Every so often I like to take a day off work, preferably in the middle of the week, to have a ‘practice’ retirement day. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve been at my current employer for 20 years and they give one Service Award day for each five years of service. So this year I got an extra four days off – one for each season. Today I took my autumn practice retirement day… and I can’t wait until every day is a no work day.
Exercise and the Outdoors
As I mentioned in our Filling Your Time In Early Retirement post, I plan on being pretty active during retirement. My marathon last month didn’t turn out quite like I was hoping for. Race day was hotter (70 degrees at the start) and way more humid (96%) than I like. I was on pace for the first 16 miles and then pretty much bonked after that. I still ended up with a respectable time, but not the BQ time I was shooting for. Of course, even the best plans and training don’t work out some times and you need to roll with the punches.
No heat and humidity to worry about today. I went on a nice bike ride along the C&O canal this morning. I could use warmer socks and gloves, but it was great. My knee has been bothering after completing the marathon, so I’m trying to get in more biking. It was hard to resist not going for a run as well.
I do want to return to triathlons in 2018, so I better get some more time in the pool! After the bike ride, I stopped by the indoor community pool. I was expecting it to be less crowded, but the real retirees where there taking up the lanes. My swim fitness has taken a nose dive, probably due to all that running. It’s time to get that bargain pool pass (~$180 for the year) from our local community college.
That was it for the exercise today, but I wanted to get a motorcycle ride in as well. Although it was warmer than in the morning, I quickly realized that I need to get warmer motorcycle gloves. I still played the “what’s down this road” game. It’s amazing the unknown neighborhoods you’ll discover in your own town. Just take the time to go out and explore on your bike!
Although I’m not in a cube farm at work, I do spend the bulk of my days indoors. When I leave the 9-to-5 world (hopefully in five years or less), I plan on spending a lot of time outdoors.
After being saturated in chlorine from the pool, it was off to the library. I’ve cut back our magazine subscriptions, so I like to drop in to the library to read some of the magazines we don’t get anymore. Then I randomly walk down the aisles to see if any books catch my eye. The last time I was in the library I came across books on thru hiking the Appalachian trail. Add that to the bucket list.
Earlier this week I came across a recommendation for the book The Black Swan by Nassim Taleb. I literally walked down a random aisle, turned left, and the book was looking back at me. I read the prologue and thought about checking it out… but I have too many other unread books on my Kindle at the moment. Have any of you read this book? If so, would you recommend it?
Another benefit from my last library visit was coming across a notice for free American Sign Language classes. Although I’ve forgotten a good bit of what I learned, I’m still better off than not knowing any ASL. I was hoping to come across free Spanish lessons, but no luck today. I can at least dedicate 15 minutes a day to Duolingo.
The community arts center is right next to the library. Why not see some free art? I also wanted to get more information about guitar lessons. Does anyone have an idea on what a reasonable rate for group guitar lessons should cost? The frugal Mr. Need2Save thinks $25 an hour for a group lesson is a bit high, but perhaps I’m naïve.
Odds and Ends
The day went by faster than I realized. I had planned on taking care of a few to-dos and having some ‘geek time’, but the clock ran out. I was able to cancel our Verizon Fios internet service as I got a good deal from Comcast. For $29 a month we are getting 100 Mbps down and 5 Mbps up. Sorry Mrs. Picky Pincher, I saw in your October Budget Report that you are spending just over $100 a month for internet.
I’ve been behind on writing posts, so I wanted to make sure I set aside time to write. Being an engineer, writing is not my forte. Like the rest of me, it’s a work in progress 🙂
Although I like to consider this a practice retirement day, I doubt my retirement days will be this hurried. I won’t need to jam all these activities into a single day because I’ll have the next day, and the next, and the next.
Out on the trail this morning, I thought about even more things I’d like to do in early retirement. Assuming my body holds up, I see myself being a runner for life. I can definitely see myself being an assistant (or the head?) cross country coach at the local high school. It’s something I can’t commit to now due to a 9-to-5 work schedule.
Another realization is that I don’t need to wait another five years (expected FIRE timeline) to start enjoying these things. Our sons are grown and we have some free time now. I may not be able to spend the amount of time I would like on these projects, I can still get started. Carpe diem.
Now where is that guitar in the basement and how hard is it to brew beer?