I left my last official work on 12/9/2016. As of today, I have spent 79 days retired from paid work.
This means that I have been unproductive for more than 2 months. Out of the 79 days, I had spent 29 days in USA, 13 days in Korea and 37 days in Singapore.
The USA trip was a means for me to adjust my daily habits formed from years of working life. The Korea trip was impromptu but it was a great getaway to see the beautiful autumn foliage, something I can never do if I am working as a school teacher.
I have no immediate plans to travel because it is now the peak travel season for most Singaporeans. My next trip will likely be next year when kids are back in school, parents are back at work, and traveling will be cheaper. I have purchased an annual travel plan that expires in September 2017, so it is likely I will be out of town frequently till then.
During my 37 days in Singapore, I have engaged mainly in several activities: exercise (4 times per week, 2-3 hours each time), spending time with friends and family, and watching dramas (a waste of time actually, but it is so addictive). Some days I am rather busy but on others, I have so much time that I become restless. And that is when I start watching a drama show, get addicted, and waste time finishing the entire series (I actually finished 48 episodes of 伪装者 in 5 days!).
Dropping the bombshell now. I have actually started thinking of going back to employment! After 79 days of “retirement”, I am restless enough to consider working again! I was surprised at my own thoughts cos at the start, I wanted to rest for at least 12 months before doing anything that resembles work. But now, I have started looking at part time work and am considering driving for Uber or Grab.
I am still adjusting to having no salary coming in each month. Based on my experience, I will need another few months before the loss of a regular pay check stops bothering me. I am living entirely on passive income now and will write another blog post soon on this.
It will take some time for me to adjust to my current reality: no regular income, no official work title, not economically productive, but having lots of personal time. After all when I started pursing financial independence years ago, isn’t this what I imagine life to be like? Freedom to do anything that I wish to with no financial shackles to chain me to a regular job? I am restless now but am still not ready to go back to regular work yet. But I can do part time employment to engage myself, experience new adventures and earn some travel money.
Life is so far, so good and I don’t have any grounds to whine. It is soon to be the season for merry making as we come to the end of the year. Time to reflect and plan ahead. 2016 is special cos I will always remember it as the defining year that I took a different life path.
There is no right or wrong in my decision to leave full time work. I will only know in hindsight the consequences. I am now wondering where my new path in life leads to. What will I be doing in 5 years time? 10 years? I hope to continue to blog so that I can record my journey.
Meanwhile, the Singaporean social engineering has made me too restless when I am not economically productive. I will go look for some enjoyable part time work soon. Achieving FI at age 42, I can (I hope) at least choose what I want to do and when I want to do it. I am still adjusting to my new status and it will take time for the change to set in. I only hope I can transition into this new stage of my life peacefully and with no regrets. After all, it was my choice.