my early retirement journey - single girl diaries
Early Retirement Journey Fall 2018 My week

Musings over my holiday break.

Just a smattering of my thoughts during my holiday hiatus!

Wed, Nov 14 – It’s been a pretty low key week. Work is still busy, but manageable. Calls are steady but I’m not as affected, I suppose. Got so excited with only 1.5 months left in the year (50-ish days or so), I started plotting next year’s budget for target expenses and target savings. I think I might be able to eek out 45k in savings. I used the generic salary estimator.

I wanted to wait until the end of 2019 to see my true expenses in this my first year tracking, but I got too excited! Currently, I am allegedly trying to spend 30k in expenses, but with 2019, I am shooting for 26k. If it starts to feel too tight, I can always adjust, but it will be cool to save 45k. I did some quick math a couple weekends ago, and I think I hit 50% savings rate in 2016 before I even knew about FIRE. So even if I don’t get to 45k (i.e. if it’s too much pressure), 50% savings (about $34k) is still pretty amazing!

Wed, Nov 21-Had an I-love-my-life moment last night! I am happiest with sunny weather and a cool breeze, juicy take-out and a TV marathon waiting. I can’t believe tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I’ve had a few nice friends-givings in the past. Do I miss my friends? I can’t decide. Tested the waters a few times this year and the jury’s still out. Desire to share my blog from people from my past has lessened.

Speaking of the blog, even though I’m supposed to be on hiatus I have still been checking the email and stats. I know, ugh. Oh well. I keep trying to set milestones and goals to hit.

I’ll be turning 35 in March and it seems like a good inflection point. I want to have all these things to show for it, and I do… but it’s not the normal things: marriage, baby, house. So then it makes me think I have nothing to show for it. Sometimes I wish I wanted those things just to make the passage of time more memorable and “normal.” Otherwise I feel sort of aimless. But I know it’s because I have different aims, namely not those things. I just don’t know what I’m moving towards, but when I look around no one is moving toward anything. Yet they seem so satisfied with that.

Put wings in the Crockpot before work. I hope they are delicious. So much for meat-free Wednesdays. Sorry, God. Sometimes I think life would make more sense if I didn’t believe in God. I don’t think I would be as disappointed.

My latest life plan outside of joining the circus is to apply for a language learning fellowship. I think I would enjoy that. Quick search showed you sort of still need to be in college. Womp, womp. I think what I am realizing after three years of searching is that when I’m compelled enough, I’ll make the next step. The searching is just causing for-nothing anxiety. It’s like forcing myself to floss nightly or clean once a week. Good in theory, but I’m at the point in my life where I’m more motivated by necessity. And then someone at work mentioned they were laid off from their last job and jobs in our field are hard to come by. I don’t 100% believe that, but it’s not unreasonable to think that.

Fri, Nov 23 –I remember a time when we used to get up early to go Black Friday shopping. Those were fun days. I don’t do it now because I have nothing to shop for. It was fun though. I try to muster something I might want when I start seeing the commercials, but so far have come up with nothing. Have been thinking about a new countertop oven but really don’t want to have to read anymore reviews or spend any time looking for “the best one.”

Work today. Came up with yet another new life plan. This time, I work for two more years. Then relax for 10 years. That was 9a. By 11a it was back to work until Jan or March then relax for 1 year. Oy ve!

Tues, Nov 27- All the things! Read 50 Shades of Grey. Wow! No words, but so many thoughts! Got some new pants. I couldn’t fit into any of my old ones and there is a bit of a chill in the air. At least yesterday. Today is quite nice. They’re comfy pants, borderline loungewear. Kept the tags on in case I get disapproving looks at work. Less than $20 from Walmart. Oh finally made it to Walmart. Been so long. Got some new sauces to try in Crockpot.

Other news. Grr… thinking more about leaving work in March. Couple different ideas swirling of what to do. Lounge around or do some volunteer work. Ugh, kind of don’t want to move. But kind of do.

Wed, Dec 5-Been feeling really settled the last couple days maybe even the last week. I might even round settled up to happy. I think because it’s the end of the year and there aren’t really any big decisions to make. All I really have to do is…well nothing. All my angst for trying to do something big, or meaningful, or worthwhile in 2019 has unexpectedly been pushed to the side.

Yesterday I stopped at the Asian market and bought Japanese potatoes, cassava, and mango. Mangoes were out of season but I bought them anyway. So what. I don’t know what I feel, it’s been awhile since I’ve felt such little angst. Just yesterday I had a few hours of not-this-again with Aunty MERJ’s finance. New bills popped up from over a year ago and she’s still withdrawing cash to “buy her things.” Whatever.

For awhile I was trying to figure out what great thing I can do by my 35th birthday in 3 months. I don’t know what that great thing is, but it certainly is NOT: buying a new house; FIRE; moving; getting a new job; waking up with a life-purpose. Whatever.

Right now I just feel acceptance. I got through 2018 hemming and hawing all the way. I have a preliminary budget for 2019. Finances were sort of the least of my worries, so I’m grateful for that. If something expensive popped up that I could convince myself I wanted, I would buy it.

While I have no grand plans, I am comforted by the fact that I have enough. I’ve given myself permission to take off time from work, and up to 1 year can be funded without much planning. That is comforting. I keep getting stuck in the plans and trying to make that time off useful, but a quiet voice in my mind is telling me just to do it anyway, who cares? So what, it whispers. I can recover from a year… I think. But don’t think on it too long, the voice says, or you’ll never do it.

I guess this is my reckless/luxury purchase. One year of freedom from responsibility and structure. Yet I know it will surely add time to my ever changing FIRE date, but I’m so blinded by the instant pleasure I foresee, I can’t think straight.

Thu, Dec 6- I was happy just yesterday. Spent at least an hour making scratch notes of an escape. Made a 3 column chart comparing the English teaching programs in Spain, Japan, and Korea. Unfortunately none are leaving in March.

I know I’m a whole lot more convinced about leaving work sooner rather than later. One milestone I might hit is getting to 100k in investment, which if all goes well, I should hit by end of March 2019. That’s my birthday month. I’m turning 35. Perfect time to make a big move. Only thing is I hate spring and summer in NC. It’s hot and miserable and polleny. I can’t go out doors. I end up just being sick for 3 months. If I’m going to be under the weather, might as well get paid.

Ideally, I would want to start my break in October if I’m going to be in NC. Then I think, why waste my free time staying in a place I don’t particularly care for. The answer is: because I’m here right now.

And so I’m back in the loop of trying to plot the ideal getaway. To escape the loop, my brain just tells me to cut it out and do something already! So there you have it. Another mental unending loop in the life of a single girl.

Fri, Dec 7 – Oh Glorious Friday! It’s 2p right now and it’s been a pretty great day so far. All is good again. Did not enjoy waking up earlier to go to dentist appointment, but took a nice warm shower and washed my hair. So fresh and so clean! No cavities and hygienist didn’t even have to do much scraping. They must’ve had a bad week at the dental practice because they kept praising me on my dental hygiene which in my opinion is pretty haphazard at best (I only brush on the weekdays…shhhhh).

Read some blog posts last night on the Spanish government English teaching program. So far it’s a front runner for what I am looking for, namely a small workload.

My new life plan:
Work till Sept 30, 2019.
Break from Oct 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020.
Work from April 1, 2020 until Aug 31, 2020 (tentative because not sure how to swing that).
Sept 1, 2020 Leave for Spanish English teaching job.

The applications for teaching in Spain in 2019 haven’t closed yet, but I do want to have my time off in the fall. Just a nice cozy fall before a big adventure is what I’m picturing. I don’t particularly enjoy spring/summer in NC so I’d rather just work and have them pay for air conditioning all day. Plus, Brain is telling me to save just a bit more money. For now that seems to make sense.

Had an interviewee sit with me at work today. Made me remember that my job is a pretty sweet gig. I don’t know why I give such a fuss about coming here everyday.

Also a quick chat with my dental hygienist, who incidentally is also from California, got me thinking that maybe my time in California is really done (for now). It really would be expensive to live on my own. And it really would be me starting all over again. Did I love California that much to do that? In this moment, no. I still have Missoula, MT in the back of my mind though.

In case you missed it...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *