Last week my husband and I were on a work trip in San Diego. We headed out a couple of days early to escape the monotony of our days in a cube and flee the Michigan winter. California did not disappoint and we enjoyed a week of warmth and sunshine
On our first full day in California, we cruised up the coast taking in beautiful ocean views. Two different road runs, a 10k race and a marathon, briefly detoured our drive but we didn’t mind. They were just a warm-up for a major detour just beginning.
Life Happens, Be Prepared
You know how it goes. Even the most well-planned road trip or life plan is subject to change. A wrong turn here, a traffic jam there, an unexpected beer festival (yes, that happened), or the occasional scenic detour. These events can be a minor 10-minute annoyance, a 2-hour delay, or an opportunity to experience something incredible you may have missed otherwise.
What sets one apart from the other? Things like attitude, adaptability, preparedness, and perception of risk.
The journey to financial freedom my husband and I chartered out a few years ago included both of us enduring a work life in a cube until mid-year 2020. We would be in our early 50’s then, ready to travel America the beautiful and experience new things.
We’ve now altered our plan, taking a scenic detour if you will, by changing up our date a bit. We don’t yet know when John’s retirement will begin, but mine will start tomorrow.
I’m Escaping The Cube!
Today, February 12, 2018, is my last day of full-time salaried employment. It’s some 870 days earlier than my previously ‘planned’ retire early date in July 2020.
Did I get let go? No, this is my choice.
Did we hit the lottery? No.
Get an inheritance? No.
Am I crazy?
No. Maybe. No.
Have you achieved financial freedom? No.
There are many work-related reasons, but the boiled down answer is I became a grandma. And because my husband and I are financially healthy I can break out of the cubicle and be a stay-at-home grandma. That’s right, starting next month I’ll be spending quality time with my granddaughter instead of managing budgets, milestones, and egos at work.
I’m so excited.
Business, Blogs, and Baby
Working in an office setting for compensation does come with benefits, and I’m thankful for the opportunities and advantages I’ve experienced. But I don’t thrive in that environment, no matter the number of gold stars earned or the size of the paycheck.
While 2 1/2 more years in my job would help solidify our finances, I’m ready to embrace my granddaughter and the uncertainty of the future instead of fighting off the monotony of the cubicle life that’s eating away at my soul. Fortunately, my husband supports this decision.
My days won’t be filled with just baby talk though. For those that don’t know, I’ve owned two businesses before and consider myself an entrepreneur at heart. Now, I’ve got plans to grow my side hustles – freelance writing, coaching, and blog management activities.
Since my son-in-law is a teacher, I won’t be watching my granddaughter as often as I was going to the office, giving me time to do more things. Like, start a new site with another blogger – announcement coming very soon – and start a new small business (not related to blogging) with my husband in the summer.
I won’t come even close to replacing my salary with these business efforts, but they will provide me with growth and opportunity my desk job can’t. While only answering to my family and myself. That’s an incredible bonus in my book.
Being Financially Healthy Provides You With Options
Maybe you can’t quit today or tomorrow but you can well before the typical retirement age if you make sound money decisions and pursue financial independence. As your financial health improves, you’ll see more options in front of you.
We’ve not yet achieved financial independence, but we are close enough for me to break out of the cube. Eliminating debt, mindfully spending, maximizing our savings, and investing in mostly index funds, has set us up nicely to take a detour from our original path.
Perhaps for you, improving your financial health could mean you can change jobs, go part-time, or strike out on your own if you aren’t able to or aren’t ready to quit.
For those of you with years left to endure the cubical life, my friend Cubert has some advice on surviving your cubicle job.
While our new route may add a couple of years to the plan, me escaping cubicle life will be worth it.
So tell me, do you love your cubicle job? Or are you counting the days to your escape? What will you do when your cube days are over? Comments and questions always welcome.