I am retired (ish)Posted: February 15, 2015
Today was my last day at my
current former employer. Wow does it feel good to write those words. It feels even better to write the following: if everything goes to plan, I will never have to take another wage-slaved job ever again. I am now retired(ish).
Why the ‘ish’? We’re not FI, not by a long shot. The Alchemist will be working still, probably for about a decade more. But we’ve made so much progress in our budget that the extra money I earn working outside of the home – instead of the negabucks I generate at home – is not worth the cost in time apart as a couple and as a complete family. For nine-and-a-half years we’ve had complete days together only on holidays and vacations. That’s a ridiculously long time, folks. Every couple I’ve talked to that’s had a similar arrangement of weekday SAHP+weekend PT work is amazed we did it for that long. One of my best long-distance friends has been doing it for a couple years and is already tearing his hair out. Selling your life-energy to another creates all kinds of stress, but this particular combination seems to have some of the most unique stress, and my family is so happy it’s over.
May it never return.
What now? I’ll be busier than ever, but our schedule can flex much more now. If a project comes up during the week that cuts into schooling time, I can do a few lessons on the weekend to compensate. More importantly, the Alchemist and I have two whole days together every week for leisure time and project time. There are a lot of projects around the house that are very hard to do without either (a) two adult sets of hands or (b) one adult to run interference on the kids so the other adult can work. Our budget will be tighter than before, but with judicious stewardship I think we will make progress even faster despite the loss in raw dollars earned.
Like many folks doing actual early retirement, I’m less retiring from something, and more retiring to something. Homeschooling has been great for our goblins, and homesteading has been great for the whole family’s mental, spiritual, and physical health. Freeing up time for those pursuits by breaking the chains of employment is a huge win.
My last day of work was mostly enjoyable. I got to say goodbye to co-workers, many of whom I’ve known for almost a decade. At the same time, I can’t deny that it was a bit surreal seeing the various idiosyncrasies of my employer and saying (finally) ‘I can’t be bothered by this, because I’m free!’