100 days of retirement has a sweet sound to it.Is it really joy vs job? The early retirement experience has taught me a lot. Looking back I wonder if is it really been 100 days, seems like yesterday. I clearly remember walking out of my office on that last day of job. It was rather overwhelming experience and I felt as if I was walking away from all the 23 years of being a civil servant. Honestly I knew no other kind of professional life. I felt excited, uncertain, free and ready to be something else.

Since then each day has been an experience which I can recall. Every day I feel I have come closer to myself. I want to share the 11 fabulous must read things I have learnt from an early retirement experience, a decision which was not approved by most I mean who says goodbye to a Civil Service in India?.

  1. It was a tough decision but worth every bit: Leaving a civil service was in no way an easy decision, I was thinking about it for a long time and the main reason was that I wanted to fill my time with things which I truly enjoyed, give time to my kids and not be committed to a routine especially the kind which tied me to a desk. As is obvious it involved a difficult decision so I tried like any rational thinking individual to come to the best possible well thought of decision. The process of weighing the pros and cons was a total failure. I just could not decide in fact I realised there was no best decision in this case. One day I was reading a book and it threw up a proverb which said “think minutely about small decisions but the real big ones just take from your heart, there is no other way” It made sense. So I took the plunge based on intuition and faith. It worked, PERFECTLY.
i am done

I decided to say goodbye and take early retirement
  1. Having full autonomy over my time is even better than I had imagined: The thing which I feel good about every single day is the luxury of having full autonomy over my time, I wake up in the morning with that lovely feeling that I can decide to do whatever I want in the day, I keep my eyes close for some more time just to savour that feeling. At times I write, other times I just watch movies, I play with my kids and on other occasions I simply go out without a plan. Of course some days I like to be buried in my new enterprise but it’s my call and I love it. This is one thing I am grateful for every moment.
  1. Once I got down to indulging in activities I like I discovered so much about what I really enjoy: This may come as a surprise to many, but when I started indulging in doing what I enjoyed; my hobbies and interests; I actually starting discovering myself. There is a huge difference between somehow finding a rushed few minutes or hours to indulge in your passion and getting lost in it without bothering about the time. I even discovered brand new hobbies like paper quilling and also learnt how good I could be at them.
  1. My learning curve hit an upward slope, I feel so much more energetic: As I started living as per my choice I noticed a huge upward jump in my enthusiasm and energy levels. I think a lot of it has to do with the kind of happy hormones your mind begins to release in the new situation. It’s a huge change and change always gives a kick, a thrill. And with this new found mind set I found myself more eager to learn new things, more open to new ideas and in some ways the new situation necessitated it too. It reminds me of a story I had once read called Throw the bag…. Here is how it goes..

Suppose you pack up a bag which contains your most important items, things you can’t do without like passport, keys, bank papers , cards, cash etc. and go for an unplanned trek. On way you encounter a wall and there does not seem to be any way to scale it. You stop to wonder what to do and then on the side of the wall you notice a paper which says a way will be revealed if you first throw the bag over the wall. You are relieved that there is way after all. You throw the bag and guess what? nothing happens! You are perplexed his entire life is in that bag, what to do? You think harder, try harder and yes you guessed it right! Voila you figure out a way to scale the wall. Same with a decision to retire early, once you throw the bag over the wall you do figure out a way!!

  1. Days seem brighter without having to go through a fixed routine every single day: Ever since I retired I love this feeling of having complete freedom from routine. I do not have to follow a pattern perforce, a rut. I notice more things around me like flowers and fragrances and birds. All of this brightens my day in a very childlike way. I am filled with a sense of wonderment. How come I never saw all this before?.Every single day I am grateful for freedom from routine, it is even more liberating than I had thought.
    retirement
    Total freedom from routine
  1. Suddenly it’s your story instead of the story of the organisation your are working for: Once you leave a job you realise that you can write your own story. The story of your dreams, your beliefs and you as a person. You move away from your identity springing from some organisation to your identity emerging from who you are as a person. You no longer are a cog in the wheel or just another brick in the wall. Everything you do or don’t do is because you believe in it; there need not be any other reason. And it’s truly a fantastic feeling. You may be working harder than before but it’s so much fun being you. The  story of power and authority also changes, instead of deriving it from the position you hold it starts coming from the person you are and what you value. It is so much more satisfying.
i am retired
Its my story after retirement

 

  1. Coming to finances, yes that is an important factor. Before you leave you do work out the implications and it’s a good idea to feather the nest reasonably well. You factor in your investments, savings, pension etc so that it does not become a point of stress. Beyond that it does not bother you too much, in fact after retirement I feel I have become much better with handling my money. And as I live everyday with passion I realise I am hardly even thinking which car I own or what is my neighbourhood. I am getting so much happiness from doing my stuff that not much matters to me. Honestly speaking money seems to be the least important factor as you begin to enjoy the real benefits of retirement.

  1. My social and recreational life has improved significantly: This one is extremely satisfying. My social life has picked up at a great speed. I can meet up all my friends, suddenly a lunch on a weekday is not an impossibility and I can attend all the alumni meets I wish to. I can go to movies in day time, catch up on plays and concerts, I can travel on impulse, the list is endless. I am meeting more and more like minded people and interactions are so much more fun without having to keep one eye on clock and the other on the mobile.
    retire young
    Its really a lot of fun to retire young
  2. I started learning new skills as I began to come across new challenges: When you give up a job after doing it for 23 years, the outside world presents a lot of challenges as you start your solo journey and that is the most exciting part. Speaking for myself I was hopeless at social media but I am learning now, I was totally out of date with the current lingo(I thought kick ass was a bad word!), I truly did not know the amazing array of opportunities available now and so on. It’s an adventure which thrills me all the time. Every new experience even if it is something like getting something via 3D printing (mind blowing) ,is hugely gratifying. Early retirement forces you to learn new things and its one of the best things about it.
  1. I feel with retirement I actually began to live life as opposed to making a living. The uncertainty, the unpredictability, the options, the huge amount of possibilities makes you feel as if you are back to your twenties where you were trying to figure out your life and career. And suddenly you are like I want to be a professor, no wait I want to be painter, well actually I want to open a café, noooooo I want to do social work, its closest that can come to reliving your youth and you actually feel so much younger. The anticipation, the eagerness and the novelty of it all takes off at least 20 years from biological age. Incredible but true.
  1. And finally it may seem bit silly but I love it when I forget what day of the week it is!!! Fabulously Fantastic

All in all I feel you should consider retirement while you are young enough to enjoy it, its is more joyous than job certainly. In fact the purpose of every job should be to enable you to retire as early as possible to enjoy life and celebrate yourself. It’s an experience one shouldn’t miss unless one is madly in love with the job they are doing!!

Hey, why don’t we early retirees without a plan form a club, what say? Please share if you have a similar story.

My story is here https://makehappyfoundation.com/2017/11/30/who-am-i-the-small-town-girl/

Also read https://makehappyfoundation.com/2018/01/28/really-really-really-makes-happy/

Please give me many a clap if you liked this.

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