One Month Into My Early Retirement Adventure!

Sitting around like bumps on a log

Yesterday marked the one month anniversary of my early retirement.  Where did the time go?  Why didn’t I accomplish more?  It seems like just yesterday I was working, yet it also seems like an eternity ago.

I guess I’m a motivated person, and can’t turn the need to be productive off like a switch.  Immediately after retiring I made a quick action plan that I wanted to focus on during the first month of retiring.  The list is a mix of things that I want or need to do, but haven’t really had much time for while working full time.

 

Keeping Busy

Here was my list of goals for the first month:

  1. Ebay a bunch of stuff
  2. Learn a foreign language or 3
  3. Investigate starting a blog and/or a Youtube channel
  4. Get more exercise
  5. Cook even more than I already have been, and perfect some new dishes
  6. Hang out with more people more often
  7. Play more video games
  8. Read more books

 

How did I do?

  1. Ebayed a couple things, but not the 8-10 things I wanted to.
  2. Learn a foreign language – I’m diligently working on French language at Duolingo.com, and trying to do one module per day at least.  The last week I have been pretty successful, but I need to focus more.
  3. Investigate starting a blog and/or a Youtube channel – You are reading this, so obviously the blog is up and going.  No progress on the youtube channel.  The blog is an incredible time suck and an addicting hobby.  I regret I never spent any time before on a project like this!  But I plan to back off the time investment a little bit in month #2.
  4. Get more exercise – Big check on this one!  I have managed to walk the kids to and from school (total 2+ miles per day) and walked to the grocery store, other shopping, library, and community center with our one year old in tow.  This is a great way to get exercise and spend time outdoors.  The weather has been very cooperative here in North Carolina, and hopefully I can keep this up as winter approaches.  Pork Carnitas
  5. Cook even more – Check!  Plenty of time to cook now that I’m retired. I have been working on some new recipes and techniques.  Tamales and french bread have been two recent successes, and today I made some awesome jambalaya and fondant (not for the same dish!).  Now that I have ample free time, I don’t feel guilty that it took me almost all day to make tamales (instead of knocking out other honey do list items).
  6. Hang out with more people Check!  I have set up many play dates with other kids and their parents, and we hosted our daughters’ first sleepover.  Ample lunches with old buddies and reconnecting.  So far I am getting good vibes from everyone on the retirement, and no “complainypants”.
  7. Play more video/computer games – I’m a little disappointed in myself, I thought I would do a better job.  I’ll leave this on the list for month #2 and subsequent months.
  8. Read more books – I have slacked off here as well.  This will be a higher priority next month.  I love to read, and I’m pretty sure the weather will be perfect for some porch sitting and book reading.

I also had the time to keep up with one particularly interesting and rewarding volunteering gig that led to a little bit of impromptu political activism and speech-giving.  Hobnobbing with politicians is more fun when you do it on your terms and for your own good purposes.

Of course, our three kids keep me running ragged.  I have so much quality time with our one year old everyday.  We have a recurring weekly play date with another little boy his age, and our little one loves these trips.  The very early childhoods of my two daughters passed by so quickly, I never had time to realize what I was missing.  Now I’m getting a chance to relive those early days of childhood through the experiences of our little one year old boy.

The thing that is keeping me busiest these days is Root of Good.  It is very rewarding to watch traffic grow each day, and see the visitors continue to rise.  The last few days have seen hundreds of visitors each day, and almost 1,000 page views per day.  The global nature of the internet amazes me, as I watch visitors trickle in from all over the globe (every continent except Antarctica).

As I reflect back on my first month in retirement, the biggest thing that I learned is that you have to intentionally make time for leisure activities that are important to you.  Even if you aren’t working, time can still mysteriously wander away, and it can still be hard to accomplish everything you want to do.  Let’s hope month #2 is more productive in a leisurely way!

 

Hello to all my new friends from around the US and rest of the world!  Drop me a line in the comments below to say “hi” (or hola or bonjour).  If you want to keep in touch, follow me at @rootofgoodblog or on Facebook.  

 

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