Earning the surplus time to eventually focus on me in a Meaningful Way. This includes realigning my relationships with the world. A bit like a life physio. That’s in short what I want out of financial independence (FI) / early retirement.
For so long I’ve stretched myself, to achieve, to learn in between stuff, to be a success, to earn, to be the best parent, to accumulate. You may relate to some? Thus far I’ve ticked many boxes that are my own and society’s idea of success. I celebrate. The stretch to meet this “need” and that “want” has, over time, bent me somewhat outa shape.
Modern life is not great for health or balance. We all know that. A few seconds of listening to my inner voice tells me…
- I’m unfit.
- So much of free time is spent thinking about work, thinking about leaving my job, and distracting myself from real life (I find myself temporary pleasures to ‘offset’).
- I’ve taken internal compromises to adapt.
- I’m not the best wife i could be.
- I’m feeling a bit jaded.
- I’m feeling disconnected at times.
So while I’ve reflected on stuff to do in Life 1.2 (my midlife gap year plan – If you want to know more, read here and here), it’d make sense that remedying these things above should come first. Clearly there is overlap (for example, doing new stuff should hopefully make me feel less jaded?), but the focus here is simply to become whole again.
Not a cog in a capitalist machine, not a rushed parent and a distracted human who sits in 2-3 places a day living in a mental twilight. Maybe simply to rebuild myself up physically and mentally, that’s a good a start as any! A damn good start, in fact!
So in short, I want to feel fully alive. I know Life 1.2 may not give me that, but it could be a start. I’d be living off surplus (financially) I’m creating now, money wise, so I’d owe it to myself to sort myself out (before that ship sails!). Points 2 and 3 above at least would be met, right?
And on the positive side, I do feel I really have the ability to feel whole. At least 90-95%%*. I have my mental health, I have no exceptional difficulties or disdvantages, I’ve still got my mental faculties (I think), and I have people who love me and I love them. So I realise I’m very lucky. I think this point is an important one. I come from a position of relative ‘privilege’.
So, to re-evaluate Life 1.2 goals? Maybe in order it could be:
This looks pretty good to me. Objectively, that is. Personally, I have a slight exercise aversion (I’m probably underplaying that). But overall, this is what I might need. Also, I should make sure I’m not trying to cram too much in during my year out, or else I’m giving myself new kinds of stress and expectation. Plus, if I’m planning FI, well, there’s more time ahead. 🙂
My last post on happiness has helped me think about long-term fulfillment. Everyone’s picture of that is different, but maybe the above priorities will enable me to achieve that.
I definitely feel this line of thought has been helpful… What about you? What does FI mean to you? Would you like to take a year out of work?
*I think to feel 100% whole might be a bit mythical, especially as a parent. Also, some things you can’t control, like an unexpected health problem in yourself or a close family member. And my third point is that often we have values that conflict – I know some of mine do! And finally, I think recognising that we are not perfect also is a kinder way to live, kinder to ourselves. The wild pursuit of wholeness defeats the object! I think I would find it increasingly elusive….