Oddly, I’ve noticed that number one question I get from someone when I mention my early retirement plan is: what are you going to do with all that time? Which I find odd, since I would likely ask: how do you make that work? But anyway, I thought perhaps I should address the first question on what are my plans around my bucket loads of extra time when I no longer have a day job.
To address the issue I’ve considered that a person needs a bit of balance to your life. You can’t just do one thing and do it all the time. As I’ve already noticed in my life I go through periods of heavy interest in one thing for a month and then that drops off as I pick up something else for a while. I tend to cycle through my interests on a regular basis. So I need a few interests to allow me to cycle through them and so far here is a list of ideas broken out by some rough sections.
House projects – painting, new flooring, refinish kitchen cupboards, minor repair jobs, new front patio, expand the garden plot, replace patio doors with garden doors, new front door…really this doesn’t end. I also want to look into perhaps designing and building a tiny writing studio in the backyard.
Writing & Reading – My want to read list for books is well endless, I’ve never managed to clear it off. Then writing wise I, of course, have this blog and about five different novel ideas which I have developed into some general plot planning. Then I would like to do a follow up to Free at 45 book on the actual transition from work to retirement.
Friends and Family -Hanging out more with my own immediate family, since right now it feels like we are just barely managing to squeeze in some time on a weekend to do something together. I would also like to get better at visiting my friends and extended family or just having more time to help them out with their projects. But some of them require some long trips to see which I will suddenly have lots of time to do so. Some of this will overlap with my next point.
Travel – My kids love to camp and I think it would be fun to start of list of places in Western Canada we want to try out and work our way through that list. Not to mention getting back to places we have seen, but want to go back and of course everyone has a list of international locations they want to see.
Gaming – I’ve always loved games (tabletop, or video games), but I don’t have much time to play them currently. So I have developed a nice stash of ~30 video games I would like play for longer than an hour or two a week. And I won’t mind getting in some more board game time in with friends.
Movies and TV: I have always loved to watch movies, but do you think I have ever gotten close to finishing My List on Netflix..nope. Then add in my library account holds and well I might catch up…someday (well at least for a day until something else gets my attention).
Learning: I have a serious thing about learning new skills or expanding my own knowledge base. So given lots of free time I could do more online learning, workshops and other learning options. For example, I have never taken a class on economics, but I would like to learn more. I would even have time to get a certificate or another degree if I really wanted.
Physical – You know how it is hard to make time for your workout every day. Well imagine if that isn’t the case? Hello running, yoga, roller blading, swimming and perhaps learn a bit about something fun and out there like sword fighting.
Work – As I have stated more than a few times, I don’t mind work. I just don’t particularly enjoy full time work. Some places I plan to look into are: libraries, bookstores, micro breweries, micro distilleries, publishers, an election worker and well just about anything else that catches my interest. Part time hours and short contracts would actually be ideal.
Then of course I have my current pile of interests: brewing beer and wine at home, cooking, and managing the investments. Then add in the usual stuff you need to continue to do like cleaning, yard maintenance and guess what I’m more than filled up my 40 hour work week. If anything, I expect the same problem I have now: too much to do and not enough time.
So what would you do if you didn’t have to do your day job?