At no cost to you, this site may contain affiliated links or ads to offset the expenses of operating a website. Please see the disclosureto satisfy your curiosity.
I have been fortunate to experience what retirement feels like at the brisk age of 35. This experience was compliments of Coronavirus and not by choice.
I still worked part-time but was paid full-time. This resulted was an excessive amount of free time. It was an experiment in retirement. All before I quit during the pandemic.
This Feels Like a Panic Attack!
Like anything new and exciting it started with a panic attack or mental overload.
First, I hand to think through all the things that needed to be done. Cleaning and cooking, rinse and repeat madness. Next up, the free time to do other things. This inner dialogue swirled around: Do I want to try new things? Do I want to do those things now? Maybe I should save it for when I go back to fulltime. These thoughts lingered throughout this mini retirement experiment like a dark thunderstorm on the horizon.
The thoughts were like a firehose and my brain was trying to drink it all. When it couldn’t keep up, I felt my heart racing with the deluge of unanswered questions. Surprisingly, it was short-lived. I fixed it with lunch and meditation which turned into a sleep. My brain is like a bigger version of a kindergartner everything is better with a snack and nap.
It Feels So Good!
After a brush with a panic attack that is standard emotional response when a schedule goes from 100 to 25, it felt different and delightful to have an opportunity to think about what I want to do. My life before this golden hour seemed to be full of a growing to-do list: paint the sheds, laundry, just keep cleaning, and while you’re at it, cooking too.
Sometimes life gets so jam-packed with stuff I need to accomplish that I lose sight of living. It feels like life is a cruel joke of a never-ending adulting.
Retirement makes adulting moot. Now, I have an ample time to accomplish all the things and so much more.
More is where I blossomed.
I enjoyed having time to read, draw, write, and hike.
So. Much. Hiking.
Instead of rushing from one item to the next, I had a chance to pause and decide versus rush and hide.
I cried more during this period. I chalked it up to the excessive amounts of oxygen laced with nature. Weird nature affinity aside, I enjoy life when I have more time to enjoy it.
Less Fun Lessons
There are some things I am not a fan of.
Having less structure and not socializing were at the top of that shortlist. I miss talking to real people, which was shocking for a self-proclaimed introvert.
I also miss having purpose set at the start of the day. Before this golden era, I used to get excited about time off but now there was less excitement about nonworking time.
The trial run in retirement lead to a realization: I would like a dash of employment when I retire.
Not forty hours but a few days a week seems ideal. Just enough to keep me on track at home while forcing me to interact with society.
As my schedule changed and work returned to normal, I aggressively pursued a mindful approach of what I let back into my work life.
I wanted more hobbies and less business.
I wanted to be mindful of what I am doing and why. Not just accepting each task until I am overwhelmed with busyness which is my special elixir for burnouts.
I value time more than money. Which wasn’t a theme before this experience. Making less than average tends to push me into making more whenever possible, even to the detriment of my sanity. As Jewels says at One Frugal Girl, “After paying for our basic needs, we don’t need much money to live a good life.”
Retirement is better than a free ticket to Iowa. I was happier, healthier, and more aware of what I wanted. I’m fortunate to have a personalized tour of that.
This unexpected endeavor is insight into permanent retirement. I gained insight into what the future could hold, and it is now my favorite bright shiny financial object!