Figuratively speaking that is. Yesterday was President’s day and my services were not needed at work so I spent the day alone seeing what life would be like retired while others worked. The night before I spontaneously organized a trip to Philadelphia for what is called a Philly Taco:
The trip involved wrestling up some MINI friends and bombing down to Philly for the night and getting back home at 4am. As usual the crew enjoyed our time together, laughed a ton, and put a smile on each other’s faces. ~Not~ something I would be able to do if I had to work the next day.
I got up around 9am and caught up on some Van Dwelling Youtube videos and decided to head to the gym after a Joylent shake. It was in the low 50s here during the day so I decided to walk to the gym, 1.8 miles away…it’s the type of thing you do when time is on your hands. I strolled to the gym and walked in around 11:30 to find it lightly filled with patrons sweating to the oldies. Only occasionally did I need to wait for a machine and I was in and out of there quickly. I guess these are the perks of not having to workout during prime time.
I took a different route home soaking in the nice weather, having some time to think to myself, and do some people watching. I imagined myself retired as I observed people going through their busied lives, shopping, working, and dealing with whatever the drama of the day might be. I can only imagine every day where I can focus on myself instead of all these other things. When I got home I had another Joylent shake, took a shower and took a nice long nap! Boy do I love naps, they are not to be underrated.
When I got up I decided I needed to be productive and write a blog post. Though I was sitting in my 450 sq. ft. studio writing, I generally get distracted at home and being within walking distance of a great public library, I often take a stroll there to get my thoughts to paper/website. One of the benefits of living small in the downtown of a vibrant community. I knew I was taking a chance on the library being closed as it is President’s day, but being “retired” today, I had no schedule and all my time was free and unrushed. At worst I’d get some more exercise in to walk off that Philly Taco. Of course the library was closed and for a second I entertained the idea of heading to the Starbucks next door, grab a small hot chocolate and using their WiFi for writing this blog post, but my frugality kicked in so I decided to do some reconnaissance work.
I wanted to know if my smartphone, without any sort of amplifier, could grab any open WiFi hotspots in the downtown area. This is something that is important to nomads constantly on the move. I would say I received mixed results. I could connect to the library’s WiFi but only while standing at the door. I was able to connect to Target’s WiFi and the random restaurant, but not much, so something to note. Some other observations:
- I felt a little like I was missing out as I walked past restaurants seeing all the smiling faces enjoying their meals. Thank goodness I have money budgeted in for restaurants and entertainment, but I can see how the less fortunate may feel. I also have to keep in mind this is but a small sliver of their day and this meal may have been “needed” after the day’s stress.
- Walking in my beat up sweatpants and hoodie it seemed like others judged me a bit. When I stopped by Goodwill to see if they had bicycles in the back, a woman in her 50s, in a Mercedes SUV and business attire wasn’t quite sure how to judge me. She gave me a long stare and when I finally said hello, she snapped out of it. Little did she know the joke was on her, as she was still working and I am retired (for the day).
- Though I was alone today, technically I was around people all day long. It was solely on me to choose to interact with folks or not. Even a simple hello to a stranger walking by felt good and hopefully for them too. This may be a way to fight loneliness when I retire to the road.
- Though the shenanigans in Philly cost me a tank of gas and some food, all day today I didn’t spend a dime and I was pleased as punch not to be working, to be outside in the good weather, and concentrating on me. Minimalism has its benefits!
All in all a good day was had. I’m convinced a simple life is the life for me and limiting stress is much more important than stature, possessions or what others think of me. Thankfully financial independence is one way to achieve a less stressful life and I’m well on my way there. I can only imagine what ~decades~ of this type of day has to offer. Here’s to being retired for good!