Mini Update

As I’m sure you know or can imagine, taking early retirement means an enormous change in life, much of which was dreamed about and yearned for but also much of which was unanticipated.

I had planned to continue this blog to write about my life post retirement and pay forward the benefit I received from all those generous souls who had shown the way for me.

In reality, I’m struggling to find the motivation to write and maintain a site when sitting down at a laptop feels too much like “work” and is to be avoided at all costs in favour of the great outdoors. Even as I write this on a beautifully bright and crispy cold November day, I am sitting in my garden, bundled in a hat and scarf, with freezing fingers and frosty breath.

All those years trapped in an office or even in a classroom – staring out of the window and daydreaming of freedom – left such a mark on me that I now find it difficult to be indoors in daylight hours.

What financial independence has given me above all else, is the time to pause and reflect, to embrace a lifestyle where nurturing greenery and growing our own food has calmed my racing brain and puts all my worries into perspective by allowing complete immersion into simple pleasures.

I love this new life. It’s almost as if I spent my first 46 years with my eyes shut – I am only now seeing things that were right there all along. The variety of birds that visit the garden, the vivid orange of wild poppies still flowering around a lamppost in November, the beauty in nature that is everywhere but which is mostly ignored and taken for granted.

You may think I’ve lost the plot. I think I’ve only just found it 😊

But I digress – there is a reason for this post. I’ve kept the site up for a couple of years since I retired to help others where I can, but without regular posting, site traffic has diminished to a level where I’m now comfortable to let go.

So this is the start of a goodbye from me.

In what almost seems like a decade ago, but was actually February 2020, the boys and I escaped the endless UK winter for our last family holiday to sunny shores. Without the distraction of my garden, I wrote four new posts with the intention of releasing them in the Spring.

But within a few short weeks of our return to the UK, the country was in lockdown, the mood sombre. It seemed entirely inappropriate to publish particularly the first post which referenced our holiday at a time when people were losing loved ones and friends.

Fast forward to now, late November 2020 and whilst we are still in the grip of the pandemic, news of the vaccines has given us all hope.

In the coming days, I will release those last four posts but when my WordPress account expires in December / January, I won’t be renewing it and there will be no more from me. Feel free to take anything you like from this site that you may find useful until it disappears.

Thank you for reading 🙂

21 thoughts on “Mini Update”

  1. That is a shame. I’ve been jumping into your blog long before I even started my own. But this is why we look to escape work early, to do the things that mean the most to us. If that means focusing more time on your kids and your garden, then that says more about the FIRE movement than any blog could.

    Wish you all the best and look forward to your final few posts 🙂

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  2. I for one would love to see the other side of fire but you need to do you so don’t stay on my account lol. All the best been lovely being on the journey with you

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  3. It sounds like you’ve definitely found the plot 🙂 . Thank you so much for sharing all you have! It’s been an absolutely pleasure following along your journey. I look forward to those final posts you’re planning to publish and on doing a final binge read of your site 😉 this month. I wish you all the best!!

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  4. Wow I look forward to the last few. So much of this resonates with me. It is a different world than it was a year ago. Much of what I once wanted to share now seems out of sync with the time we are in today where FI just feels like privilege in the wake of Covid, equality battles, and 2020 economic woes. Like you I question why one writes after achieving the FI goal and for how long? Certainly it seems that the writing should at least be a bi-product of the living, but does it become a barrier to the next phase of independence after awhile to run a site? Sometimes it feels like the loudest voices are sometimes the same most desperate to get clicks for “blog income” or prestige. In a weird catch 22, the voices we hear most are often talking theory and seeking something while those who got there and now have something to impart are busier doing and living but may be exactly the voices those on the path need to hear. I don’t know, just a few thoughts and thanks for the introspective post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I fully agree. Sadly we hear the most from 22 year old people on youtube, or those trying to sell stuff. Those who have quietly gone about their business and got the job done, don’t feel the need to shout about it. Technically I’m the same – FI, though havem’t made the leap to RE yet as I like my work!

      I do hope you reconsider; maybe something along the lines of the Mad Fientist, who posts if there is something interesting, and gives a yearly update 🙂

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      1. I would love to do that if only keeping the site up was free! But levels of traffic when you don’t update a site regularly are so low, I really can’t justify the cost any more, sad as I am to see it go.

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    2. Thank you. I have struggled with when is the right time to let go, but a couple of years in and this is just my life now. It would really just become a diary type blog of a bit of a boring, simple person!

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  5. So good to hear that you’re enjoying Fire! How are your boys doing? Have the health issues been better after your leaving of the company?

    I’m looking forward to the new posts. And will be copying (for private use only :-)) some posts that inspire me. Many thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bless you Cleo – you were the first person to ever comment on my blog and I will never forget the happiness I felt that day when I realised someone was reading!
      I think the answers to your questions are in the final few posts – enjoy and thank you 🙂

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  6. Hi FT9T5

    I’m sad to hear that you will be ‘furloughing’ your blog but so glad to see this update – there has been a recent glut of posts from bloggers who have decided that FIRE isn’t for them so it’s heartening for those of us still pursuing the dream to read about how you are loving your post-FIRE life!

    I can’t say that I’m surprised that you don’t want to spend time behind your laptop and just want to enjoy the great outdoors.

    I look forward to reading your final posts, I hope your boys are doing well and also hope I will have the time to revisit some of your older posts for a bit more inspiration before the blog shuts down.

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  7. I quit my job around March time and thought I’d actually increase my blog posting but think I’ve only done 2 posts since 😀 funny how that works out isn’t it.

    I think there are 2 clear types of blogs, those on a journey to FIRE and once made it rarely feel the need to carry on, and those who start them after they FIRE’d (e.g. MMM, The Escape Artist) who for whatever reason made it part of their post FI life (either money or some altruistic bent to pass on the good info, or a bit of both) and so it’s much easier to carry on.

    Personally I don’t mind paying the yearly fee’s as I’d rather keep my blog going even if I only post twice a year, but I totally get you about the levels of traffic, mine has fallen off a cliff edge! 🙂

    My post 9-5 life does sound completely different to yours as I still do need money to live (not totally FI, I just wanted to have enough to quit my corporate job and faff about on my own making money). So I’m still behind a laptop for maybe 20 hours a week, from home. This is obviously a maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaasive improvement over commuting to London and spending maybe 60 hours/week on work commitments, so I’m happier.
    When I’ve decompressed fully and gotten used to not really needing to “work” so much I want to start getting outside more, I am also more of a summer person so next summer should be when I really start to see the benefits.

    All the best to you and please pop back in on the slack group from time to time if you can to keep us up to date 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. My two cents…Don’t give up the site! Even if your posting trickles to zero (which I suspect it won’t) you still have some great content that would be of good use to those of us who are still on the journey. I say hang in there for at least another year!

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  9. I’ve been a huge advocate of you and your work and have pressed you in the comments a couple of times to post 🙂 I think you’ve had some huge struggles throughout your life of which you have come through so posting is a triumph of that; irrespective of a current pandemic.

    I echo the thoughts above that you need to choose your own path and if that means closing the site down then that’s the path you need to take. Have you explored the downgraded ‘free’ package or perhaps self-hosted? Failing that at least regular updates on Twitter would be appreciated 🙂

    I think you would have a wonderful voice in retirement. The next chapter. You have a way with words and it’s one I believe has a place on the internet. I won’t push that but when i saw these articles posted and then the farewell message I was sad that we had lost another authentic voice within the community.

    Thank you for everything you have done and I am pleased to see life has continued to be good for you.

    Best of luck to you and the boys whatever you decide.

    Ryan

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  10. I have loved reading all your posts and checked in many times over the last year or so hoping to find an update! Of all the many blogs on FI, I relate to yours the most. Your writing is great. Please do reconsider keeping your blog open!

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  11. Hi FT9to5

    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts over the course of this blog. Your writing and so much of what you have shared has resonated with me and inspired with equal measure.

    Even if you do give up the blog, I hope you continue writing – you have a real talent for connecting with people through your writing.

    Best wishes and thank you!

    Marc

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