Eyes Down, Nose to the Grindstone

This is a guest post from Sheryl in Ontario, who is 41 years old with a grown daughter, and is trying to rebuild her retirement dream just 20 years too late for early retirement.

Focus.  I  sometimes wonder if I focus too much.  I get into a routine, devoting attention to certain areas in my life, and the next time I look up, two months have passed.

After my spending challenge at the beginning of the year, I kept that momentum going, sending as much money to pay down my debt as I could.  I think I went overboard though.  I may have reduced too many things in my life.  I am still happy, but knowing how many kilometers I can drive on my gas budget, and leaving no budget allowance to go for a beer and wings, my life has fallen into the cycle of sleep, work, eat, repeat.

I think if I were left to my own devices, I think I would be a hermit.  I am lucky enough that the real friends I have know and understand that.  It just doesn’t occur to me to contact someone unless I have something I need to communicate with them.  Both of my best friends know that it is not unusual for them not to hear from me for a month at a time.  It’s not that I don’t care, if they called and asked for my help, they know I would drop everything to be there for them.

I interact with my co-workers everyday, both about work stuff and non-work related life stuff, and that seems to be more than enough social interaction for me right now.  Many times, I’m glad at the end of the day to be able to go home and not have to talk to anyone (except the cats) for the rest of the day.  My boyfriend lives with me, and works some evenings and weekends, and I find that works well as we both get time alone, as well as time together.

How will this work for me when I eventually retire? I’m hoping I will be able to balance social time with alone time well enough to keep myself, and the people in my life, happy.  I don’t worry about being bored when I don’t have to go to work anymore, I’m more concerned that by not being forced to have social interactions (like at work),  I may become a reclusive eccentric old cat lady. 😉

For now, I’ll keep doing what I’ve been doing, it seems to be working.  For all that has happened in my life, I’ve always landed on my feet (sometimes with a stumble), my fate is not written anywhere for me to follow, I make it up as I go along.  I’ve learned that once I figure out a way to commit long term to something, I can accomplish anything, and I might decide to become a crazy old Alpaca farmer lady instead, by choice.

4 thoughts on “Eyes Down, Nose to the Grindstone”

  1. I have the same feeling with going through a huge reduction in budget starting about 1 year ago.

    As to this:

    “leaving no budget allowance to go for a beer and wings, my life has fallen into the cycle of sleep, work, eat, repeat.”

    IMO this could mean you have successfully stopped ignoring the reality of what you’re doing to yourself rather than willfully ignoring reality via consumerist distractions. Just make sure not to fall into nihilism; there’s so much out there, and you’re working towards it!

  2. I agree with you completely. My husband and I have purchased 28 acres of land and are building an off grid stone house. The goal is to build ourselves and to become self-sufficient in terms of food (as much as possible). We own the house we are in now and are hoping now to have to use it to pay for the new one. Our goal now is to pay for the new one as we build, without having to borrow – or at least to borrow minimally, and then to retire earlier (we are both nearing 50, and would not like to work past 60). I can easily see us being hermit/cat people! :0)

  3. That was an uncanny description; I feel like this post could have described me (except I’m a crazy dog lady rather than a crazy cat lady).

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