Financially Independent, Retired Early(ish) at 57.

Wednesday W’s #51.

What’s top of my mind: How UNretired people don’t have a clue.

I was sitting at my desk today and a couple of people were talking about a colleague who is apparently going to retire soon and is very unhappy about it. She said to one of my friends that “I don’t know what I’ll do all day.”

They were nodding away, saying, “Yes, what will she do all day? She’ll have no clue.”

And, “I don’t want to retire. In my scenarios of when I win Tattslotto, I always think of my husband retiring but not me.”

“Well, exactlly. What would I do all day? I know how she feels.”

Ugh. I was all, “I know I’m here now, and some people might say that I’ve obviously got bored and come back to work, (which is BS), but honestly, retirement is GREAT! There’s so much to do… the days are always filled and you have total freedom to be yourself and do whatever you want to do. Tell her she’s going to love it.”

Where I’ve been: Chopping up pictures for my desk.

I’m a woman of my word. I said I’d cover my desk with pictures of where I’m going to be going and so I have. In the interests of accuracy, I stuck a piece of paper over the ‘Britain’ part of the title, because I’m only going to England and Ireland. Scotland and Wales will have to wait for another trip.

It’s already working. Some people have come up with a smirk, saying, “Thought you retired?” I walk them around to my desk, point at it and say, “Yeah, I retired. But you know me… I can’t ignore the lure of a “free” trip overseas! Five weeks in England and Ireland in September.”

That shuts them up.

Where I’m going: Costco.

We’re running out of the raw meat patties that I feed the dogs, so it’s to Costco I’ll go! I’ll also grab a slab of eggs while I’m there. They may be slightly more expensive than Aldi but it’s more convenient to have a tonne of eggs in the fridge.

There used to be years when I’d ignore the convenience factor and I’d go for what was cheapest. Nowadays, I usually still go the frugal route, but I’m loosening up the rules a tad.

What I’m reading: The Rest of Us Just Live Here – Ness.

I’m really enjoying this one. You know how when there’s a plucky band of teenagers fighting the forces of evil – think ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’, for example – and they go to school and mingle with all of the ordinary kids? This novel explores the situation from the point of view of the normal kids – the ones who aren’t in the thick of the action but who still live where all of the drama takes place.

Each chapter begins with a paragraph summarising what’s happening from the core of the plucky kids’ experiences, sort of like a plot summary of a tv show. Then the rest of the chapter follows what the ordinary kids are doing.

It’s great. I have 2 English classes tomorrow, so 2 x 10 minutes wide reading will just about finish it off.

What I’m watching: Australian Survivor.

They really have to be careful about the level of danger in the challenges they get the contestants to do. In the first episode two people were injured… one with a broken collar bone. She had to leave the game.

Unfortunately, the person that had only minor injuries was a contestant I hate with a pure volcanic passion – he’s such an absolute wanker – so he’ll be coming back into the game. The producers were probably lucky that no one snapped their neck. The Australian version is a lot more gritty than the US one.

I love Survivor.

What I’m listening to: Mrs England.

I’m about halfway through this Edwardian gothic audiobook and I’m loving it. If I have to have a commute, this is a very pleasant way of dealing with it.

What I’m eating: Carmen’s Protein bars from Aldi.

I bought a packet of these to keep in my desk in case I needed something to eat at recess.

They’re awful. So SWEET.

This will motivate me to eat a hearty breakfast each morning so I don’t have to eat one.

What I’m planning: I can’t say this week.

Tom31 told my ex-husband about this blog a while ago. Apparently, A is interested in FI/RE as well. I have no idea if he pulls up this blog to read.

But just in case he IS reading… A…Don’t freak out, because no one who reads this blog has a clue as to who you are IRL. I’d like to say to you: please let the boys’ half-sister come to David30’s wedding. She was so looking forward to it and so were the boys. If she comes, it’s something they’ll all remember with gratitude and love.

Who needs a good slap: Whoever put the class lists together at the campus I’m at.

A small part of me was hoping that the classes I’ll be teaching this term would be awful, so that I’d never do this again. However, I’ve met three out of the four classes I’ll have. They all seem really nice.

I mean, don’t get me wrong. This is good news. But it’s not making my obvious need to learn to say “no” to the school any easier!!

What has made me smile: The elderly dogs I’m looking after.

It’s now been a week and a half, and after a very traumatised few days at the start, Silver and Elizabeth have slowly settled in. Silver follows me around all the time, whereas Elizabeth will keep her distace but settle at my feet whenever I sit down.

Yes, I’m glad I have hardwood floors. You can imagine why…

Yes, I wish that they didn’t bark so much. (They’re learning to chill though, which the neighbours would be pleased about.)

But all in all, for two old dogs who have never been away from their Mum in their lives, they’re doing extremely well.

Dad joke of the day:


  1. Amy

    I find it so sad when people say they don’t know what they’d do in retirement. Their whole identity must be caught up in their work, and they must have a complete lack of personal interests. I like my work and my colleagues, but I certainly wouldn’t be bored if I retired tomorrow! What would happen if you responded by saying ‘it’s so wonderful that you enjoy your job so much that you prefer to be at work than anywhere else ‘? That might get them thinking. I hope they will realise before it’s too late that you need to be young enough to enjoy retirement.

    • FrogdancerJones

      I agree. There are so many things to do with this one wild and crazy life!

  2. Josie

    Before I retired last year, everyone at work was asking “but what will you doooooo all day?” I always laughed and said I have a list a mile long! Now when I see people, some have asked in a snarky way “so are you bored yet”? Not even a little bit! The financial prep for retirement is only half the battle; having interests and friends is as important.
    And thanks for including the link for your Ireland tour company, their itineraries look very interesting. I look forward to hearing how they are!

    • FrogdancerJones

      Yes, let’s hope I have plenty to write about.

  3. sandyg61

    It’s sad that people feel they have so little life except for their work. Part of retirement planning to me is the ‘life’ part as well as the funds to live that life.

  4. Maureen

    Five weeks! You sure know how to do retirement.

  5. Loretta

    Gosh, I have sooo many choices as to what to do each day. Swim? Walk? Go for a beach run? Crochet? Knit? Quilt? Play with the dogs? Garden? Write? Read? Meditate? Do yoga? Practise the piano? Play board games? Visit friends? Bake a cake? Go to the library? Op shop fossicking? (Sometimes I manage all of the above in one day, and sometimes I just lie in my hammock and stare at the sky). And most of my fun costs any/much money!

    • FrogdancerJones

      I know! It’s weird and a bit sad that some people are so scared of retirement.

  6. FIRE for One

    My dad wondered the same thing when he retired. It wasn’t long until he was saying he couldn’t figure out how he ever found time to work!

    • FrogdancerJones

      I believe him. Now that I’ve retired, whenever I pick up short contracts, it’s a PIA to have to cram things into the weekends or after school. Yet i lived decades like that…

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