It’s 2:44 in the afternoon on a Friday. I’m sitting on my deck with a Pinkus Hefeweizen and my laptop. Someone in the condo complex is outside as well singing aloud as if they are the only one who hears.
All the while I’m thinking about how much I love my current lifestyle. It’s an “exploding volcano of awesomeness” in every way, bursting with luxuries I sometimes take for granted.
I’ve only been home for ten weeks, but I’m already super happy with how my lifestyle is evolving. My routine has consisted of most things I really enjoy: paragliding, hiking, road and trail running, and making new friends.
Just a few days ago was the best day I’ve had in years. I drove down to Saratoga Springs to meet a gal I’ve been seeing for a while. It was a beautiful day so we went hiking on Horsetail Falls Trail in Alpine. It was more of an excuse just to get outside, but enjoyable nonetheless. We were back by lunch time and I made us romaine lettuce wraps with rice and veggies. Unable to keep our hands off each other, we stayed busy for a while until she had to pick up her kids. I had the foresight to bring my paraglider with me, so I stopped by Point of The Mountain on the way home to get an evening flight in at the north side. I met some great pilot friends, and had incredible views over the Salt Lake valley as the sun was setting. And as a bonus, when I got home there were a couple delicious beers in the fridge to really finish off the day.*
Looking back at that day, and many like it, I can see what this early retirement craze is all about. Living intentionally for yourself and the ones you care about is the greatest luxury. Knowing that I’ll soon be able to live this lifestyle in perpetuity is an incredible, almost unbelievable feeling.
I guess what I’m trying to put into words is that it has all been worth it. Stashing cash, living (mostly) below my means, and delayed gratification has paved the way towards a great life.
*Yes, I broke my own rule about not drinking alone. It’s a slippery slope, but I’ve got plenty of traction.