Today my work day starts early and finishes late. During those long days at work my day is broken down into not much more than 15 minute intervals. Everyone wants/needs a piece of me and I’m constantly making decisions. I no longer need to learn at such a great rate (I do need to stay current so some learning still occurs) with my ‘unique selling point’ now being my domain knowledge and leadership. In return for that I'm paid well as those decisions are (currently at least) rarely wrong and my leadership skills are seen as a positive. This probably sounds like the behaviour of an extrovert however now for the problem.
On weekends and the couple of spare hours I get during the week I now no longer crave company. I certainly don’t enjoy spending time with wider family and friends who continue to consume like the best of them. Their talk of how much their house has gone up in value or what new car they are going to buy now just bores me. Instead I now chase quiet time with close friends/family while also coveting some seclusion and time to self reflect. This blog is a great outlet for me now as it gives me quiet time to learn; self reflect and write about what’s important for me. The question then becomes is my personal life a response to try and balance my compulsory extroverted work element, combined with consumerism no longer being important to me, or is it because I'm not actually not a natural extrovert?
As I move into FIRE (financially independent retired early) the previous compulsory elements of life – quiet time to learn fast early on transitioning into constant contact with a large number of people daily – are going to go away. Instead the majority of my day should transition into what I enjoy and want to do. That could be everything from a career I really enjoy (for which I may not be remunerated) to sitting in a hammock with a library of good books close by. The question is what do I want to do? This is where I struggle a little because of the extreme way I live - If I'm going to do something I'm going to do it well. So right now that means an extreme extrovert during compulsory work. Then I have seclusion on weekends driven I suspect, at least partially, by the work situation.
So the first FIRE question becomes will I naturally crave company, seclusion or a combination thereof? Will I want to live in the middle of a town/city or will a piece of land with a humble home be me? Which of these will my family desire? At the moment I honestly don’t know so I'm just not going to decide. Instead I'm going to first keep my head down and focus on crossing the FIRE finishing line. What is then going to be critical is to not make any rash decisions until I decompress fully (which could I suspect take 12 months). I want and need time to understand who I naturally really am when I don’t have a compulsory life element driving me. At that time as a family we’ll decide that next crucial step. That’s what for me makes FIRE so wonderful – freedom to do what you want, at your own pace and with no compulsory elements.