, and I still feel like a scientist now that I've retired.  My former job as a federali always felt kind of like a (paid) volunteer gig, something I lent my talents to but not something that defined who I was as a person.  I spent years in graduate school becoming a scientist through and through, before I got hired as one.

But I suspect other professions have different perspectives.  Teachers, for example, might feel that their classroom personality was the defining feature of their identity, just like cops often feel that their policing mentality is the defining feature of theirs.  But you can still be that thing that you were, as part of who you are, even after you're not getting paid to do it anymore.

Aelias

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Re: sol fails at retirement
« Reply #173 on: March 29, 2019, 09:33:43 AM »
Perhaps the difference is that for some people, day-to-day activities such as gardening, cooking, parenting etc. ("puttering" does sound dismissive, now that you mention it) satisfy the need for a feeling of purpose, and for others they don't.  It makes sense that purpose is going to look different for everyone. In addition to varying by person, I would imagine that what satisfies as purpose probably changes over a lifetime.  My feeling from interactions with happy older people is that  purpose gets smaller and closer to home over time, and as a result, contentment grows.

From my seat in cube world, it's hard to know what will feel like enough purpose in retirement.  I'm a lawyer.  Although there are plenty of non-purposeful activites in my job, I would say that there is usually at least one interaction every work day where I feel like I contributed to doing the right thing for someone, even if it was in a small way.  I am super fortunate to have a unicorn job like that and it definitely wasn't always that way.  I need to think hard about to what extent it is a part of my identity, as sol suggested.  I'm genuinely not sure. Although, I do plan to always keep my license active because you never know when it's going to come in handy.

But even though my job feels important, it doesn't make me feel . . . peaceful.  That feeling tends to come with things like watching my kids play, eating good food, being in beautiful places, creating things, reading, having good sex.  I don't have that feeling as much as I would like right now.  My hope is that retirement will include more opportunities to pursue that feeling.  And maybe, at some point, peacefulness becomes its own purpose.

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Re: sol fails at retirement
« Reply #174 on: March 29, 2019, 10:47:49 AM »
Thanks for all the posts sol. I envision myself having a similar type of retirement life in a few years. Do you have any professional certifications that you still maintain, or is it just the PhD?

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Re: sol fails at retirement
« Reply #175 on: March 29, 2019, 11:00:26 AM »
Beautiful.

I definitely agree, I wouldn't sell any of my time. But that also doesn't mean I'm enjoying every minute. I'm glad you seem so content.

Makes a lot of sense to me. @arebelspy, best wishes.

Really appreciating the thoughtful kaleidescope of FIRE experiences in this thread. Very happy for Sol also.