Summer Break – Class of 2016

My mind has been thinking back to school days lately. Three weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit my old elementary school in Michigan for the first time in over 38 years. This past Friday, our son graduated from high school with a big ceremony at the Cathedral and and enjoyed his all-night senior party at school. He went to the same high school I went to 32 years ago and I enjoyed “sharing” that experience with him. To put that distance in time in perspective, 32 years from now is the year 2048!

“The Boy” will be heading to college this fall, but in the meanwhile school is out for the summer for all of us as a family. Since I quit working two months ago, I have been waiting for the wonderful warm days of June, July, and August and they are here!

It is SO much fun to enjoy these early summer days without the obligations of going to work. It truly feels like I am a kid again and have the summer off of school. Especially those grade school or junior high years before you even had a summer job to “build character” or save money for college.  I had summer jobs pretty much every year starting with a paper route in 6th grade, but at this point of my life, I am happy to be a character than to have to build anymore character.

And this isn’t a lay around and do nothing summer.  Despite getting rid of the 60+ hour a week obligation of a job (including commutes and all the other timesucks that come with work) I have PLENTY to keep me busy this summer. I am writing this on Sunday night and have lots of fun things that I will be doing this week – going golfing, playing tennis (2x), spending an evening boating, going to a brewery, and catching up with a couple friends over lunch.  If I have time, I might try to sneak in a matinee movie ($5 Tuesdays!) or go to the neighborhood pool.

On top of that, the next few weekends are filled with graduation parties that are a really big deal in Minnesota where we live. Almost everyone with a graduating senior hosts a backyard party with a cookout, lots of beverages, classic lawn games, and people going from party to party on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. My son has dozens of these on his calendar and my wife and I will also attend a dozen or more.

Tonight I am sitting on our screened porch just at twilight. I hear the happy crackle of fireworks in the distance, see the flash of the first few fireflies in the woods behind our house, and the abundant smell of freshly cut grass in the air. My wife and I went out for an alfresco dinner (cafes are pretty quiet on a Sunday night), drove the back roads in our convertible, chatted with neighbors when we got home, and had such a relaxing day – I feel just like a school kid who is off for the summer!

That is the glory of summer for us in early retirement. No worries, no obligations – just great times and activities to soak in.
Image Credit: MrFireStation.com

18 thoughts on “Summer Break – Class of 2016

  1. The bus ride home on the last day of school was the best. You could taste the freedom for the next 8-10 weeks! It sounds like you’ve got that going nonstop. Not a bad gig if you get get it. 🙂

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    • Yes “pure” is probably the best adjective for the freedom from work right now. Having all of this time is still new to me, but the novelty seems ongoing.

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  2. I love this line – “I am happy to be a character than to have to build anymore character.” Me too! Enjoy the early part of summer – I can “hear” how relaxed you are too. Time to head down to the lake for a walk myself!

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  3. Summer brings for us the increased opportunity to spend more time in our mountain home. And taste what life will be when we relocate there in two years. Lots of hiking with the kids, lake swimming, a bit of kayaking and lots of BBQs. Throw in a trip to Acadia National Park and we are happy bunnies.

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    • Sounds like paradise! There are no mountains in MN, but the idea of a mountain home sounds amazing. Here people have “lake places”.

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  4. After all those years devoted to “Megacorps”, its definitely time for you to enjoy yourself without having to be somewhere every minute. Much better to be doing fun things for a change instead of being inside at work on these nice summer days.

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  5. How wonderful! I can’t wait until we have this same freedom. For now though, it’s all about hustling our way out of debt and savoring the little experiences of joy in each day. Last night, I went for a run and it was so perfect. It was pretty warm out, but there was a slight breeze and a misting of rain. I chose not to be depressed that it was Sunday night. Instead, I was thankful for the moment.

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    • Life is attitude and it sounds like you have one that is positive and helping you on your journey. Carpe diem!

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  6. Ah, the joys of summer. As an educator, despite the less-than-ideal pay, nothing compares to that feeling of being on vacation. My wife is also in education, so we get small glimpses of retirement every 12 months. How great must it be to experience that everyday!

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    • I imagine that many people would love to have summers off the way that teachers often do. I know that a lot of people do part-time work during the summers, but it is a cool schedule all the same.

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  7. Sounds like you’re doing exactly what you want to do MrFireStation, Good job 🙂 Your end-of-the-FIRE-journey is an inspiration for those of us who are just starting it. We just had a 50% savings rate for the first time, everything over time right? 🙂

    Tristan

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  8. Pingback: FIRE Station Fun – Taking Life’s Risks | Mr.FireStation

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