“Practice” Early Retirement Days


I have been (mostly) out of the office over for the Christmas & New Year’s holidays and thinking about the permanent vacation I am planning on embarking on in just a few months.  As such, I’ve been thinking a lot about how I have been spending my days as you could think of these two weeks as a bit of early retirement “practice”.

Here are a few observations on how I have been spending my time:

  • Not Bored, Not Once – I never felt like there has been nothing to do.  In fact, I made precious little progress getting to many of things I wanted to.  The holidays bring their own busy with them, but I really thought I would getting more done than I have.
  • Days & Nights Mixed Up – I am more of a night person than my career allows.  When on break for the holidays, I have alternated between staying up late and going to bed on work time.  The problem has been mixing the two up.  I have infrequently made my target of getting up between 7:30a – 8:00a.  Once last week I slept until 10am in the morning.
  • Read Zero Books – I have a whole stack of books I’ve been setting aside over the last 18 months that I would be really excited to read, but I have only skimmed a couple chapters of one so far.  Typically I read business books or magazine articles, but would really enjoy digging into my pile of history, biographies & fiction.  (I did have some work reading to do)
  • What Workouts? – When I get 50+ hours a week back from work in April, I need to put fitness near the top of the list as I reallocate my lifestyle.  My wife sets a good example – going to the gym/working out 7-8 hours a week.  As of today, I have only hit my 10,000 step daily goal 3 times over 10 days.  That will have to change.
  • New Hobbies – I will give myself some points for making my wife a terrific birthday dinner (seared scallops with pasta & broccoli), but I haven’t broken much new ground in pursuing new passions.  I suppose that’s a lot to expect with 10 days out of the office.  Mostly, I found time for pursuing some old passions – which unfortunately for my fitness includes sitting on the couch watching sports, enjoying movies, or surfing the web.
  • Frequently Tired – I’m surprised how tired I’ve been over the holiday break.  I think this is a three-headed monster: 1) I haven’t been drinking nearly any caffeine (I usually have a 20oz Coke Zero at work in the afternoon); 2) I’ve been a bit sick with a head cold severe enough to keep home at least one day; 3) when you don’t have to be anywhere, it easy to convince yourself a nap would be a great thing.
  • Still Productive – I did make progress on quite a few things that needed doing.  We planned out a lot of our current basement remodeling project, I worked with our financial advisor & tax person on some important planning, and we started making 2016 travel reservations (I’ll post on that later).  This was on top of several days of Christmas shopping, wrapping & planning.  Tis’ the season for keeping busy so many ways.

Everyone will be back at MegaCorp full-time next Monday 1/4.  Then the office hours of meetings & more meetings will rev up again.  Until then, I still have four days to enjoy having my schedule to myself.  I think the best part of holiday break is doing what I want when I want – without thinking about what needs to be done at work tomorrow, the next day and next week.  Even the work that I am catching up on can be done at my pace and not driven by meetings & presentations. 

Image Credit: Pixabay

10 thoughts on ““Practice” Early Retirement Days

  1. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what my days would look like if I didn’t have the 40-hour grind, and it makes me giddy! I know life wouldn’t all be puppies and rainbows, but it sure would be much more full than it is currently. Now if I can just find a way to make these dreams a reality…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am so happy that you are so close to your early retirement goal. Go you! And your wife, of course 🙂 We still have at least a few years before hitting our goal, unless Mr. MMM gets a huge, unexpected payday, which isn’t completely out of the realm of possibility. My guess is that the holiday season might not be the best indicator of what your retirement will be like. Everything and everyone tends to move a little slower this time of year, whether we realize it or not. You’ll find out soon enough 🙂

    Mrs. Mad Money Monster


    1. The last couple years have gone quickly for us. A big payday came a couple years ago, but we’ve kept working even after our goals were met. When you put your mind to something – you’ll be surprised how quickly it comes to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on Live Da Life and commented:
    Here is another great post from Mr. FireStation. I’m enjoying watching his countdown to early retirement. Many of the thoughts and preparation are the same as mine were then. This one is especially true because I’m much busier than I expected to be in “retirement”. I think the difference is that I’m busy on things that matter the most to me. 🙂


  4. Mr FS, it took me months to find my new rhythm, including when my body wanted to wake up and go to sleep. Years of 7AM global conference calls has a way of altering your inner clock. My normal wake up time if everything is running smoothly is 8:15! But last night’s exercise class (I overdid wanting to burn off Christmas calories) and late dinner pushed me to a late wake up this morning…. 9:30. But no, I did not spend the day in pajamas, even though the body is a bit achy! See, retirement has all kinds of decisions to make…like should I read a book (got 4 new ones for Christmas!), research our 2016 possible vacation spots, or play in the blog-o-sphere. There will not be 10,000 steps today, of that I am sure. Happy New Year…. let the final countdown begin.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sure after 25+ years of work schedules (and school before that!) it will take quite a while to find one’s natural rhythm. It will be a fun undertaking for 2016. To find out who I really am, in a sense!

      Liked by 1 person

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