The Reluctant Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
1taskaday
Posts: 335
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Location: England

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Fri Dec 16, 2016 1:11 pm

End of year wrap –up.

Work sucks just can’t wait to be free of it. Still not as bad as the last place but still tedious and frustrating sometimes. I suppose the biggest issue is that I just don’t want to work anywhere anymore. I want all my free time for myself....I spend hours and hours staring at my work rota notebook trying to plan maximum time off with the annual leave days that I have. I cancelled my 2 away trips in Nov and Dec as I ran out of annual leave. It nearly killed me to work 5 days a week for Nov and Dec ... cannot do this again!

I started a 16 week exercise schedule up to Christmas. The golden rule and break through for me was the half hour rule. Another rule was that I could eat whatever I liked as all free time would be put in to exercise and not food preparation. This meant that I ate loads of carbs,a no no at my age but that was part of the experiment.
I have no time (like most other full time working mothers plus as much overtime as I can do), so I decided as nothing else means as much to me as being healthy and fit, I would make this my priority in life. So while always having “no time”, I could find pockets of time here and there of 30 mins.
So now I run, bike, do Pilates and wgts all for just 30 mins.This has been the secret of my success for my 16 week schedule. Everybody can find just 30 mins a day. I am now fitter than I probably ever have been as I alternate the exercises so much. This is my only joy in life at the moment.
Weight wise I am still the same as I always have been But I am full of energy and feel very strong and healthy. If I stayed off the carbs I would lose weight but this was never my goal and would take up too much time constantly cooking alternatives. I really want to gain more muscle and may up the kettle bell 30 min weight sessions next year.

The saving schedule is on target as well as when I have unexpected major expenses I cheat by doing extra overtime so that I can still save my 950 every 2 weeks. This needs to go on for another 2 years.

All in all I am sad to leave 2016 for many reasons:
I finally paid off my half of my mortgage-took me over 6 years.

It was the year of the monkey in the Chinese calendar- supposed to be a financially good year for me, which it was.

I finally got my fitness level nailed to a level that I have wanted for a long time.

My kids are getting older and more independent-allowing me to go away on trips alone without much hassle. I also have a lot more free time which is joy itself.

Could 2017 really be any better? ........ as I am still working full-time.....

Work the bane of my existence and the greatest time and energy sucker ever invented....

1taskaday
Posts: 335
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Location: England

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Sun Jan 08, 2017 3:01 pm

Working on a plan to reduce my work hours per week vastly.
May take time but I am really in no rush as I really should gather as much cash/savings as I can.
I think this plan is foolproof and can not be refused...we will see...

I was going to alter my exercise plan but why change "perfect".
This is the first time I have maintained a plan consistently for 18 weeks with amazing results,so why change...

I need to buy heavier kettle bells but want to get them cheap,so I will stall until I see them on sale.

Work is work but after reading sex health money and death's excellent blog over Christmas,(I'm sure I got that title wrong),I think job sharing will be the route for me for a while before I totally retire.Reading that blog sure gave me a lot of food for thought.

The weather has been amazing and as I have parked my trips abroad for now that is just as well.

1taskaday
Posts: 335
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Location: England

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Thu Jan 19, 2017 12:39 pm

Ok so I have advertised my need for another employee to reduce their hours to 0.5 with me.

Also talked with HR (anonymously)who told me that in theory if two of us go to 0.5 that they could hire another full time person to replace our reduced hours...

Just waiting for someone else to "bite"...

I see the look of "lust" in their eyes when I mention it to them but then they have to talk to their DH and reality sets in ...the mortgage payments are usually the big blocker.

Due to having separate finances from my DH (and paying off my half of our mortgage faster),I didn't even have to OK it with him.I control my own work hours.

It's kinda sad really as the reason most of them want to reduce hours is that they have small kids and want to spend more time with them....a short window until they hit the teens and don't want to be around you as much.

The fear also that they may never get back full-time is also there and of course the curse of the golden handcuffs "pension".

Life is bittersweet in that I see so many of the younger females at work rushing into signing up for big mortgages for the dream home based on fulltime work before they have kids...sometimes with huge commutes...just limiting their choices for the future when all that they will want is to spend time with their young kids.

I try to advise them but how can you explain to a childless person the feeling that your kids are growing up and you are not the one raising them...you turn around and they are ready for school...or turn again and they can no longer be bundled into the car for a trip you want to take...they have turned into people no longer acquiescent to your desires.

Unfortunately we all have to learn the hard way in life...I hope I have it drilled into my DH enough that the ability to earn her own money will always give her the power of choice...

I am in no real rush to reduce my hours and am just piling up cash to have as a lump sum while living on my reduced hours wages.Now that I have the ball rolling I am content that it will happen and is just a matter of time.

halfmoon
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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by halfmoon » Thu Jan 19, 2017 9:17 pm

1taskaday wrote:I try to advise them but how can you explain to a childless person the feeling that your kids are growing up and you are not the one raising them...you turn around and they are ready for school...or turn again and they can no longer be bundled into the car for a trip you want to take...they have turned into people no longer acquiescent to your desires.
I don't have children of my own, but this touched me in the wider sense of life's tradeoffs and rewards. It's not possible to have everything (despite what modern society tells us); choices always have to be made. That's not a bad thing in my mind, because great progress and satisfaction can be gained from focus. The second part of focus is adaptation, because goals change.
1taskaday wrote:Unfortunately we all have to learn the hard way in life...I hope I have it drilled into my DH enough that the ability to earn her own money will always give her the power of choice...
I'm thinking that you mean DD instead of DH? Probably all you can do is provide the guidance and hope she'll come back to that after testing other options. I say this from the perspective of (being) a daughter who had to make A LOT of her own mistakes. :)

One question about the time-sharing: will you still have employer-provided health insurance? How about other benefits?
Last edited by halfmoon on Fri Jan 20, 2017 10:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

1taskaday
Posts: 335
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Location: England

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Fri Jan 20, 2017 3:07 am

Not living in US so health insurance is never even a consideration for early retirement or reducing hours.

When reducing hours all benefits are kept on a "pro rata" basis.I work for the government.

halfmoon
Posts: 541
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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by halfmoon » Fri Jan 20, 2017 10:45 am

It somehow fled my mind that not every country kicks its sick to the curb. It sounds like you've found a good compromise with the half-time work. Best of luck!

Earlybath
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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by Earlybath » Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:03 am

1taskaday wrote: Life is bittersweet in that I see so many of the younger females at work rushing into signing up for big mortgages for the dream home based on fulltime work before they have kids...sometimes with huge commutes...just limiting their choices for the future when all that they will want is to spend time with their young kids.
Reminds me a bit of the recently qualified teachers OH works with. Frantic rush through school > sixth form > university > work > big mortgage and leased cars. No time for contemplation or growth, into a pit of obligation before they have time to reflect on the future, difficult I'd imagine to extract yourself from. Chatting to them makes me suspect student loan debt is the driver / gateway to the whole thing.

I'm glad you've managed to find a new way to reduce your hours, a good turn around from Oct. Illegitimi non carborundum !

7Wannabe5
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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:44 am

It really is the mortgage and the commute that locks you in. The fact that we lived in married student housing or cheap apartments when our kids were young, allowed us to save money even though I was mostly home and my ex barely made a living wage. The mortgage we eventually took on was quite reasonable, but only because the house was quite decrepit (mistake)and distant from urban employment opportunities (mistake.) The 6 years I was full-time corporate employed with long commute (from when my kids were 5 and 7 until they were 11 and 13 )were pure hell compared to the years I was intermittently in college or part-time employed stay-at-home Mom or the later years when I was home-based self-employed. I told my DD25 to plan on having kids during a transitional phase when she has something interesting to do part-time, because just being home with young kids can render you rather brain-dead. Half day changing diapers, playing with finger-paint and running around the park and then other half of day listening to interesting lectures in the company of intelligent adults while sipping on a cup of coffee, was a very good balance. Now my kids are 25 and 28, so they have become some of the intelligent adults with whom I can have interesting conversation while sipping on a cup of coffee, so I have to teach little rugrats a couple days/week to get my fill of fun time with finger paint- lol. Never too early to start planning for the pre-Grandma and young Grandma and old Grandma and Great-Grandma years.

1taskaday
Posts: 335
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Location: England

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Mon Jan 23, 2017 4:49 pm

Steady on 7WB5 with talk of grandkids!

I am a female INTJ remember and do not carry the "caring gene"!

I had them and therefore it is my responsibility to raise them as best I can But I have no responsibility towards future offspring...

I think you hit the "nail on the head" 7WB5 when you described balance.

Balance is the ultimate state to be in.

I worked 8 years on about 20hrs per week and it was 8 years of bliss.

That is the reason I am going to try my best to get 0.5 reduced hours again.

I think going from full-time with overtime to retirement could be tough,whilst going part-time for a few years first will ease me into full retirement.

I was so annoyed when I got refused my 4 day week that I thought to hell with it all I will just pack it all in...But then after more thought and research I decided it is worth fighting for and I'm really not in any great rush.

No point throwing the baby out with the bath water in a fit of peek,now is there?

1taskaday
Posts: 335
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Location: England

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:59 pm

An update is long overdue....but then again ... why am I updating this journal....

I feel I have stepped off the ERE wagon and am foudationless/floundering a little.

I have been intense ERE sincerely 2010 and it became a way of life...I hit many financial targets the biggest of which was paying of my mortgage...

I now have spent 10,000 in the space of 2 months on leisure activities...and am loving my life.

I am not hitting any of my saving targets and I don't even care...

Does this mean that I will be staying in a "low demanding" meaningless high paying job to feed an increased expenditure lifestyle due to my new activity/hobby?

I don't know and have no answers...

We have 3 different properties in 3 completely different locations,all of which could be thoroughly enjoyed as holiday/retirement places at different times of the year...is this worth staying in my job to be able to afford?

No answers...loads of questions and my DH and I have taken/been given our pre-children enjoyable lifestyle back...as much as that can be possible.

1taskaday
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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:35 pm

So out of the blue I have a prospective job sharing partner- another broken soul damaged by the system that wants to get out... good luck for me.

So now it's just a waiting game... am I ready? Would I ever be ready....

As I have demolished 10,000 of my savings recently I am trying to build them up again before the job sharing kicks in.I want to have a lump sum accumulated for emergencies/luxury spends.

I have been down this road before,feeling the fear and doing it anyway...and I never regretted it for a second.

It was so worth advertising (by being as vocal as I could unofficially), the fact that I was looking for a partner to job share with as otherwise this would not be happening,as the saying goes "Fortune favours the bold".

The idea being when 2 of us job share we will create another full position when we both drop to 0.5 and hence our request being cost neutral,it should be granted.(Government job).

There is a chance that I may have to return to my previous "hell hole" of a work place but this is slim.

Anyway my priority is to have more free time and working 17.5 hours a week will certainly give me that.

I think it may be the ideal balance for me as if I retired at age 50 my pension would not support my lifestyle right now,the salary from job sharing easily will.(with much reduced savings-savings will be down 2,000 a month).

This is the price I will gladly pay for more free time...

1taskaday
Posts: 335
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Location: England

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Mon Apr 24, 2017 2:34 pm

So all of the paperwork is gone in to the "Black Hole" of a government workplace bureaucracy system...nobody really knows what or when something will come out the other side.

It could be a month,it could be a year ... I will just have to wait and see.

The longer it takes the more I will have saved up as a stash/emergency fund.

My resumption of an old pre-child hobby has changed my life... I could see myself spending most of my future retirement years doing it quite happily whether abroad or in this country.

Funny I really thought I would never go back to it,that I had lost interest when in fact the only thing I had lost was the time and energy to devote to it while raising kids.

Both my DH and I are absolutely addicted again and are having a ball,who would have thought?

We are starting to spend more and more time in our holiday home because of our hobby and can easily see ourselves living there. As soon as the teens are finished school we could sell our main house,pocket the cash and move to live permanently to the holiday home.This makes the most financial sense giving us the most cash.

It will be interesting to see if working 17.5 hours per week will leave me enough time to pursue all my interests and travelling or will I still want complete freedom and want to be retired.If I can stick it out for 3/4 more years then that would be enough.

I will keep stashing the cash up for now and wait and see where the chips will fall...

7Wannabe5
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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:45 am

I am rather intrigued by your hobby since it is apparently too outre to identify by name. Are you and your husband part of a spouse-swapping metal detectorist club? Guerilla-graffiti artists acclaimed for ability to spell? Jello-wrestlers? Competitive hotdog eaters? Drunken cow-tippers? Fox-hunters? Lego-scape designers?

1taskaday
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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Tue Apr 25, 2017 11:58 am

I am a total INTJ privacy freak so never want to give any identifying details out about myself in this journal hence the non disclosure about said hobby.

It is nothing as exciting as your list of exotic activities...suffice to say the first letter of the 4 letter word being G and the last an f.

Probably a much dirtier word on the ERE forum as it's always mentioned with a "task,tsk" when related to retirement on this forum.

I say whatever floats your boat and gives joy ... it's as useful or as useless as any other activity BUT with one major advantage for INTJs...it is very social and can be talked about for hours... very useful for introverts that want to mix with people but not really start any relationships or ties.

Jason
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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by Jason » Tue Apr 25, 2017 3:02 pm

I also like to GILF. My dream round is a threesome with Bristol and Sarah Palin.

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jennypenny
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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by jennypenny » Tue Apr 25, 2017 3:15 pm

@1taskaday -- You're not the only one with that hobby on the forum. I agree though that people seem hesitant to talk about it. I only mentioned in once when I was complaining about something (not that that's unique either :( ).

bottlerocks
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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by bottlerocks » Wed Apr 26, 2017 1:38 pm

I also suffer from this affliction/hobby. It may be possible to parlay it into an ERE type venture: http://www.woodchuckgolf.com/

7Wannabe5
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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Apr 26, 2017 2:48 pm

Don't care for the game, but I seldom decline invitations for free brunch at the clubhouse.

1taskaday
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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Mon May 08, 2017 4:45 pm

I feel I’ve got sloppy with my spending lately so am starting a journal to record ALL of my spending from now on.

I need to know when the 0.5 work schedule kicks in what exactly I will be able to save per month...if anything.

My exercise schedule has hit a complete slump since I started my new hobby...a pity after 30 weeks of continually adhering to it...at least it got me over the winter.

Right now even the thought of doing any exercise during the week freezes me into doing nothing. It’s like I am a drained “couch potato” after work during the week days, saving all of my energy for the weekends. Now I just live for my weekends at the holiday home where I never stay indoors unless to eat or sleep, it’s all go go out in the air.

It’s like I numb myself all week (at home and work) and just live for the weekends...not the way I want to live...maybe I should start cycling to and from work or mix something up for week days to give me a buzz.

I definitely need to change something as turning in to a zombie for 4 1/2 days a week is not my idea of living.

I suppose if somebody else wrote this problem I would spot immediately the cure-change your job as it is obviously draining you with boredom.

But that is not going to happen...I have experienced both sides of work life and give me the boring internet surfing over the stressed fast paced one any day (pay being equal).

They both drain one’s energy in different ways but I will take the slow paced one...

Maybe if I had a date when my job sharing was going to start it would energise and excite me but that is not going to happen anytime soon.... (which is good as I need to build up my finances)...so I suppose I will stay in my zombie state like most other 9 to 5’ers and live for the weekends.

1taskaday
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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Fri May 12, 2017 4:22 pm

Ok I have my first 2 weeks of expenses recorded so that I can find out if I can afford to job share...I know a bit late now as I have applied for it,but better to know....

This drives my DH nuts even though it has nothing to do with him as we are totally financially separate...he thinks I am going back "penny pinching" again.

Anyway here goes my 2 week expenses:

Junk (ice cream &sweets )21.58
Kids lessons etc 65.90
Make-up sun factor 7:50
Groc(for family of 4) 196.97
Dog food in bulk 165
Mortgage holiday home 108.25
Bills for 4 houses & cars 185
Petrol 60
Hobby & lessons 37
Bike maintenance 85.49

Total expenses for 2 weeks : 884.19

I definitely have become sloppy and careless and need to cut back so please no advice from anyone as this exercise is just for my own spending curtailment.

I will earn approximately 1000 per 2 weeks net after taxes etc so things will be tight with very little savings unless I cut my spending.

My aim during the job share phase is to have expenses of 600 every 2 weeks with an emergency fund of 20,000 to pull from for travel or unexpected expenses.

So lets see how hard it is to cut back to that level of expenses with a DH,2 teens,2 dogs and 4 houses to maintain...it's the unexpected expenses that will kill me BUT that's just the way things are right now until teens are raised and we can sell our main residence and move to the holiday home permanently.

1taskaday
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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Thu Jun 01, 2017 2:00 am

Total spending on normal life for last 2 weeks:530.68. well under the 600 limit I wanted to achieve.

But I also purchased hobby equipment at 838.00.

This is an investment (to my mind) as I spend all of my spare time at it and love it.
I have set my self a 3 year goal of what I want to achieve with it so my INTJ personality has sparked into life...an all consuming challenge.

No news on the job sharing plan,which is probably just as well the rate I'm spending on "once-off" hobby equipment.

Otherwise life is totally centered around hobby,(and will be for the foreseeable future),with work taking up the minimum amount of energy and engagement but too much time.

Am I wasting my time...probably...but as I said before it's as good a waste of time as any...keeping me out in all kinds of weather,moving,motivated and social.

Is there more to life than this...I have no idea.

1taskaday
Posts: 335
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Location: England

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Sun Jun 11, 2017 3:30 pm

Ok I have data for 3x2 week spending periods and as they say "it ain't pretty"...

My basic spending needs per 2 week period is approx.680.

My actual average spend per 2 week period is 784.

Naturally with more data which I intend to keep gathering will make this expense picture more accurate or do I mean precise...always kept forgetting which is which...

Anyways bottom line is I will earn approximately 1000 per 2 week period when/if I get my reduced work hours and this is why I am sending out mixed messages/signals to the universe about what I clearly want....or maybe I should say don't actually want yet... even though I'm dying slowly day by day off boredom and routine in my "cushy" job...

Based on these figures I will clearly be struggling to live the life I want...

During this 6 week period I also spent an additional 1168 on hobby equipment which is the "meaning of life" for me at the moment.This is a total investment in fun/happiness for me and will repay itself in 1000s of pleasure filled hours before the end of my days.There is nothing right now that I could imagine that I would rather be doing in my free time.

Anyway to get back to the nub of the issue, (that I think is the reason why most people would never cut their work hours and receive smaller wages) one will not be able to do all of the things one may wish to do on small earnings.... easily.

Daww... reminds me of the blog "You can afford anything but not everything"

I know that travel was always a major part of any plan I had if I had more free time...but how much travel will I be able to do on 216 per 2 week period...

I also wanted to be able to save or pay towards my kids college education...is this possible on 216 per 2 week period??? (Not a deal breaker as we will be selling the house we now live in eventually???? and that will fund college expenses if necessary).

What if emergencies happen,such as car breakdown or major house repair requirements...will I really be able to afford these on 216 per 2 week period????

Now I have applied for my reduced work hours and intend to follow through with it if I get it... I am going to take the leap into the unknown... but I can sure understand why practically nobody does it.

The last time I worked reduced hours we were able to save a fortune in childcare and it all kind of balanced out.

So I am definitely full of fear and sending the universe mixed messages...IRL saying to everyone "I can't wait and why isn't happening now?"...the simple answer is that even though I am "living the life of quiet desperation" I cannot envision the reduced hours alternative life as working....

1taskaday
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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Fri Jun 30, 2017 12:03 pm

So 1100 down after a family holiday week at our holiday home.I put myself under strict instructions not to refuse any requests and to spend freely.

A great holiday was had by all with water parks,ride parks,boat trips etc filling the agenda.

It really was tough for me to spend this freely but the teens had a ball...just goes to show definitely at their age "more spending equates to more fun"...even though it kills me to have to admit it.
If I am spending a week there by myself I usually end up doing it all for about 200 to 220 But it is lonely and boring,more like a retreat than a holiday.

No news on application to work reduced hours yet so I may ultimately have to retire fully and stick with plan A to get more time off...such a pity as I think reduced hours would suit me better for a few years before full retirement.

The good news is property prices are supposed to rise steadily for the foreseeable future and we may get a good price for our primary residence when or if we finally off load it.That is all so up in the air but one thing is certain I am so sick of cleaning 3 different houses,it seems to be all that I do when off work and not doing my hobby.What a waste of life...

I have now 10,000 saved half way to my goal of 20,000 before the reduced hours may???? click in.

No matter what anyone says it is so difficult to save when living with "normal" spending people...they just can't see any reason for doing without air conditioning,eating out or making any effort to cut needless spending...now that's such a subjective term "needless spending".
As the saying goes "One man's meat is another man's poison" and boy is that true when it comes to frugality.

Anyway as my DH says I will succeed "despite"them all...I often retort "No I will succeed to SPITE them all".

And life goes on....

1taskaday
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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:29 am

Still no update on my request for the 0.5 working hours...could become a THING of anger and frustration if I let my mind dwell on it...but not going down that road...will concentrate on the fact that November 2017 could be the last November that I ever will have to work full-time if I so choose.

Once I feel I have some autonomy over my work time and that I am calling the shots I do a lot better.The trick always for my mind/ mental peace is to cut annoyances off at the root before my mind grows them into Oak trees and makes me unhappy.

If I do have to fully retire October 2018 I can always do a stint working in the Middle East on an 18 month contract.I have researched this a bit and it's quite easily done ...not that I'll really want to but it's a backup/emergency plan if I need the money.

I am so enjoying not renting out our holiday home by the sea this Summer.I can't believe I'm actually in it at peak season enjoying it when its at it's best.All I can remember is the rushing to clean it (and trying to keep it clean while minding 2 young kids until the guests decided to show,which was often 9 or 10 that night).

Was it all worth it?,Definitely NO but I had no choice if I wanted to pay our mortgage debt down fast...it really makes it all the sweeter now that I am fully enjoying it at peak holiday season.

This is a thing that I am so conscious of...to enjoy everything that I have worked for...absolutely no point accumulating if it becomes addictive and one can't let go to enjoy.

It's always a mental battle to drop down into doing nothing for me but when I force myself into a slow simple life I am really at my happiest.

A good omen for when I retire I think as I thought I may have lost that ability through the high I got while on the "addictive" (for me anyway) path of accumulation and achievement.

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