Having all this free time actually gives you time to think about what you have achieved and the new goals and challenges ahead of you.
Fear had held me back from doing things in the past and its like standing at the cliff edge looking down at the water below and fighting those fears and jumping. The water is deep and supporting and plenty of others have jumped before without issue. It is just that psychological aspect, the voices in your head telling you it will or will not be OK. You try to fight it and take that deep breath.
Well, I made the jump and quit my job. It has been nearly two months now, I was fearful for so long and I wasn’t sure how I would react as I am such a workaholic. Agents are calling trying to convince me to join the rat race again and take a contract job in London. I don’t really want a 2 hour commute on a packed hot train, standing for most of the journey. I have declined so far and have been spending my time working on those job around the house I should have done ages ago and put off. I have had a few fear days when I have wondered if I have done the right thing and what will happen in the months ahead.
With the 7/7 anniversary today, 10 years on…wow..it doesn’t seem that long ago. Thinking of those whose lives have been affected by this event. At the time, I was working for an employer that quite often send me to London for meetings. To reach those meetings, I would travel and use the tube trains and stations involved. Travelling along those lines and through the stations after the event was unnerving and others were wary of anyone with a rucksack on.
Moving on to happier thoughts – With this good weather I am actually spending more time tending my garden and appreciating nature too. I have been watching the robin in the garden feeding its offspring which have now fledged. I have started to relax and my headaches and tensions have eased. The voices of fear are starting to diminish and I am starting to relax and find some kind of structure to my day.
I have not been watching my investments too closely at the moment, with all this Greek/Euro crisis, the markets are erratic and my investments are rising and falling. After spending so much time trying to save money and increase my Honey Pot, it is now strange and unnerving to see it now start to deplete. The dividend income I receive fluctuates wildly each month and I need to stay calm and not worry about it. Over the year it will be OK and as I see how my expenses reduce I can then start to really see how much money I need. I am in a much better position than some and I need to be grateful and happy.
My family know I have given up my job but they don’t understand the FI bit and so as far as they are concerned, I am just taking time out and enjoying the summer and will look for a new job in a few months. It is nice to have the choice as my siblings have to work and cannot escape the prison due to financial commitments – although they are starting to work on it. We didn’t have a great childhood and this background has been the foundation to my goal to have the ability to choose and live life differently. It was those core beliefs that made me look at FI seriously. Looking back, I have achieved a lot: good education, good jobs which have enabled me to: own a house & car, save, purchase investments, reduce debt to zero. I have achieved these through working hard/long hours in stressful jobs with above average pay and good bonuses.
One thing I have noticed since stopping work is that I have no friends. As I have spent so much time working – I was a workaholic – my only friends were transient work colleagues and I am noticing that other than going to see my boyfriend and meeting up with my family, I have no real communication with people day-to-day. I live on my own and that has its pros and cons.
Where I live there is a mix of working and retired neighbours. The retired neighbours are true pensioners of 65+, I see them occasionally to say hello. The working ones, I see go out to work at their set commuting times, funny, as I was normally one of the first out and last back due to my working hours so it is interesting to see others going out to work each day. I have been using the daytime to go out walking and cycling in the local area and its been great. Hopefully over time I will met more people in the area and start making local friends.
My new goals and challenges are to make new friends and meet people and also look at activities to fill my day which gives me a more fulfilling and rewarding feeling than the ones from the past. I need to find some side-hustles that actually earn me some money and give me that fulfillment I have been missing for the past few years. I also need to look at the ‘trust’ aspect of my character. I was brought up to ‘trust no-one’ and to be independent. My parents view was that no-one will help you and it is up to you to go out there and survive. Don’t expect anyone – even my parents – to help me if I am in trouble. I need to look at this and learn how to share and be more open with people and more trusting. It has been a useful motivator for FI but I need some social life now.
I will continue to reflect on my life and what I want to achieve in the future to give me the happiness that should be part of the FI experience.
….Time to go and enjoy the sun while it shines…