Sleeping In....

10 Things I Like About Being Retired (Early)

Sleeping In....There are lots of things to love and lots of things that are still a work in progress about my early retirement. But today, I am just appreciating the amazing parts of having retired early.

It is a marvelous sunny, warm, fall day today and instead of being in my office looking out, I have been out all day just loving the day.

I love having time to get to all the things on my to-do list and if I don’t get them done today, they can get done tomorrow.

Exercise is now an integral part of each day.  It used to be hit-and-miss but now it is a priority. And now I love to do it because it is no longer just another obligation.

I can travel for as long or short as I wish. I am leaving soon on a 6 week journey but it is flexible…it may end up being 8 weeks if I like my last stop enough. (Chiang Mai Thailand)

I can sit and drink my coffee and read a great book on the porch EVERY day and I never seem to tire of it.

I can create an amazing dinner instead of just hastily putting it together.

I can stay up late if I feel like it because I don’t have to get up early.

My stress levels and my health are back to normal because there is really (almost) nothing to stress me now.

I can meet friends for lunch and if it is almost dinner time when we finish, well, that is okay.

If I want to watch a movie in the middle of a rainy day or read great stuff online all afternoon that is okay too.

I still work from home doing freelance work on my own schedule and I love the work. But when there are other ‘more important’ things to fill my day, I can opt out of the work.

There is a happy natural rhythm to my days that was missing when I was working. I can stop and appreciate the stunning full moon in the sky or the baby deer that feed shyly at the edge of our conservation area.

I can do nothing or everything and each day feels like a gift.  Like it should.

But it didn’t used to.  Life was too busy.  I was in overdrive.  And now I am not.

 

Photo from Morguefile phongvan00

21 Comments

  1. Robin Tracey says:

    My first year down. It was a busy one with travel and a house reno with the intention to sell. I put the brakes on selling and decided to slow the progress down. Now, there is time to smell the roses and I’m feeling lost. I’m trying to enjoy the “nothing” time without guilt…that’s my “work in progress”. I couldn’t agree with you more that exercise is an important part of the day! BTW…golf game at 11:00….thanks for the post.

    • Hi Robin. I agree with you that the nothing time can be disorienting after years of living without any downtime. I still experience that lost feeling every once in a while too.

      I am taking a challenging course and I write freelance and both those things give me the feeling of being connected to the real world. And I love doing them too. So they help dissolve that ‘lost’ feeling. But it is a work in progress always.

  2. DJan says:

    I sometimes wonder how I managed to fit a full-time job into my life, since my retirement seems so full. But you’re right: I do what I choose to do and no more. :-)

    • Kelly says:

      When I read your blog, I wonder how you fit a job into your day too! It is a great time to get to where to do only what you choose to do. Quite amazing actually.

  3. Hi Kelly…I’m not exactly retired because I too do free-lance, but I also enjoy many of the things that you mention. Sweet huh? My two favorites are:

    #1 Long lunches. Thom and I call them “Jimmy Buffet” lunches because he does a song that says, “I wish lunch could last forever…”
    #2 Getting up when I want to. I was never ever good with alarm clocks!

    The only thing I would add to your list was the ability to do service and/or volunteer work that working people can’t usually get involved in. I serve as a mentor to high school girls during the school year and it is helpful to them and rewarding to me. When we aren’t working the “grind” I think we have so much to offer others and the benefits to giving back are tremendous.

    Thanks for reminding me that I too have a great life! ~Kathy

    • Kelly says:

      Kathy I always love to hear your thoughts on my blog. I love Jimmy Buffett to and I know the song you mean.

      I like your addition to the list. That is such a great thing as I think if high school girls have someone to turn to, they can stay the course. But without it, high school can be a bumpy road for young girls. So great on you…good choice of places to volunteer.

  4. Why am I not surprised you like that song Kelly?….if you were closer we could definitely get together and have that kind of lunch.

    But where are your upcoming travels taking you too? You mention Thailand but are you announcing all the other places? Just remember if you ever come near So Cal in the future let me know….it would be lovely to meet in person and have that lunch! ~Kathy

  5. PCgal says:

    Kelly, I am on my second cup of coffee, reading Blogs, emails and Facebook to catch up, while my husband searches for a Hot Deal Coupon for a golf course in our area. He just scored a great one for $9 each. We will be on the course by 11:00 and off to Happy Hour by 4. Doesn’t get any better than that!

  6. Katie says:

    My life is currently in overdrive, and I’m longing for the freedom you write about here! The good news is that I think it’s as much about perspective as it is my busy schedule. For example, you accurately point out that you enjoy exercise more now because you do it on YOUR terms, rather than having it be just another duty on the to-do list. Anyone can adopt that mentality in order to make those obligations feel more fulfilling!

    • Kelly says:

      You are so right that perspective matters.It is the same exercise as I used to do except now it is not jammed in on a list of things that never seems to end.

      When I was as busy as you seem to be, I created my 5-year plan to change things. It coincided with my youngest leaving for University and the age of early retirement. So it worked well. I created a plan and gradually shed some of the things that put me into overdrive.And I ended up in a new and better place.

      Thanks for reading my blog and sending your thoughts.

  7. Halina says:

    Wow, retirement sounds like a blast- and especially when you are young and healthy and can actually enjoy it. I did retire for about 10 months when I was 36…but then I kind of “fell back into” employment. Now I’m even busier than I used to be while at my old job. I think I need to re-retire just so I can find the time to volunteer and write my book, etc…..

    • Kelly says:

      It is funny that you say you fell back into working…it is easy to do that. I am working on a freelance basis and I love to do it so is that working?

      Time to volunteer and write your book…need to do that for sure. You did it once…you can do it again!

  8. Sabriga says:

    you’re making us all jealous here, Kelly :-) my sister just retired early (57) after working very hard for many years and constantly saying to me, “I wish I had your life.” i, on the other hand, after living a free-roaming life, will end up working until my dying breath – hahaha! happy sitting-in-lawn-chairs days to you :-)

    • Kelly says:

      Hi Sabriga. You sound laughingly content with your choices though. And working until your dying breath is not a bad thing if you are doing something that you enjoy. I hope you are.

      Thanks for your thoughts.

  9. Chris says:

    Kelly,

    Looking forward to joining you in retirement, or in the very least in the world of work-when-I-have-time-to-work. Thank you for the inspiration.

  10. curvyroads says:

    Hi Kelly, I found your blog through Lesley Carter’s social media sharing post, what a wealth of great resources! I love your blog and am following now. I am on a 3-year-ish plan to do what I love (in my opinion, that is NOT “working”) and your example will be a great model for me! Cheers! Lynne

    • Kelly says:

      Hello Lynne. Nice that you came to discover my blog. Serendipitous considering that 6 years prior to leaving work, I made a 5-year plan. And now you have a three year plan. Two things that I learned from the journey that might be useful. One is that despite travelling extensively, I spend a lot less money day to day.So that could be good news for your three year plan. The second thing I have discovered is that as long as I am doing something that I love to do, I can work and it does not feel like work. I write blogs and books for people and I just love to do it. On my own time and schedule. After being in a busy managerial role, you may not want to just do nothing…believe it or not. My writing gives me freedom and purpose so it is perfect.

      Glad you are with me…I cannot wait to hear about your journey.

      • curvyroads says:

        Kelly, your points are totally correct…once our house is paid off (a huge part of the 3 year plan), we will absolutely spend MUCH less money. Also, if I can get to the point where I can do what I love, on my own schedule, and travel while doing it, it won’t be work, it will be the point where my life and work merge! If you are interested in the figurative “start” to my journey, here it is: http://curvyroads.info/2013/12/03/follow-your-passion-why-we-ride/.

        Again, thank you for the inspiration!

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