How to Retire While You’re Still Working

The radical idea has come to me that a person can “retire” while they’re still working.

The revelation has come that you can’t continue to pin your hopes on achieving something at a future date.

Your happiness shouldn’t be linked to succeeding at getting to a goal.

You should be able to be happy right here right now wherever you are in your life.

You don’t have to like the circumstances you’re under. Yet I don’t think letting the pain rob you of optimism is going to help you heal.

On the contrary: doing what gives you joy can help you heal.

As regards to employment: a person can’t postpone doing something until they retire.

I say: Just Do It today and every day you’re alive.

This is important for having a sense of control over the direction of your life.

It’s imperative to feel good while you’re working.

Not to view retirement as a Get Out of Jail Free monopoly card.

It comes down to allowing yourself to experience real joy at whatever point in your life you are living.

Not numbing the effects of a job you hate with food, drugs, or alcohol.

That’s the point of working at 2 jobs you love instead of one soul-crushing job.

In the coming week I’m going to start posting finance themes under the banner of Money Mondays.

You want to travel to Paris? Make It Happen.

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Eggs for Breakfast

In the May issue of Elle magazine Dua Lipa was interviewed.

She’s the Albanian singer-songwriter who won a Grammy award for Best New Artist.

Dua is Albanian for love. The music star revealed she eats eggs as snacks all the time. She cooked and fed her interviewer eggs.

My health coach vetted that having 2 eggs ( or 3 if you’re hungrier) for breakfast is okay.

So far I’ve scrambled eggs and veggies for 3 weeks.

That’s 21 days of the 90-day action plan in Changeology: 5 Steps to Realizing Your Goals and Resolutions.

Reading the Dua Lipa interview was so uplifting and inspiring.

The singer-songwriter seems real. Grounded. Like she’s grateful for her good fortune.

Just to know that there’s a famous singer-songwriter having eggs everyday can show us that Snap and Crackle Have Popped and outlived their usefulness.

I say: step away from the cereal box aisle. Your body will thank you.

 

 

Showing Up As Yourself

In my life when I let the illness define me I thought that doing what “normal” people do would be the cure.

The world tells you what’s acceptable. You think you’re supposed to do these things.

Only you cannot repress your soul and expect to be well. Ill health is the result of being cut off from your true self.

The ultimate goal as I see it in recovery is to become who you are.

Show up as this person wherever you go.

Self-doubt and confidence go hand-in-hand. As I wrote in You Are Not Your Diagnosis:

My employment history shows that one of three things is possible:

  • You’re just starting out and haven’t yet figured out the ideal workplace.
  • You loved your job or career when you started it and today it no longer thrills you.
  • You thought that this particular job or career was the one you wanted. It doesn’t work out and you’re forced to change.

Knowing yourself and what you are suited to do and not do is the key to success.

If you have to act false to yourself on a job you’re rolling a wheel up a hill over and over like Sisyphus in the Greek myth.

I say: get a second job to supplant your primary income rather than continuing to show up as an imposter to a job you’re not happy doing.

If you’re not happy doing your job you won’t be motivated to excel so how can you be effective at it?

This is the definition of “spinning your wheels.”

In a coming blog entry I offer a remedy for dissatisfaction.

Rebelling the Role of “Mental Patient”

It can seem like there’s a glass wall separating people with mental health conditions from others.

It’s like you can see what’s on the other side–“success” “a good life” “a career” “a home”–and the wall stands between you and getting these things.

What is this invisible barrier? Internalized self-stigma brought on by harboring outdated false beliefs about what a person’s life is destined to become after a psychiatric emergency.

Getting to this side involves breaking free of the shackles of guilt and shame.

What I’ve learned I’ll gladly share here. I want to quote from the Introduction to my career handbook so that you might be convinced of the truth: You Are Not Your Diagnosis:

As a young person, I was happy even though my life was less than ideal. Yes—I chose to be happy even when the circumstances of my life were dismal. You can like I did rebel the role of “mental patient.” You are not your diagnosis. You’re a human being with wants, needs, desires, goals, and dreams just like everyone living on earth. It’s a mistake to think your diagnosis limits you forever in what you can do.

Having a diagnosis is often part of the package you present to others yet it isn’t your identity. Defining yourself by your symptoms locks you into a no-win mental straitjacket. Your diagnosis is not a dead end and it doesn’t define you.

A women’s organization I’m a member of used to ask its members: Who are you?

I say: you have the right to choose your identity.

In a coming blog entry I’ll talk about this in more detail.

 

Blueberry Shake Recipe

My health coach gave me this blueberry shake recipe:

1 scoop of Pea Protein**

1 handful frozen blueberries (can be organic frozen ones)

1 handful frozen spinach  (can buy pre-washed and put in reusable zipper bag in the freezer to have on hand)***

1 cup water

1 Tbs almond butter

a pinch of cinnamon

1/2 banana (optional)

Blend in a blender.

** I use Truvani–it has only five ingredients no stevia and no natural flavors

*** Scroll below totes for reusable zipper bags sold on Container Store website

Choosing a Job for Love or Money

Choosing a Job for Love or Money shouldn’t be a toss-up.

Ideally, the job you love will pay a livable salary. When it doesn’t you can drum up a “side hustle.”

The book The Economy of You by Kimberly Palmer talks about how to create a second income stream or else create your own full-time business.

Again, using the book Changeology: 5 Steps to Realizing Your Goals and Resolutions can also help.

The Small Business Administration website can give you information too.

Going into business for yourself or working at an established company is possible.

Clearing hurdles will make it possible to do this.

One hurdle is overcoming resistance to getting any kind of job:

Either countering your own internal roadblocks or that of naysayers who claim it’s not in the cards for you to do what you want.

In the next blog entry I’m going to document a better way.

If any social workers are reading this I would like you to take note.

Hiring a Health Coach

A Health Coach has to get certified. Duke University has a program.

Some nutritionists like Stefanie Sacks charge close to a thousand dollars for their services.

My health coach cost $395 for one one-hour intake plus two follow-up sessions.

You talk via telephone.

It’s been close to two weeks since I changed my breakfast food.

Scrambling culinary sunshine in the form of 2 or 3 eggs with colorful diced pepper and sliced mushroom (all organic, by the way) has brightened my mood.

Seeing the fiesta of color on my plate in the morning cheers me.

I say: nix having white food and beige food. It has little nutritional value. And it can depress you looking at it.

The change was immediate as soon as I started having eggs and veggies for breakfast.

It takes longer to cook, eat, and clean up. I’m going to cut up the peppers on Sunday night and store them with the mushrooms in a tiffin.

You can buy a 3-tray tiffin on Amazon. If I remember it cost about $35 to buy two of the tiffins. I’m going to buy another one soon to use.

The health coach vetted that it’s okay to have 2 eggs every day for breakfast. 3 if you’re hungrier.

This sure beats boxed cereal. It beats having the granola.

Next Friday I’ll share the shake recipe the health coach gave me.