The Reluctant Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Thu Dec 03, 2015 6:01 am

Off on annual leave and loving it.

It is really dark and gloomy with headlights needed while driving throughout the day....mild but so much can there possibly be that much up there?
After a leisurely breakfast and on my second cup of lemon and ginger tea listening to classical radio...hoping to do a long yoga session soon...slightly stiff and achy from yesterdays's session...what a life...could it get any better?
The DVD I use for yogalates has beautiful scenes from sunny coastal Byron bay in Australia so I suppose it could be better if I was doing my yogalates under the sunshine there...

I have booked my trip to the sun??? for mid-January,I would have gone at Christmas except nobody wants to go then.So I will go on my own in January.I will be sleeping over night at the airport,easy-peezy now as I have done it twice before.The temptation to fly out at Christmas is huge but I must bide my time and wait until the teens are raised and independent.Forcing them to go if they don't want to is just not worth it,it would be hell entertaining them.They are at the age that all they want is their technology and friends right now,so be it.

I am going to suffer so much this summer for using up so much of my annual leave so early but boy am I enjoying it traffic,work stress or rushing.I think people get particularly stressed at work around this time of year and are best to be avoided if possible.

I long to be finished with it all and be free,but I definitely have 2016 full-time with overtime so I can't let my mind dwell on that thought much.

It's amazing the amount of energy I have while not working,I want to go out more even at night...a shock for my DH...we may have a very active social life in retirement would be funny if I ended up pressurizing him to go out at night instead of the other way around.Who knows what will happen when we are retired?

I was reading my journal from this time last year and it was about the end of November that the darkness seemed to start getting to me.I think more than it just being about the darkness at this time of year it is the the hardship of day to day living in harsh winter conditions,especially when one lives out the country.It's fine if there is no rushing involved and you can just melt into the gloominess and become lethargic with it.But if you have to rise in the dark and rush about it is challenging.

Winter definitely has it's own appeal if you can adapt your thinking about it and enjoy indoor pursuits especially reading,But I will definitely become a "migrate-r" when retired and leave around the beginning of November each year and not return until March.

Why suffer hardship if you don't have to is always my way of thinking?A healthy outdoor winter in the sun and brightness is much more enjoyable for me than sitting near a fire all day watching the rain and wind outside.Each to their own...

The finances are on automatic and it is really just a waiting game...the temptation to throw my 20 grand into reducing my mortgage is huge and would save me 125 per month in interest..a no-brainer really..but I will stick to the plan and just pay it off gradually over 2016 and keep the 20 thousand as an emergency fund.

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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Sun Dec 27, 2015 7:13 am

So much to update on that I am just going to hit on each item succinctly.

First experimenting with Dr Michael Mosley’s 5:2 diet, amazing results.Dropped so much weight that I may have to cut it back to 6:1.Will keep going for a month on 5:2 and then analyze data and decide.

Reading Retired Syd’s blog led me to a lecture she went to by Dr Walter Bortz at Stanford University on “Daring to live to be 100”.He gives a great lecture on YouTube from Trinity College Dublin on the “Plasticity of Aging”, just the motivational information I need at the start of the year.

The critical thing that I have learned from all this (for me),is that my VO2 number is critical to how well I will age.So even though I feel like a “Spaghetti string” from all my Yogalates (also completely pain-free), as Dr Bortz replied when asked about meditation as opposed to VO2 for aging,”the brain is a muscle and muscles don’t care about positive thoughts only oxygen intake”-in much better words than I have just quoted.
So I better get my butt in gear and go back to my daily runs.

All of my experimentation seems to annoy some of my work peers and they often ask “Why are you doing all this?,you are slim and healthy,what’s it all about?”.This dumbfounded me at first and I couldn’t think of an immediate reply.I just assumed everyone thought as I do and are on journeys of continual self-improvement, surely the reason for being alive....

But now after having thought about this for a while,I realize this is not so,(even though it makes perfect logic to an INTJ mind),so the next time I am talking about one of my self-improvement experiments,(a weakness in me,I know as I must share my knowledge),I will just answer as Dr Bortz does:I do all this experimentation because humans should be able to live (quiet healthily)to 100 years and I intend to do this.
That should close that conversation very neatly....

Financially I should hit my goal of 20,000 saved by Jan 14th 2016.I will then start paying the 30,000 I owe on my half of the mortgage.It will be so satisfying to finally be able to watch this disappear.
Looking at the amount of rain that fell over Nov/Dec maybe we should change all of our retirement plans and just build an ARK.I have never seen so much rain,I wouldn’t be surprised if the whole country just went under water.
As a result of all this rain I keep wistfully looking at the weather in our holiday rental country and keep wishing I was there for Christmas.Will I ever really be free to go when and where I like????

I also have family in the Southern hemisphere and will spend some future winters there renting a house near to them. The weather there was 30 Celsius on Christmas day.As my DH is a nature fanatic and where they are is a nature paradise this will suit us both.

As I didn’t travel this Christmas I plan to get loads of my overtime out of the way.As I don’t drink or party much it is a great time to get it over with.This will free me up for when the weather is better or when I intend to travel.Next trip coming up soon...

I really do want to travel more...but hate spending so much on it while accumulating the money to ER.I think I need to start a separate travel fund and put maybe 200 into it each month so that I can use it without guilt when I feel like a trip away.I haven’t really thought all the details out yet but this is what I possibly intend to do for 2016.I would love to spend 1 week every month at our holiday rental.
I could easily organize this if I just lightened up on the savings/mortgage over payments.

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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Sat Jan 09, 2016 3:57 pm

So after much consideration I have altered my finances to cut my expenses by 150 Euro per month.I intend to use this 150 for flights/rental car hire to be able to travel to our foreign rental property for 5/6 days a month-my dream...

This will be a tight budget But as all I really want is to get away to the sun,walk,relax and do yoga it should be do-able.

I have booked Jan and Feb already and have to keep my fingers of the keyboard to stop booking March.We have an enquiry to rent the foreign holiday property full time/5 yrs so we will see how that develops.It's not something that I really want But it would speed up the journey to FI and be an income when retired.We will wait and see how it pans out...I just want no hassle.

I have worked pretty intensively since before Christmas with nights and weekend work (on purpose) so I feel due a relaxing break.I am so excited as the weather forecast looks good.I am travelling solo as nobody wants to go at this time of year which suits me perfectly.

I will overnight at the airport and travel really light.I must admit that sleeping alone in the house at night unnerves me But I just push through this.If I didn't I would never be able to travel on my own.Funny my fear is always of the dark (spirits and strange noises) and not of the living.I really have no fear of dying but the thought of the paranormal freaks me out.

Anyway no point dwelling on this as I have brought this from my childhood (why I don't know) and it will probably never leave me UNFORTUNATELY...

Still doing Mosley's 5:2fast.It really suits me and allows me to maintain a really lean physique while eating as I wish 5 days a week.This is important after nights as when tired there is always a craving for sugar/carbs.

The thought of my trip gives me such energy and excitement that I can push through any amount of work as I know that I am getting away soon.Naturally I tell nobody as I want to keep any attention or animosity away.

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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Sat Jan 23, 2016 5:07 am

Update over due.

I think I'm going to adopt Brute's style and cut the flowery wordy details.

Well back from trip.All went well.Weather mostly pleasant.Total cost:203.
Lost my mobile just before going to airport...really scary going without it..especially if rented car broke down etc,...for a moment was going to cancel it all and just stay at home...decided to go anyway...all went fine,realize now that fear can stop us doing anything new if we give into it,...a good reminder not to stay secure and must always be about stretching myself outside of my comfort zone...not easy as we age,BUT a must to really live as opposed to just existing.

Spent a lot of trip worrying that elderly parents would not be able to contact me and getting to internet to email DH...public phones are so scarce now.Naturally I would not splurge on a new phone...and found my own in my coat pocket when I came home.Obviously I needed a lesson on "fighting the fear and doing it anyway"...received and learned.

Met lady who wanted to rent our holiday rental long term...would be perfect,(as much as anyone can guess) but for this year anyway I am sticking with my plan and going to use it for 5/7 days every month...I want to see if this is possible and how it will work out...I have Feb,April booked already and looking at flights for May.I will skip March as kids off for Easter and do not want to internet or friends.

At least the possibility of income in retirement from long term rental is definitely there.But I hope in retirement I will spend a lot of my time out there.

Work is fine...still a waste of life...but as pleasant a means to my end goal as I could possibly have.DH off a lot doing his hobby/passion/side income.This gives me the freedom to travel so much.He is obsessed with getting better and entering competitions with it,to get more recognition...bring it on I say as everyone is happy doing their own thing.He will be getting his retirement date soon with a full pension ...even more freedom for us all.

I know he has no interest in travel and is tied to his hobby and golf so he will just come and go as he pleases...should work fine as long as nobody gets needy or is forced to endure stuff they don't find stimulating...

Let's just try it out and see...

Exercise is not happening seemed to have hit a funk...still doing Mosley's 5/2...will it work with no exercise??

I am going to burn up all my annual leave so quick with all this travel..always a worry.
Maybe next year I could reduce to half time work,even though I should stay full-time for the next 2 and half years until retirement...but I want to travel now...we will see how much I enjoy it this year...

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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Sun Jan 24, 2016 5:31 pm

OK,First world in my self made cocoon and going to enjoy it all while it lasts.

I am trying to optimize my monthly trips in as much as I can.

The first issue is with the car rental insurance.I only get the basic (3rd party) cover as this is the cheapest,with an excess of 950 euro.
I usually only drive the car to the rental property,once to supermarket and then on the return journey to the airport.I usually walk every where else to get out in air and get exercise. But if I want to tour around and travel more without worry or anxiety,I need better insurance cover.So I have researched it and purchased annual car hire excess at 50 for the full year.This means that if I do have any accident or the car is damaged I can claim the amount the car rental company charges me from my annual car hire excess policy.This should be enough to alleviate my anxiety about driving the rental on long journeys without having to take out the car rental company's expensive extra insurance.

Another problem is that the house is cold in the winter.Insulation seems to be zero and there is loads of windows and patio glass doors.
We ordered a load of logs once but the renters used to burn them in the summer with the air conditioning on??? because they like the look of the log stove!!! so getting a load of logs delivered is not an option.The last time I was there I bought bags of logs which were impossible to burn as they were too big or wet?? Being cold is pretty miserable so I have researched a little and think I should invest in a paraffin heater.I will have to make sure that it is small and I am able to store it away.

There is also an option of buying internet on a mobile adapter for a cost of 7 euro per day.I think I will leave this for now as the last thing I want to do is stay on the net all day when the sole purpose is to get out in air and sunshine.At least this is an option if I do stay for longer periods during retirement.Internet is available in local cafes for free.

The other issue is raising my budget while out there.I try to do it all for a minimum cost BUT there are activities available that I would really enjoy which are cheap compared to holiday package prices.Again that old issue of immediate enjoyment versus accumulation...I think I will have to set an extra "luxury"budget while out there and use it if I want.

I know the more I travel out there the more I can optimize it and make it more enjoyable and hassle free.

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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Sat Feb 06, 2016 6:15 am

So next trip is soon...can't stop looking at the weather forecast out there...looking good at average 23C But windy...I just want one roaster of a week...not possible in February???

Every time I look at the tv I see people with gorgeous (unhealthy) tans...How come they are lucky enough to have that lifestyle in Winter.I want that for me...sad isn't it But it's my life and I can design it anyway that I want...can't I???

That to me really is the challenge...Is it possible to just dream up a lifestyle/quality of life that you want and then have it???
What are the barriers to this and can they be overcome?

Surely that's the challenge purpose to all this ERE stuff? What's the point of it all if you can't at the end live the way you want to...not live the way you are able/can afford...actually WANT to...

While traveling this way is such a joke really,as wrecked when I get there from night shift and overnighter at the airport and then it takes about 10 days when I get home to settle back in to sucky routine work life.But when retired this will not be an issue.

Why am I doing it? Because I said I want to see if it's possible to spend 1 week a month out there this year and more importantly what issues this will throw up...Such as cost,travel fatigue,possible relationship issues etc It's also good training for now the fact that I will be spending vast amounts of my time abroad has gone from just being "talk"to fact and is accepted and accommodated.Huge progress...

To me it's easy talk and surmise about things but nothing beats real life experience.

My DH got his retirement date,full pension at 52...not bad,so exciting.
As it's imminent it has focused our minds.
I think we're ready...due mainly to all the hard work and planning that we have put in since 2010.

We recently toyed with the notion of where we will live,meaning which house but have failed to make a definite plan...funny,it being me that won't commit.

I suppose the issue being he needs a big workspace for his hobby/sideincome...and he is totally committed to spending large amounts of time doing it.I on the other hand am totally free and want to spend my days "bumming" around location and commitment independent.(He has said that one of his greatest fears for my retirement is that I will turn into a bag lady ha,ha,ha).
To me if we have this ball and chain around his neck(his side income) we may as well stay living here(where he is the most content),which will allow me to travel/spend large amounts of time abroad with him joining me when he wants.

Who knows...if we both retire I think we will work it out from there,no point trying to figure it out now when nobody really knows what it will be like.

I think I can get the travel/living abroad out of my system after about 5 years and then change to a new/different way of living.No point burning the boats anywhere right now then...maybe we will just keep them all afloat and skip from one to the other as we change through the years.

Living frugally may allow us this luxury..

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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by skintstudent » Sat Feb 06, 2016 6:58 am

I can really appreciate your desire for some sunshine during the UK winters. I don't know how those north of us manage. I had an overnight trip to the Netherlands last month for work. Although it was hectic and I got no time for myself, just walking to the business in bright sunlight was lovely (albeit freezing cold). The weather probably had a lot to do with it, but everything just seemed better.

Enjoy your holiday. Is it the Canaries?

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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Sat Feb 13, 2016 7:10 am

Hi skintstuent,yes it really is great to escape to the sunshine and recharge in the winter.

Sitting here sipping freshly squeezed orange juice under gently blowing trees in a sleeveless t shirt....could it get any better?

I was determined to enjoy this break no matter what was thrown at me...

So I got a horrible stinking cold the day before my departure,and had to stache tissues all over in my pockets to be able to grab quickly as I overnight at the airport.
When I arrived the boiler for hot water would not work and a large outside stone ornament had been smashed by vandals???

But my cold has disappeared(probably from the sunshine) and as I had been listening to a Tim Ferris podcast about starting the day with some cold water immersion I decided that this was all fate and have started my cold water showering.

I have gone totally soft this winter and am feeling the cold and wet so much even though the winter has been very mild overall,so I think the cold showers will harden me up.I suppose it's easy do when it's over 20degrees outside so I will see how this goes when I return to the land of grey...

So now the boiler is fixed and I'm going to just scrap the stones and take it all as part of life.
The next thing I intend to do is start my 20 mins run while here in pleasant climes and hopefully keep it up when I return home.

I know I am so lucky to be able to travel to the sun in the middle of winter and am so thankful and appreciative of the opportunity that I don't intend to waste a moment of it.I am like a lizard basking and soaking up every last bit of energy the sun emits.I always just feel so much better in a warm climate.

The place is very busy with mostly older retired RVers from northern Europe.I don't think I'd really enjoy RVing as mixing with so many people really is not my thing.But who knows?

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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Sat Feb 20, 2016 11:06 am

I need to reduce my work hours.

The taste of freedom I get while travelling is making my work life unbearable...just in a prison sort of way,the job itself is easy and hassle free.

I know I should just hang in there for another 2 and half years,but I am slowly dying inside bit by bit.
I think the travelling every month is making it worse...I was never one for the middle ground,I'm a kind of all or nothing person.The taste of freedom has made me totally unsettled.

I need to work this year full-time and can do that But then that's it.
I did up the figures and it will cost me 19,000 a year.I will work 100 days a year half-time instead of 168 full-time.

When I did up the figures I felt I would be losing too much and should stick at full-time for the next 2 and half years...but then I was listening to a podcast which spoke about the cost of "not doing " things...I hadn't thought about this.

What is the cost,to me,of not cutting my work time in half?

How does one calculate this?

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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Sun Feb 21, 2016 11:39 am

My last trip went really well.

The weather was much better than in January. I really relaxed and enjoyed it all.

I did not buy a heater as I just seemed to adapt to the cooler house temperature and used a blanket if I felt cold in the house in the evening.

I had purchased extra car insurance but still did not drive anywhere.

The weather was just so relaxing that I did not need any luxuries or trips to entertain myself.I just read, walked and did yoga, all with the sun shining.
Overall I spent 203 euro again, on everything ie flights, car rental, food etc

Really I should be doing it all for 150 as this is the amount I cut my spending budget to allow me to travel for a week every month.But this is too little and I will try and make the difference up by being more frugal on other things.

I have persuaded the 2 teens to come with me in March and have April and May weeks booked as well.

My big issue will be running out of holiday leave But as I intend to work half-time next year, 1 week in work and 1 week off I should have loads of time to travel.

Anyway I am not going to worry about that this year and just stick to the plan,1 week per month abroad.

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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Sun Feb 28, 2016 5:33 am

It was a very LONG week at work this week,lots of BS meetings which had to happen.

I think they kill me the most.
The pointlessness of it all does my head in.Hours and hours of useless paperwork that nobody cares about or even reads,yet has to be there if we are audited.

I was completely drained by Friday,nearly back to my vegetable state like I used to be in the old job.
Not good...
But as Livingafi says in his recent post,"It could be a lot worse and the pay is good",that's basically how we numb our boredom and frustration.

If there was a system where by the more efficient you are then you can leave and not put in "the time" it would be great...
But no,the hours have to be done it's a government job.

My real frustration comes from feeling I am wasting the precious time I have left on this earth on rubbish.This is really hard to swallow so I just numb my brain when it starts telling me this is not OK,you are wasting your precious life energy.

That is where my mental suffering comes from,my very rational brain is saying "you can do better than this,you were put in to this world to create and give something back,not just exist in a numb state" and I am telling it "Just shut the hell up and get on with it,the last thing I need right now is you kicking up.Just because you are bored and frustrated doesn't mean I have to flush all my plans down the toilet and Oh yea,it could be much worse and the pay is good."

So I always know when I am off centre and my mind is burning itself up,I usually start eating bowls of sugary cereal in the evening and watch travel programs on tv for hours.

To get back in sync again I walked outside for hours listening to Tim Ferris podcasts with the meditation/mindfulness experts.
It seems to have worked and I'm going to try meditating again listening to Tara Brach talked through meditations all free on her website.
I'm not holding my breath (excuse the pun),but something has to give,as I have too long left to work to be allowing it to suck the life out of me through basically... boredom.

The really good thing to emerge from all this is that I learned to download podcasts to my kindle as my iPod shuffle is not co operating.This is major for me as I will spend forever walking outside while listening to stimulating conversation.

Whenever I am totally bored and frustrated I just go numb and disconnect from my soul/centre.Work or too much extroversion can do this to me.

So as the saying goes,another day another dollar...But what are those dollars costing me? And do I REALLY need to pay that price? ...alI I want is to be off all the time...

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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by inchicago » Sun Feb 28, 2016 7:23 pm

1taskaday wrote:So as the saying goes,another day another dollar...But what are those dollars costing me? And do I REALLY need to pay that price? ...alI I want is to be off all the time...
I agree with this 100%. Time freedom has got to be the best thing.

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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Sat Mar 05, 2016 7:07 am

Going to try meditating for 30days and then review if there has been any benefits.
I have 6 days done so far.
I think I am getting into it because as soon as I hear Tara Broch's voice I find myself relaxing.But I will wait and see.

I have found a method of taking a large number of weeks off a year unpaid without having to commit to reducing my work hours permanently...this may suit my plans for travel much better as I can take the weeks 3 times a year en-bloc.

I can start this next year.The good old advantages of working for the "family friendly" government.Using this system I could just work 30 weeks a year but more importantly take blocks of time off together to disappear.

This may satisfy my needs much better as I am still stuck until teens finish school.

Got a bad flu that has floored me energy-wise,can't wait to get away to the sun again.
I am just putting it down to bad luck...if I get any more I will have to rethink my diet,lifestyle etc.

Savings took a hit as I had to pay for my flights for the year and teens school trips...funny I don't seem too this a good or bad sign?

I think if I travel a good amount every year there will be no big desperation to leave work...I will only know for sure when I try it out.

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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Wed Mar 16, 2016 5:14 pm

Sitting in the sun again,my addiction.

Just completed a Tara Broch meditation,so relaxed here away from it all.

I kept the meditations up for 6 days but then lost interest or just didn't want to do them anymore until to-day.Funny I seem to be able to give things up a lot easier,(like coffee,alcohol) than actually make myself do things.Interesting...

The teens are with me and actually enjoying it as the weather is so nice.I love having them with me and enjoy their energy so much.You would have to laugh at their attitudes to life,so naive really.But were we not all that way once...before we became cynical and wearied by it all.

I definitely want to live out here mid-October to mid-March.DH is fine with this and will visit as much as he wants as winter can be his busy time with his side-income/hobby.I now realize that if he wasn't doing something he would crack up and crack me up also with his boredom.He is just one of those people that has to be busy,so that is just the way things are.

Work is killing me a bit lately,not stressful but just resenting the time suck involved.I really don't know what I'll do next year;drop to half time or take unpaid leave en bloc.I keep debating it in my mind back and forth.But one thing is for sure I can't keep going as I am.Mentally I think I would just crack at the thought of full-time next year.

I had a visit to my old work place recently and OMG have I escaped my definition of hell! They haven't moved on an inch,still bitching and competing against each other for NOTHING!

I just can't understand it,how could anyone stick that long term? no wonder I was miserable working there.What is it all about? Surely it should be about just doing your work,minding your own business and living your life...but the power plays and jealousy that goes on wouldn't be found in kindergarten.It really does baffle me and I feel so negative after listening about it,I really am so lucky to be out of there.

So far I have kept to my plan and spent a week January,February and now March.I only go home for awhile and am back again in April.My DS is coming with me again in April,a real treat for me to spend more time with him.

My only concern is that I am using up all my annual leave but what the hell,as all those short term planners say YOLO...if you can't beat them why not join them for the parts that suit.

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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Fri Mar 18, 2016 3:56 pm

The holiday with 2 teenagers is hilarious.

There is no more car radio music.
I have competing music downloaded on to mobile phones,one on in the front seat one booming from the back.
My DS photographs everything he does,at least 100 selfies a day...where he uploads them to (or worse still if I'm in them) I have no idea and don't want to know.
I am a complete privacy freak and would never even join Facebook or any thing that would expose any part of my life.I upload details here as I think I will never be traced,(probably naively).

We never move outside the house until about 1 o clock as my DS sleeps till at least 12 pm as he reads/watches tv till 3am.
This suits my DD as she can spend from 10am till 1 o clock "getting ready" for the "outing".
The first outing is usually an internet cafe for about 2 hrs so they can catch up with friends,all free from their mobiles some how...I have no idea of the technology they use and am definitely from a different era.

But I find it so funny instead of "living it" they live it to "show" they are living it.

One good thing to come from the break is that we have all started going for runs,so I should be fit enough to keep it up when I get home.

All in all we are getting on fine,spending away more than if I was on my own but so much fun being with them.I am really lazy and their routine suits me.

I definitely need to learn the local language as my neighbour,a lovely young lady tried to have a conversation with me about our adjoining wall but I had no clue what she was saying,and just smiled and nodded.

I suppose if I had a definite plan to move here at some stage I would be more motivated...but I waste so much time watching tv at home after work when I could be learning the language.

Where is all the "fire and hunger" I used to have to achieve things when I was this what getting old is ?

I am kind of putting together a list,(hate the word bucket list) of things I want to do when I retire.

I want to become a confident wine connoisseur,(but I never want to drink alcohol this possible? )
I want to learn line dancing,ballroom dancing and salsa dancing,(I am the most self conscious person alive with no rhythm and 2 left legs)
I want to speak this countries language fluently,(I always have these great ideas when away but as soon as I go back to work,I am energy less and find it hard to motivate myself to get out of bed in the morning for work).

So how can I motivate my lazy butt to do anything other than "exist" when I return to my work sure beats me as I fail EVERY time....

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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Mon Mar 28, 2016 5:12 am

Back from the break/holiday.Had the best time.Much better to go with people than alone,and definitely much better to go with people "in sync" with one's own interests.Obviously I have the mentality of a teenager,who knew?

Spending was way up as I really did not say no to anybody's wants.I wanted the teens to enjoy it so that they will come back with me often(I think the word is bribery). I usually spend about 200 Euro for 1 week for myself.This time for the 3 of us the total was 715 Euro.The flights were expensive as it was Easter break.

Despite this it was well worth it.I came back buzzing with energy and vitality and as I am going back soon with my DS this feeling will last.

Going for 1 week a month this year has changed my life immensely.I love the change from the daily routines.If there is one thing that sucks the life out of me it is routine.I hate it.

So bottom line is I put nothing towards my savings for this fortnight...and I don't care....

So what is this about? Does it mean that if I continue with this lifestyle,(which I am really enjoying),that I will live like most other people,working and spending on luxuries.

If I do ,what is wrong with this...I could maintain weeks of work if I got my trip away for a week quite often...maybe this will suit me fine as right now I'm kind of stuck anyway with the teens still being dependant.
I don't know what to think,I am a bit mixed up but happy with my life right now.

I am also trying to improve/control my mind more.
I am dabbling with meditation,yoga/pilates,cold showers and the iceman's breathe techniques.
I am also doing the 2:5 fasts intermittently when I feel they are required.I also have the no caffeine or alcohol and barefeet(teva sandals) stuff going on.

The joke is that I want incorporate these techniques into my life but I want a really SIMPLE lifestyle.

I listen and research huge amounts of information on increasing mental and physical well-being and want to concentrate it all down to very simple daily habits or probably more likely, an arsenal of weapons I can pull out and use to increase my well-being when required.

So I'm going to continue on this path as my mental and physical well-being improves vastly every year,(even though I cannot scientifically measure it).
I measure it by my clear skin,energy levels,happiness levels,patience/empathy towards other people etc.These are really subjective BUT as they are the goal of all this experimentation I am very satisfied that I am achieving and moving forward in this area.

The only doubts I have are:
My job change to an easier stress-free one has caused these benefits...or the fact that my kids are older and more independent and I have more time and freedom to do as I wish...

Anyway I am going to continue to experiment and even though I know there is no ideal life or lifestyle,as life happens and throws what it wants at you,I should be better able to deal with unexpected events -more resilient I think is the word.

Posts: 362
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:45 am
Location: England

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Mon Apr 04, 2016 3:03 pm

I have decided that I am going to stop counting/noticing my spending/money.

I am going to move on from this,it has served it's purpose and got us into a financial state that my DH can retire without us having to sell any of our assets (for now, as we have no clue what we are going to do long-term).

I live very lightly with no real wants that money can fulfil.
The only real exception to this is my monthly trips abroad which can be very frugal if I travel alone and not so if I travel with others.I intend to just spend as I have for the last 5 years and stop tracking and cut planning of saving amounts.

I want to be able to accept life "as it is" and stop wishing time would pass so that I could stop working.I basically want to stop wishing my life away.

If there is something that I wish to experience and it involves spending money then so be it,no more putting off for a future date,the time is now.

I really can't trace back as to when this change in my attitude started to take place but it definitely has cemented due to my trips abroad for a week every month and whilst there, all the deep thinking and reading I do into the mind and consciousness.

I kind of get it now...that all of this future planning and thinking that I can control my life in any major way is futile and will not work.It will actually only bring me suffering(if when I finally quit my job and something else comes along to limit my freedom), and it is also a waste my precious time in this world.

Going away into a sort of retreat/bubble existence for 1 week every 4 is such a luxury.Long term this is my only plan right now,just to be able to maintain this and enjoy it for as long as I can.

I am listening to a lot of Tara Brach's talks on her website.Amazing stuff if you are interested in learning about meditation and living in the present.A lot of the mind issues she talks about I definitely recognize in myself.Constant escaping the present with future planning,making myself numb with things that bore me(just wanting time to pass and it to be over),not really enjoying anything as I constantly think there is better to come etc,etc.I love this stuff and am so at peace listening and understanding it.

I want to leave the watching of the amount of money I spend behind me and concentrate more on living life more fully-whether this involves spending more money or not.

I see myself on a different journey now,one of "seeing the tiny purple flowers at the side of the road as I walk by" instead of constantly planning for my future life of freedom.

I don't know maybe this is the next stage of ERE or maybe I'm just another drop out before I've reached the goal...of retirement.

But I couldn't care less as the journey I am on now makes me happier than I've ever been.

Posts: 362
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:45 am
Location: England

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Mon Jul 18, 2016 10:15 am

Just a quick update for my records.

My half of mortgage paid off-6 years 5 months paying off 127,500.

I went from being able to pay off 400 extra per 2 weeks ( while job sharing),to now being able to overpay by 950 every 2 weeks from full-time work plus overtime.All while pumping in 1000 per month to my AVCs.

When I paid off the mortgage I was at a crossroads about what to do next.....

I could cut down to half-time again and only work about 10 days per month with no weekend or overtime.
My savings would drop to 400 every 2 weeks with no money going to AVCs.

This would be a great quality of life but I would be still stuck at home with no travel as the teens will not be at college until another 3 years.So my freedom would be limited...

So I have set myself a new goal...I will save 950 per 2 weeks,from full-time and overtime,and keep putting 1000 in my AVCs per month.

This will mean that by Dec 31st 2018 I will have 60,000 in cash savings,a pension lump sum of 100,000 tax free and a pension payment of 1000 per month.I will then be 50 years old and can decide to work part time or just retire.

So head down for another 29 months in a cushy job.

Posts: 5979
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Stepford USA

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by jennypenny » Mon Jul 18, 2016 2:07 pm


It probably makes sense to keep working as long as the job remain low stress. It's nice to know you could walk now if it changed. :)

Posts: 362
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:45 am
Location: England

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Sat Oct 01, 2016 3:36 pm

Just read the "Deliberately coasting to FI " thread and it has cemented my decision to cut to a 4 day week.It will prolong the time it will take me to reach my goals.

Also not renting one of holiday homes next year as we plan to sell the house we live in now and move permanently to this house by the sea.We will be "testing the water" as to how it will be living there permanently.I'm a little apprehensive about it as it is near family....a thing I've deliberately steered clear of all my life.

It took me ages to reach this decision ... a loss of 8,5000 ...but as my smart DD told me,I can always revert back to full-time work and house renting for the next year if it does not work out.

Just a bit nervous that I'm switching to a more leisurely lifestyle prematurely, before I have reached my goals BUT the decision is made and the paperwork gone in.

I am very excited and know I will love all the extra free time.

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