My Semi-Retirement Anxiety Problem

So if you’ve been following my story you know that I reached financial independence a couple of years ago and ‘semi-retired’ to part time employment this past October.  You could call this a mini-retirement, sabbatical, work-detox, whatever.  It’s been a long time in the making after 25 years of working and saving, and I’m eternally grateful to be so lucky to be able to do it. 

I plan to blog about my experience in hopes that it could help someone out there make a better decision about doing the same.  I already did one post about the work experience so far, but how’s it going so far on the home front you ask?

 

Flipping The Work-Week On It’s Head

To be clear, I chopped my workweek in half – none of that 32 hours part-time crap….  I went down to 20 hours a week and I’ve mostly been working two 10 hour days.  So 2 days of work, 5 days off.  Amaze-balls!  This has actually freed up over 20 hours a week when you count commuting and getting ready for work etc.

In sum, this is as glorious as it may sound if you still work full time.  Waking up without an alarm and realizing I don’t have to go to work on a Tuesday is quite frankly, the schizzle.  That said, I’ve found my anxiety these first two months to be through the roof, especially on those days off.  Why..?

 

Attack All-The-Things!!!

How I Feel On Those Blessed Days Off!
#LetsDoEverything! #CarpeFrigginDiem

Well, in short, I’m anxious about doing all of those fun things I’ve never been able to get to because of a full-time job.  I have TONS of hobbies and interests, and I’ve spent a good chunk of my work hours in the past 5 years daydreaming about how sweet it would be to not be at work and doing those things instead – on a weekday. 

I could be cycling, running, paddling my stand up paddleboard, fishing, climbing, or hiking.  Or…. I could be playing guitar….  or working on my graphic design side-hustle.  Or working on my teaching curriculum (I’m an adjunct instructor at a large university).  Or gardening and relaxing on my patio.  Or so on, you get it.

 

I’ll Take One Of Everything, With Extra Toppings

Easy For Him To Say
#TheGuyHasNoHobbiesExceptBeheadingPeople #IsPlunderingASideHustle?

 

So my excitement to start really living my life more with the things I love is creating anxiety by not being able to do them all at once!  I guess I just need to calm the hell down…..  take a breath, and realize that even if I was fully retired I can’t do all of these things, even once a week. 

It’s like all of this trapped and pent-up energy to do things I enjoy is being released all at once.  I’m realizing I’m either gonna have to start setting a “fun schedule” which I’m not too jazzed about, or just go with the flow of whatever I want to do most at any given time.  But the key will be to live in that moment with that activity with the knowledge that I’ll get to the other stuff at some point too.

 

Stop Bragging Already You Smug Little Asswagon

True Dat
#ShowSomeGratitudeAlready #ButEveryManDoesNotHaveAMullet

 

Reading over this draft as I write this post just made me realize how ridiculous this problem is!!  Talk about first-world problems!!  “I’m financially independent, only working 20 hours a week, and I’m stressed that I can’t have fun 8 different ways all at the same time while my friends are stuck in their cubicles”  …. yeah, I need to put this ‘problem’ in perspective.  Life is good.

How about you?  For those of you who have gone part-time or fully retired, did this happen to you?  If so how did you handle it?

17 Responses

  1. Hahaha! Asswagon. You’re an original I’ll say! Congrats getting your schedule to where it should be sustainable, for like, forever? If I can get away with 20 hours working on my fledgling real estate empire I’ll be a happy camper.

    • Accidental Fire says:

      It is nice… it creates enough engagement with the job to stay interested, but not enough to get burned out (obviously). But my colleagues treat me different now – I posted about this in my Dead Man Walkin’ post. So that makes the 20 hours harder. If they would only get on board with the program!!

      Good luck with your real estate empire!

  2. I never understand why people think it’s possible FIREd people will get bored without a 40+ hour a week job keeping them busy. There are SO MANY things I want to do in life that even if I retired today I’d never be able to get done!

    • Accidental Fire says:

      I hear ya Erin, I boggles my mind. I don’t want to be judgmental, but for someone to work a 20 or 30 year career at a job and not pick up one hobby or interest besides that job tells me there might just be something wrong with them. I can guarantee they’re not fun at parties!

  3. genymoney99 says:

    Hahah 🙂 So MUCH TIME! #FIREdproblems
    Maybe you can make a list of things you want to tackle each month.
    I would love to learn to play guitar when I am FIREd 🙂

    • Accidental Fire says:

      Yeah I’m starting to come around to the idea of lists more and more. Part of me just wants to be “do whatever I want” free, but I think some structure is needed or I’ll waffle. #FIREdproblems indeed!

  4. Congratulations on your success and being able to get down to part time. I hope you enjoy all the free time you have to interject into hobbies. I definitely agree with the whole idea of just going with the flow – makes things a lot more fun.

  5. MI 27 says:

    This may sound like a weird comment but I’m almost afraid to give myself permission to have fun after achieving FI. I see so many less fortunate folks around me; really good people who just can’t seem to catch a break and life is just drilling them into the ground. I think maybe the answer is to try and blend enjoying life while giving back at the same time to help those who are less fortunate. I’m still trying to figure it all out as, just like you, I have some side hustles still keeping me somewhat “in the game” and I’m also focused on re-arranging our portfolio to more properly reflect where we are in life and what we need to do to maintain our lifestyle in full retirement.

    It is a good problem to have but it is also a time in life that you don’t really prepare for mentally as much as you probably should.

    • Accidental Fire says:

      I’ve felt some guilt from time to time as well. I plan on starting a Donor Advised Fund for charity, but I feel charity is better when you’re giving your time, so I’m looking for the best way to do that that will engage me while also giving back. Volunteering at an outdoor adventure charity for underprivileged kids is high on my list.

      And you’re correct, nothing prepared me well for the mental side of things, and I haven’t even fully retired yet!

  6. MI 27 says:

    I’ve just started working with a pretty cool organization. It is a ranch whose mission is to blend the activities of “at risk” youth with their rescue horses. They are doing amazing work in support of animals and children in need. It is about 5 miles from our home and I really look forward to supporting them, both financially and with volunteer hours!

    • Accidental Fire says:

      That sounds wonderful, and close to home as well! I grew up in Baltimore City so I know very well how hard it is for urban kids to even get exposed to real nature. And study after study shows that when they get exposure the benefits are many, including doing better in school.

      Thanks for the ideas!

  7. I initially fought with this a little while ago but it was more revolved around my volunteer activities. Deciding to step back has helped tremendously. Also for my personal fun activities, changing to a mindset of just winging it works great. That being said I have limited myself to mountain bike or hiking/climbing as expanding past that turns into more money and doing less of the other sports.

    • Accidental Fire says:

      Yes, stepping back on certain things is likely gonna have to happen, just not sure what those things are yet.

      And I hear ya about the money thing but I already have gear galore for all of my hobbies, so wanting to do them costs me nothing additional since i can do them all close to home. Again, nice problem to have 🙂

  8. batljunk says:

    Accidental–
    Stumbled upon your blog today with it being the waning hours of a holiday weekend. Your story reads eerily familiar to my own as I somehow found my way to FI with a decent paying graphic design career and some late-but-not-too-late retirement savings investments. I’m getting there. I should’ve started my blog already! Congrats on going part-time. I’m contemplating the same (again) right now with my job. I took a 20 month time out with part-time and lots of side hustles that really added up to lots more than 40 hours a week and it was fine, but when my employer asked me if I would please come back FT I said to myself: “well, if I don’t take them up on it, they might not ask again, and I can always quit.” Now looking to go PT again and do some volunteer work and hobbies instead of tons more side gigs (too much like a job!). Thanks for your work on this blog.

    • Accidental Fire says:

      Cool – graphic design is one of my side hustles! You are correct, side hustles can add up and start to become work-ish. The main rule that I want to set for myself is to only do side-hustles that I fully enjoy. If I stop liking it, I’ll stop doing it. I’m FI, I don’t need the money, so the happiness/enjoyment factor is what matters.

      Congrats to you as well, and sounds like you really want to go back to PT so do it! I’ve been considering various volunteer opportunities and as I mentioned to another commenter above. I’d ultimately like to do something tied to the outdoors. Lots to contemplate..

      Thanks for the compliment and comment!

  1. December 1, 2017

    […] AccidentalFire has a tough problem (that I really wouldn’t mind to have), and that’s his Semi-Retirement Anxiety Problem  […]

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