Financially Independent, Retired Early(ish) at 57.

Wednesday W’s #80.

What’s top of my mind:
I’m not carrying teaching into my 60’s.

It appears that I made the decision without even realising it. On Monday I simply started telling kids and some teachers that I’m not planning on coming back. Once you tell people, it means that you’re locked into a decision.

At least, that’s how it works with me.

I was talking about it with the kids. David29 said, “Mum, you’ve got enough money. I don’t know why you’re still doing it. Just stop it!”

When I was with Evan26 and Jenna, Jenna said something that resonated in my head after she said it. “So, cool, you’re not carrying teaching into your 60’s. “

I LOVE the arbitrary line in the sand of that! I’ve been teaching in my 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and 50’s.

When you think of it like that… maybe it’s time to try something else. Like… say… total freedom over my time.

(I still haven’t let the Daily Organiser know. Maybe I’ll text her just before I jump on the plane.)

Where I’ve been: Racing around.

I leave in 3 days, so I’ve been Getting Things Done. One of those things was seeing Evan26, which is where I saw the lovely little house with the amazing window at the top of the page.

I’ve been to the chemist to get my throat medications for 5 weeks. Tomorrow I’m getting my haircut… You know, the list goes on.

Where I’m going: To see my American cousin.

My Dad’s sister married an American guy, back in the day, and so I have US cousins. My aunt moved back to Australia a couple of decades ago and lately, her son has been popping over to see her every couple of years or so. He’s absolutely lovely. This time, it’s my cousin Jennifer from LA.

I haven’t seen her since I was about 10 when their family came out to Australia to meet us. She’s flying into Melbourne 2 days before I leave, so hopefully her jetlag and my organisation about my trip will mean that we can meet up the day before I go.

What I’m reading: NOTHING.

Yeah, I know. Unprecedented.

I’ll be adding books to my iPad in the next couple of days to make sure I have things to read while I’m away. I got through 6 books ( I think) when I was in Antarctica.

What I’m watching: The Block.

Gutted that I won’t see Bathroom Reveal this week. Imagine the glut of episodes that I’ll have to watch when I get back!

I’ve added lots of daisies, lavender, kangaroo paws, and these protea-type flowers in the photo to my front garden. I’m hoping that Ryan28 will keep them alive, so by Christmas Day my garden will look FABULOUS.

What I’m listening to: Kids pretending to work.

This class I’m in front of is doing a catch-up lesson on their major assignment that we’ve been working on for the last month. Some groups are finished and, after checking what they’ve done against the rubric to make sure that they’ll get top marks, now have free time. Other groups are grimly plugging away at sections they’ve neglected.

I kept telling them to look after “Future Them” when they were lazing around. Some people just have to learn by hard experience.

What I’m eating: Leftovers from the roast lamb we had the other night.


What I’m planning: Where to dump my suitcase on the first day in London.

I’ve paid for an early check-in at 12 PM, but I arrive in London at around 6 AM. It’ll cut the day in half if I’m schlepping over to the hotel in the middle of the day. I want to be out and about seeing things! I’m not sure whether to see if they’ll stow my bag away for me, or if I’ll locate a station with lockers and stash my bag somewhere central for the day.

To avoid jetlag, I’ll have to keep galloping all over the place. By the time it got to mid-afternoon last time, jetlag was starting to hit me hard. By 6:30, over dinner, I fell asleep and woke up literally one inch from faceplanting into my food. I had Scott there to keep me awake last time. This time it’ll be just me.

Who needs a thumbs up: The nice chemist with the melatonin tablets.

I’m hoping that a combo of drowsy anti-histamines and melatonin on the plane will help me adjust to the local time much easier than in 2015.

What has made me smile:

I took this photo of the boronia that I bought when I was at the nursery last week. I’ve tried a couple of times to grow them, but they’re notoriously finicky and they died both times. I love their scent though.

When I was buying colour for my front yard, I saw a worker putting out heaps of these on display and I mentioned my murderous past to her.

“I used to be exactly the same, but then I changed how I looked at them,” she said. “I look on the m as an annual. I keep one in the kitchen every year, where I can smell it first thing every day when I get up. When it gets sick, I put it in the compost and buy another one the next year. It works out far cheaper than buying cut flowers.”

So I’m giving it a go. I hope Ryan28 keeps it alive until I get back, because the smell is divine.

Dad joke of the day:


  1. Maureen Carreau

    You sure do retire a lot – but you have to do what works best for you. One strategy for getting through jet lag is to go to a movie and take a power nap. Cinemas these days have reclining seats – at least the modern ones. Just make sure it’s a boring movie. Have a fabulous trip!

  2. bethh

    Stopping working for your 60s sounds like a very easy line to honor! That sounds really wonderful, and pleasingly symmetrical.

    My goodness the globe is so big. I just mapped out your likely travel time, and the time zone difference, and I guess the fact is you’ll just be a mess 🙂 Stashing a bag centrally seems like the best bet – if you can just hold out until late afternoon or so before you crash, it will be amazing!

    My one big travel tip is to locate a few good restaurants for your very first meals – so breakfast and perhaps lunch for you. (Though I can’t remember, perhaps someone is meeting you, therefore hopefully making those decisions for you.) I had sad meals on my first days in Dublin, and Venice, and have not made that mistake again. I also like to find a free walking tour (you then tip the guide) so I can zombie around after someone with knowledge, while getting fresh air and stretching my legs.

    • FrogdancerJones

      I’ve paid for breakfasts at the first hotel I’m staying at, so hopefully the buffet will be amazing. Yes, I’m going to try and keep on my feet on the first day as long as I can.

  3. Onevikinggirl

    Your trip will be fabulous, and I am looking forward to hear about it.
    Happy retirement! (wink)

  4. Josie

    Gotta love Jenna’s way with words! When I retired, my company wanted me to sign an as-needed consulting contract. Thank goodness I had met with a group of businesswomen right before that as the one retiree who did such a contract said “I’m no really free”. Boy, did that resonate and made me realize, yes I had enough money.

    If Ryan is half as meticulous gardening as he is assembling IKEA furniture, you will have a lovely garden at Christmas!

    • FrogdancerJones

      I’ve never heard of a contract like that. It sounds awful! I’m glad you had that warning.
      I’ll have to show your comment to Ryan28 – it might help to jog his memory!

  5. sandyg61

    I love the line in the sand. Enjoy the freedom of the 60’s and beyond!!!

  6. Loretta

    Have a brilliant trip FD. And yes to retirement! It is fantastic.

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