Why this post today? For a start, it touches on one of the big early retirement concerns of "what will I do, will I be bored?" as well as how I got over my little early retirement funk of last month. But perhaps most importantly, it's a reminder that the answer to the "what will I do, will I be bored?" question is mostly down to us.
Remembering back to my early retirement funk of last month. I wasn't feeling my normal self, a little aimless, and maybe the biggest cause was that I didn't have many plans to look forward to. The key was recognising the issue and then realising that the solution was in my own hands. Once I'd done that, it was just a matter of getting off my butt and taking some action to do something about it. That action might be a small step to start with but, in my experience, those first steps tend to quickly turn to next steps.
In my case, my first steps were:
to go on my first overnight bikepacking trip. I didn't know anything about strapping a tent, a sleeping bag and a change of clothes to my bike, but figured it couldn't be too complicated for one night so I just went ahead and did it. I plan to try some more trips over the summer.
to remember that when someone asks if you want to do something, say yes. These things turned out to be fun (and tough!) and they got me being busy. Plus it encourages those same people to ask me again next time they're doing something.
By the way, the two things I said yes to this week were an all day hike with my adventurous early retirement friend and then a long bike ride with another friend. The hike was over difficult terrain but we still covered 22km including over 1,500m of elevation. The bike ride was no easy thing either, nearly seven hours for 120km, not fast but we did have to get over 2,500m of climbing and of course a stop for lunch.
In addition to those big days of physical activity, I went on some shorter bike rides and runs, some with friends and some by myself. Then there were more mundane things like sorting out some money admin issues that I've been putting off. In the exciting, but also pain in the neck box, was booking the flights for our trip later this year - it took ages to find the best combination of flights for our timetable at sensible prices, but they're booked now, woohoo!
If you want to see what else happens in my normal life, check out my post from a few months back where I recorded two weeks of what I do in my early retirement life. You can read it here.
So six weeks on from my little early retirement funk, things certainly feel back on track. I'm convinced it's not a coincidence, but rather because I deliberately make an effort and take some steps to move things forward. In fact, now I don't seem to have enough time to fit everything in! This is how the rest of the year is shaping up:
A hangover from my working days that I still like to keep is the differentiation between weekdays and weekends. Monday to Friday are reserved for being busy and active and keeping to my routines whereas it's OK to be lazy at the weekends, although they can be busy days too.
Obviously the activities that I choose won't be the same as others will choose, and I suspect that over the coming years some of the things that I want to do now will be replaced with new interests. But what I hope it does show is that, with a positive mindset and a can do attitude, early retirement shouldn't be a time where we're lacking things to do and are bored.
I've certainly not found that to be the case, in fact, sometimes I wonder, how did I have time for work before?
P.S.1 - In case you were under the impression that I'm very athletic, it's probably more that I talk a good game. I've been for a run this morning, not that far nor that fast, and this not very flattering picture is me collapsed on the terrace after I'd finished. That should dispel any notion of athleticism! In my defense, it is a hot day, and I'm sticking with that excuse😏
P.S.2 - I know almost nothing about music, but that's not going to stop me telling you my tune of the week, This is the Good Life by Jeremy Fisher. I love the title, the tune sounds like summer and it just plain makes me smile listening to it. That can't be bad.