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..?
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
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
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?