So it’s been 2 weeks since we left the big city and stopped working full time. Time has definitely slowed down and I have already mistaked a Monday for a Tuesday twice (our new garbage day). As I mentioned before, the house we moved into was about 99% complete but we still have a ton of work to do around the house and working on completely redoing the outside.
The biggest change that I’ve observed since quitting our jobs is that I’m probably working twice as hard. The kids are sleeping well in their new bedrooms but for some reason get up at 6AM every morning even though we moved their bedtime to 30 minutes later. So no sleeping in for this retired family.
We have now completed all the finishings inside the house and have stripped all the existing siding on the house. Next week we start installing new siding. D has repurposed an old dining set we got on kijiji for $4o into a beautiful set that you would think we paid several hundreds for. She also created a toy storage unit for the kids that you might buy at Pottery Barn. All while cleaning the entire house from top to bottom and really helping to make the outside look less shitty.
I feel like I have a lot more energy but I feel more exhausted than ever at the end of each day. D and I are definitely happier and the kids are adjusting well overall. We are trying to follow a pretty structured schedule including going to play groups, parks or the library every day. We installed our bikes and bike trailer and have been biking almost everywhere. In our first 12 days we used less than 1/4 tank of gas.
This week, I worked 8 to 10 hour days for 4 days straight doing pretty hard labour stripping our siding and cleaning our yard and shed. I was outside enjoying the beautiful weather but I was really getting sick of it. For about half a second I started thinking “what have I got myself into with this retirement thing?”. Then we decided to pack up and leave Friday morning to go visit D’s parents in Southern Ontario for the weekend. I already feel rested and looking forward to working on the house again. That’s the beauty of no committed full time jobs. We definitely enjoy hard work but we have the flexibility to take breaks whenever we want.
We would have never been able to just spontaneously decide to leave for a weekend and not work Friday but now we can. And today is Sunday and we are in no rush to get back home. We will decide at some point today to head back (it’s just a 3 hour drive). But if we wanted to we could stay for dinner and head back in the morning.
Our biggest fear with this plan was how would it feel to not have to go to work. Would we get bored? Would we get lazy? Would the kids lack structure?
So far I can confidently say that my expectations have been positively surpassed. I have not been bored for a second (I haven’t even watched a single playoff hockey game yet! Maybe in the second round…). We are working harder than we ever have, but doing things we love and want to do. The kids are doing really well and our schedule and structure is working extremely well.