I just read @jonathanmead‘s post on his experiences with quitting his fulltime job to pursue his own life. This reminded me that it is time to update you on my own progress as a “retired” 33-year old.

Some observations:

  • It does not feel like four months. It feels more like forever or perhaps 2 years. If we assume that people live in compressed, that is, subjective time, this means that I have squeezed 2 years of living into 4 months.
  • I now do things, call it work if you will, in “waves of inspiration”. I have 4 projects and 3 hobbies. They are: The blog, the book, the non-profit, and the copy-editing; and bike repair, watch-repair, and shinkendo. (The only difference between hobbies and projects are that projects are closer to the money). By waves I mean that I will work on something for 3-5 days, then run out of inspiration and retool for another project and work on that for a while.
  • Still, I suffer from the nagging feeling that I am not making enough progress. This comes from a remnant one-career mental pattern. In a typical [creative] career, you work intensely for a period; then run out of steam, then sit on your butt doing nothing (because you’re salaried and hired to do one thing only) for another period, then you get inspired again. So let’s say that over 2 time periods, you make 1 unit of progress. With my new pattern, I make continuous process, but it’s spread thin. It now takes me 7 (see above) time units to make 1 unit of progress in any given area.
  • I think there’s one major difference between me and others who have quit their salaries, namely that I do not depend on work-income. Thus I have not to force myself to focus on making money. Granted, it’s nice to make money, but it’s not a priority. Also, I do not suffer from “productivititis”, which is nice.

There has been some changes from my previous [ERE] strategy. Prior to retiring, I was focused on making money to invest it. I still like to buy shares, but one major change is that I now spend more money on “stuff”. By “stuff” I mean tools. Hence, I am now going against my previous advice of finding hobbies that require not capital assets. The reason is that I now have the time to develop these hobbies to a point where they are neutral or income generating—I no longer have a career that would suffer from lack of attention, and I own my own place, so I have a better idea of how much “stuff” I can store. I’m not getting any big tools. My watch tools fit in about a quarter of a shoebox and the bike tools fit in a shoe box or two. So to summarize, I find my budget inching upwards. I’m essentially using my work-income to buy stuff with a small business owner’s frame of mind; or possibly I just think I have reached the point of diminishing returns in terms of sending more money to Wall Street. After all, what’s the point of a higher passive income, if I’m never going to use it?! Simultaneously I find myself shedding books (I have more than a couple of dozen yards worth of books) and CDs (I have a few yards of those too). I think maybe I’m changing my personality and discovering the “real world” after having spent the past 15 years dealing mainly with intellectual issues.