Early Retirement

keep-calm-early-retirement-beckonsI started writing this blog, because I figured if I was awake maybe putting some of my worries and rants down in print might help me dish off some anxiety.  I hoped maybe it would allow me to work through some of the stress and tension I experienced on a daily basis. I certainly wasn’t having any success tossing and turning at night.  I usually ended up exhausted from the ordeal of attempting to force sleep.  So, I started writing down what bothered me, or stressed me out, or sometimes what interested me. When I first started this blog, I was living with a man that was a sorry mess.  As I look back on my life, there are a few episodes I wish I could completely erase.  This man was one of them.

As the relationship unwound, I found myself filled with anxiety and I brought that anxiety here. I also found myself awake at night worried about my career and supporting my family.  In those days, I was struggling financially, after a divorce where I ended up with ALL the marital debt.  That was my reward for marrying a man who never paid his bills. I worried about everything. It kept me up.  I ranted through it all here.  My life is in a very different place than when I began this blog almost four years ago.

I am married, and it’s a good marriage.  We’ve been married for 15 months, and though there’s been a great deal of adjusting and turbulence during that adjustment, there isn’t the fear and dread that we made some horrible, terrible mistake.  We like each other.  We have a good time together. It’s working for us. We just both have our own bit of baggage to sort through, but we’re doing it.

I no longer live in the same city where I spent the last 23 years of my life. I no longer live in the same state where I grew up and spent most of my life. I no longer live in The States at all.  Currently, I’m living overseas.  Now, for someone who, until a year ago, didn’t even have a passport, that’s a pretty big shift.

And finally, I’m no longer working.  I’ve gone from over committed and spread way too thin, to an empty calendar with no obligations other than those I choose for myself. The career that consumed me, that drove me, that sustained me, and kept me up at nights has ended. I walked away. I didn’t get fired.  I wasn’t in danger of being terminated.  I just took a leave of absence. I’m pretty sure I won’t return. I have a while before I have to indicate my intent to return to my position, and I’ll take all the time I need to decide, but for now, I’m not waking up at 5:30 every morning to struggle through the rat maze of work and meetings and projects and data and reports and deadlines at mach 5 with my hair on fire. My life is blissfully obligation free. My calendar is delightfully empty.

And yet, I’m still wide awake at 2:30 a.m.

I’m not awake due to stress.  I’m awake because I’m so excited to do all the things I want to do. I’m happy. I’m energized.  I can’t sleep.

After tossing and turning for 45 minutes, my husband wakes up briefly and tells me to get up and do something so I don’t keep him awake too.  I was eager to comply.  So here I am, in the wee hours of the night in a European city, hammering away while the rest of the world is blessed with sleep.  It’s alright because I’m not reporting to a job where my time is allocated for me daily.  These days I set my own schedule.  I eat when I want.  I use the restroom when I need to and not when my designated break time arrives. If I want to take a nap, I can. So I don’t worry about being up at odd hours.

It’s not often that someone agrees to pay your bills, provide for all your wants and needs and has no expectations of you, but that’s exactly what my husband has done for me. I never thought I’d get to retire early, but here I am.  I’m excited about this.  I’m finally able to do some of the things I’ve always wanted to do, but for which I never had enough time and money. I’m like a kid the night before Christmas. I’m filled with so much excitement and anticipation about all the possibilities my days hold, that it is keeping me up at night. I’m in a great place in my life and I’m incredibly grateful.

About Miz Insomniac

Usually, it's the kids who grow up and leave home, but Miz Insomniac switched it up. When her kids grew up she decided to make her dreams come true so she flew the nest. After making 12 trips across the pond and back to Europe, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East in 2014-15, Miz Insomniac now qualifies as a world traveler. She hasn't quite mastered the fine art of traveling light, but she knows how to manipulate travel plans to avoid missed flights and jet lag. A former hopeless romantic turned realist, she's stateside now reinventing her life in a new city, with new opportunities, and all the challenges that come with leaving a career, traveling abroad for a year, and then returning to a world that's nothing like she left it. Her overseas travel is by no means over, it's just not as frequent. She's different now, but remains a night owl. She writes when she should be sleeping...and while you probably are.

Posted on September 5, 2015, in Career, Dealing With Stress, Just Can't Sleep and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Wow, it’s so nice to hear from you after a long hiatus. I’m so happy for you, no longer spending your days ‘at mach 5 with your hair on fire.’ We all deserve happiness, and I’m happy to hear about yours. I quite enjoy Europe. My wife is Hungarian, and whenever we visit it seems like I’ve been removed from this world–or that I realize America is not the world.

    • So good to hear from you, Tom! It was a rough couple of years for me. The stress was over the top and now it just is gone. Of course, that stress and the self-indulgent lifestyle choices in terms of food and drink and neglecting exercise requires some attention now. I understand what you mean about realizing that America is not the world. I wish I’d gotten out earlier to see this beautiful planet and more of her people. It’s been a great experience.

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