Some say not to ignore the LITTLE things each day because you might discover that they are really the big things in life. I have written a bit about some of the big things that have changed in our life since retiring early last year.
The BIG things are the easy things to notice that aren’t to hard to figure: I am a lot more physically active, I’ve been enjoying more traveling and new activities, and I spend much less time analyzing our finances than I did when I was still building our nest egg.
That said, there are also a lot of SMALL things that have emerged in our new FIRE lifestyle that are a bit surprising. Here are TEN of the little things of life I didn’t necessarily expect would come with early retirement:
1. My CARS have never been so clean – I spend SO much more time going to the car wash, rinsing them down in the driveway, and even scrubbing the brake dust from the wheels. The amount of satisfaction I now get from having a clean car is hard to explain.
2. I drink BEER a lot more. It seems that I am always meeting someone for a beer or going out for lunch. What used to be once a week is now 3-4x a week. It’s funny to meet an old colleague for lunch and order a beer. It always gets a “I wish I could” reaction.
3. Watching POLITICS has become like watching sports on TV. Never has politics been so ridiculously amusing in this country. I enjoyed having time to watch the Olympics last summer, but the election and cable TV shows are even more entertaining.
4. I park my car WAY away from stores. I have plenty of time to walk, so why not? I get a few extra steps in each day and don’t have to squeeze my car between two others. Easier to slip into a spot and I can easily slide into the ‘getaway’ position, too.
5. I go to a lot of PARKS and explore. Especially in the summer when the weather is nice, but in the winter too. Our metro area has a lot of parks and each has interesting features and history to learn about. I’m thinking about exploring a park a week this summer.
6. I brush my teeth a lot more often. I know it is horrible, but I always thought it weird to brush my teeth in the bathroom at work. (I used to know someone who even brushed his teeth in the hallway drinking fountain!) Instead of brushing them in the morning and at night – now I also brush them several times during the day.
7. It’s probably the first time in my life since I was a college student I’ve started to unconsciously learn which bars have HAPPY HOUR at which times. If I’m meeting someone for a beer & nachos, we might as well save a buck or two, right?
8. I chat with STRANGERS all of the time. I used to be in a hurry to get from point A to point B, but now I take my time and chat with random people I meet along the way. At the coffee shop, grocery shopping, or at the park, I meet all kinds of interesting folks.
9. I social MEDIA all of the time. I’ve always liked social media, but it has become a lot bigger part of my day. It really does keep me connected with friends and often sparks ideas of things to do. I even started a political Facebook page called LibertyDevils. If you are interested in that sort of thing, give it a ‘follow’.
10. This last one is a bit weird, but I change my CLOTHES all the time now. It used to be I would dress for work and then change into something more casual when I got home. Now I get dressed in the morning, change after I work out, change again to work in the yard, change again to meet up with someone (or sometimes go to a meeting), and finally change when I get home to get comfortable again. I’m no fashion plate, but I feel like I change 5x a day now. Really unexpected and results in a lot of laundry!
What are some of the small changes you’ve seen / expect in early retirement?
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