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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Posted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 3:32 pm
by 1taskaday
Jacob once wrote a post about trying to be the best you can be at any project/endeavour that you take on...all we can all do is try to be the best that we can...I love the Buddhist philosophy and try to live it... do no harm...

Anyway moving on...

I now feel like a new woman, like someone has lifted a huge weight off of my shoulders.
In work I do the best that I can do and could not care less what everyone else does or does not do. I feel so liberated.

I now see the burden has moved on to other shoulders and feel a little guilty at their stress.
Is this the way workplaces must harsh and cruel...everyone just looking out for themselves and not caring about others?

Most people don't even seem to notice when others are under work stress, why can I see it so clearly? Wouldn't it be better for me if I could not notice it either?

I was reading a blog called earlyretirementthemiddleway and in it she described the amount of energy that it takes to maintain a 2D personality while at work.

I also find this very difficult but I must cut myself off from all negativity and controversy to protect my own energy. I must learn to keep my opinions to myself and just play the game until I can finally break free. I think like her I just pick up other people's energy very easily and unfortunately in my workplace it happens to be predominantly negative.

Anyway enough about work...I am maintaining the financial plan quite easily now and am looking forward to December 2015 when I will be "one" mortgage free.

I have also booked and paid for a winter holiday in the sun, as I know when the time comes I will be dying for heat and brightness.

I do not like winter and find that the darkness depletes my energy levels. One of the ways that I try to combat this (besides taking sun holidays) is to stay outdoors as much as possible. This acclimatises me to the cold and helps me maximise my natural light exposure.

My whole plan to swim and surf a lot this summer died a death, as work seemed to take over everything.

Is it ever possible to commit to a time consuming hobby while raising a family, working full-time and extra overtime as well?

I really don't think so ...

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Posted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 10:44 am
by GandK
Wow. I really relate to your last post.

Do you ever feel like a sell-out or a phony for "playing the game"? I sure did.

Winter wears me down, too. I enjoy cold weather but the lack of sunlight gets to me. I don't feel bad per se but things seem to take more energy to accomplish.

I find that I hit bottom between mid January and mid February each year, after the holiday bustle is concluded and I've settled back into my routine. Not normally a beach person but I always want to take off to the Caribbean then. Good for you for scheduling a getaway to help manage your energy like that!

On the hobby issue: when I was in the work force I used to use my lunch hour to write novels. 4 days a week I'd squirrel myself away in a conference room and type away. The fifth day I'd eat out with my coworkers so I could stay in the professional loop.

Any chance of you using that time to your advantage?

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Posted: Sat Aug 23, 2014 9:34 am
by 1taskaday
I haven’t posted for a while as I’ve been off work and busy, busy busy with stuff I love doing.

I spent my whole vacation time decluttering (basically throwing stuff out).What a rush!!!

Freedom definitely comes from owning less stuff and knowing that there are a lot of empty presses in my home.

I invested in a new vacuum cleaner as well, (good timing for Simple living in Suffolk’s article on the Dyson rip-off.Ha, Ha, I am a huge fan of his blog but each to their own).
I found this a vital tool on my journey to declutter and clean a too-large home. It just sucks up everything in front of it and empties with a press of a button-very light weight too for high dusting etc.Invalueable for people short of time that need to get a job done.

The best thing about it is that my DH loves it, (very man friendly with a button to press instead of having to use a cloth with a bit of elbow grease) so I can see this particular investment paying off for years to come...

I know when I am retired I’ll have time to revert back to using a sweeping broom and feathered dust quill again...can’t wait??

Autumn seems to be closing in fast, which is so disappointing. I got so little time at the beach this year that I can’t believe that the summer is over already.Ah, well that’s life as a work-slave-suck it up and move on...

I know that as soon as the darkness and cold start becoming the norm that my longing for sun and heat will start again. I am looking forward to my midterm sun vacation and would love to be able to book one at Christmas as well-but I know that I haven’t a hope in hell of getting the time off work-the joys of working life and being tied to school holidays. Only another 5 years...

The financial plan is still on target but we will see if I can sustain it. It would be great if I can as it will move so many things into place for retirement at age 50-if I last until then...

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Posted: Sun Aug 24, 2014 2:04 am
by 1taskaday
My new 8 week exercise regime kicks in to-day.I have roped my DH in as well, which increases
the momentum and chances of success ten fold.

It’s actually a winter acclimatization plan as well, as I thick one of the best strategies to combat winter cold and darkness is to get out in it as much as possible.
Then you begin to love the cold, wind and rain instead of complaining about it.

Each new season in nature has its own beautiful aspects; it’s just a matter of appreciating them.

I am also going to go strict paleo with no/very reduced carb in take for a while. This will mean a lot more cooking and rushing when I’m back at work. But it’s doable and much better than sliding into a middle age blob-my worst nightmare. The paleo lifestyle really suits me and I seem to have loads of extra energy if I stick to it.

I will also lift heavy weights twice a week for the 8 weeks-critical to keep up my muscle mass as I age.

There is really no point being retired if I am not fit and healthy- the 10/15 years of bonus freedom I will have earned need to be enjoyed to their maximum.

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Posted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 4:25 pm
by 1taskaday
I haven’t wrote in this journal for ages as there is NO FREE TIME EVER!!

Every time I sit down to write I am interrupted-I think this is the toughest thing about being a full-time working mother.Even now as I write this I have someone hanging around needing something...

Limited free time really sucks...

But anyway, getting really fit and loving it.Feel great, fitness is really the cure for most ills.

Work is so fine now, the change has been miraculous.
I will shortly be changing departments which should make it easier still. Looking forward to the change and a new challenge.
Leaving my "irritants" behind is an added bonus.

All the back to school "pizzazz" has finally settled down, I think I hate the fuss of it more than Christmas-although it's a close competition.

Financially I think I will have to slow down on my mortgage overpayments as I am not doing as much overtime (but loving life more, as a result),so that may delay my mortgage pay-off date by a few months.

How do I feel about this?

A little disappointed but I have to think of a family's quality of life as opposed to going "extreme" to reach my own goal.

It's called compromise...and I suppose that is the path I choose when I decided to have kids whether I knew it or not at the time.

I think it is a lot easier reach FI with no kids but I know I will still get there...eventually...

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Posted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 8:48 pm
by fuyu
Thank you for sharing your thoughts. It’s really enjoyable to read, especially the rants about work =).

If it helps, my mom successfully trained us (my brother and me) out of asking her for help by the time we were in middle school by pretending she didn't know how to do something or offering to help and then keep delaying it until it was easier/faster for us to do it ourselves.

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Posted: Sun Sep 14, 2014 3:34 pm
by 1taskaday
Work life is fine now, I’ve just switched off my brain and carry on “on autopilot”-this is the way I like things.
I am supposed to be moving to a new department soon but or there is brain will remain firmly switched off so I can use it for my real life-outside of work.

Time is still an issue-or lack of it really is the problem.
I often get the thought-who's life am I living? As it definitely isn't the one I want...
But I also realise there's no "quick escape" of this treadmill, just hang in there and suck it up...

I often look at young "free" girls in their late teens and early twenties and think, do they even realise;they will probably never be this free again in all their lives.
The funny thing is-they probably don't even realise it. They are probably full of their own angst-feeling directionless and searching for their path in life.

I try to take a day off work every week for "alone time”, but it always seems to get filled with orthodontic appointments or other boring but necessary events.

Such is life, but at least the fitness plan is still alive and kicking and the winter blues haven't raised their head yet.

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Posted: Thu Sep 25, 2014 1:29 pm
by 1taskaday
I love my new job!

I can't believe I am actually saying those words!

I even said them to my kids when I picked them up from school this evening-what an amazing turn-around for me.

I actually come home from work with energy and a calm mind-it doesn't feel like I've worked a full day at all.

I don't need to take an annual leave day a week so that I can physically and mentally cope.
In fact, why would I bother wasting an annual leave day (unless I had something planned to do), as it is so easy to be at work now.

I feel so lucky and that I've landed on my feet.

The people are lovely and work as a real team-no complaining, whining or bitching.
It is so weird-there are actually workplaces like this-who would have known?

Why would anyone retire if they worked at a job this easy?

Life is good and I am going to enjoy every last bit of it while it lasts -hopefully until I decide to move on...

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Posted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 4:40 am
by 1taskaday
I have just been going over my financial figures and trying to set a goal for December 31st of this year.

My half of the mortgage stands at 42,700-I would love to be able to reduce this to 30,000 by December 31st of this year.

I can't remember what I wrote my financial target goal in this journal earlier this year,I must read it back and check,yawn,yawn...(Ha,ha,just shows how often my plans change)-what's the point of keeping this journal if I never read it back??

I just hate looking back (even at photographs)-it just bores me. I always prefer to be planning and looking forward...

Anyway, I have an option to take 2 weeks annual leave from work or cash in the days before the end of the year. I think to try and reach this target of getting my mortgage to 30,000 I will cash in the days.

I think the fact that my new job is so easy has made me think "make hay while the sun shines”, take the money and pay the debt down.

In my last job I needed a day off a week just to keep mentally sane...

So full steam ahead, no self indulengences allowed, get the mortgage down to 30,000 by year end and then try to clear it totally by Dec 31st 2015.

I was contemplating recently about the risks to my health and well being that I have taking to speed up the date to my retirement-I hope that any damage that has been caused by "chronic work stress" is reversible and will not reach out its cold tentacles to burst my bubble when I finally reach my retirement...

As the saying goes "you throw the dice and take your chances"...

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Posted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 10:35 am
by slsdly
I've had jobs like that and was also blessed to start a new one like it recently as well :). I find things don't last in tech though; whether the company goes under or there is a senior management change, the situation can go south quickly. I don't mean to be cynical. My train of thought is to enjoy the rides while they last and you can find them, and one day when it ends I hope to say "Oh wait, I don't have to work because I am a dragon sleeping on a bed of gold, silly me" :).

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Posted: Sun Oct 05, 2014 5:26 am
by 1taskaday
My new job is easy.
I don't get any "Sunday evening blues" any more.
I don't have to manage any employees-couldn't care less really if they come in or not.
Saying all that they are all really nice, mainly because there is no stress and loads of time to chat.

Most people hate the area I now work in as they find it "boring"-bring it on I say, it’s the same pay cheque at the end of the week minus the stress.

I am also getting really fit now, all the time preparing and maintaining my health-doing as much as I can, to be in the best condition when I finally can leave work.

I will never take my eye of the GOAL-retirement/full freedom to spend my time anyway that I desire.

A lot of people doubt that I will leave work when the time comes(even my DH), at this stage, I just smile and don't waste my energy arguing.

They have no idea of the burning need inside of me to be free...

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Posted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 5:06 am
by jennypenny
What are your DH's plans? Is he planning on retiring early? (sorry if you said and I missed it)

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Posted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 3:53 pm
by 1taskaday
Hi Jennypenny, He probably hates work equal/more than me and plans to cut out (on a full pension) very shortly.
He is an INTJ as well, and fills all his spare time mastering his craft/passion-a skill not many people can do and thus a small side income in his retirement.

My work is still great. I often have to pinch myself as it is so easygoing and relaxed.
I also have to laugh at myself to think that I ended up doing a paperwork job-me of all people.

It is often mentally cripplingly boring (between the chats), BUT needs very little effort or energy.
I can hack boring as it was the stressful environment in my last position that was mentally and physically killing me.

All that I want is to leave "paid work" forever so the requirement for engagement or challenge is not necessary.

It is still really funny that I have ended up doing what I now do....

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Posted: Fri Oct 17, 2014 2:02 pm
by 1taskaday
This is going to turn into a “Why I love work journal?” and become really boring unless I change my tune.

I just feel so lucky to have been put into the position that I now do.

I am starting to get interested in it now as there is such a low workload and loads of time to do it properly.

The only black cloud on the horizon is that I could be moved back to my old position again depending on “other” circumstances beyond my control. The place that I left is a major S***hole and I hope that I never have to go back to it again.

Just in case that I will,I am putting in a big effort to keep my skills and speed for my old position up to date. I never want to lose my "work-confidence" again (as I did while I job-shared).

My attitude right now is to hope for the best and enjoy the break while it lasts. Each month that passes puts me nearer to my ER anyway so I really have nothing to lose.

I feel so balanced and calm all the time now and hence, I have lots more energy to put in to my personal life. It would be a dream comes true if I can spend my last working years where I am now.

I have also kept up my outdoor exercise everyday and don’t even notice the winter creeping in.

I can also take any holidays that I want off, so this may come in very handy for extended trips during school holidays.

All good with the important thing being (for ER) is that it pays the exact same amount as my old position.

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Posted: Fri Nov 07, 2014 4:55 pm
by 1taskaday
The race is on,(all in my head),to get my mortgage down to 30,000 by New Year!

From my many calculations I should make it to 33,000 by Jan 1st and then 30,000 by Jan 31st.

It really makes no difference,what's a month? ..... it really is just to keep my mind focused.

Back from our Winter sun break, which was really very hot-uncomfortably so. Funny as I age I seem to dislike intense heat more and more. It was great to get away and I enjoyed the sleep-ins with no alarm clocks the best.

As Bridget Jones would say; "Note to self: NO MORE HOLIDAYS WITH TEENS".

They have the boredom threshold of ants and have grown beyond non-activity, non-internet holidays. It certainly kept us on the move trying to entertain them.

Anyway we all got home with no murders committed- a lot of near misses though.

Work is still a dream-I often say to my new work peers, “Do you realise how lucky you are to have a job like this? or "What a job!"

They just look at me blankly, having no "hell hole" as a reference point.

They are a lovely bunch of people to work with. The whole energy of the place is kind and friendly, a complete contrast to my former place.

I often think; does it really matter the type of work we do? isn’t it really all about the people we work with and the work load we are expected to clear. The older I get the more I think this is true.

I still do as much overtime in my last job as I get as this will speed up my mortgage payment. I can’t wait until I can pack in this as it is such a waste of life.

The only problem from "going away" is that it always ignites my travel lust...which unfortunately I have to quench through reading... as the time has not yet come for me to be free...

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Posted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 3:34 pm
by 1taskaday
I now have a great job.I count my blessings everyday.

I want to make a list of all the unhealthy effects my last job had on my health SO THAT I NEVER FORGET WHAT STRESS CAN DO:

Chest pain and difficulty breathing-especially when trying to take a deep breath.

Difficulty talking in more than monosyllables. Just no energy to go in to long explanations about anything.

Constantly avoiding people as there was never any time to waste. Never starting a chat as this could not be controlled and may lead to huge time wastage.

Always being in an alert state-never relaxing, as anything could happen at any minute. (Obviously severe anxiety).

Stomach pain and discomfort probably caused by anxiety and excess cortisol and stomach acid release.

Intermittent rapid heartbeat-could often feel my heart racing for no obvious reason.

Crap diet and no exercise regime-as no time energy or motivation.

Getting obsessive about controlling and checking everything I did at work.

Becoming a “not very nice person”-always looking stressed and unapproachable.

Becoming very non-empathetic towards other’s problems or challenges.

Developing skin problems from stress.

Never being able to switch off and leave work behind-obsessive thinking and talking about work incidents and problems.

Feeling wrecked tired physically after work, as well as “head wrecked”.

Feeling there was no space to get away or be in isolation-always somebody needing something or some problem solved.

Feeling angry and irritable most of the time while at work and losing my sense of humour.

I need to list all these things in this journal as I need to promise myself that I will never take another risk like this with my health again.

I am now very healthy (as far as I know) again, and think that I have managed to neutralise most of these negative effects.

For too many times in my life I have put my health and well being at risk to achieve goals/objectives that I decided I needed to achieve.

I think you can get away with this while younger and bounce back relatively quickly BUT the older I get the greater the effect and ... why take the risk?

There is too much to lose.

The reason I can clearly list all these negatives is that my now “normal” job has allowed me to “heal” and become myself again.

No job or goal is worth your health....I just have to remember this ...

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Posted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 9:21 am
by EdithKeeler
I could have written that last post 2 and a half years ago, at my old job. I'd add "panic attacks on my way to work, worrying about what the day would bring, and panic attacks on the way home, worrying about all the stuff I didn't get done after putting in a 12 hour day."

My ego still gets in the way sometimes, as I now don't have the TITLE that I did. And my boss is a good guy, but an annoying nitpicker (which is probably what I used to be when I was in his job....). And when I get to feeling like I'm not where I'm "supposed to be" career-wise, I just have to remind myself that I'd probably be dead or nearly so if I'd kept that up. As I drive home at the end of a normal 8 hour day.

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 4:23 am
by 1taskaday
Hi Edith,

It's a funny thing isn't it-I was just discussing it with my DH this morning.

Is it better to be "a dead fly" while at work or "engaged, switched on and alert".

I think I can understand why people are attracted to the title and “power" that goes along with being the manager-isn't it better to feel fully alive and consumed than just clock watching until the day is done?

Another point could be, maybe people just fully resign themselves to being at work until age 60 or 65 and decide they need full-on engagement, as they will be spending most of their life there.

Is it not a "necessity" for humans to have some type of engagement in their lives?

I know this all relates back to your personality type ... or does it just a decision some people make, ie. not to go for the managerial/responsible positions deliberately?

Which come first the chicken or the egg-meaning do some people deliberately decide to minimise their responsibilities at work because of their personality type or do they just decide Day 1 to box work and never expend much energy there?

Or is it that some people have such a full life outside work (could relate to kids), that they want to concentrate their energies on that and act like "dead flies" in work, never requiring to be switched on.

It all sounds so convoluted while I'm writing it out BUT so intriguing to think about BECAUSE who are the smart ones...

If I am in my early 20's and start a job, (post-degree) but decide I want to draw my salary (covering my ass) but never expending any extra energy. Deciding from the beginning that I do not want to climb the ladder but stay where I am-AM I SMARTER than the people who kill themselves to get up the ladder and then have to constantly be stressed out dealing with the crap up there?

Maybe it's an age thing-as we age we lose the energy and motivation to compete for these positions.

Or maybe it's just that we get wise and realise that we are not going to live forever and need to take care of our health?

I understand your point about being “nit-picked” by your manager. I too probably was that “nit-picker”. I have completely switched this off now.
I now enjoy and look forward to being “nit-picked”,Ha,Ha.
As we all know somebody has to do it and prod those “dead flies” now and again.

In life isn’t it so valuable to walk in many it gives you such a huge insight in to where people are coming from. You end up with great fortitude dealing with the small things that may frustrate others greatly...Ah,the advantages of growing old ...

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 8:10 am
by 7Wannabe5
Based on my limited experience in corporate management, I would say the best solution would be to first get yourself promoted to a position where you have some power over hiring/choosing the members of your team. Then you do your best to hire/choose some team members who have ambitions at least 2 or 3 levels beyond your position. Also, expend some effort to offload team members with behavioral/emotional issues (for example, people who cry at work or are chronically tardy) on to other managers who think other adults can/should be trained/changed/coached. It's okay to have some dead flies on your team as long as you have the super-ambitious ones in maybe a ration of at least 3:2 because the super-ambitious ones will do all the work and the dead fly ones won't give you any grief (unlike the ones with issues you off-loaded to a Helper/Coach type manager.) Take some time to write glowing reviews for the super-ambitious as they climb up past you and occasionally provide some treats for the dead flies to perk them up a bit. Doing this will maximize the time you have free to leaf through gardening magazines while at work while maintaining a reputation for being a great manager because your team rocks. I mean, it's still totally boring because you are stuck somewhere for 40 hours a week but I think it beats the alternatives to be found within that stuckedness.

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 12:53 pm
by 1taskaday
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.