So I have a spring birthday and I have managed to get a year closer to my goal of free at 45 which got my thinking about how much progress I’ve made toward financial independence. In a world that too often sends a lot of time on numbers as measures of progress I thought I would point out the other side of the coin: what am I going to do with all of that extra time?
I personally have tried to ensure I have a well rounded set of interests to support a meaningful life when I leave the world of full time work. As such here are a few things that I will continue to build capacity in:
- Volunteering. I have to admit after doing the school board trustee job for a while I rather like doing some meaningful work in my life. I can see helping out in various organizations as I have the time and using my skills to support the work they do (I’ll have to shop around and find out who’s work I like the best).
- Reading. I continue to read a lot regardless of how busy I become. I also try to keep expanding my sphere of interest by trying new topics.
- Gardening. I’m not a good gardener, but I keep trying to get better at it as I learn more from others and library books.
- Writing. Beyond keeping working on this blog I’m going to try to working on a couple of manuscripts that I have going. I will also expand into the publishing side a bit by trying to self publish at least one book.
- Physical activity. Including yoga, roller blading and I’m thinking about buying a bike (I haven’t owned one for years) since my oldest has now learned to ride a bike.
- Wine Making. An old hobby of my that I could easily spend more time doing in the future.
- Building Things. I enjoy fixing things and in the next couple of years a couple of family members will be building new cottages so I intend to help out and expand my skill sets in construction, electrical and plumbing. I’m also thinking about doing a furniture project as I can’t find a new desk that I like.
- Politics. I’ve also been a bit of political junkie so I might spend more time supporting a party or running for a different office in the future. The other side of the coin would be to do more on the activist side for a particular cause.
- Family and friends. I could easily spend more time keeping in better contact with people. This is one of my week spots at the moment as time has been tight lately.
Of course this isn’t every I could do, but rather some ideas for building capacity in various interests. Over all I’m not even worried about filling my time. I think at least on that side of the coin I’m ready for early retirement when I get there. So do you try to expand your interests and try new things? If so what have you tried lately?