As I am writing this post, I’ve been off of actual work for almost 3 months. The time is coming to an end and unfortunately I must begin working again to achieve my financial dreams. But I sure do like what I see!
This glimpse of financial freedom has been terrific.
By a ‘glimpse of financial freedom’, I mean a temporary bought of unemployment on my journey. This is due to my decision to be an independent consultant rather than working for an actual company full-time. From time to time these gaps between projects will tend to happen. This has been the longest by far though.
There have been several phase of emotion, but ultimately this has proven to be super positive experience. It’s been really beneficial to see this side of the coin (especially at an age where I can and want to do active things). It’s given a clearer view of the path that I need to pave.
What Phases/Events Did I Go Through?
Major Stress Relief – The first few weeks alone were just a stress reliever. It took some time so that it could melt away. Even though I had been doing fine, I began to notice my attitude was much improved. A new and improved self. I also noticed this similarly in a friends parents that recently retired over the last few years. They’re more active than ever and they’re the nicest people. These days they spend their time on a boat on the lake.
Diet Adjustment – After the stress started to melt off I was able to start eating better. I can honestly say that I’ve had a much easier time eating healthy when I’m happy and less stressed. Another reason I’m feeling so much better!
Temporary Panic – The project I was supposed to go to next had some delays and didn’t end up working out. This caused me to get a bit stressed. This would never have happened if I was truly financially independent!
Bouncing Back From Defeat – After realizing my lined up project wasn’t going to work out I started to job search. This can make me very anxious after a contract ends because of the uncertainties. This is also why the pay is usually better. Fortunately, something else has replaced my lost opportunity and I will be ready to go very soon.
Gratitude – The interview process has been a humbling experience. The market is shifting toward different technologies so I need to focus on that if I’m going to be more marketable in the future.
Improved Relationships – This time has been really great and it’s a bit surreal to have to go back to work. I’ve created stronger bonds with friends and really am trying to come away from this experience a little wiser.
Added Bonus: Picked Up A New Hobby – I’ve started up rock climbing and it’s an absolute blast. It’s picking up traction in the area, specifically bouldering. It’s basically rock climbing without the harnesses and they have pads on the ground in case you fall to your doom. I’m looking forward to decompressing after hard days of work on the rock walls. Oh, they have a gym too!
How Fast Was I Burning Cash?
This was a really interesting lesson on a personal level. Obviously, it’s a short lived freedom, but I didn’t go through money nearly as fast as I thought I would. Even though I’m a few years from financial freedom, it’s nice to see that. When getting closer to hitting FI, I’ll most likely start to worry less about the gaps in between projects.