classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Where are you and where are you going?
CS
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by CS » Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:29 am

I too am jealous of that cheap housing!

classical_Liberal
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by classical_Liberal » Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:02 am

@bigato
My anxiety is definitely there. It's just buried deep and manifests itself only a little some of the time. This vs acute situational anxiety, which is what I'm prone to is a different experience. I think having the half-time option ongoing is really helping in this regard. So, if I were to try and identify the anxiety, it is mainly centered on a)What if the half time thing falls through before I start to use it? or b)What if I can't get myself to work in nursing again after a break?

@2B1S
Thanks! I hope to update more with my decompression activities. One strange thing, I'm not really concerned about finances. This is partially due to what I stated above to bigato, partially due to the fact I haven't saved "too much". Meaning, no matter what happens I know I have to earn money again (or reduce spending), so I don't feel like my financial assets are anything more than a backup at this point. Is 10 years of "backup" really any different than 18? Not when looked at from the perspective from BSOG's recent entries, nor from the perspective that neither makes me FI. So if I lose/spend a few years, life really doesn't change that much.

@CS and @Smashter.
The housing is a smoking good deal. According to this resource the average 1-bed in the area is about $725. So the Fargo area is pretty cheap to begin with, which was one criteria for "home base". Our rent, without utilities, internet, etc is only $435. So we are sitting at about 60% of average for the area. Couple that with being one block away from a gentrified Hawthorne Neighborhood, & only a few blocks from downtown (which people pay a premium for here) and it's even better. Part of the reason for the deal is we live on a busy street, limited parking on site, and the exterior suffers from some deferred maintenance. The interior of the apartment is updated and nice, and waay bigger than we have had in the past, about 750 sq feet. It's a 18 unit complex. We are on the top floor with a deck (a requirement for GF). I've moved so much in the past 4 years of travel nursing that I've become a bit of an expert at identifying potentially cheap places to live. This one wasn't even advertised, we just drove past it and it lit up my imaginary above head light bulb. I'm pretty pleased with it.

classical_Liberal
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by classical_Liberal » Wed Aug 21, 2019 1:34 am

Update 8/21/2019
T-minus 3 weeks to semi-ERE
Well, I’ve been back to work for two weeks since taking the time off to get settled. I have some thoughts on what’s going on.

First off, all of the recent thread discussions on @wolf, @BSOG, @Jin+Guice journal’s, and more, have really reinforced the fact I made the right decision. There is a ton of inherent risk to continue accumulating in my current, less than satisfactory, situation. Those risks aren’t financial in nature, but I’m beginning to realize how little the finances actually play into a good lifestyle system.

I’ve come to realize my only mistake so far in this transition has been letting it drag on for so long. When my boss first presented me with the opportunity to go to half time contract work, she said I could transition whenever I wanted. I opted to finish my previous commitment since I had already worked in vacation time for relocation. I also wanted to give myself enough time to mentally prepare, save an additional six months of cash for living expenses, and also semi-subconsciously provided myself enough time to change my mind and stay FT. This was a bad decision. I’ve spent three months now in a “lame duck” full time situation and it’s dragging on. The nice thing about my job is that it’s shift work, meaning that it’s not like I have a dwindling work load. Every day is just as much hard work now as it was at the beginning, so I’m not bored. The bad thing is… I still have as much hard work as ever. My tolerance for the parts I do not enjoy has reached a critical low value. IOW it’s giving me a bad parting taste in my mouth for nursing as a whole. I had always envisioned the last couple of months of FT feeling much better, whereas, the opposite has occurred. I hope this feeling isn’t going to drag me down when I’m off. I really, really want to leave on a good note, so I have been presenting an even more positive than normal attitude in the face of even the largest annoyances. This does not go without significant energy expenditure. Work has me exhausted. Once I’m there, I dig into the patient care which I enjoy, wear a smile and all ends well. It’s just been VERY tough to get started each day and I'm very tired.

I have been motivating myself to show up with the idea that each couple of weeks provides another month or so of living expenses. This has not been very effective because of another, sort-of weird and unexpected phenomenon. Money just isn’t worrying me, nor is it on the top of mind like it used to be. Since the last financial update, my goal was to save another 10k for semi-ERE transition during the final couple of months. It would be enough to cover my expenses for six months off. That used to seem like a shit-ton of money. Even more so back when I spent 40k a year, so it really should have even more value to me now at sub 20k. Yet I just don’t care. If I could pay 10K to complete this transition and have the next 3 weeks off, I’d seriously consider it. That’s not to say I’d go out and blow 10K on something worthless, I still hate spending money, I’m just presently ambivalent to accumulating more. I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing.

I’m trying to get into the habit of positive sum hobbies. I’ve been biking a ton, which is still great. Awhile ago I noticed a bunch of vegetables planted on an urban street intersection a few blocks from home. It’s an area that looks like planters where the city would normally have flowers, or small trees, or something. It’s obviously not privately owned. I ride by regularly and noticed a city employee (I think, was wearing a yellow vest) out watering it one day. I stopped to chat and she said it’s a free for all garden the city plants every year, but that it mostly just goes to waste (or the rabbits) because people rarely harvest the veggies. Well shit! I filled my backpack with fresh broccoli, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, even a few jalapenos. Now I go back every few days and harvest fresh stuff. A second run of broccoli is in, tomatoes keep coming, and today I grabbed the first run of zucchini. So now I have a free, no effort garden, ERE win!

I’ve also made a very concerted effort to meet and chat up my new neighbors. As such, I’ve already made friends with two couples in the building. One is an RN that works in town (nurses seem to always instantly connect). She’s South Korean born with an interesting story, her hubby works as a nurse aid. The other couple are Indian immigrants, the husband working on his PhD at one of the local universities. Good people, hopefully more to come on this.

Another important thing I’ve realized through introspection. During the two weeks off this month, and this spring during the month long road trip, my relationship with the GF got sooo much better. When we both have less time pressure, get to enjoy company without having to discuss household to do’s and the like, we get along great. Like, she is my favorite person in the world. However, it’s not nearly as good when we are both slaving away FT. We get nitpicky and frustrated with each other. There is a much shorter fuse on my end and a much more visible spend/consume YOLO mind set for her. I’m really looking forward to getting longer periods of slow time with her.

Oh, and lastly, I have my first semi-ERE road trip adventure planned. Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta in October. Weather permitting, there will likely be several stops in Colorado and/or New Mexico for hiking and camping as well. Any ERE’ers near the route who are interested in a meetup are welcome to PM.

Frita
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by Frita » Wed Aug 21, 2019 7:10 am

It sounds like both winding done to semi-ERE has had some speed bumps but is progressing well. Doing nothing, which is actually doing something, has a way of helping up notice things we were to busy to observe before.

Initially, I found more time with DS when he ERed (and I was on an attempt prior to this one) to be challenging. This time around our relationship has improved. It seems that we have more overlapping views of the benefits of moving on to other things. Spending more time with your GF should open up more space as well.

Ballooning in Albuquerque is awesome! Will you splurge and take a ride? (I do recommend it.)

7Wannabe5
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Aug 21, 2019 7:45 am

Very cool on scavenging the public garden. I recommend picking up a couple books on edibles you can forage in your region. It's surprising how much you can find even in an urban area once you know what to look for.

Unfortunately, it has been my experience that after the "relaxing together" phase of mutually retired or semi-retired relationship, you will have to work your way through the "what next?" phase together, and that can be tough. For instance, when my "ex" who was already quite affluent wanted me to help him re-hab yet another rental property, and my desire to ride around in truck as sidekick dressed in his old droopy overalls on yet another trip to Home Depot had passed peak.

2Birds1Stone
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:42 am

Man, that garden score is awesome. Maybe if you're around next year, you can get involved in some other way. Heck, even taking the veggies shows that some tax payer is taking advantage of it.

On 7Wb5's comment, I too worry about this. My most recent (and most past experience) is that our relationship does seem to strengthen during a trip together or some other experience together when we are away from work. What I've found, is that it's more related to suffering together, or working together toward a common goal, rather than the time together. So for example, we decided to bite off more than we could chew on a hike in July, and the misery of the last 3 hours of decent were a bonding experience, sailing in rough waters (literally) and the associated fear and relief after, also seemed to bring us together as we lived through something potentially dangerous together. Because we've done staycations where we kind of bum around the house together for several days and despite not having "work stress" it doesn't necessarily feel like it's any better. When you spend too much time with someone, what is there to talk about? For this reason I think that some unstructured and structured time apart during semi-ERE or FIRE in general is important. Having some relationships outside of your romantic relationship is equally important. I got to the point where I wouldn't want to hang out with other couples for a while because I missed having a conversation with someone else in person that my SO was not part of.

What a brain dump, sorry for the ramblings, all over the place!

Family father
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by Family father » Wed Aug 21, 2019 4:35 pm

classical_Liberal wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 1:34 am
Like, she is my favorite person in the world.
That's beautiful!
classical_Liberal wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 1:34 am
However, it’s not nearly as good when we are both slaving away FT. We get nitpicky and frustrated with each other.
Also truth about DW and I if you just add kids in the mixer.. :roll:

Jin+Guice
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by Jin+Guice » Sun Aug 25, 2019 4:28 pm

classical_Liberal wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 1:34 am
I have been motivating myself to show up with the idea that each couple of weeks provides another month or so of living expenses. This has not been very effective because of another, sort-of weird and unexpected phenomenon. Money just isn’t worrying me, nor is it on the top of mind like it used to be. Since the last financial update, my goal was to save another 10k for semi-ERE transition during the final couple of months. It would be enough to cover my expenses for six months off. That used to seem like a shit-ton of money. Even more so back when I spent 40k a year, so it really should have even more value to me now at sub 20k. Yet I just don’t care. If I could pay 10K to complete this transition and have the next 3 weeks off, I’d seriously consider it. That’s not to say I’d go out and blow 10K on something worthless, I still hate spending money, I’m just presently ambivalent to accumulating more. I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing.
I've had this problem when I crossed into six-figure NW around a year ago. Now I'm like "fuck, why am I listening to anyone ever? I'm rich I tell you, RICH!"

It doesn't seem like stacking more money is going to get me anywhere closer to where I want to be. Then again I'm REALLY far from being FI and I still haven't learned how to invest so...



It sounds like you're really burnt out. I'm interested to see how you feel after six months off.

Frita wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 7:10 am
Initially, I found more time with DS when he ERed (and I was on an attempt prior to this one) to be challenging. This time around our relationship has improved. It seems that we have more overlapping views of the benefits of moving on to other things. Spending more time with your GF should open up more space as well.
Ugh, so challenging. It's like when did we cross the exact point where we stopped fucking all day and started to care where the other person puts plates?

classical_Liberal
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by classical_Liberal » Tue Aug 27, 2019 1:50 am

Thanks all for the comments. Wrt relationship stuff, yeah, I guess what I have experienced was a "honeymoon" phase of having more slow time together. There is no doubt it could go the other way. At this point though, I'm pretty confident it won't.

@7WB5
I actually thought about you when I started harvesting the free garden, :D . I was at B&N yesterday because the GF had a $20 gift card to burn. I looked for books on local edible plants, as those book store tend to have local based stuff, but found nothing. I'll check the library next time I'm there. Even though gardening would probably bore me, I really enjoy this something for nothing activity!

@Jin+guice
This not caring to accumulate more money didn't happen until I basically made peace with the idea I would no longer be accumulating at maximum rate available. Like the point in a role-play video game when you decide to stop leveling up your character for the sake of leveling up in the easiest way, and venture into the main story line again. I think there is a connection. I just commented on your journal about the addiction of accumulation. IDK, but at this point I'm glad it happened, just worried it might impact my motivation later.

Edit:
Also just wanted to update that I got the chance to meet @jean on his Midwest US road trip. The GF and I very much enjoyed the time we spent together, it was really blast!

classical_Liberal
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by classical_Liberal » Sat Sep 07, 2019 5:59 pm

Update 9/7/2019
T-minus 1 week to semi-ERE
The last two weeks of work have been challenging. I had a new nurse accuse me of saying something I absolutely did not, which resulted in receiving a phone call at home from the unit manager. I despise this type of personality conflict BS. I was concerned this particular person had it out for me, which caused some undue stress because I wanted to leave this assignment on a very good note. The next chance I got to work with this person, I confronted directly and it really did seem more like a misunderstanding with someone who was struggling to keep up with the job. So I've taken the high road and am trying to provide a bit of mentoring before I leave. Secondarily, staffing has been shorter than usual and I've personally been assigned some very sick patients. I enjoy taking care of the highest acuity patients, but when coupled with a higher than normal workload it becomes frustrating to keep up with everything.

Basically, the last two weeks has just confirmed how damned burnt out I am at the moment. I've been short with the GF a couple of times and regret it. However, a strange sense of peace is beginning to creep into my soul. It's like I'm finally integrating the idea of Semi-ERE into my psyche. I know I won't have to run at 110% all of the time anymore. There is going to be time to take care of life stuff outside of work. I've also began to contemplate life after FT work in a more real way. Meaning not some fantasy of it being great, rather what my day-to-day will entail and how this stuff could impact future ability to take part in activities I may enjoy (ie future employability, etc). Just at the very beginning phases here, more to come.

I switched over to my health-share on Sept 1st, although I'm still carrying my work health ins for the rest of the month. Hopefully I'll never have to test using it, but the more research I do, the more confident I am this is the best low-cost alternative for me at the moment. I'm also in the process of making a few other Wheaton level 4 changes I should have taken care of a long time ago. Things like switching cell plan to mint mobile. These things seemed like a pain in the ass to deal with when working, frankly it was just easier to leave static and worth the extra cash burn. Now, knowing there will not be a paycheck, I've done a 180. I estimate, in total, all of this misc waste reduction will cut monthly cash burn rate by about $100.

Thanks for reading and wish me luck on my last week!

Frita
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by Frita » Sat Sep 07, 2019 6:14 pm

Seeing the light at the end of the tunnel was challenging for me as time seemed to expand. May these next couple weeks go quickly for you.

I am interested to see how the healthshare goes. What are your plans for dental and/or optical?

classical_Liberal
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by classical_Liberal » Sat Sep 07, 2019 6:22 pm

@Frita
Thanks!
Out of pocket for dental, I don't have glasses,... yet. Dental ins is really a scam anyway, I only had it because employer paid most of it. I got my free check-up a couple months ago and usually only go every couple of years. If anything major happens I'll cross the southern border to keep costs low.

mooretrees
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by mooretrees » Sat Sep 07, 2019 8:05 pm

GOOO LUUUUUUCK!!!!

I am seriously so excited for you!! What a great position you have gotten yourself into, lots of thought, time and effort to get you here. Wheaton 6/7 up ahead?!

It feels like you and 2B1S are launching so soon together, and I can not wait to hear what it's like on the other side of full-time work. Seems like burnout takes some time to recover from, but good times are ahead for you. Congratulations!

fingeek
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by fingeek » Sun Sep 08, 2019 12:45 am

Really great news! Be patient with yourself over the burnout, it will take some time for it to evaporate for sure. Good luck, and keep us updated!

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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by jacob » Sun Sep 08, 2019 9:21 am

classical_Liberal wrote:
Sat Sep 07, 2019 5:59 pm
These things seemed like a pain in the ass to deal with when working, frankly it was just easier to leave static and worth the extra cash burn. Now, knowing there will not be a paycheck, I've done a 180. I estimate, in total, all of this misc waste reduction will cut monthly cash burn rate by about $100.
Ha! Welcome to the dark side. You'll be enjoying the convenience and savings of lentil soup and DIY detergent soon enough. We got cookies too. Homemade of course.

Jin+Guice
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by Jin+Guice » Sun Sep 08, 2019 10:43 am

Congrats! Welcome to the dark side indeed.

2Birds1Stone
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Sun Sep 08, 2019 12:21 pm

Congrats! Hoping to follow suite in an official* capacity soon :)

*unofficially working ~25 hrs/week from home

wolf
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by wolf » Sun Sep 08, 2019 12:46 pm

Congrats classical_liberal! Thank you for all your comments, ideas and insights here in this forum! You enrich it pretty much. I am looking forward to read about lessons learned as well. Hopefully you will experience your new found freedom as you have planned and estimated. I like your freedom in mobility and your courage to dive into semi-ere.

classical_Liberal
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by classical_Liberal » Sun Sep 08, 2019 11:43 pm

Thanks all!

It is interesting how a potential 1-2% savings rate bump made this stuff trivial to me, yet when I realize it's leaving my pockets without income to offset, it takes on a whole new meaning. Maybe I'll make it to lentil soup after all :?: I can only hope.

I'm also curious to see how this burnout makes its way out of my subconscious. I'm already having some pretty vivid and frustrating dreams about work, including a banking dream (it's been like 10 years!), which is not the norm for me.

It's almost Monday, let's get this show on the road...

horsewoman
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by horsewoman » Thu Sep 12, 2019 1:02 am

Congrats! I'm looking forward reading about your transition :) exiting times ahead for you!
2Birds1Stone wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:42 am
When you spend too much time with someone, what is there to talk about?
DH and me have been rocking the part-time lifestyle for about 8 years now and it works beautifully. We have 2 shared interests, but go very different ways in other regards.

When you are working FT, time is an extremely valuable commodity. It is easy to get jealous if it seems like your SO has more of it or does more exiting things in his/her free time. Resentment crops up very easily if one is overworked. This is totally different on part time. We happily send each other off on our adventures, while the other one is holding the home front (since we have a kid and animals). Plenty to talk about afterwards!
Last edited by horsewoman on Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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