When I quit my engineering career in 2012, I was completely burned out. I was having physical and mental problems and I had to get out. I thought I’d give it at least a year and see how this whole early retirement thing pans out. Finance was a big factor, of course. We were not financial independent and I would have to go back to work if we couldn’t pay the bills. Luckily, our plan held up so far and we even put away over $50,000 last year. The other big factor is how I’d handle not working full time. Many retirees regret leaving work and some even rejoin the workforce because they find the office environment more comfortable. As you know, I’m still a stay at home dad/blogger, but am I itching to go back to work?
Being a stay at home dad can be tough, too
Man, today was a bad day for us. Our little guy is only 4 years old, but he sure knows how to push my buttons. The day started off pretty well, but it turned south on the way home from the gym. We were walking back to the parking garage when he ran ahead. I yelled at him to wait, but he didn’t listen. This is a busy garage and cars come in and out all the time. I just didn’t want him to get run over. I caught up to him and grabbed him, but I missed. I bumped him with my hand instead, and he fell down and cried. More whining ensued when I harshly explained what is expected of him when I yelled “WAIT.”
After that, I wasn’t a happy dad and we kept having issues the rest of the day. We drove to Walmart to see some kid bikes. He couldn’t get the pedals to work and I got frustrated explaining it to him. He put Lego in the shopping cart and whined when I put it back. He knocked over a bunch of paper bags at checkout. It was just one thing after another. Suffice to say, it wasn’t a good day for either of us.
As someone once said, the worst day at home is better than the best day at the office. I’m going to have to agree with this. We had a frustrating day, but it wasn’t a huge drain like work was. Being a stay at home dad isn’t all fun and games, but I still enjoy it much more than staring at a computer all day long.
Team work is overrated
I’m reading – Quiet, The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. I’m an introvert so it’s quite interesting to read about my temperament in detail. One chapter is about how collaboration kills creativity. Popular productivity concepts like brainstorming and open floor plans just do not work. For most people, the best creative work is done alone. Wow, this is a revelation. I never was a good team player and I always hated being dependent on coworkers to do something for me. Life is so much easier now that I do almost everything myself. Being self employed really suits my character. I can set my own goals and do things at my own pace. If there is a screw up, I only have myself to blame.
It’s tough to stop working completely when you retire early. I know quite a few early retirees and they are all working in some capacity. Being self employed part time is the perfect situation for me right now. The corporate environment just isn’t the right fit for my temperament. So the answer is: I don’t feel an itch to get a job at all. I will go back to work in an office if I really need to, but I hope that day never comes. Just look at the cubicle up there. That was my former desk. Who in their right mind would want to work in that environment?
If you’re retired, have you ever thought about rejoining the workforce?