I think I got a taste of what early retirement might be like. In contrast to most weeks, we didn’t have a lot of plans this weekend. It had been a busy week, I had awaken at 1:30 am the previous morning, and we didn’t feel the need to get moving early, so the alarm wasn’t set. Somewhere around 6:45, I awoke to the sounds of the birds outside as the sun began to brighten the morning. We eventually had breakfast outside, ran errands, did some yard work, played with the dogs, cook dinner on the charcoal grill, etc. Then we went to bed a little after 9 o’clock.
Sunday was almost a repeat: Wake at 6 am to the sounds of nature, eat breakfast outside, take a long walk with the dogs, do some yard work, go to a party, cook dinner on the charcoal grille; went to bed around 10 pm. Monday was similar, but we never had to jump in a car. It made me really start looking forward to achieving our goal of early retirement. Sitting around chatting with family after dinner, I mentioned my favorite part of the weekend was waking naturally with no alarm clock. So started thinking: Do I really need to get up with an alarm?
So after checking my calendar, I decided that only on Friday do I need to make sure I’m up by a certain time. So Yesterday, no alarm. Today, no alarm. I was up and moving by 6 am again. Even on Friday, that would be early enough this week, so I’ll probably set it for 6:15 just in case.
Where did this reliance on waking to an alarm start for me? It started in grade school, and has mostly continued since. So it makes me wonder: How much of a disservice are we doing to the kids of today? Why in the world do kids need to be waiting for a bus at 6:45 am? Fixing education is the next frontier for Lean, I think. As i think of this, I realize that for a large part of the last 4 years, I wouldn’t have needed an alarm. Even without it, I’m up relatively early by most standards. But yet I continued to cheat myself of sleep pretty regularly due to a habit of getting up to an alarm.
Maybe that ended last Thursday. That was the last day I used an alarm since I woke up so early on Friday with the solution to a problem at work in my head that came to me in a dream. Occasionally, I’ll still need to wake early to be at a 7 am meeting, or to catch an early morning flight, but in general I think I’m going to stop using my alarm.
But you know, it just feels so weird. It’s like I’m doing something almost taboo; like someone is going to come and bust me for NOT getting up at 5am. I’ll consider this my next step in not being normal and preparing for an early retirement.
(The bird in the picture ate breakfast with me in Perth, Australia. I’m no good at taking pictures of birds; I need to get better. But don’t you think this bird looks like he was awaken too early by his alarm clock ?)