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Mrs. Maroon

January 13, 2015

A Glimpse Into Retirement

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We were given a glimpse into what our retirement lifestyle might look like last week. We started with a short week because of New Year’s. Then we had the threat of winter weather… To everyone north of here thinking “winter weather isn’t that big of a deal!”, all normal functions basically shut down with winter precipitation; mostly because we just get ice. Snow would be fine and manageable, but no, we are privileged enough to just get the ice. So we found ourselves with four whole days at home together, with nowhere to go. Fine by me!


We are not opposed to child labor

We are not opposed to child labor

So, What Did We Do?

Our activities were quite varied…

  • Playing a board game and Go Fish! from Christmas with Mini #1 – complete with plenty of teaching him that it’s really not okay to cheat by looking at everyone else’s cards!
  • Watching Mini #2 increase her range of motion – she is now a pro at ooching (technical term) and has learned to roll over in the past week.
  • Putting away all of the Christmas decorations and returning to our normal décor.
  • Sewing on a project that I hope to share with you soon once I actually finish.
  • Watching some football – it was New Year’s after all. And I know that once August rolls around, our house will be counting down the days to college football again.
  • Cleaning and re-organizing the kitchen. When we unpacked the new hose, I didn’t want to make decisions about where our various kitchen accessories would find a home. Instead, I chose to hap-hazardly toss it all into a spot with the intent to come back to redo later. We finally came to that later, nevermind that it was eight months after we moved in… *sigh

     Did I say a BIG pot?

    Did I say a BIG pot?

  • Cooking – LOTS of cooking.
    • We enjoyed our traditional pizza on Friday night  (the baking stone continues to impress!)
    • We made bread, from scratch, Saturday night. I know lots of people make their own bread, but this was my first attempt. No bread machine here – but we were very thankful for the stand mixer that did all of the heavy lifting, well kneading that is to say.
    • We added in a huge pot of beans Saturday to freeze as grab-n-go lunches for Mr. Maroon.
    • I even channeled my inner abuela (who am I kidding? I have nothing close to an inner abuela!) to finish off the weekend with cheese enchiladas Sunday night.
 The multi-talented baking stone

The multi-talented baking stone

The whole weekend was delightful. I would do it over and over again. and I can think of dozens of other activities I’d add with the opportunity. Instead of continuing the delight of choosing my own activity, reality came crashing back down Monday morning, which also happened to be my return to full-time employment. Talk about adding insult to injury!


Why Am I Telling You All of This?

Our weekend activities helped me come to several realizations…


I really prefer minimalistic décor. Don’t get me wrong, I truly enjoyed the festiveness of the Christmas decorations. I was happy to sit in the living room illuminated by only garland and the Christmas tree each and every evening. The decorations we assembled during our first married Christmas have served us very well, without any need to add more. But going back to our regular décor was quite refreshing too. I didn’t expect that feeling. This experiment helped demonstrate to me that the minimalistic lifestyle we are working towards in the ultimate goal of FIRE does indeed fit us very well. I have never really doubted that we would find comfort in reducing our stuff – the stuff we feel burdened by. But I also appreciate some reassurance that all of our efforts towards FIRE will result in a life that suits us.

 Quite tasty!!

Quite tasty!!

I love cooking. I would find great pleasure in spending a good part of each day preparing our food. Now, I’m not interested in elaborate or complicated meals, requiring fancy sauces or expensive ingredients. I enjoy starting from the most basic ingredients in their purest form and crafting a delicious meal. It may not be easy. It may not be quick. But I crave it. Take the bread as an example – We ended up adding about four more cups of flour than were called for in the recipe before the dough became workable. The process ended up taking about six hours total. The stand mixer was our work horse. But we kept at it. And the results were so worth all of the effort. The problem is that the time I have to devote to my job precludes me from this style of cooking on a regular basis. Supper for tonight is in a crock pot to help with managing time. I am ecstatic to think that once we achieve FIRE, I’ll have the freedom to cook exactly the way I want. And speaking of cooking the way I want –  I’m MESSY in the kitchen. Dishes everywhere, spices on the counter, measuring cups strewn about, you name it! So, every cooking adventure for me must consider adequate clean up time!!


Am I FI-REady?

You betcha!!

 You MIGHT have too many plastic cups when they are taller than the almost 3-year-old!

You MIGHT have too many plastic cups when they are taller than the almost 3-year-old!

I had planned to share pictures from our weekend anyway, but part of my inspiration for this post came from Slowly Sipping Coffee. The following Monday morning Mrs. SSC commiserated about what she considered to be an early retirement failure. In two whole days at home, sans husband and kiddos, she just didn’t know what to do with all that time to herself. As I read it, I couldn’t help but feel the exact opposite. Now, I will say that two days is certainly not long enough to get involved into a big project, so not worth the effort to leave something half-finished. And I had my family to enjoy (and entertain) during this little experiment.

I have an idea… I’ll take off two days (paid of course) where I’m home alone. Then we’ll talk! I’d bet you dollars to pesos that my answer will not only not change, but will become an even bigger YES – bring on FIRE!!


SIDE NOTE: I had this inspiration a week ago. But it seems that my ideas have a hard time escaping my head these days. So, I present to you my week-late thoughts on the New Year’s weekend.


Are you ready to retire? Do you think it will be a tough transition for you?


~ Mrs. Maroon

December 2014 Update
The Master Plan Revisited
  1. Comment by Sarah — January 13, 2015 @ 4:49 PM

    I love this post!! My husband was actually pretty busy over the holidays, but this week has been slow. In fact, as of now he’s off from work all week (he works for himself) so we’ve had the pleasure of spending our days together with our two little ones. I’m totally with you – I would LOVE to live life like this all the time! He’s a great help with the kids, I have time to work/blog without getting stressed out, we play games, go to the mall and cook yummy meals! It’s inspired both of us to increase our income so we can retire ASAP, but to also really enjoy the “now” and take advantage of when he’s slow at work!
    Sarah recently posted…Grow your income as a freelance writerMy Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    One thing I was terrible about was sitting down to write over our weekend. You’d think it would be a great opportunity, but actually we just ended spending our time talking to each other about topics instead of writing them down!

  2. Comment by Mrs SSC — January 13, 2015 @ 5:30 PM

    Lol! You are making me look bad! 🙂 I’m glad that you are set up for the FIRE lifestyle. I do enjoy cooking and baking and am looking forward to doing that more. Have you tried homemade pasta? If you can do bread, you can do pasta! In my defense, I do think I was at a bit of a disadvantage, only having two days and coming off of a crazy week with lots of family to just pure stillness. My mind and body just can’t slow down that quickly.
    Mrs SSC recently posted…Lifestyle creep: Is it killing your early retirement?My Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    I don’t think you look bad at all. I think the reason I transition so easily into the FIRE lifestyle is that I don’t always keep up well with the life we have to live now with jobs. I can quickly talk myself into something that avoids the mundane in favor of something I’d rather be doing. in short, my mind slows down in an instant…

    Now pasta! I’m all over that!! You may see that here before too long

  3. Comment by Tonya@Budget and the Beach — January 13, 2015 @ 9:53 PM

    I think I need to move in with your family because I HATE cooking and everything looked so good and I can smell the bread through the computer screen! I would have to say I would have NOOOO problem with retirement. I’m sure I could fill my time. I just hope I have enough money. lol!
    Tonya@Budget and the Beach recently posted…Growing My Business: But at What Cost?My Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    You are welcome to stop by. The bread was certainly tasty, but might not quite justify the trip from LA to OK! I’m also concerned about having enough money – if I wasn’t, I’d already be doing these things instead of working!

  4. Comment by K — January 13, 2015 @ 10:18 PM

    I’m so ready for retirement and I’m only in my 20s. Everything you just said fits me to a T. I have a gazillion ideas of what I will spend time doing once I don’t need to work anymore. Spending more time cooking from scratch is a big one, reading, practicing yoga, enjoying my morning coffee instead of chugging it on the way to the office… I could go on and on 🙂 inspiring post!

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    I have to agree with you on the yoga! I definitely let my physical activity slip as a consequence of all the other demands for my time. I’m ready for the day when I don’t have to choose…

  5. Comment by Even Steven — January 14, 2015 @ 4:09 PM

    I like what you did for the time that you were “practicing retirement”. I think it’s important to realize is that FIRE gives you the choice to do these things and more instead of lacking that choice and showing up at the 9-5 to pay the mortgage.
    Even Steven recently posted…My Emergency Fund Made $20.71 in DividendsMy Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    Practice makes perfect right? Its time to find more practice!!

  6. Comment by Mr. SSC — January 14, 2015 @ 8:59 PM

    I hear you loud and clear on the “I’ll have no problem transitioning into retirement” front. I don’t think I’ll have any problems. Well, except divvying up my time between hobbies that have gone by the wayside with so much work, commute, live, repeat… Cooking more, gardening, music playing, fishing, teaching all that to the kids… I’m SO ready to start that chapter of my life. Great post!
    Mr. SSC recently posted…Lifestyle creep: Is it killing your early retirement?My Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    Agreed… My list of hobbies and activities grows and grows, almost daily it seems. How will I find the time to fit them all in? We shall see. But it will be a heck of a lot more fun than trying to squeeze in the time to clean bathrooms around the demands of a job!!

  7. Comment by Christina @ Embracing Simple — January 14, 2015 @ 10:14 PM

    This is inspiring me to want to cook and bake up a storm right now…I have a stand mixer and bread hook calling my name! This is something I look forward to upon retirement as well, more time to spend making delicious meals and baked goods in the kitchen. I think I might attempt to make some bread this weekend now, I’ve really got a hankering for it after seeing your drool-worthy pictures!

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    Thank heavens for stand mixers… Although I’d have some killer abs and triceps if I’d tried to do all the kneading myself. In fact, that’s my new frugal tip! Who needs a gym or fancy workout gear. Just expend enough energy kneading the bread so that you can enjoy eating it guilt-free!!

  8. Comment by Holly@ClubThrifty — January 15, 2015 @ 7:48 AM

    I am more than ready to retire. Unfortunately, it won’t happen for a while for several reasons. But like you, I’m planning for it. Just have to see what happens over the next few years.
    Holly@ClubThrifty recently posted…Saving Money, Getting Refunds with H&R BlockMy Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    Having a plan for achieving that retirement is what helps us stay on track. It can be hard to keep focused on a goal that is far away, but the prize at the end is so worth it!

  9. Comment by BNL — January 15, 2015 @ 7:06 PM

    I see a Rudy’s cup!

    There are two things I miss from Austin… Trail running on the greenbelts, and Rudy’s. I used to pick up breakfast taco’s there every Saturday after an early morning run.
    BNL recently posted…Honey, I Bought a FarmMy Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    Your eyes do not deceive you… We had our fair share of Rudy’s cups!! We enjoy their food, but on one occasion for a football game in College Station, we had the pleasure of eating Rudy’s not once, not twice, but three times in the same day! We were pretty much done with it for a little while after that day…

  10. Comment by Mr. Captain Cash — January 29, 2015 @ 4:56 PM

    Mrs. Maroon,

    With our FIRE date getting closer upon the horizon I will be using this idea the next time my girlfriend and I have a couple days off together.

    Thanks for the idea!

    Mr. Captain Cash
    Mr. Captain Cash recently posted…Cash Accumulators Purchase Additional Investment SkillMy Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    Awesome to hear that your date is approaching. I wish I could say we are close too! Hope y’all enjoy your next chance for a mini retirement.

  11. Comment by The DJ @ Freedom35 — April 5, 2015 @ 11:13 PM

    Your post definitely resonated with me and I completely know what you mean by being ready to retire early. I am currently on leave – spending some time with our little man who arrived recently. I just came across your blog and look forward to reading your other posts and future ones!
    The DJ @ Freedom35 recently posted…I couldn’t have said it better myself: How much of your life are you selling off?My Profile

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