The Reluctant Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
Post Reply
1taskaday
Posts: 438
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:45 am
Location: England

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday »

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...

1taskaday
Posts: 438
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:45 am
Location: England

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday »

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??

1taskaday
Posts: 438
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:45 am
Location: England

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday »

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 decrease...now 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 along...work 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...

1taskaday
Posts: 438
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:45 am
Location: England

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday »

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...

User avatar
jennypenny
Posts: 6516
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Stepford USA

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by jennypenny »

I'm so sorry about your dog.

Every once in a while I notice how old my dogs are getting (one in particular) and my chest clenches. I'm going to fall apart when she goes.

llorona
Posts: 394
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2012 11:44 pm
Location: SF Bay Area

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by llorona »

I'm sorry to hear about your dog. When we lose pets, it hurts so badly. It sounds like your dog gave many gifts to you, including this last legacy of pointing you in new directions...

vexed87
Posts: 1492
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:02 am
Location: Yorkshire, UK

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by vexed87 »

Sorry to hear about the loss of your family member (because that's what they are!). I think your bang on about "smelling the roses". If you haven't read it already, I think you'd enjoy "a guide to the good live". Discovering and practicing stoicism really helps you frame life in a structured and meaningful way.

LastDigitOfPi
Posts: 41
Joined: Fri Jul 12, 2013 10:29 pm

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by LastDigitOfPi »

I am truly sorry to hear of your loss. What you wrote was beautiful and reflects perfectly what I have experienced. The most important things in life I have learned through my relationships with our dogs and I am so happy that her last gift to you was so transformational. May time and good memories help you through this period.

1taskaday
Posts: 438
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:45 am
Location: England

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday »

I have that gut wrenching feeling back that I used to have in my old workplace...I have heard on the grapevine that the person that replaced me in my old job is unhappy and stressed...quelle surprise....and wants to come back to her old position(my cushy number at the moment)...I can feel my chest constricting as I write this and think about returning to that sh**hole again.

Once the panic subsides I will think about this all rationally...maybe it will never happen...

I just need about 3 more years,I can't quit before that.

I have planned another trip and will be going soon.
Can't wait,need to get away for a while again.

1taskaday
Posts: 438
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:45 am
Location: England

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday »

On the eve of my upcoming (short)trip and I feel so excited..just can't wait.

The weather is crappy enough here,(lots of rain).
It is in the high 20s/low 30s celcius where I'm going-can't wait.
This trip will be solo again as someone has to stay and take care of all the responsibilities..no one really wanted to join me anyhow.

After doing it solo the last time I have no anxieties about it this time.

My 2 big concerns are ants and people bothering me-my usuals.
Some day I know I will wake up and look forward to "people interruptions/visits",I just seem to be running out of years for this "road to Damascus" conversion to occur.

On the job front,opinions are divided whether I will have to go back to my old job or not.It really depends on whether the person that replaced me can hack the stress...Why would they in my opinion?...but some people like a challenge and to feel "alive" at work...not me anymore.

There is one more nice area I could work/hide in (which may become vacant), if I have to leave my position here.
Any ways I really couldn't care less,I refuse to worry about it.

If all comes to all I will apply for other jobs (now that I transitioned so easily to this one).I have lost the fear of "moving" and think I may even enjoy the change to somewhere new if I had to.The kids are more self sufficient now and don't need me as much.

I am keeping an eye out on all the job ads for something that may interest me,nothing to lose as I only need about another 3 years.

Health-wise I feel great,so recovered from last year's stresses.
I have kept up my healthy eating,excercise and green drinks.
The holiday rental is also prepared for the season ahead-only non-nationals that have to take a flight-so it should be easy enough.

So my next entry (if I can pull myself away from the pool to make one),will be from a sunny climate...

1taskaday
Posts: 438
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:45 am
Location: England

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday »

Internet crap but free so this post may be blunted.
Really warm,could move to live here in the morning.
Probably suffering from chemical high due to ant and would you believe it RAT extermination.The joys of a hot climate.

Cleaning,reading and walking loads.
Scared off all potential visitors-not fully home and dry yet,but hopeful.
Read Tracks book and really enjoyed it.

1taskaday
Posts: 438
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:45 am
Location: England

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday »

Back in the land of work and nobody knows I was even away.
It's like living a double life.
I wear long sleeve high neck tops in case anyone notices a tan and give a few complaints about the week-end weather being so disappointing for this time of year...and so it goes....

I find it much easier this way than dealing with 20 questions or possible resentment.
My DH thinks I'm a coward hiding things away but I just know at the end of the day, people are people and I certainly do not want to draw any ire on top of me if I can avoid it.

Did the trip really cheaply as well-I always love this challenge.
I did the whole thing; flights, rental car, food etc for135.Not bad for 5 days.
I could definitely live in another country, especially a warm one. I would definitely need to be doing something for a few hours a day though.
In the country I was in, the norm is to often take a full day eating and socialising in each other's homes. This would crack me up-I could never do this for a full day,no matter how interesting the conversation is.

Work is still so easy,it can't last-nothing this good ever does.
I will just enjoy every minute of it while it does.
Have another trip away for a week at the end of the year on a work course.
Bring it on I say, breaks the monotony of weeks at work.

Still on my plan, slow ,slow ,and slow but eventually I will get there.
Just over 3 more years and i won't care where I will be moved to,as I will be FI and free to decide for myself.

1taskaday
Posts: 438
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:45 am
Location: England

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday »

Just finishing a really tough week-end(work-wise) . Glad it's over. Night shifts and doing work I'm not too used off included.
The biggest stress was probably getting the summer-rental house ready.
It's the same every year,(a real rush with full-time work and family commitments) but then when it's up and ready it's fine.

We really don't use any of our holiday properties for family use much, as I'm so uptight about keeping them clean. They have to be spotless for holiday customers or they will give poor reviews. As there is no internet access in any of them either, the kids have no interest being there (and are high maintenance to constantly entertain if we do stay in one of them.)

Probably a regret I'll have in my old age, but right now I just want to keep my work level and hassle to a minimum.

I just think the properties should be paying their own annual expenses. As my goal is retirement by 50 I need to keep my expenses low.If I was paying for all expenses on these houses it would put a real dent in my savings rate. And for what? ...as we don't have much time-off together to use them as a family anyway.

My DH thinks we should just stop renting them after this year, but I think we should continue into retirement and use them as a side income for me.

Life would certainly be easier without the pressure of keeping them perfect so we will see...

Since my return from my recent trip I am longingly looking at every RV and tourist cycler I see passing.
Not good...my freedom is still a good bit away and I should settle back into routine life and quit longing for the freedom to travel.

My DH is so content in his routines it's just a joke the difference between us.

He is taking most of the summer off,(which will make life really easy for me) and just hanging out pottering in his interests whilst I have to force myself to stop looking up flights....I think I will definitely be a solo traveller when we retire.

Good that I will be well used to it by then and probably a more important thing is that he will be used to me heading away as well.

DutchGirl
Posts: 1245
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:49 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by DutchGirl »

Can I ask why you are keeping these holiday properties, if they are more of a hassle than of any good use? You could perhaps sell them, and then put that money in investments. Investments don't need to be cleaned...

1taskaday
Posts: 438
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:45 am
Location: England

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday »

Hi DutchGirl,

First off,we know NOTHING about investments,which is a joke considering all the sites I read speak of nothing but investments.
I love reading and understanding about them,but thats as far as it goes.My DH knows and trusts even less.

I believe in the saying "Stick to what you know".
At age 46 I think we will stick to what we feel comfortable with which are the properties.

Also the market COMPLETELY collapsed and we may not even be able to sell them where they are situated.
So as the saying goes,if you get LEMONS make lemonade.

They are an investment of sorts???
They could potentially bring in an income of up to 18,000 a year-(with a lot of hassle) if worked properly.Maybe when i retire and have the time,energy and interest.

So all in all we just keep it all going for now as we are kind of stuck ....

1taskaday
Posts: 438
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:45 am
Location: England

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday »

The theme for this year was meant to be "FREETIME".

A joke, can never really happen with full-time work and overtime and summer house rental business/(pain in the ass).

Anyway with regards the New Year's resolutions:
Still off caffeine, off sugar-mostly but a few lapses if sugar available while doing nights.
Cycling and surfing never happened -just haven't made the time for them. If I had my week-ends free then I would have some chance, but there is always some overtime to be done and I want to hit my target of 20,000 by Dec 31st.

Still eating healthy and having a green drink every day.

The plan to save 20,000 by Dec 31st is still ongoing.

After my DH and I devised our retirement plan in February, we will be having our first 6 monthly retirement meeting the end of June.
I was supposed to have 10,000 saved by then.
I will only have 9,100-which is Ok if I can keep this up. It will mean I will have approx,18,200 by the end of the year instead of 20,000.

Once I get 20,000 saved,(end of Dec 2015) ,I can then pay down the rest of my half of the mortgage of one of the rentals-it's at about 30,000 now.

All in all life mosies onwards...job really easy, no stress there.
Still consuming most of my time between that and overtime at the old work place.
Often dream of being retired now but will just put the time in and stick to the plan.

While considering side income while retired-I could
1.Do a proper summer rental business with the 3 rentals we own.(I would much prefer to stay in each of them for a season when they are at their best).Something like the lifestyle of one of the Dutch members who moves homes depending on the season.
2.Start a dog grooming business-I would do this for free as I love dogs so much
3.Do a course on foot care and give treatments.

Right now all I really want is to be totally FREE but after maybe 3 years of constant "hedonist living" maybe I'll want a purpose rather than just freedom and pleasure...

1taskaday
Posts: 438
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:45 am
Location: England

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday »

There are a lot of threads on this forum about relationships/compatibility issues lately.

Everyone comments from their own circumstances/life experience...I don't think there is any one piece of advice that works for all.

What works for one couple could derail another and vice versa.It really is all down to personal preferences and tolerances.

My DD(wise INTJ teen) often asks me how my DH and I ended up together as we are so different...I kind of blunder through a general/not really answering the question response because looking from her point of view we have very little of "life-preferences" in common.

Sometimes I wonder what will happen when the kids are gone and there are no obligations for us as a couple to fulfil?...I suppose only time will tell...

Will he tolerate my extensive travelling and living life on the outskirts of society...can a relationship really survive 2 people doing completely opposite things long-term?

He already thinks I am putting my life "on-hold" so that I can live in the future "post-retirement"...and maybe he is correct...probably because right now, I am not living life on my own terms...(lots of obligations), that I think it is a great time to put the hard work in.If you have a crazy plan to retire at 50 with enough money to support yourself for the rest of your days (without working),there has to be some effort extended to make it happen.

I just truly believe that people can design the life that they want to live, and that's what I am planning for at the moment. It’s such a long-term plan that most people think either it is not worth it or that it will never really happen.

I know people go crazy when the word "sacrifice" is used to describe any aspect of "ERE”, but in a partnership with one partner committed and the other not, it can sure feel like it sometimes...

1taskaday
Posts: 438
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:45 am
Location: England

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday »

So much to be thankful for....must remember that....

All family off for summer now,except me which majorly sucks.
I know I should be happy that DH is off with teens,but I am so jealous.

Was talking to a woman at work who's husband is retired.
I just commented that I was finding it tough,my DH constantly asking me to do energetic activities after work or when I was off-me being tired from work.
She says it's the same with her and got kind of cranky while saying " It's fine for him off all the time,I just am so tired and need to relax".
Now this lady's kids are all raised and gone and she still feels put upon by the demands of her retired DH.She's also a sweetheart of a lady and never really complains about anything.

I know I've said it before BUT only one partner retired must really suck-definetly not for me.

Work is fine,no stress.
I am so ultra careful now not to take on any extra responsibilities-major lesson learned from last job.I feel a bit mean sometimes but really everyone's shoulders are broad enough to carry their own burdens...and if they are not,let them take it up with the manager,,which I am definitely not and never will be again as long as I live.

I think one of the difficulties I have with people at work is that I can see the problem that their weaknesses will lead them to...miles before they end up there...examples being,no time management,over promising stuff because they can't say NO,not trusting anyone and therefore not delegating etc .This predicting of the end-result of their bad work habits causes me to lose all empathy for them when they end up floundering and turning to me for a bail out.

I know I am really mean but I figure I am raising two kids at home and that's more than enough...the last thing I need is to be mom at work too.

I often just listen to the crap managers have to listen to and am impressed with their ability to remain patient and calm.

I guess that gene skipped me.

1taskaday
Posts: 438
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:45 am
Location: England

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday »

I have now definitely determined that I carry a self-destruct gene.

I have come to this conclusion based on the fact that I have the dream job where I can pass time stress-free and get paid well. But yet I have to/seem to need to draw stress on myself.

Hence my conclusion that I carry a self-destruct gene.

In my new job there are inefficiencies and dis-organisation from time to time...nothing too major, and as the workload is so small these are ignored and the ship sails merrily along.

These are a normal part of every workplace.

Everyone else can ignore them so why can't I?

What is wrong with me that I can't just shut my big mouth and smile and pretend they don't exist like everyone else?

But I can't, inefficiencies frustrate me if there is an easy way to fix them ...why wouldn't everyone want things to be efficient, it just blows my mind.

So as one of my co-workers said to me, either shut up giving out about them or instigate change to fix them.

Now this is where the dilemma gets really interesting for me...as I have always wanted a job where I have to put in very little energy (and get paid well)...the dream job, BUT the inefficiencies are driving me nuts when I can see a better way of doing things...so is it worth expending the energy to change things and (the hardest for me),bring the people/resistors with me, when if I just accept things as they are I would retain all my energy and have the dream job!

I know I am being unfair to the staff under me as well, giving out about things the way they are yet too LAZY to put the energy/effort into changing them.

I just know the process of changing things in work places so well now that I wonder is it really worth the effort and commitment?

I am planning in retiring in just over 3 years, the ship has sailed along merrily and successfully for years the way it is and is really a great place to work.

What is wrong with me?

1taskaday
Posts: 438
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:45 am
Location: England

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday »

I have decided the inefficiencies and disorganisation in my workplace are "fine" and I am not wasting any energy fixing them.

I am so proud of myself for reaching this decision-a thing I could never have decided before now.
Age brings many gifts, especially the gift of not needing to prove your ability anymore....

I have now turned into a "dead-fly" (in my own opinion) at my workplace.
To everyone else I am probably "great" and efficient BUT I know the truth...one should always be striving to improve things and make them more efficient BUT I have decided to "coast" for the next 3 years and therefore not expend any energy on improvements.

Now that I have decided this I need to tackle the next issue..

I am now 46 and I see my body shape slightly changing.
I absolutely hate this.
While I have maintained the same weight all my life, and still can fit into my 20s clothes, they fit differently.
I see a slight layer of fat replacing muscle all over.
The beginning of the decline...
If I do not reverse this decline soon I will just slip into a weaker flabbier middle aged body that I detest.

I have dreams of still doing physically inhumane treks, cycles and mountain climbs (when I shake my kids loose). BUT if I allow this deterioration of my muscle mass without reversing it, then my dreams will never happen.

I know it's because of lack of free time (and energy) from full-time work, overtime,holiday rental,kids,family etc BUT I have to make a plan of action and more importantly STICK TO IT.

Because of my lack of free time and energy I am considering a personal trainer...I feel that desperate about it.

I could just decide I will reverse it all when I retire and have loads of free time... but 3 years is just too long to wait...maybe I would just think it was impossible then, and horror of all horrors just accept it.

Post Reply