We all have vices, whether it being watching tv, playing video games, playing sports, building things, or whatever it is that generally consumes a lot of our time daily. When you reset early, you need to find something to occupy those extra 40+ hours a week. Surprisingly, it’s so easy to watch that time fly by, waking up late and playing on your phone because it’s a rainy day. I know for me it’s hard to feel like I’ve been productive during the day because even when I do things that are productive, they don’t take the entire day. For example, hanging photos on the wall or doing other things that just don’t occupy several hours of time. Also, things like playing a game on your phone, doing Duolingo, or reading a book, become the things that takes up more and more time.
I once asked people in the FI community, what would you do they do after retiring early and the answer from one was “not wake up to an alarm clock.” This answer in the moment drove me a bit crazy because that only accounts for maybe 8-10 hours of sleep regardless of when you go to bed so what does one do with the other 14-16 hours of the day? If you have a house, you may have house activities you’ve been wanting to do or chores, volunteering, or traveling. But one thing is for sure, you probably will find yourself with more hours of the day to occupy with those vices. It becomes more difficult to maintain a healthy balance of the things you want to do for mind and body and things that eat away at your time, but you may find relaxing.
Another crazy phenomenon that we see both when we are working and after is that some days go by so slow, but overall, the months and years fly by. I still can’t believe I’ve been retired for over 6 months. I finally feel like when I talk about my old jobs I don’t have as much trauma or unhappiness as I used to. I’m fairly distanced from the situation, but sometimes I don’t feel that way and talking about it triggers my unhappiness from back then. Doing a reset doesn’t automatically make you happy, it can make you feel disjointed and further away from people because everyone you know may be working. I am very thankful that I have found some wonderful friends in the FIRE community that I can visit and talk to about how I’m doing.