The Reluctant Journal

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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Sun Nov 16, 2014 12:53 pm

Ha,Ha,Ha, 7Wannabe5,

The tears of laughter are still streaming down my face from reading your reply.

So callous, cynical, calculating and manipulative ... I love it ...whoever says/writes things like that aloud ...

Shame on you ...I keep telling you, there’s definitely a book in you ... with that cynical,malicious sense of humour.

Thanks for the laugh on this bleak dark November evening.

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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sun Nov 16, 2014 2:26 pm

1Taskaday said: So callous, cynical, calculating and manipulative ... I love it ...whoever says/writes things like that aloud ...
Well, we are all adults and rationals here, right? It's just my E and my P that causes me to verbalize what the rest of you are silently thinking.

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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Thu Nov 20, 2014 6:02 pm

I am now off all caffeine for 11 days and feeling great.

I had started brewing my own coffee lately and made my so-called self disciplined "1 cup in the morning only" really strong.
The result was me believing that I had developed stomach ulcers/acid reflux problems from past chronic work stress.

Not so, all stomach discomfort was due to my really strong 1 cup of coffee first thing in the morning-who would have guessed?

I read the book "Caffeinated-How our daily habit helps,hooks and hurts us"by Murray Carpenter.
Also read back on Raptitude's 30 day caffeine and alcohol free experiment.

Glad I am now caffeine free.(I have been alcohol free for years and never regetted it.)

I would never have guessed how much I was sub-consciously controlled by caffeine.
(Admittedly I could have walked around attached to a "tea drip”, my consumption was so great.)

I can't bear the idea that my need for any substance could control any of my habits and am physically and mentally glad to be free of it.

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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Thu Nov 27, 2014 4:29 pm

Still off the caffeine-18 days now.

It’s a fascinating journey.

My brain definitely went back to the “baby/pregnancy brain” for the first 7/10 days. It felt slow and groggy. I also had cravings-although not that bad. I also kind of “lulled” in bed with nothing to motivate me to get up for, until the very last minute. Before my “voluntary abstinence” I would jump out of the bed looking forward to my daily one cup of coffee.
Now after 18 days in abstinence my brain seems to be functioning normally on its own steam. Another major discovery is that I never feel fatigued during the day-no three thirty craving for a “pick-me up”. This is similar to the benefits that go with intermittent fasting-no sensation of hunger for long periods of time.

The biggest benefit to me is that my stomach/acid/reflux issues have disappeared TOTALLY. This is so pleasing to me, as so many people live their whole lives eating antacid medication and this is what I thought I was facing.
I have replaced my coffee/tea habit by drinking herbal tea-ginger/lemon etc.It’s funny I now look forward to these as much as I did my caffeine drinks although I would only drink about 2/3 of these a day. In contrast I used to drink about 10 cups of tea a day-I thought it was completely harmless. If I don’t have any herbal tea with me I just sip boiling water cooled with cold water, thus taking part in all social rituals.
The big question is do I feel less anxiety?

This is a hard question to answer, as in my new job I feel totally relaxed all the time .The ability and motivation to give up caffeine has come from my new relaxed state. In my old “hell-hole” of a job I wouldn’t even have dreamt of making any life improvements as I was always so stressed out just coping day to day.

So again it‘s that old circular question “Which came first the chicken or the egg?”

The darkness of the winter is starting to get to me, just lately. I really would love if we could choose (during winter) to hibernate like the squirrels and hedgehogs and only come out every now and then for food. I long for more daylight hours. I only get outside for 1 hour a day,and go and come home from work in the darkness. It really sucks. I am so tempted to head for the sun in January BUT I also want my mortgage to decrease to 30,000...

First world dilemmas as they say...

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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Sat Nov 29, 2014 3:10 pm

My 1 year anniversary is almost here-1 year since I joined these forums.

I set the theme for 2014 as "self discipline" and I am really proud looking back over the whole year; I feel I definitely achieved it.
It was a tough year (work wise) and I definitely put my health on the line (a thing I have promised myself that I will never do again).

It was a self discipline year because I just "sucked it up" and worked like crazy. I put in crazy work hours and retrained myself in all areas at work. The retraining bit was really tough; as nobody bothers to do this at my level .BUT it has huge advantages and increases self confidence, a thing I lacked in my job since I job-shared.

It was really tough and looking back I would HATE to have to do it all again.

I also started a pension plan which saves me 50% tax-this was on Dutchgirls advice, as my real aim was always to just pay off my half of the mortgage the quickest that I could. I hate balance and “pacing” myself when I could go “Gung Ho”.

I will have about 7,000 in retirement by year end and my mortgage will be down to 30,000 by the end of January. It would have been easily down to 30,000 by the end of December (my goal, I think) if I hadn't started a retirement account, but I am delighted with the growth of this without feeling any pain.

I also changed my work position this year and am loving my new stress-free job. I am feeling very fit and eating healthy because of this change. The “Gods” have smiled upon me.

Saying all this, I am still an employee and the sands could shift under my feet at anytime, so I am still on plan A with no deviation.
So now (a month early, as with everything) I must pick my theme for 2015 ...

When I think about this, the strongest theme that emerges is "Free-time".I love and adore spending my days just as I please, and as good as my new job is-it's still robbing me of the time I have left alive (and I mean really alive,not just passing time,and I promise not to mention dead-flies).

I am still going to work full-time and do my "allotted" overtime (as the aim always will be to pay off my half of the mortgage by the end of 2015) BUT I will do no extra overtime in 2015 above this. This will be a difficult thing for me to refuse, as I love watching that mortgage balance decrease quickly.

So I am going to have as many full "work-free" week-ends as I can and I am also going to try to rekindle and pursue my passions as much as possible.Major example being surfing.

Success for me will be posting this time next year saying that I will always remember 2015 as the year of surfing.

So FREE-Time is the theme of 2015 for me and as many full work free week-ends as possible ...

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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Sun Dec 14, 2014 3:00 pm

It’s funny, now that I haven’t anything to complain about “work wise” I have been writing a lot less in this journal.
I actually read it back (which was a bit boring but necessary) and saw that most of the entries that I made were whines about work.

I thought after reading it back, that if I had read a journal like this, I would have thought “why doesn’t she just change her job, she’s obviously miserable and hates it”.
The truth is I was miserable and absolutely hated and detested everything about working there. But as I do a very specialised job (besides moving many hundreds of miles away) if I want to earn as much as I do, I had to stay put.
It works best for the whole family if we live where we do-end of discussion.

The job that I’m doing now is great and I can easily see myself staying here until I decide to pack in work altogether for FOREVER.

I can’t wait for Christmas to be over- a complete pain in the ass except for the few extra days holidays that we get. I detest the traffic and forced “joviality” so much.
Really unless you’re feeling “stressed” from all the things that MUST be done (or burnt out and hung-over from partying) there isn’t much interesting conversation to be had with “normal-folk”.


I can’t really fly off to escape it all either, as I have intermittent overtime going on right through the whole Christmas season. When retired I think I’d like to fly off around the 22nd of December and not return until 6th January-when it’s all over.

Also I don’t want to book any flights either because I want to bring my mortgage down to 30,000 as near to January 1st as I can.
Psychologically I need this WIN heading into my last year of mortgage payments.

So I’m just going to go through the motions (yet again) and put on a false smile when listening to the crazy issues that people get themselves into while trying to achieve the “perfect Christmas“ for everyone.

It’s just so difficult to bite my lip and not say what I’m really thinking ....

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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Mon Dec 22, 2014 9:18 am

On target to get my mortgage to 30,000 by Jan 1st 2015-very pleasing.

Booked my trip away for a week in February and got flights very cheap.
Going on my own which is very exciting,(always dreamed of being able to do this when the kids were young,but never did).

I know that if I want to travel when retired that I will have to do the majority of it on my own.
It is time to start training myself for this now.
So used to traveling as a family or just with the kids that it's kind of "scary".
I love the challenge of "scary" and just doing it anyway.

I will be sleeping overnight 23:00 until about 05:30 in the morning at the airport (by choice).The airport is supposed to be open 24 hours???
I could book a hotel but my costs would double-where would be the challenge in that?
I have to admit that this will be the most facinating part of my trip.
Will I be safe? how will I react to being maybe "moved on" during the night,ha,ha,ha,-what about my ego being judged as a "bummy" freeloader person?
I could never do this with kids or DH so I will relish the challenge.Have I got what it takes to rise to and even enjoy a bit of hardship?
I will have to do major internet research on the airport layout etc. and travel very warm and light-my dream come true,no luggage.

If I want to cut out of work aged 50 I will have to do all my travelling on a minimum budget-so let the training begin...

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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Fri Jan 02, 2015 1:41 pm

I have a lot of things that I want to write short notes about to ensure that I always remember them.

Firstly I want to write about my absolute hatred for working nights. They completely F*** up my system. The next day I feel horrific. No energy, no motivation to do anything just hang around and crave sugar for energy. It is my hope that after another 2 more years I will be in a position to give them up for good. I really don’t know how a lot of people stay on them long-term-you definitely live an inferior quality of life while working them.
Thus my dilemma about sleeping overnight at the airport on my next trip.Will I ruin the start of my 6 day trip recovering from my lack of sleep?Should I just book a hotel and be done with it? It will just kill me to double the cost of the trip because of my "weakness".I will just have to wait and see if it becomes clearer in my mind as the trip nears...right now I'm just thinking suck it up and sleep at the airport.

In 2015 I intend to be work-free for as many week-ends as I can. I intend to make use of these week-ends by travelling to major beauty/nature spots in my own country as much as possible. I love outdoor trekking and will take loads of photos as well. I have started this already and loved my recent trip, overnighting in a hotel. With major organisation the cost of car fuel and hotel bedroom- stay will be the only expense incurred. My DH loves this as well but believes in spending on eating out and drinks while away. We both agree “each to his own” and we will pay for our own individual expenses. To me it’s a “no-brainer”, I would rather be able to afford 3 week-end frugal trips away than only 1 of his “spendy” ones.

Overall I feel very positive about 2015.My job is fine-just the usual time-sucker every working day-can’t be avoided for now as I need the money. I have planned my time off for the year and will use this and my free week-ends to keep me going. I also intend to purchase the "new and expensive" road bike soon –if I incorporate this into work-day travel it will give me enough of a “high” to get through the day.

The days are getting longer and brighter, spring is coming (and Christmas is over-Yea!) so it’s really all good....

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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by henrik » Fri Jan 02, 2015 2:15 pm

I've slept through the night at least once in each of the London airports. Worked out fine every time, except one time in Stansted when some alarm system was broken and a very loud voice kept telling me to wait for further instructions in about seven different languages through the whole night. If you'll have a sleeping bag with you, don't hesitate to use it, makes the experience more homelike:)

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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by Tyler9000 » Fri Jan 02, 2015 2:40 pm

You can do it! The sense of adventure will overpower the fatigue.

I recommend browsing the airline lounges. Even if you don't qualify via miles, you can often purchase a day pass to get access. It should be cheaper than a hotel, and may also offer a quieter spot, food, easy access to a power outlet, and a shower. Not sure about the hours, though.

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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Tue Jan 06, 2015 2:48 pm

Thanks for the encouragement,ha,ha Henrik that sounds so funny.Just bad luck really,I suppose after a while you can get used to any background noise and just sleep through it.

Well the decision is made,(and I may live to regret it-but I have to find out),I will sleep overnight at the airport.Just been listening to the news where journalists arrested in Egypt have been sleeping on a cold floor for over a year-one having a broken shoulder with no real medical treatment.If they can do it for that long surely one night won't kill me... and whatever doesn't kill us makes us stronger...Right???

Dilemma over...

Moving on,I have ordered my new bike...a fold-up one.These have always fascinated me and I have always wanted one,ever sense I saw people walking on to trains with them.My DH will freak when he finds out as he has these notions of us doing these great long cycles together ...ha,ha,maybe twice a year when we're both off work together.A dream for retirement I think.

I analysed my needs (for right now) carefully and I need something to make my dull worklife interesting.I need to be able to hop on my bike from my workplace and cycle into the city or where ever,hassle and traffic/parking have mini adventures and feel the freedom of the wind in my hair...if I get a racing bike I will have to mess with bike carriers etc worrying is it ok, as my car is tiny,(all things that I have done before).

I think with the fold up bike I can always carry it in the boot (all the time) or even on trains or buses in the carry bag.It will weigh 14 Kg which will only boost my strength(which is critical for my longevity).So the more I lug it around the better for me.I want to be able to drive or bus to a new town/area and use the bike to explore the place.There is nothing like cycling to get the feel of a place while covering a large area.

I hope that I have made the right choice as spending money really kills me when I am trying to get the mortgage paid quickly.I have considered it carefully and feel that when I am retired I will get a racing bike, as then I will have the time to do long time-consuming cycles...we will see how right or wrong I am in the future...

Still off caffeine-wouldn't even dream of going back on to it now.Absolutely no desire or cravings of any sort.A funny thing sense I gave it up, is that now I dream EVERY night and remember my dreams vividly.I used to NEVER dream before I gave it up-or at least I never remembered them.Not good or bad dreams,I just wake every morning now and remember my dream.Really weird...what was caffeine doing to my brain before I gave it up...

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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Sat Jan 10, 2015 4:39 am

Just been through a really mentally tough week-back to work after the Christ mas break.
Note to self:I must take the first week of Jan off next year.

I know if I had been away somewhere sunny I word have been recharged fully and mentally in a much better place but such is life for now...

Work is still fine but it's just the lack of freedom and being stuck there that sucks when there are so many other things that I would rather be doing.At least now I know for sure it's not the"job" but just working itself that's the problem.

Still maintaining my outdoor exercise everyday and feeling really fit which is vital for my well-being.

Must confess that I have taken on extra overtime already-just can't seem to refuse as I think it will speed up my retirement date.I think I will definitely be one of those people that will suffer from the one more year syndrome... when my time comes to pack it all in.

As for the New year's resolutions-all on target so far.No sugar/caffeine,bike ordered,still on financial plan.No surfing yet but still a bit early.

Really looking forward to my trip away to the sun.I will just soak up all that solar energy like a rechargeable battery.

The vitamins that we all took earlier seem to have protected us from any
viruses -in reality I think the lack of job-stress has been a major contributing factor towards my immunity.

I am on 4 day weeks for a lot of this year and have also booked a lot of annual leave so I have just got to hang in there and let the plan work along.

A bit boring really as I have this huge urge to be out in nature doing a huge intense challege/goal-love this so much as it always makes me mentally calm.

After all this "fluffy/useless" rambling writing I think I can finally get to the point and it relates to MMM's recent post.I need to monitor the garbage I have been allowing into my brain.There is so much negative crap in the news lately combined with sticking my "mind" into other people's issues at my old work place that I have got exactly what I deserve-a troubled mind.

When will I ever learn:if you feed your mind junk it will be unbalanced and troubled - and the worst part about this is that it is all your own fault.

I think I missed the main resolution that I should have made for 2015 :Keep my mind on my OWN business and control the garbage I listen to both on media and from the people around me.

What a basic thing to forget about ...

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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by tommytebco » Sat Jan 10, 2015 12:24 pm

Please remember that new toys "didn't happen" until a picture is seen!!!


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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Sun Jan 25, 2015 6:24 am

Work is fine, a "worker-bee" would count it as the "ideal job" ...

There are two things running through my mind at the moment-I do not feel 100% tapped in, full of beans and excitement and really buzzy, (to describe it in my own terms).
I want to live my life or as much of it that is possible in a vibrant energetic mode.
I feel this way when I am off work for more than 2/3 days.
This is the state of "being" that I want to live in.

Now the two things running through my mind are; the reason that I do not feel 100% energy-wise is 1.either due to lack of sunshine (light, vitamin D etc.) after a long dark winter or maybe's because I suffer from a dichotomy of mind with regards to the life I am living.

As I am off to the sun for a week soon I will know if this will bring back my spark.

If it is the second reason-not living the life I yearn for,(i.e. freedom from 9 to 5 full-time work)then if I really want to get the most out of every day I will have to address this in some manner.

I think when the mental focus from hating my old job has disappeared and I now have a quite "nice" job, it has really unmasked a realisation that I really do not want to be wasting any of my time working...

I know I've heard it all a million times, “I should be thankful to have a job"...etc,etc, and I do really appreciate my new job-it is a breeze compared to the old one but can I be condemned as ungrateful for wanting more out of life....

For wanting to feel 100% passion and zest for life every day, or as near to it as humanly possible....

I am functioning perfectly well, flying through my work, eating healthy,excercising outside for an hour every day, happy family,etc,etc but I am such a "greedy"??? person I want more...I want to feel really alive, not just ticking to-do lists and going through the daily motions.

Am I asking too much?

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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Wed Feb 04, 2015 3:16 pm

Writing this with a handheld device so spelling and punctuation will be crap so apologies.

The weather here sucks,cold and very windy.Dry but definitely not weather to soak up any sunshine.
One would have to laugh really,as this is probably a better deal for my soul.Acceptance and all that stoicism ... ha,ha

I have questioned why I even take holidays anymore as I don't drink,take caffeinated drinks,shop or eat out??? What have I done to my life????

Even reading about 10 books about improving myself and reaching my goals is a joke as most of them have huge part s to do with succeeding in your career??? not into that either...

Anyway the most satisfying bit so far was probably sleeping at the airport,yah I can do this now no hassle.There were tons of people coming and going all night from buses etc so it was easy,embarrassing that I thought it might be a challenge actually.

It is really lonely as well to be here on my own,in a great learning way.Usually I am always dragging with the kids but this time I get to do exactly as I 10 books about self-improving and walk for hours listening to more financial and self-improvement podcasts.
I really have to get a life...
I don't speak the native language and can't be bothered mixing with the ex pats as they tend to moan and gossip...too much like being at home.

So my learning from this holiday is I never want to read another self improvement book again as long as I live(they were all from the best selling list),maybe travelling on my own won't be as great as I think it will-just not as much fun when there is nobody to share things with(even if it's only whiny teens) And the biggest revelation of all is that when there is no house cleaning,cooking,washing,separating fights and taxi-ing etc to do even " I" can get bored!!!

Major revelation for me as I thought this would be impossible...does make me think how much life will be different when kids leave and I am no longer working..I think I may have to take up drinking alcohol,coffee and junk again-gain weight and read self improvement books to give them all up again.Oh yea and clothes and shoe shopping as well.

I don't know I have to laugh...I think I have minimized it all down so much that I'm kind of lost...

One thing that has grabbed me though is the thought of a huge difficult trek,read "Wild" as well and loved the idea of it.In future the self improvement books will be staying at home and I'll be reading trekking adventurers' stories.

My motivation for reading all the self-improvment books was really to get me full of motivation in my life as it is now...basically get me jumping out of bed every morning ... I think if I was taking on a big trek this might get me buzzing...what's life without an impossible challege...then again the grass is always greener and all that...

The only conclusion that I've come to is that monotony and predictability kills me-doing the same thing everyday is blowing my mind...I'll have to shake it up a bit or loose the little bit of mind that I've left...

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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Sun Feb 08, 2015 7:49 am

Well overall the lone travel went very well But I'm glad to be home to a milder climate, ha, ha, ha.

Funny the way "warmer-climate countries" are utterly ill prepared for very cold weather, no insulation etc in houses. Granted it was my laziness and utter refusal to buy wood and put the stove on that caused the “hardship” indoors. I figured I was on "holidays" and not doing routine daily chores that I have to do at home. (Plus the temptation to just stay inside watching tv and reading might have been too much).

I did not speak to any human being for 6 days and 6 nights to the point that when I was met by my DH at the airport, I thought my voice sounded really weird. The effort to speak was huge as if my vocal muscles had seized up a little.

The idea of retreats in silence or monks/nuns living in enclosed orders has always fascinated me-would I be able to exist "in my mind" only, without speaking and still maintain my sanity?

To me it was a "blissful" way of being, (for the WEEK),I loved it. And I feel huge benefits from this "retreat" from the normal world since I came home.

I seem to have huge energy and clarity of thought-as well as huge appreciation of the life I lead and of the people in it. Maybe a better idea than looking for luxury and ease when on holiday (to really get recharged) is to retreat into solitude with a bit of hardship thrown in.MMM continually praises the virtue of “roughing” it so that the easy western lifestyle that we lead can be appreciated. I think he is on to something there...

Maybe this type of "voluntary enforced" solitude is much better for any human than the usual vacation "escapism" and then the depression when one comes back to routine life.

Is this my "ERE" mentality clicking in-do not use a holiday for short-term "escapism" as you will pay the price on re-entry into normal life? Instead choose a "harsher??" environment/retreat and re-enter normal life energised and appreciative of all you have.

I kind of prefer this idea than "escapism”. For me there always has to be a real benefit to the things that I do-momentary pleasure with a cost just does not cut it, (as usually during the "escapism" I am constantly thinking I will suffer/pay for this when I re-enter reality).

Just thinking if the sun had been shining for the week and I had being basking like a lizard under its glow, maybe the transition home to a harsher climate would have been more painful.

Even so I still think the “voluntary enforced" solitude alone would have given the same benefits and huge appreciation I now have for the life I lead...

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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Thu Feb 26, 2015 9:08 am

I have been neglecting my journal as I really have nothing to moan about...

As I have no "close" friends or confidents bar my DH (my choice as relationship maintenance is so high "energy cost" for me) my release valve about my crap job was this journal. My DH was withered from listening to me moan about my job so I eventually just moaned here.

Now that my job is fine I have nothing to moan about.

After I returned from my solo trip I caught an influenza virus, a good knock to my ego as I thought I was so healthy. It was miserable and a good reminder of how valuable my health and feeling full of energy is. I think aeroplane flights when the influenza virus is at its peak in February is not a good idea.

My DH has suddenly become focused on his retirement as he has only about 3 years to retirement on a full pension. I found this amusing as he suddenly wanted to get all our figures down on paper. He was amazed that I could call them out without looking up anything,(I probably go through them in my head at least twice a day and often use them to soothe me to sleep at night).For some reason numbers seem to calm my mind and unwind my brain in to relaxation.

Well after our usual hiccups (usually me unable to zip my lips about his higher expenditure rate than me) we formed a "plan".

He will leave on time early 2018 and I can leave early 2019/mid-2020, whichever suits me.
His monthly pension will be double mine, as I will be cutting out really early from my job and I lost at least 3 and 1/2 years while job sharing to raise the kids.

There is where the angst arises for me...he wants to pay two thirds of our expenses and I pay one third, (based on our pension income).
We intend to keep the properties and run a summer rental business (non-natives only!!!) and he will work on at his side job/craft (really his obsession).We will have saved a total college fund for the 2 kids and a medium/small emergency cash fund.

We have no knowledge of other investments and have none.
We will have a small mortgage left on only one property; really the size of this will depend on how long I stay on after Jan 2019.

We have made out a detailed savings/financial plan to get us to this stage with 6 monthly checks that everyone is on target.(naturally we are still financially separate-just putting down on paper how much we intend to save our pay-off our half of the mortgage).

It all looks really "doable" on paper BUT I really don't know if I will ever really take the jump with such a low individual pension.
I will be 50/51 by then and feel I will be burning all my bridges employment-wise-too old to look for alternative work if the plan fails miserably...

Do I really want to retire unable to cough-up 50% of our expenses? Will I be exposing myself to "less of a say" in our financial life? We are really 2 very strong willed individuals and disagree often on what is a "want" or "necessity". (This works fine as long as our finances are seperate, as they are now).

I will have brought in more savings to pay our mortgage debt down (before retirement) BUT my mother has a great saying, “eaten bread is soon forgotten”. The pension income every month will still be 66%:34% in his favour.

Most people reading this will say it's pathetic, as if we ever separate/divorce things would be divided 50:50 anyways.

But this is not my concern, I want what is the best for the relationship to run smoothly while retired-I know I detest feeling dependent. Maybe I am worrying needlessly BUT as an INTJ I need to feel "in control" and have an equal say in my own destiny.

Intuitively this is not sitting well with me but it makes the BEST financial sense. MY DH just wants to get me retired early with him and has even suggested cutting back to 1 car when retired (a major move for him).

I know anything could happen to either one of us health-wise etc in the next 4/5 years and all this planning will have been totally irrelevant BUT if we don’t have a goal we could just drift along and get older with no hope of quitting work-so I think it is necessary.

I will just have to “stew” on it all for longer ...I think it is really important to plan (as much as possible) for a smooth relationship in retirement...I am just too old to waste any precious energy on conflict about finances..."been there and done that already"...this is the kind of information that retired people rarely share as it is so personal...but surely vital for a successful retirement...

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El Duderino
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Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:24 pm

Roughing it

Post by El Duderino » Sun Mar 01, 2015 8:31 am

inspiring stuff about the airport sleepover, solo holiday and giving up caffeine. Have you given thought to how much you've saved just by relinquishing those daily drinks? I'm guessing you weren't the grande latte type, but even still, they do add up, no?

Posts: 340
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:45 am
Location: England

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Sun Mar 01, 2015 3:09 pm

Hi El Duderino,the most interesting thing that I've done lately is to give up caffeine. The reason I gave it up was, I thought that I was getting stomach ulcers from stress from my crap job BUT when I gave up the caffeine all the stomach discomfort left. I cannot pin-point the caffeine as the definite cause as I had changed to an easy job before I gave up the caffeine-so was the stomach discomfort due to chronic stress or caffeine?, I will never know as I never intend to go back to either again.

The real financial savings in all this is not the day to day costs,(from not buying caffeine) but the long-term cost to my health if I hadn't changed my habits. I was heading into chronic stomach pain which I had no control over....disastrous for anyone hoping to enjoy a long healthy retirement.

It is so funny not needing caffeine. It really is a weird way to so much of our daily habits and rituals surround this tradition. I love it for this reason, because the whole idea of meeting for a coffee or visiting a house and just sitting there not accepting any drinks really unnerves people.

I love the idea of "not needing" certain things to be able to function perfectly well in this world.There are no energy dips during the day either.

The airport sleepover was easy as you realise pretty quick when surrounded by strangers that nobody really gives a crap what anyone else is doing.
The smell from some peoples' socks when they removed their shoes during the night was a bit strong but nothing to worry about. I often work nights so the sleeping/waking bit during the night was fine.

The solo trip was really enlightening as it was the first time in ages that I experienced a strong feeling of loneliness...the knowledge that I can push through it is good BUT why would I want to experience it at all if I can avoid it...

Posts: 340
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:45 am
Location: England

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Mon Mar 02, 2015 9:13 am

I have been pondering the retirement question for myself on the “plan” that I made out with my DH.

When we made it out I was suddenly gripped by fear of the thought of losing my income and still being OK.

This is really dumb of me, as because we will be “defined benefit pensioners” we are in the lucky position of being able to retire with a set monthly payment each month. Our monthly expenditure will be 60% of our basic combined pensions.

We will have the security of about 800,000 in property assets all paid off, (this includes our home) which we can sell if we need to.

We can earn extra side income from my DH’s hobby and holiday rental income. I have a lot of qualifications that I possibly could use IF I really had to-no plans for this as I do not want to ever have to work again.

I have come to the conclusion that if I really believe in all this stuff about self-suffiency and non-consumerism then I better put “my money where my mouth is” and take the leap.

I keep stating the fact that “I can live on nothing and be fine” so then what’s the problem? -there should be nothing stopping me.
I know we have 2 teens to complicate things BUT if we have the college fund saved up in cash for them, then surely the rest is up to them. Believe me it’s a lot more of a start than I got...

To a lot of people 3 years and a number of months is a long time away and I have loads of time to decide BUT this is not the way I work. I need to know the clear plan/end date, in my mind and then work towards this.

The important thing to me is to know if I could be happy not working with very little money to spend.And the way I look at it is, I am now quite happy while working with very little money to spend (as I save it all) and have been living this way for about 5 years.

They say you should look at past behaviour/history to judge future, well surely if I have lived this way for 5 years and am quite happy, then living the rest of my life this way will be fine....

I suppose in the back of everybody’s mind is the idea of luxury in retirement-whether this is about travel, restaurants, hotels, shopping or elite clubs...

BUT the reality is I hate wasting money on stuff like this and am I really ever going to wake up one morning in retirement wanting it???

If I travel I always do it the basic way-I love the idea that in life there are only 3 positions to be in: standing, sitting or lying down-no matter how rich or poor you are.
There is only one sun to bathe us all in, again it does not differentiate its rays or light based on our wealth. A beautiful view doesn’t get any nicer viewed from an expensive hotel room or a cheaper hostel.

I really could not care less about anyone’s opinion of me, if people think I am poor or “not in the loop” of popular groups, I always think great they won’t bother me ...

So after all this analysis, if I have lived the last 5 years on very little, (wanting for nothing except more free time), what could possibly change in retirement?

OK so I get no social interaction through work, so what? I find most of it boring anyway. I can always join some “hill walking group” if my need is that desperate...or any other low cost activity that I may enjoy.

My favourite story is the business man giving advice to the young fisherman...

I read it again last night and thought YES I really get this and this is what I really want...

Posts: 340
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:45 am
Location: England

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Sat Mar 21, 2015 3:50 pm

I am really enjoying my new job.

I used to never pay much attention to matching a profession with your Myers Briggs personality type BUT this is the reason my new job probably suits me so much.
As an INTJ we are supposed to love "organisation and systems" -doesn't really matter what service the workplace is involved in.
I always thought I would love to work in a library-all those gorgeous books packed with information with silence everywhere...

I now spend most of my work time on my own refining a system that is already up and running. I feel so satisfied and energetic at the end of the day. I actually get to fully focus with no interruptions-heaven for an INTJ. No people management, what bliss...

Why did I not know how important matching your personality type to your career was?-I could have saved myself many years of grief.

Went on a ferry/road trip-not for me. Too much driving and sitting. Just felt so relieved to get out of the car when I got home. I really am beginning to love where I live. What’s happening to my obsession with travel? Was I really just trying to escape a horrible life caused by a horrible’s looking like my need for travel was just interesting.

Was starting to get back pain from sitting all day at my new job so I organised a stand-up desk for my computer .Stand all day now as I have moved my chair away. All pain magically gone and full of energy at the end of the day. Got great info. on this at Raptitude-his 19th experiment. Would love the walk/treadmill one but that definitely won't be happening. Will make the best of what I have.

Mixed feelings again about leaving work as its so easy now. Will have to wait and see...

Posts: 340
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:45 am
Location: England

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Fri Apr 03, 2015 8:53 am

Experimenting with green smoothies for 30 days.A bit disappointed to learn that the liquefying of them reduces the overall beneficial effects to the gut flora. I will have to wait and see.

Had my first glass of beer last night since ages-couldn’t face 2 hours in a pub drinking water,(as I’m off caffeine not really many alternatives).Think I feel a bit crummier to-day because of it. Just not worth it.

Reading loads of books, mostly about diet and health. Also read Gladwell’s “David and Goliath” and enjoyed it. Liked his inverted-U curve theory. Started thinking that this could probably be applied to free time. Too much free time (over a long period) could possibly lead to lower happiness levels than just the “right” amount of free time leading to the maximum level of happiness for an individual. Interesting...maybe job-sharing in a job you enjoy is the best of both worlds??

Work is fine, is what I do really work?

Off a lot over Easter and enjoying it immensely, mostly walking and reading.

Read a lot of Steve Pavlina’s blog and enjoy his thinking.
Had been anxious/stressing over an increase in one-off expenses recently, mostly for teens and upkeep of houses. Something seemed to click with me on reading Pavlina’s attitude to money.Basically (my take on his attitude) is that money is meaningless just numbers that do not affect your overall happiness and wellbeing one way or the other. He maintains that people can be happy while being broke; (as he was when he went bankrupt).Happiness is just a decision.

Why should I fret if I am not hitting my “self-made-up saving targets? This should not get to me-I still live the exact same life...very happy and contented. My saving number is just an arbitrary number that really has no effect on the quality of my life. My kids will not be with me forever; soon they will leave and live their own lives. I should just enjoy them while they are with me and not stress over small expenses.

Overall I am accumulating wealth, I want for nothing and feel very contented. There really is no “end date” in which I have to reach a certain savings number. I will eventually get there and intend to just enjoy every day until and after that day comes...

I think I can think like this now as my new job is so easy. I am not trying to escape from anything and there is nothing that I want to escape “to” yet so great as to make me stress over small amounts of increased expenditure.

Maybe I am just happy with my lot...for now...

Posts: 340
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:45 am
Location: England

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Mon Apr 13, 2015 3:01 pm

I have given my Kindle to my DS to hide.I am on a self imposed 30 day internet/reading restriction.(The only time I break this is to update my journal).

I felt I was living a "virtual" existence instead of a real life...not good.

I feel completely "at sea" and a little foundation-less without reading-books, blogs etc,BUT I have rejoined an old club (with a big financial outlay) with the whole family and am busier/more social because of it. It reminds me of when I was childless and free to socialise more.

I think I like it better this way but as I feel goal-less, foundation-less and kind of lost I can't really say.

I have been pursuing debt freedom and ultra frugal living so long now, that departing from this as my main motivation in life feels strange...
I am now goal-less and just taking every day as it comes, trying to push as much activity into it as I can,(mostly outdoor).This is a strange way to live for me, an INTJ.

INTJ's need to be pursuing/challenging themselves all the time. A goal once achieved/left behind needs to be replaced immediately with another...But right now I have none??

Posts: 340
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:45 am
Location: England

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:27 am

WARNING:Really boring entry as the financials seem to be moving nowhere just staying frustratingly STUCK.

Have decided to stop paying extra off my mortgage and save up 20,000 by Dec 2015 instead.

I also have about 1000 per month going to my AVCs which is building nicely.

I have decided to do this for a number of reasons,the major one being that I have played it very near the edge with only a tiny emergency fund for years, while dumping in all my savings to reduce my mortgage. I got away with it BUT my parents are elderly and it’s always on the back of my mind that I may need to take time off work to take care of them. I feel if I have 20,000 in cash I will then have more options when or if that time comes. My DH loves this as the fact that the monthly mortgage payments have vastly decreased over time goes completely over his head. Funny the way we all just see what we want to.

I seem to be stuck at the 4,000 mark for ages, boy this is slow work.
The fact that I joined our club for 690 (great fun and don’t regret it a bit), recently and bought 2 bikes at the beginning of the year totalling at 43 every month probably hasn’t helped. (Still no real time to fit in the cycling, but at least I have them for the future).As I mentioned before the teens are beginning to travel etc more now and need more money.

All this adds up to me being stuck at around 4,000 savings...FRUSTRATION.
I often wonder am I losing momentum and energy to see this all true?
Will I ever really get there?
There was a much bigger high from paying down the mortgage and watching the monthly payments I see no improvement and feel 2015 will just be a kind of wasted year financially...achieving nothing much.
I must work on this thought pattern and inject some excitement into this goal...but how?

The green drink experiment went great and I intend to keep it up daily.

The reduction of time on the internet is necessary and I intend to monitor it carefully.

Other than that life is moving is fine with an audit deadline soon approaching. Should be OK if I put my head down and complete some paperwork.

The summer rental business will also be starting soon, so I will have to start getting the house ready-so painful, I really wish we didn’t have to rent it but it has to pay its own expenses.

Do I still get longings to be free and pass my time the way I want-Absolutely BUT my life right now is a million times better than the one I had while in my old job. And I will never be able to let myself stop appreciating the difference.

So it’s just head down for now and keep-on keeping on...

Posts: 340
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:45 am
Location: England

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Tue Apr 28, 2015 4:31 pm

I have had my heart broken this week-our family dog died.

The pain and loneliness for everyone since her departure is hard to describe. She made us all feel that she was our individual dog.

She was as much part of the family as everyone else.

There is a huge gap which will only be filled by time passing.

Surely the definition of unfaltering/selfless love and devotion is a pet dog.

But the final gift she gave to me (by her death) is that I have found my bearings or purpose in life again.

Only a few days before her death I was telling my DH that I felt so lost and “at sea” about life that I felt a huge spurt of growth or understanding was imminent. I believe that before any big advancement comes a period of groundlessness or “being directionless”.

I now really believe that the whole purpose of “being” in this human life is about the contacts or connections that we make with others. At the end of our lives this will be all that really matters to us.

This is a huge insight for a person like me, who has spent most of her adult life so busy that avoidance of other people (in case they delay the list of things I need to get through), has been a priority.

No more, I realise now that life is about “smelling the roses” before it is too late.

“No regrets” is so important to me now; it is all about enjoying contacts and connections with those closest to us.

While saying all that I feel like I would like to “give back” or “make a difference” in some way and have been researching Medicine sans frontier as a possibility when I retire from the job I am now working at. The possibility of this in my future excites and energises me.

So many meaningful possibilities have been opened up to me that life has become really interesting again...

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