Finding the Fun in FIRE

Recently I wrote about finding fulfilment in life when you haven’t found it at work. I have been thinking a lot about how to put this missing piece back in my life and what I might do to feel better about myself and my place in the world.

But I’m not forgetting that life should be fun. The things I wrote about there were areas I lean towards and would choose to do but I’m a real, flawed human being and I am mostly pursuing FIRE so that I have lots of free time just for myself.

So in the name of balance, what’s high on my list for how I want to spend my time once that day arrives where I no longer work for money? Not a bucket list of the big life experiences, but the hobbies and pastimes that will be the new normal.

Coffee Table Books

I am a self-confessed book addict, out and proud. All of my favourite things in life revolve around books. The only shop I willingly enter is a bookstore. I could lose hours and hours there.

My dream job would be to work in a bookshop. I would not be at all surprised if I do that at some stage after FIRE, just because I want to.

But back to the point. I make time for reading fiction even when I’m at my busiest because that’s how I relax, and I find time for reading financial sites and FIRE blogs because – well – what’s not to love?

It goes without saying that a large proportion of my time will be spent working my way through my bookshelves or through the 80 unread titles currently waiting on my Kindle.

But I have a stack of coffee table books that I’ve acquired over the years that I never seem to have time to look at. Spending whole afternoons with the radio on, large mug of coffee, browsing through “The National Trust Book of The Coast” or an atlas or “Great British History”. I can’t imagine there could be any better way of whiling away a rainy Autumnal weekday afternoon while everyone else is at work. Sheer bliss.

Luxury Podcast Listening

Another love of mine is podcasts. I owe so much to Choose FI & Fire drill when it comes to financial independence – they inspire and educate in equal measure. To keep up to date with all things money, there is the appropriately named This is Money and for education on investment property I listen to The Property Podcast.

These are my essential listening, forming the soundtrack of my daily dog walks and finished off during the commute to work. But there is a long list of podcasts that collect on my phone and sit there unplayed week after week, because there just aren’t enough hours in the day.

I call them my Luxury List because to have time to listen to them all would be luxury indeed. I won’t list them all here, but they cover all sorts of topics – book clubs and author discussions (of course), TED talks, self-publishing education, comedy, mindset, interviews with the great and good of every field, honestly I could go on all day.

Health and Fitness

Not everyone’s idea of fun, I know, but I’ve promised myself a healthier lifestyle. I’ve made a start by attending some fitness classes at the gym and I’m loving them. Body Combat is particularly effective if you have a difficult boss, I find 😉.  I’d like to increase the number of classes I take each week and uncover the glorious physique I know is hiding somewhere if only I could remember where I left it!


For at least the last couple of years, meeting with friends has been bottom of the list for this selfish introvert. When the tank is empty, being on the inside of a door locked to the outside world is the only tolerable place to be. But without the drain of a stressful workplace, catching up with friends and even meeting new people sounds appealing.

I’m not talking going out on the town every weekend – I know my limitations! The budget doesn’t allow for that anyway (…..breathes sigh of relief). I mean accepting the coffee with the lovely old lady across the road who currently only gets a wave and introducing myself to the new neighbours who moved in a few weeks ago and I still haven’t met. Small steps… 😊

Food Glorious Food

It’s impossible to watch The Great British Bake-Off and not wish I had time to make a cake. I see luscious blackberries in the local parkland and images of fruit crumble and custard flood my brain. I make a mean chocolate brownie given half a chance. Hmmm, filling the house with the tantalising smell of baking seems to be competing loudly with the aforementioned promise of a healthier lifestyle.

Given the time, I’ll take them both on and see what wins 😀

berry blueberries blueberry cake

Exploring My Own Country

Starting with my own town and then exploring the surrounding villages and countryside, I want to see what’s probably been right in front of my face for years yet completely overlooked. Local museums and galleries, National Trust properties, open gardens – they are all there, waiting to be discovered.

I have a bizarre interest in Instagram pictures of Tiny RV’s or Campervans. As a way to pass the time while waiting in a queue, it’s harmless enough, but who knows where that may lead in the future?

A slow burner maybe, but given enough time, I might find out 😀

green and white volkswagen combi






15 thoughts on “Finding the Fun in FIRE”

  1. Ooo, I only recently started watching The Great British Bake Off on Netflix. I never understood the trend, but, oh my! I can’t stop watching it now, I’m on season 5 after about 2 months.. I too can’t wait to try out my hand with baking (when I get my new kitchen at the start of November!)

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  2. Our lists are very similar 🙂 . I’m also obsessed with reading and read hours of fiction a day even at my busiest. That little escape is so wonderful (though my tired eyes probably disagree…). Podcasts are similar. I have this vision of just sitting on a bench in a park or on the sand on a beach and listening to a whole podcast while staring at the world. I used to listen to them while walking (my main mode of transport) and loved it, but working from home has cut down on my walking – and podcast listening – significantly. And yes I realize that I could just sit on a park bench now and do that, but there’s no much more to do 🙂 not just work, but seeing friends and exploring this city that I’ll only be in for a few more years. Hmm – or maybe I’m just making excuses 🙂 . Having a deadline does help me make sure I’m exploring my current area though. I love deadlines.

    Also if you want to increase your socializing (I know it’s hard when the tank is empty) I’ve tricking myself into doing it by making plans far in advance. I forget about them and then when I remember I’m usually dragging my feet when I realize that I have to go out, but by the end I’m glad I did. I trick myself into socializing! Thanks so much for the introspective post. You’re seriously inspiring me to think about all these things in my own life as well.

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  3. You will like it when you get to pull the plug! My day started with a five mile run at 5:30 AM with a few friends, the rest of the day started with writing a couple of blog posts and a trip to the store for some milk. And the rest of the time I’ve been reading and listening to podcasts! In a couple of hours I will head to a dinner and drinks party with more friends. My wife is out of town, she is at the beach all week with one of her former college roommates. Next month we head to Italy to hike in Tuscany. Life after work is pretty sweet!

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  4. One of my goals in life is to read 52 books, ie a book a week and that can only be managed when I’m not working. I think the most I’ve managed as an adult is 46 but I wasn’t bingeing tv shows back then so had more time!

    Great to hear that you are making use of your gym already and enjoying Body Combat. I’m more into my Body Attack and occasionally, Body Balance for core work. For stress relief, I take it out on the punchbag, or more recently, slam balls!

    On my list, I will have playing video games – I can enjoy getting sucked into games, hence the reason why I’m delaying a purchase of an Xbox or PS4 until retirement! 🙂

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    1. I like Body Attack too and this week I tried Fitsteps which I loved. I do read about a book a week, more during holidays – but it is my primary pastime. One year I managed over a hundred, but that was long before this job!
      I will be staying away from video games – I blame Sonic the Hedgehog for my mediocre degree! Way too addictive for me, great for you if you can keep it under control!


  5. I’ve started walking as a way of keeping fit (I walk pretty darn fast when I’m on a steps mission!) and sometimes link this to listening to podcasts. Sometimes though I just like to walk and be alone with my thoughts. I’m looking forward to much more of that when I retire. And baking. And reading. And exploring. And travelling locally……

    Liked by 1 person

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