Nobody panic, I did not quit my day job. Beginning last Friday, I gave myself the following assignment: live this weekend as if I was retired. Mentally, this was harder said than done. Mainly due to the Sunday blues that often precede a busy workweek ahead. Although these Sunday blues come quite often, I am proud to admit that I was able to avoid them!
The purpose of this task was not only to live as if I was retired, but I also tasked myself with journaling my thoughts down on Friday, Saturday, and tonight to see if there was anything to be learned.
My findings were only somewhat surprising. If you would have asked me a year ago why I wanted financial independence, I would have quickly said, "so I do not have to work again!" This is such a superficial, stereotypical answer. Retirement, or financial independence, as an end goal has trouble written all over it, and this weekend further solidified this for me.
So, what was one of the main things I learned this weekend? What I would want to do in retirement, I can already do now, albeit not as often as I would like. Pause for gasps!
Here is how my weekend went. On Friday night, my 2-year-old son and I made One-Pot Chicken Alfredo Soup from Tasty.co. Yes, it sounds odd, but it was very good! After dinner, I did the dishes while our son played. Eventually, my wife and I wrangled our son into his pajamas (it has become increasingly difficult getting our 2-year-old in and out of clothes, so I stand by my word choice - wrangle*), read him four books, then I laid with him for about 30 minutes until he fell asleep.
My final thoughts on our Friday night - I loved it and would not of had it any other way.
Saturday was even better. We had our first Christmas of the season with my parent-in-laws. Our son and I made some delicious ham and spinach puff pastries from Joanna Gaines' cookbook, Magnolia Table, Volume 2, page 149, for the occasion (I get no compensation for anyone clicking this link. I just love her cookbooks so much and wanted to give her credit!).
We spent the afternoon and evening at their home being merry, drinking just a little bit, eating amazing food, and opening up some gifts.
My final thoughts on our Saturday night - it was wonderful and would not wanted to spend it any other way.
Today (Sunday, 12/18/2022), was relaxing, but overall uneventful. Although I avoided the Sunday blues, I was still curious why Sunday still felt different than Friday and Saturday. I avoided stressing about the work week, so why was it not as enjoyable as the previous days? After some reflection, I am confident I know the answer. Even with not stressing about the upcoming week, we still had to spend a big chunk of the day getting ready for our work week.
After thinking about this weekend, I have reached this non-ground-breaking conclusion: I want everyday to be like my Saturday.
I also reached this secondary realization: Since I am already able to do the things I would want to do in retirement, take advantage of that and do not waste a weekend stressing about work or other obligations!
With self-doubt always being present in my head, tasks like these I give myself helps give me confidence I am on the right path. Not having enough time is the number one barrier keeping us from doing more of what we love and is beneficial to our long-term health.
I was suppose to continue the Time Challenge Series in this post, but I chose to go the same route I did last week. I think moving forward I will spend Monday's posts reflecting on our weekend and how/if we made steps to get us closer to our ultimate goal: getting more time to do the things on my Top 13 list.
The agenda moving forward: Wednesday will be be focused on Step 4 - figuring out ways to make more money. Then, on Friday, I plan to have a guest post written by my awesome wife regarding her plans to open a bridal shop :).
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*According to Oxford Languages, "wrangle" means to "round up, herd, or take charge of (livestock)