Work From Home (WFH) – A test of “Retire Early”

I like my career well enough to stick with it and have a reasonable level of happiness and fulfillment . I would probably be content with working until my 60s.

However, I strive for more fulfillment and more free time to pursue hobbies and for more quality time with my wife and future family. I strive to eventually work side-hustles or start my own small business instead of my current career.

Although I do find some enjoyment in my career, if I were to be handed my FI dollar goal today, I would quit my job tomorrow (well, not tomorrow – I would finish the current projects I’ve been working on first).

Since the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 started in March for the USA, I have been working from home. At the time of writing this blog, it has been 7 months and I have been in the company office 4 times.

7 months working from home has given me a small taste of early retirement and I love it.

As I reflect back on my WFH stint, I can define many ways my life has improved and I am thankful for it.

My lab and her mini-me at day care
  • More time
    • My company office is a 55 minute drive from my home. If I include my lunch hour, I gain 3 hours of my life back at home
  • Exercise
    • I will often lift, do yoga, run, or bike before work, at lunch, and/or after work. My schedule is so flexible now.
  • Dog Time
    • We have a 1.5 year old black lab. I am able to bond with her more, train her, walk her, play with her, and spend extra time with her.
    • Doggie day care – She still goes to daycare once every other week or so to socialize, but we have been able to cut back and save money.
  • Money Savings
    • Since I no longer have to drive to the office 5X a week, my gasoline bill is way down
    • Since my monthly mileage is lower, my car insurance rates dropped around 10%
  • Quality Time
    • I am able to spend more quality time with my wife. If 2020 were pandemic free and a normal year, I would be gone 11 hours a day 5X a week and I would be traveling internationally an average of 1 week per month.
  • Time to Pursue Other Hobbies & Interests
    • Although my job is very hectic and busy (my company supplies to healthcare and we are swamped), I still have extra time to have fun.
    • I have pursued starting this blog, road biking, and I am (re)learning to code (a skill I learned in college 10 years ago).
    • I go on long walks everyday which really relaxes me and clears my head.
    • The wife and I started a vegetable and fruit garden. I really enjoy tending to it.
    • I have time to make my yard look great- my push motor-less rotary lawn mower is my friend.

Even though I am still working a full time job, the 3 extra hours in my day have given me a small glimpse of early retirement. I greatly look forward to it and will keep diligently working towards it.

Although the pandemic has caused difficult struggles for many, I am trying to look on the positive side and find things I am grateful for.

How has the Coronavirus Pandemic affected your work / life balance?

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