Monday, February 25, 2013
Freedom 55....Day ONE
You have all heard the hype. It has been going on for years now, although since 2008 less so. How many people do you know that can really afford to retire at 55? Hmmm, that's what I thought - not many. The ones that do seem to manage it, are generally itching to get back at some sort of productive activity before long either because they are bored, or they can't quite live on the money they saved and/or have coming in - at least not the way they are used to living.
I certainly cannot afford it. But it did get me to thinking. All the things that we are putting off until retirement are usually things we will likely enjoy doing more at 55 than we will at 65 or 70. We are still in fairly good health if we are lucky, we still have energy and many of us do have a bit of cash in the bank by then. What if, instead of waiting to do some of these things 10 years down the track, we pause for a year and do a bunch of them NOW?
You can see where this is heading, can't you? Yup, that's my new plan. I turned 55 in December and since then I have watched one man die at 52 and another come real close in his early 60's and who knows when my number will be up? What if I never make it to 65? My bucket list is still pretty full. Time to start spilling a bit of it. So here goes, my dear readers - 2013 is going to be my "adult gap year". I am going to chronicle the adventure here in my blog - all the ups and downs and the fears and joys and with any luck, at the end of 2013, my bucket will have far fewer dream droplets to spill and I will have fed my soul some, learned some new shit and filed the word regret somewhere in the deep recesses of my brain...just in case my number does come up sooner rather than later.
I called this Day One because although I left my soul-sucking job last Friday, Monday seems like the appropriate day to really begin. That was the first step. The job had to go. It was a mistake from the get-go and all I got out of it was an insulting pay cheque every 2 weeks and 15 lbs of anxiety weight. Fifteen lbs that I had worked very hard to get rid of 3 years ago. So today, the new regimen began. I dusted off the treadmill, hauled the weights out of the closet, the big exercise ball and the mat and did a good 90 minute workout followed by an 8 oz glass of Vital Greens. I have 7 weeks to lose at least 10 of those 15 lbs before I grace the beaches in France and Spain in mid April.
That is the first stop. Marseilles, Barcelona, Sitges, Mojacar. A virtual trip down memory lane. These are places I visited 36 years ago. I have some very fond memories of them and have always wanted to go back. I will unveil the second stop soon. For now, I invite you to join me as I plan and plot and slosh around in my bucket.