Financially Independent, Retired Early(ish) at 57.

It’s the little things.


This morning was another cold and rainy one in Melbourne’s bout of wintery weather. It’s a Tuesday morning during term 4 of school. It was probably around 7 AM. I stirred, then heard heavy rain start to fall on the tin roof outside.

“Hmmm, guess I’ll roll over and go back to sleep. Don’t want to take the dogs out in that,” I thought.

We ended up with feet hitting the floor at 7:50 AM… exactly the time that in years gone by I’d be racing out the door, thinking, “Oh shit, I’m late!!”

I like retirement. The mornings are so peaceful, warm and snuggly.


I’m making a quilt for my son David28. It was designed by his younger brother, Ryan26, and it’s HUGE!. It’s queen-sized and will measure 99″ X 99″ (251cm X 251cm). ****

I was happily sewing away yesterday when I made a mistake which needed what seemed like 1400 hours with the Quickunpick. I was ripping seams and trying to get corners right and it was quite the exercise in concentration.

I want to have this quilt finished by Christmas.

In days gone by, the only times I had available to quilt was weekends and school holidays, where I had to fit it around everything else that also needed doing. Fixing a mistake like this used to have an extra layer of angst because “I don’t have TIME for this!!!!”

How often have I said that sentence over the years?

Yesterday, as I sat doggedly ripping and stitching away, I knew it’d take some time but I’d work it out. If necessary, I could take all afternoon to get it right and it wouldn’t matter at all. Instead of only having 5 weekends before Christmas to finish this absolute monster-sized quilt, I have 5 whole weeks.

It was such a novelty to feel so calm when I was working on a mistake.

I like retirement. It’s so soothing.


On Twitter, I saw a post by Gwen. She was asking about how many alarms people have on their phones. People were sending in videos of them scrolling down, showing 10, 20 , 30+ alarms. Others were replying, saying they had 50+ alarms, ranging from wake-ups to 5 minute warnings before meetings.

I like retirement. No more startling noises in the early mornings.

Goodreads challenge.

I’ve always loved reading. I could read before I went to school and it has always been a beautiful refuge for me. I’ve been tracking my reading each year on the Frog Blog since 2007 and this is definitely the year that I’ve read the most.

My ‘Earn My Rates Back’ challenge has definitely helped, but suddenly having 10 extra hours each weekday – and that’s only if there wasn’t an hour-long meeting tacked on at the end of the school day; then it’s be closer to 12 hours because of peak hour traffic – means that if I choose to spend an afternoon engrossed in a storyline, then I can.

When I read a new-to-me book, I find that I have to gulp it down in huge chunks. No spreading it out over 4 weeks reading a page or so a day for me! No – I have to find out what happens as soon as possible, so when I pick up a new book it’s lots of consecutive hours spent with that book and nothing else.

Because of that, most of my reading during term times was RE-reading books. I already knew what was going to happen, so I could pick them up and put them down far more easily. It’s like visiting an old friend. And really, who has the time to fully immerse yourself in a world during term times?

So my new books were almost always read during holidays.

Now? Every day’s a holiday. I’ve read more new-to-me books than I ever have before. And I’m loving it.

I like retirement. I’ve been able to live so many more lives than I ever have before.

And now, before I zip off into the sewing room to chip away at David28’s quilt, here’s why I used inches instead of the by FAR more sensible centimetres when I was talking about it before:

**** Some of you who aren’t quilters might wonder why I’ve measured the monster-sized quilts in inches. Despite being one of only 3 countries IN THE WHOLE WORLD to use imperial measurements, the majority of quilters are in the US, so inches are used.

Ugh. Even the people who invented imperial measurements have moved to metric!

Dad joke for today:

The rotation of Earth really makes my day.  


  1. Josie

    I love this post!
    I am retiring in April (not really early) and your retirement posts make me more and more excited to ensure the simple – yet important – things in life. Thankyou for continuing to share your journey.

    • FrogdancerJones

      Thank you for taking the time to comment.
      Sometimes I wonder if I’m just sending words out into the void…. then every now and then I get a comment like this.

      • Josie

        Never think that! Many people, myself included, hesitate to comment on well-written blogs with a faithful following.

  2. Latestarterfire

    I’m one of those with too many alarm times in my phone and was too embarrassed to show the real picture! Waking up without alarm(s) is definitely one of the perks of retirement that I’m most looking forwards to plus the reading till all hours of the day (night) and the spontaneity to drive to Gippsland to see the Archibald exhibition. I am living vicariously through you at the moment!

    • FrogdancerJones

      Soon, before you know it, it’ll be you.

  3. Kathy Aylward

    Yes as a quilter I’m in inches too and when I scrapbooked it was 12 x 12 so I know what a square looks like so even though I learnt cm…I work in inches because of those twoo things.

    • FrogdancerJones

      Quilting (and height) are the only things I’m imperial with.
      Everything else is metric.

      • Claire

        Haha love the pun. Thanks for sharing that map, it’s eye-opening!

  4. Maureen

    All the little joys of retirement are sweet against the backdrop of so many years of the educational schedule. Your posts are helping me find the joy as we northern hemisphericals head into the long grey slog of winter. Let the home reno projects begin!

  5. Cashback Koala

    I like the idea of not needing an alarm – congratulations on your early-ish retirement!

  6. sandyg61

    No alarms on my phone, no alarm set in my bedroom. I think the only time I set one is when I’ve got a flight to catch and that’s not happening any time soon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *