Author Topic: The change from a job-centric life can be a struggle!  (Read 9704 times)

Mr. Green

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The change from a job-centric life can be a struggle!
« on: January 07, 2017, 07:07:35 PM »
I share this story only because I think it could help someone else who encounters similar challenges as they go through the transition to a life that does not revolve around employment. I think most of my issues have not been directly related to the process of quitting work itself, but rather the life changes we intended to make as we left our jobs.

I quit my job in June, declaring myself to be FIREd, and I was ready for something new in my life. For the past two years I'd been planning a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, which I started on July 3rd, only to end my attempt just 5 days later. I learned a lot preparing for what was expected to be a 5 month journey, and in my failure. For anyone considering a southbound thru-hike I would simply tell you to not underestimate Katahdin. I was DESTROYED after climbing the mountain that first day and a big contributing factor to my failure was that I thought I felt okay to continue hiking south the very next day.

After I returned home, I turned my attention to a house we were going to build in another state. This relocation was all part of our FIRE plan. We were moving right next to some friends and the little house we built would be inexpensive and free up a bunch of equity in our current house for investments when we sold it. As the planning started moving into all the details around the September time frame I started to get nervous about the cost being more than I had anticipated. I even started a thread here in the post-FIRE section of the forum where I was considering returning to work for a short period of time, knowing I would be comforted that the amount of money I was making would pay for the house we were building whether we contracted all the work out or not. However, it wasn't but two weeks after starting that job that I knew it was a mistake. I submitted my letter of resignation and then, because I'm a nice (read: weak) guy, I agreed to stick around until the end of the year. So we put the house plans on hold for a couple months while I wrapped up this temporary employment.

Fast forward to December. My last day of work was set for the 30th. I'd started lining up all the pieces for us to pour a house foundation right after the New Year. Then on the 22nd I start having some symptoms at work that could be early warning signs of a heart attack. I understand that being 33 means the odds of that are the same as winning a really shitty lottery, so I assume it's probably just stress/anxiety with all the changes that are about to start happening. Did I mention that my wife and I just starting trying for a baby? Yeah, add that to the pile of stuff going on. So that night I went home and decided to hop on my rower for 20 minutes. It probably wasn't a genius move but I figured if I'm truly having heart problems it should become self-evident really quickly. I rocked the rower session with no problem but I'm still not feeling right. I go to the doctor's office the next morning and I'm prescribed anti-anxiety medication. That night I experience this intense pain bloom in my chest and it really freaks me out. I learn that during a heart attack parts of the heart muscle can die in just 15 minutes. So I call the ambulance. One ER trip and several thousand dollars later (yay high deducitble insurance plans!) they tell me my heart looks fine, but I should follow up with a cardiologist. I also learn that the symptoms of a panics attack are basically identical to the symptoms of a heart attack. That sucks. Meanwhile, I see what's coming. I'm going to quit my job on the 30th and then be stuck in Maryland, because that's where my health insurance is (through the ACA), for probably a month doing tests to ensure my heart is okay. I'll have all this time to sit around and worry about whether I'm dying even though I know it HIGHLY unlikely and it's probably just stress.

Thankfully my team at work wants me to stay so I manage to cancel my planned departure. Over New Years we also find out that the good friends we planned to build a house next to are looking HARDCORE for new jobs. Unfortunately some things in their professional lives haven't worked out the way they'd hoped so they're naturally looking to take the next best step for their family. This throws our whole plan to move and build a house into doubt. Meanwhile, I continue to have these episodes that exhibit symptoms of panic attacks/a heart attack. Medication dosages have gone up and things have improved but still aren't quite right. Meanwhile I just want to feel normal again. I have a heart stress test coming up Monday that I expect to pass with flying colors and eventually have the cardiologist tell me I'm fine. In the mean time I've taken steps to reduce all the stressors that I can. Our move to North Carolina is completely on hold, if not cancelled, and I've started to try and look at my job in a more positive light since it provides me with something to keep my mind off of all this craziness going on with my body.

The strangest part of this whole experience has been the surprise of it. Did I think moving and building a house would be a little stressful? Sure! Who wouldn't? But apparently my subconscious emotions were freaking the fuck out and on the surface I was still being Mr. Cool about it all. I know there are a ton of engineers on this forum that probably have similar dispositions so maybe this will help someone who might go through this same thing and feel equally as lost about what to do about it. As some of my family members started hearing about my struggles I was amazed to find out just how many others have had stress/anxiety problems as well. A cousin, two close friends, a husband of another family member, and my wife's dad for starters. I was thinking, "Holy Shit! How can this many people have these kinds of problems! That's awful!" I guess it's just something no one wants to talk about and I can certainly understand why now that I've experienced it myself. Thankfully, one of my good friends who dealt with some serious panic attacks a few years back was able to give me an education on what can help, talking to my wife about what she can expect, etc. so we didn't feel completely clueless and scared. Maybe I'll ultimately have to see a psychiatrist to help me figure it all out. I'd have no problem with that if it made this go away by uncovering issues that I didn't really think were issues. If I knew for certain what the problem was to begin with I'd just take care of it! I can't help but think of the Mad FIentist's first attempt at FIRE, and his subsequent time talking with a professional to sort through some difficulties he was having.

All of this has really made me stop and take stock of what is really important in life. Waking up in the morning and not knowing if you're going to start having chest pains, or other physical symptoms at some point in the day, and still being a little bit scared that maybe something is actually wrong with you physically is probably one of the worst states I've ever been in in my life. The uncertainly of it just sucks. It's made me realize how incredibly important your health is. Honestly, nothing else even comes close to that. You can be penniless, but healthy, and at least the default state of your physical being is a good one. I never even stopped to think about that until I experienced a week straight of uncertainty about whether 50% of my day would be spent feeling like crap, and would this ever get better.

I have also realized it's likely that a significant part of my stress/anxiety is probably due to the fact that I've always been the guy who has a plan and goals he's striving for. That's not necessarily a bad thing but the goal was always FIRE. All of these big goals and plans I had set for myself would have major impacts on our life and so I pursued them with vigor. What I didn't do was stop to think about what happened after those goals were reached. I didn't have some multi-year goal to focus on once we quit our jobs so all the sudden the way I had been operating for my entire adult life was suddenly obsolete, overcome by events. It's been eye-opening in a really not fun way, but I believe that there is absolutely something to be learned from this that will make my life better as I learn to focus on new things. I'm trying to focus more on the present now, and not so much these goals. My sudden health challenges have reinforced just how fleeting life can be, despite the fact that I'm probably fine.

As a total aside I learned just the other day that I might be able to work half-time and continue making six-figures. This is something I wouldn't have considered possible just a few months ago and it something that would probably change our future plans yet again. So I have no idea what is going to happen for us at the point but I do know one thing. All of this back and forth between working and not working, almost starting to build a house and then not, and the lump of coal Santa decided to give me for Christmas via my health, has really made me start thinking about Today. Not tomorrow, but what am I doing today. As you fellow mustachians strive for your FIRE goals, and transition into your post-job lives, don't forget to enjoy the moment.

pbkmaine

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Re: The change from a job-centric life can be a struggle!
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2017, 07:31:00 PM »
I think finding a good counselor who can explore the anxiety with you and help you deal with it is an excellent idea.

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Re: The change from a job-centric life can be a struggle!
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2017, 07:48:44 PM »
Wow! What an unfortunate turn of events. I'm sorry to hear about your troubles, Mr. Green.

Hopefully there's a silver lining in all this that turns out to be even more silver than you could have dreamed.

Thanks for the reminder to enjoy the moment, and to take nothing for granted.

Taran Wanderer

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Re: The change from a job-centric life can be a struggle!
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2017, 10:05:21 PM »
I had several strange heart rate episodes a few years ago, and then an event with chest and left arm pain, irregular and racing heartbeat, and a cold sweat.  It was so bad, DW called 911, the ambulance came, and the EMTs hooked me up to the 12-lead.  There was nothing irregular with my heart - I was having panic attacks.  The strange thing was, I didn't feel panicked.  Yes, we had a lot going on prefessionally and personally (new parents), but life was stable and good. My takeaway was that the subconscious is a strange thing, and I probably needed to focus what I really care about on the things that really matter. It's hard for us engineer types who like to have our ducks lined up in their appropriate rows and create the illusion of control.  But it really is just an illusion most of the time.

Take care of yourself, and don't worry so much. If you're 33, have the possibility of early retirement right now, and have the ability to pull in a six figure income without difficulty (and perhaps even part time!!), you have very little to worry about on the financial front.  You don't need to control for every eventuality, you don't need to know all the answers now.  You know that consciously, of course, but then comes the other question - what do you next, and how do your figure out what that is?  Maybe it's just a matter of acceptance and asking and answering only the next question that is in front of you.

Please let me know if you figure out a shortcut to the answers, because I could use some advice myself!

cl_noll

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Re: The change from a job-centric life can be a struggle!
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2017, 10:54:50 PM »
Wow, chalk another one up for odd hearbeat patterns in the past month!  They are definitely not fun.  I also didn't feel outwardly stressed or panicked, but definitely had a lot on my plate.  I think I internalized a lot of anxiety and shock over the last election too, which may have partially contributed to the subconscious factors...  Funny, I had similar thoughts too (oh, my heart's going funny again, I better climb 10 flights of stairs to see if something is really wrong!). 

But by all means, never forget how fortunate you are to have your health and what it takes to maintain it!

Libertea

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Re: The change from a job-centric life can be a struggle!
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2017, 10:47:59 AM »
I think both of your plans (talking to a therapist and semi-FIRE'ing rather than FIRE'ing outright) are sound.

I'm not an engineer, but I'm a type A like you.  And as I reached the point where FIRE was becoming a realistic near-term possibility, I realized pretty quickly that FIRE'ing altogether was not going to work for me.  Like you, I need something to get me out of bed in the morning, goals to achieve, plans to make.  I don't even dislike the idea of working; I realized that I just wanted more control over what I did and when I did it.  Hence why I chose to semi-retire rather than FIRE altogether.

As I've said before, it seems to me that you'd also be better served by getting your feet wet a bit more before you make a big life change, and to make the changes more slowly.  I remember that we discussed this in your other thread, about only making one or two major life changes at a time rather than just upheaving your entire life at once.  While the "burn the ships so there's no going back" mentality may have worked well for motivating Spanish conquistadors 500 years ago, it's probably not the ultimate strategy for us modern folks.  We DO have the option to test the waters, so to speak. 

So, my advice is to take advantage of that option.  Start cutting back your work hours, or take a brief sabbatical knowing you'll go back to work after a set period of time off.  Use that time to develop other skills, hobbies, and interests.  Ok, you think you might want to hike the AT.  Well, maybe start out one weekend with a one day hike, camp overnight, and then hike home.  See how that goes.  If you wish you had more time than just the weekend, make your next trip four days, or a week.  Give yourself a chance to adjust to a brand new lifestyle before just jumping into a multi-month project like doing the whole trail.  And if you realize that first weekend that hiking for months on end isn't for you after all, so what?  No one's life, health, or wealth depends on you hiking the AT.  There are infinite other equally worthy goals you could pursue instead.

The whole point of this FI thing is to give yourself options to try new things and grow in new ways.  Some of those attempts will be failures, and that's ok too.  It's important to enjoy the actual process of accomplishing something new rather than just rushing headlong to the next destination as fast as you can.

Del Griffith

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Re: The change from a job-centric life can be a struggle!
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2017, 12:40:21 PM »
I am also a Type A personality who internalizes stress. Fun, right? Stress has a funny way of manifesting in our bodies, and for lots of folks, somatic symptoms like yours strike when least expected. It sounds like you are already taking steps to get this moreso under control and weighing different options which is awesome. Mindfulness may also be something worth exploring some more, too.

http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/simpler-guide-mindfulness-for-beginners.html

I am by no means an expert on mindfulness, but I find this helpful for me and figured it was worth sharing in case it could be helpful to you too. Best of luck with your plans, I'm sure everything will work out one way or another :)

Stachey

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Re: The change from a job-centric life can be a struggle!
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2017, 12:47:07 PM »
So sorry to hear all this Mr. Green! 

Perhaps it was too many changes all at once that overloaded your equilibrium.  Best to take a step back and take a more gradual approach to FIRE.  It sounds like you're on the right track now. 

The important thing is not to be so hard on yourself.  So you didn't do the AT, don't stress about that.  The AT isn't going anywhere.  You can try some of it another time.   And the house can be built (or not built) at a later date.  Goals are supposed to be a help in life, not completely stress you out.

Take care.

Bolshevik Artizan

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Re: The change from a job-centric life can be a struggle!
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2017, 01:27:55 PM »
I have been there and yes the transition is NOT easy. Take your time; sounds like you are trying to do too many things at once, maybe? There is light at the end of this tunnel but you must stop trying to push yourself too hard. After one year of FIRE, my wife and I recognised the need for US to stop pushing so hard, for us to stop forcing events. Once you stop, you realise you have the rest of your life to do things, and you learn the wisdom of waiting.

Be well -


BA


Mr. Green

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Re: The change from a job-centric life can be a struggle!
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2017, 02:35:00 PM »
I had several strange heart rate episodes a few years ago, and then an event with chest and left arm pain, irregular and racing heartbeat, and a cold sweat.  It was so bad, DW called 911, the ambulance came, and the EMTs hooked me up to the 12-lead.  There was nothing irregular with my heart - I was having panic attacks.  The strange thing was, I didn't feel panicked.  Yes, we had a lot going on prefessionally and personally (new parents), but life was stable and good. My takeaway was that the subconscious is a strange thing, and I probably needed to focus what I really care about on the things that really matter. It's hard for us engineer types who like to have our ducks lined up in their appropriate rows and create the illusion of control.  But it really is just an illusion most of the time.

Take care of yourself, and don't worry so much. If you're 33, have the possibility of early retirement right now, and have the ability to pull in a six figure income without difficulty (and perhaps even part time!!), you have very little to worry about on the financial front.  You don't need to control for every eventuality, you don't need to know all the answers now.  You know that consciously, of course, but then comes the other question - what do you next, and how do your figure out what that is?  Maybe it's just a matter of acceptance and asking and answering only the next question that is in front of you.

Please let me know if you figure out a shortcut to the answers, because I could use some advice myself!
This is pretty much where I'm at right now. This scare has narrowed my focus to the present because future plans don't matter to me if I'm not okay now. Once I get past this I figure I can address the future then.

Thankfully, I've always been a pretty good about listening to my body and my inner voice when it really matters. Prior to these episodes I considered a healthy amount of doubt and second guessing to be okay because I knew things were changing and it's natural to have doubts during big life changes. Once it became physical I knew I had to stop absolutely everything (the changes) in an effort to get better. Medication has improved things but I've never been a fan of using drugs to nullify a problem that is within my own power to solve without them. Clearly I do not actually want all the things I think I want or I wouldn't be in this position.

I feel confident that I'll ultimately end up where I was meant to be. I just wish my logical self hadn't become so disconnected from my emotional self that it required an involuntary physical breakdown to get my attention. That'll certainly be something to work on in the future as well.

soccerluvof4

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Re: The change from a job-centric life can be a struggle!
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2017, 03:08:49 PM »
When I was 27 (52 now) I collapsed at the Y on the running track and the next 3 days went to three different ER's because of embarrassment and not wanting to by the fact I was having panic attacks. The long and short of it for 25 years now after being put on 3mg of clonzepam I havent had to 1) raise my meds ever and 2) ever had an episode since. In fact for years was told could get off the meds and be problem free but since the dose is small enough and doesnt effect my liver no worries to stay on it. My point is your not alone though at times you might feel that way. Journal, see the doc till you get it figured out and your doing the right things in trying to reduce your stress. Good Luck to you I am sure it will all work out! But definatley make sure you go through all the heart tests just to be sure because that too will make it easier to focus on the issue.

FIREby35

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Re: The change from a job-centric life can be a struggle!
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2017, 08:43:58 PM »
Mr. Green - I am writing to say thanks for sharing. I've read your posts from the summer and intermittent updates. I am sad to hear you are struggling but, secretly...a bit relieved. Not that you are struggling, but that I'm not the only one! I haven't gone as far as you with quitting my job and all that, mostly because I own my own business. But, I have been wrestling with the question you identified - I'm financially independent and very young (32), now what?  The big goal is off the board and money itself is not a satisfying goal. On the other hand, I don't want to quit everything and totally disconnect from the world. And, in my case, I actually have total authority over my job and can make any condition a reality just by deciding. So then, what do I want?

I am actually taking a 12 week trip to Mexico right now. I'm typing from the beach (much less ambitious than the AT!). But even at the beach, I was today noticing a sort of general anxiety to not be moving, not be "doing." It was strange because I think of myself as "well adjusted" but there I was, at the beach, rich, all the freedom in the world - and anxious.

The entire point of my Mexico trip is to figure out what I want and then go back to my regular midwestern world, implement the life I want as it relates to work, live it day to day, make changes as necessary and be as happy and content as I can be. As far as I can tell, that really is the whole show we call life.

Best of luck to you. Thanks again for sharing.

FIRE4Science

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Re: The change from a job-centric life can be a struggle!
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2017, 11:13:56 AM »
In regards to your heart, try to become less emotional overall by reducing drama, stress, etc, and focus on pleasantries of life. The emotions of the man is controlled by the heart and too much can distress the communications between the heart and the brain and result in these panic attacks.

Mr. Green

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Re: The change from a job-centric life can be a struggle!
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2017, 03:31:27 PM »
Mr. Green - I am writing to say thanks for sharing. I've read your posts from the summer and intermittent updates. I am sad to hear you are struggling but, secretly...a bit relieved. Not that you are struggling, but that I'm not the only one! I haven't gone as far as you with quitting my job and all that, mostly because I own my own business. But, I have been wrestling with the question you identified - I'm financially independent and very young (32), now what?  The big goal is off the board and money itself is not a satisfying goal. On the other hand, I don't want to quit everything and totally disconnect from the world. And, in my case, I actually have total authority over my job and can make any condition a reality just by deciding. So then, what do I want?

I am actually taking a 12 week trip to Mexico right now. I'm typing from the beach (much less ambitious than the AT!). But even at the beach, I was today noticing a sort of general anxiety to not be moving, not be "doing." It was strange because I think of myself as "well adjusted" but there I was, at the beach, rich, all the freedom in the world - and anxious.

The entire point of my Mexico trip is to figure out what I want and then go back to my regular midwestern world, implement the life I want as it relates to work, live it day to day, make changes as necessary and be as happy and content as I can be. As far as I can tell, that really is the whole show we call life.

Best of luck to you. Thanks again for sharing.
I'm glad my experience is helping someone. I remember thinking how alone I felt when I first started having problems. We have a spare bed that is firmer than our own and I some times sleep better on it. There were a couple nights where I was uncomfortable lying in bed where I'd normally just go next door but I was so freaked out by what was happening that just being next to my wife in bed was a comfort.

Then over Christmas we had some family in from Tennessee and I had an episode right before our get together, so they all knew something was up. Then my family members started telling me about other people who've had similar problems. It felt so relieving to know I wasn't alone, despite the fact that I wouldn't wish this on anyone. So I thought I would share, in case there are others out there feeling like they're alone.

As far as my personal situation goes, this horrible event has actually led to what might be one of the best opened doors of my life. Less than two weeks into January, a special situation at work came up and I'm now going to be working half-time. I'll still be making good money, and it takes the move to North Carolina out of the picture any time soon. So all that anxiety goes away. I've even lined up a sale for our property down there, which I'm considering to ensure that I don't mentally keep one foot here and one foot there. Coincidentally, my team had already identified a replacement for me. So had I not made this half-time deal, it's likely I would be out of a job in a month or so. As soon as my work arrangement settles in, my wife is free to quit her job if she wants. Had I not had health problems this door would have never appeared in my life because I would have quit my job at the end of December.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2017, 04:49:29 PM by Mr. Green »

OutlierinMA

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Re: The change from a job-centric life can be a struggle!
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2017, 02:27:35 PM »

As far as my personal situation goes, this horrible event has actually led to what might be one of the best opened doors of my life.

That's great, Mr. Green, I love your silver lining!!!

redrocker

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Re: The change from a job-centric life can be a struggle!
« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2017, 08:05:52 PM »
All of these big goals and plans I had set for myself would have major impacts on our life and so I pursued them with vigor. What I didn't do was stop to think about what happened after those goals were reached. I didn't have some multi-year goal to focus on once we quit our jobs so all the sudden the way I had been operating for my entire adult life was suddenly obsolete, overcome by events.

.....
 As you fellow mustachians strive for your FIRE goals, and transition into your post-job lives, don't forget to enjoy the moment.

Thanks for sharing. 34y/o engineer here, also FI and out of full time work, and I didn't expect this to be such a long transition for myself either (going on 16 months now out of work). I can completely relate to what is essentially coping from the loss of a huge goal. Which is a real mindfuck when your anticipated mental state was likely one of joy/euphoria.

Someone in one of the forums I follow recommended Ernie Zelinski's "Joy Of Not Working" book which I'm currently reading. This post reminded me of the chapter entitled "Unemployed: The True Test of Who You Really Are" where he talks about coping with leaving work and associating your own success with something outside of the workplace (which may or may not apply to you). He also writes about the 3 needs that jobs inadvertently fill: structure, purpose, and community, which now have to be filled in different ways. One of the next chapters is on mindfulness and enjoying the journey instead of being fixated on the destination, which I'm seeing mentioned more and more as I follow blogs and forums on leaving the workplace. I'd say this particular book is worth picking up at the local library and perusing.


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Re: The change from a job-centric life can be a struggle!
« Reply #16 on: April 14, 2017, 05:00:30 PM »
Giving this thread a bump. Hope all is well with you, Mr. Green.

I recently changed jobs, and even though it's hardly a seismic change in my life like stopping working entirely, I've been sort of missing my old coworkers. I'm pretty far out from FI at this point, but I wonder if I will also struggle somewhat with the shift away from the job being the center of the universe. I'm also prone to "analysis paralysis" sometimes when I reach an inflection point, so I guess I wonder also whether I will be able to decide which direction I want to go when time becomes more bountiful.

Even though one of my reasons for taking this new gig was to speed up the trek towards FIRE, I'm still trying remember your sage advice to savor the moment.

deborah

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Re: The change from a job-centric life can be a struggle!
« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2017, 02:43:25 AM »
When I was thinking about retirement, I made major plans about exactly what I would do in retirement. The plan started at two years before retirement, so that I could place myself as I retired. For instance, I felt that I needed more friends, as I would lose the social contact I had at work, so I decided that I would join 2 clubs every six months until I retired. These plans broke down when I actually retired because of the circumstances (like, for instance, your friends NOT retiring), but they made me much better prepared, and I have had a very enjoyable retirement because I was prepared for it.

Mr. Green

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Re: The change from a job-centric life can be a struggle!
« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2017, 09:30:59 AM »
Based on my experience, having more plans for the immediate post-FIRE transition would have probably saved me a lot of stress and heartache. I thought I had the first year or two after FIRE covered. Hiking the Appalachian Trail would take 6 months, I'd be back home for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and then building our new house would take 6 months to a year (including lot grooming, etc. after the house is done). All that blew up in my face when I got off the trail early and then my building plans ended with anxiety attacks. While I fully expected some failures in FIRE because I knew I wanted to experiment more, I was completely unprepared to have my entire plan disintegrate in my hands. I realize that these are rather unconventional plans so I don't know if most folks will face the same kind of risk I did or not.

I ended up going to a therapist, and I probably have to thank LivingAFI for that. I don't think I would have considered it if I hadn't read about his struggles. Unfortunately, I'm not a whole lot closer to solving the problem that is the true source of my troubles. My heart is essentially in two places and I can't physically be in both at the same time. I love where we live now. I grew up here, and my family has a history here. Both my and my wife's families are predominantly in this area. We have more roots here than I realized. I think I felt like because we haven't focused on staying here and haven't put effort into friendships here that we didn't have roots here. For the last four years we have had it in our minds that when we stopped working we would relocate. We bought property and have walked it through every step of the building preparation process ourselves. I've invested hundreds of hours, both physically and emotionally, in this process. That place has become home too. If we don't move, I will definitely grieve the loss of something that has been so dear to my heart, and I'm fairly certain we will hurt some friends of ours deeply. I realize that's an emotional trap, but it still holds me hostage. If we do move, I question if I will be able to let go of my old home. I know I have to act or I could be paralyzed by indecision forever. I keep telling myself nothing is permanent; it's not like I can't go back. I think knowing that I'm going to endure pain, no matter what choice we make, is why I hesitate.

We've eliminated the house from our plans for the foreseeable future, which is a great relief to me. Our current plan is to move in with our friends and co-habitate for a while. That might work out well for us, given the issue I described above. We wouldn't have the burden of our own house where we're moving and I could see it providing more freedom to travel and visit family. We'll pay rent, which isn't something I had counted on in our financial plan, but because it saves us the cost of maintaining our own house, and we get to keep the money we would have spent building a house invested, it's a pretty even trade. Mentally, I LOVE the fact that this lets us make the move without the commitment (or potential hostage situation if we want to move back) of building a house.

Other than that, life has been great. My half-time work arrangement continues. With my spare time I've been able to help my sister lay flooring in her new house, visit family more frequently, and relax more than I ever have before. I love the flexibility of having so much more free time but still having a little structure in my life. Based on my experience these past few months I'd say there's a good chance I would enjoy having a part-time job when we're not travelling.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2017, 09:46:23 AM by Mr. Green »

asauer

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Re: The change from a job-centric life can be a struggle!
« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2017, 06:45:40 AM »
Thanks so much for sharing this.  There are too few sources of support for this transition.  There are tons of sources about $ in retirement but nothing about transitioning ones life!  I'm a life coach and ended up coaching my dad and FIL through their transition.  My mom and MIL had no issues- lol!  I ended up designing a program and selling it to my local AARP b/c I think it is ridiculous that this isn't offered more widely.

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MasterStache

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Re: The change from a job-centric life can be a struggle!
« Reply #21 on: April 27, 2017, 01:42:44 PM »
Hey Mr Green glad to see you were able to successfully work out your post -FIRE issues in a way that leaves you guys happy and stress free. Accepting that things won't always go the way you planned and learning to be flexible and enjoy the (sometimes wild) ride can be a joy in and of itself - at least in hind site ;-).

I've had several of my FIRE plans not pan out as expected (the now ex dh deciding he didn't want to RE ever at the 11th of our FIRE date, divorcing and going FIRE alone anyways to play a pro sport and getting injured badly so I couldn't play at that level, parents getting sick and needing to stay around for care, dealing with their estates when they passed, inheriting their pets after I was pet free and could travel overseas,, etc...) which severely derailed my FIRE plans. Went thru my various periods of angst, doubt, crying, wailing, and screaming at the unfairness of it all but each time I learned to accept and embrace those derailments and found new (often better) directions and things in ER that I loved. So while my FIRE is nothing at all like I envisioned it either married or single,  by accepting those changes I've come into an equally good but different FIRE life.

Good for you!! A lot of folks might have just thrown in the towel. Happy to read this today as my wife and I were just discussing last night what we would do in the event of some major life changes that would affect our retirement plans. Flexibility is the key word in life I think.