You’ve (probably) heard of the 80’s movie The Neverending Story.
Well I am here to introduce a new concept: The Neverending Vacation.
It’s now been a little over 2 weeks since I quit my job and moved up north to be with my boyfriend, and I thought a recap of my first few weeks would be useful for everyone.
So far, it doesn’t really feel like I quit yet. It feels more like a vacation in a super nice Airbnb. I still get calls from my former coworkers telling me they miss me. I even had my first dream about work. I suspect as I settle in the house it will stop feeling like an Airbnb and more like home. I am really loving living in Minneapolis despite the 20″+ (IN APRIL) of snow that has fallen. I was able to reconnect with a childhood friend of mine for drinks, and start to deepen my connection to the local FI bloggers. (shoutout to Apathy Ends!)
It’s really quite impressive I’ve managed to do that with only leaving the house 4 times in 17ish days.
I have absolutely no reason to go outside, so I don’t. I also have no desire to go outside when it’s cold and snowing tons. It’s pretty awesome to not get up at o’ dark thirty and suffer through the cold and gross, though! I do look forward to going outside more once the weather warms up so I can take walks around the lakes or nice long bike rides on the paths around here.
I have been SUPER PRODUCTIVE since I quit and moved. Lots of work has been done on the podcast, this blog, and on my blossoming Etsy shop. My Inkscape skills have improved a ton since we started our Mastermind course 6 weeks ago! I have plans to create several different bundles in the future: alphabets and the 50 state outlines. Check out this one I did of Nevada recently:
And yet.… despite all the productive work I’ve done.…
I don’t think I can keep up this pace. I’m not going to lie, the first iteration of this post that I wrote made me break down into tears and put off writing for 4 days. All in all, the fact I made it that long without some sort of break is impressive.… I’d say.
I don’t want to admit this, but I think I took on too much at once.
I can deal with quitting my job and starting to hustle online full-time.
I can deal with packing up my entire life and moving to a different state.
I can deal with moving in with my boyfriend and figuring out our new lives together.
I could not and cannot handle all of those at the same time. About the only thing I can say is I am incredibly grateful I don’t also have to deal with figuring out a new job and coworkers and everything that entails.
I was struggling hard core with burnout before I quit. I assumed being burnt out would magically stop once I wasn’t at work for 9+ hours a day.
Oh, how wrong I was.
If anything, I think I am even more burnt out than I was. I have worked harder after quitting. The pressure of losing my “guaranteed” income from work got to me. I am petrified of running out of money, or some major unplanned, expensive repair popping up on the rental.
Therefore, I am overcompensating and throwing myself into work in order to build that income back up.
I don’t regret quitting when I did. Despite the incredible mix of emotions swirling through me right now, I am happy I did. Having someone to give you a hug or be a shoulder to cry on is really, really nice to have around. Instead of seeing my boyfriend once a fortnight, I get to see him every single day! He is an incredibly wise person and has made a number of useful suggestions as we work through figuring out how to live together. Our relationship has moved relatively quickly so it’s really wonderful to get to step back and slow it down a bit.
He’s helped me realize I need to take time off even if my caveman brain is telling me I can’t afford it.
I’m taking next week off.
I’ll be online as little as possible. The house is fully stocked with snacks. We’ve got like, 8 different video game systems I can play. There’s stacks of books calling my name. I used to be able to stretch out and read a book for hours at a time, and I would like to get back into that mode. (any entrepreneurial/finance book suggestions are more than welcome!)
Heck, I’ve even got some counted cross stitch I can work on if I so choose. (Pallet Town home sweet home design in case you were wondering).
This is an ideal time to take off. I don’t HAVE to post things here. We’ve got a hefty backlog of episodes for the podcast and as long as I get my share of the show notes done, I am clear on that for 3 weeks! Our Digital Download Etsy Mastermind groups ended this week. I literally have no reason to be on the computer next week.
The thought makes me giddy.
I was worried that I’d be seen as a slacker, or a hack, or weak but I honestly don’t care what conclusions people draw about me anymore. I need a break, I’ve got the time, so I’m going to take it.
Wish me luck!
Penny @ She Picks Up Pennies says
Good luck! So glad you are taking time for yourself. Brava!
Ms ZiYou says
Take it easy Gwen, I’m in awe of how much you do and just how much you achieve each week. You’ve got so many things going on, it’s no surprise you are burned out.
Enjoy the vacation! You’ll feel a hundred times better after taking a break and come back with a new perspective.
Team CF says
Best of luck Gwen, relax and attack the anything you need to do just one at a time! Been doing the same since quitting my job last week, is still going well!
Mrs. Kiwi says
Our paths are soo similar right now (and I’m one of the other millennials who does counted cross stitch, what are there a dozen of us?).
I quit my job a few weeks before you and have been enjoying my mini retirement, where I’m working to grow my online business. I have zero plans to return to traditional employment. But I’m mostly hoping to recharge after burnout from work too. I took my first week and set super minimal goals. Slept in, hung out with my dogs, and read two books.
It’s a hard balance to strike, and I think most people assume my time is endless right now. But I have no problem filling it up, especially since the hubby and I can spend hours just chatting.
Enjoy your week unplugged! Good luck!
You’ll be fine! Worse case, you’ve got a legion of similarly tormented souls right in your backyard to hang with now. Cards Against Humanity and a box of cheap red to the rescue!
Mr. PIE says
Taking a break before it ever becomes the break-down is so important. Too much life change is a real challenge for most folks so you are not alone with those feelings.
In 10 weeks we will have both retired from our respective jobs, sold our home and moved our kids to the NH mountains where they will start a new school in September. It is often said that a home sale is one of life’s most stressful experiences. Through on top of that those other things and it becomes a crazy whirlwind and it is hard to step out of the chaos to actually see what is going on at a practical level and mental level.
Good for you to take a pause on all the change, reflect on the journey and put self-care top of the priority list.
This is very timely for me because I’m totally burnt out, and I just put in my 2‑week notice at work yesterday. I’ll be starting my new job in 4 weeks, so I’ll have a 15-day break in between to relax & recharge. I’m contemplating a trip, maybe a flight somewhere or a road trip because I’ve never really had the time off AND the financial security to do it, at the same time. So far I’ve only had plenty of time OR plenty of money, so this is a nice predicament to figure out 🙂
Have a GLORIOUS week, Gwen!
Yet Another PF Blog says
It’s good you’re taking some time to decompress. Best of luck!
Haha, I still have the occasional dream about work or my bosses. So strange. It’s like Stranger Things where the kid throws up the bug at the end of Season 1. Part of it still lurks inside of me.
freddy smidlap says
not that you asked, but something that’s always helped me was making sure to get some exercise, at least enough to break a sweat 3–4 times a week. i think it makes for more restful rest.
Add me to the burn out club! My last day was 3.5 weeks ago. I did too much the week following my last day, and spent Retirement Week #2 sick with a cold! Now I’m trying to balance tackling my backlog of home projects with breaks. I have yet to add “fun” things to my daily activity list. My husband doesn’t retire until fall and I feel pressure to earn my keep at home until he joins me. Gah! Iyhink we need a local burnt-out-early-retiree meet up and vent session. Seriously!
This sounds like it’s definitely the best idea for you. Revel in your time off and have fun!
Tami Mitchell says
I feel you! The pressure doesn’t have to be exterior, it can come from yourself and be just as intense, or I would say: worse. As someone who works from home and feels the need to be productive all the time and suffers health issues because of it, I have to make myself take breaks now. I take forced mini vacations frequently. Even when I don’t feel like I need one, because I WILL need one if I don’t take them. I have to plan them into life like everything else or they won’t happen.
Support during this transition! and also: Major kudos! You figured it out very quickly. Your self awareness is awesome. You realized what was happening and are tacking action steps. Admirable.
Erin | Reaching for FI says
Ooh cross stitch! I haven’t done that since middle school but sometimes I think about taking it back up. You’re going through a lot of changes all at once so nothing wrong with wanting or needing to take some time for yourself–enjoy your vacation!
Yes! Take the week off and enjoy yourself!!
This is such a great post, and shows the potential consequence of the “hustle, hustle, hustle” mentality. Sometimes you just can’t hustle anymore without hurting your mental and/or physical health.
Fritz @ The Retirement Manifesto says
You’ve earned it. Take it. No apologies needed!
It may have been one of the most difficult posts for you to write but I want to say thank you – because it was one of the most honest and real to read.
You’ve spent so long working towards this but that doesn’t mean the transition is all roses. It’s a transition, a major major change and you need time to adjust.
Be kind to yourself and know that there is so much goodwill winging itself through cyberspace from your community to you, while you rest up.
Mrs. Picky Pincher says
Pallet Town Home Sweet Home I am losing my GD mind omgomgomgomg. 🙂
You’re right, this is A LOT to go through at once. You poor thing! I think taking a week off is a stupendous idea. 🙂 Slow down and smell the roses; you’ll be able to think more clearly anyway.
Learning to let yourself have some unproductive downtime while not feeling guilty about it is something I’m still wrestling with myself. Take it easy. There’s always more work to be done no matter how much you get done today, or tomorrow, or the next day. Pace yourself. Set realistic expectations. And slow down just a bit. (Easier said than done, I know!)
One of the greatest gifts in retirement for me is not having to be on the computer every day. My best days tend to be ones I’m not on the thing at all. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you can’t figure out where you are going unless you have a little bit (or a lot) of space to do so. Cheers to self-care and vacations. Enjoy yourself next week — and I bet after a little decompress time, you come up with some even more creative ideas that will generate more income in the long run. Maybe you will get some spring weather and get outside because that is always good for the soul (even the cold weather is).
Good luck, Gwen! You rock! 🙂
Miss Mazuma says
Sending hugs!! ❤️
Erik @ The Mastermind Within says
Looking forward to treating you to something special to help you relax tomorrow! 🙂
Hi Gwen, you have lots going on. Taking time off for yourself is vital! Hope you get recharged in the next few days!
Hope you are doing fine now and coping everything.
Lily | The Frugal Gene says
So honest Gwen! I love it. I can relate as I’m 10 hours in and finally called it quits for the day (ok not totally since I’m commenting on this lol). Your boyfriend is so sweet and supportive of you! Too cute!
Accidental FIRE says
You may find that you need to take off more than a week. Years and years of full-time work really builds up. I’ve been semi retired now for 6 months and I feel like I’m still detoxing a bit. Although I didn’t fully separate, so it’s a little different. But take the time you need, get yourself to a state where you’re ready to attack your side hustles in a meaningful way that it doesn’t feel stressful. That’s when you’ll do your best work on them.
And that Nevada inkscape is really cool!
Nick @ Half As Well says
Enjoy your break Gwen! That’s a lot to take on at once.
I can totally relate — between bigger projects at work, trying to setup some offline side hustles and online ones and constantly trying to learn more about different investing options and new programming languages, it’s good to unplug every so often. But easier said then done.
The moment for me has always been when my kids get used to seeing me on my phone when I am supposed to be with them at home.
“I was worried that I’d be seen as a slacker, or a hack, or weak but I honestly don’t care what conclusions people draw about me anymore.”
I found it very liberating to realise that most people are far too busy thinking about themselves to care about or even notice what I did or didn’t do. Take a month or two off, you’ll feel a lot better. Most people won’t even notice, especially if you have some content already queued up.
Just breathe, please! I’m hyperventilating just reading everything you took on in such a short time.
The Poor Swiss says
Good luck on finding a balance! And enjoy your self time 🙂
The Poor Swiss recently posted…The three pillars of Retirement in Switzerland – 4. Summary
Longtime reader, infrequent commenter:
It certainly has been a whirlwind for you over the last few weeks. Enjoy the break — there is always more hustling to do, and it will be there whenever you choose to jump back in.
Hey, we’re neighbors now! Enjoy the weather in Minneapolis this weekend. Our family is out biking around the city. We did a bike grocery run this weekend like good Mustachians. We may bike over to Powderhorn park tomorrow if the weather holds.
When you’re back up, let me know if you’ve got any interest in a reader meetup in the Twin Cities.
Hey, I just ran across your blog, and I read this article first. This is a very relatable experience. A few years ago, I traveled from New Mexico to Minnesota by hitchhiking and walking and train hopping. The first couple of weeks were absolutely terrifying! No friends, family, resources, work, or money. I’ve had that feeling of “WHAT THE HELL DID I JUST DO TO MY LIFE?” The feeling goes away though, and then it is pure freedom and loving life. You got this. Don’t let your mind get the best of you. You are strong. You are smart. You are courageous. You are turning dreams into reality. You have so much left in you, and you have so much support. Go be yourself, and own it! No one else can do you better than you.
Thank you for the heartfelt post. Take care of yourself. I can relate to the shock of many transitions at once!
Michael | The Student Loan Sherpa says
Best of luck to you!