Well, today, I walked up to my boss and told him that I am retiring at the end of the year. I turned in my resignation but it was more than that. I kissed goodbye to work, period. For many reasons, that was one of the hardest thing I had to do in recent memory. It took a lot of convincing on my part.
I worked since I was 14 for 29+ straight years. I studied hard, got into a good school, majored in Computer Science, and worked my butt off for many years to climb up the corporate ladder. The longest vacation I ever took was 10 days, rarely calling in sick. I spent more time at work than at home. Most of people I know and deal with are from work. Work has been a dominant part of my life. To stop working means that my life is changed forever. I need to make new friends, create new daily routine. That's a scary transaction, one that I don't know how it is going to turn out. I had to repeatedly convince myself that I have what it takes to start a new, different, and better life.
Then there was the question of leaving a $250k/year cushy management job with prestige, and lots of fringe benefits. I know some leave more lucrative job than that but most people will kill to have mine. Many of my family members and relatives will look at me as if I lost my mind but I did a lot of math and convinced myself that I can make it work. It took a lot of convincing. A lot.
What convinced me even more? As I got older and became more financially independent, I lost tolerance to bad politics people play - blaming others, taking someone's credit for his own, scheming, stabbing people on the back, doing unethical things to advance, .... Without much exaggeration, my boss and one of his henchmen is right out of Dilbert, and/or The Office TV series. I felt like I was selling my soul to these unscrupulous people to pay mortgage, to pay for the privilege of playing golf at nice courses, wining and dining at fancy restaurants, etc.. Well, no more selling my soul. It's time to pick the people I want to hang around with instead of being forced to dance with the devils.
But the biggest convincing I did? Life is just too short. At 53, my body will only degrade. It's now or never to improve on golf. It's now or never to climb the Half Dome, hike into the deepest part of Grand Canyon, run a marathon, rebuild a vegetable garden in my backyard, read good books, never to worry about setting the alarm clock to go to work, ..................................................................................................... There's just too many fun things to do that sure beats work. That sure convinced me.