I’m exhausted and I need a mental break.
There’s this weird dynamic in the blogging (and social media) world where the more you’re out doing “stuff”, the more it looks like you’re out living the dream.
I’ve never really cared much about all that but I do put my life out there for everyone (both good and bad). And this year, we’ve been insanely busy doing more stuff than I could have ever imagined.
Most of you know that we’ve spent the past few years living in a little piece of paradise called Boquete in the country of Panama. It truly was wonderful. But we made the hard decision to move back recently to be closer to family.
We left Panama in April and on the way back, we spent 8 nights in Ajijic, Mexico. From there, we partied it up for 3 nights at an all-inclusive resort in Cancún. Then, only a month after we got back to Ohio, we turned around and set out on a road trip around the U.S. that lasted for 31 days.
We’ve just spent this past weekend at Kelleys Island with my cousins for our annual get-together. And finally, as this post is coming out, Lisa and I are on a flight to North Carolina. We’ll be spending a few days there and then bringing back a U-Haul of furniture to our new apartment.
So, from the outside, you might be thinking, “Wow, Jim’s living the life! He and his family are always traveling and up to something good!”
Here’s the thing – we really do have a lot of fun… a ton of fun. Early retirement has given us the gift of more time as well as the opportunity to travel less expensively based on flexibility. Without a doubt, I’m extremely thankful to be in the position we’re in.
However, lately, it’s been too much of a good thing. There really hasn’t been any downtime and I need some time of nothingness… I need a mental break.
Blogs and social media can be misleading
The inherent nature of social media leads folks to want to put their best foot forward. It’s not that you won’t hear about the bad things in life – it’s just that the good things tend to rise to the surface quite a bit more.
Maybe that’s because many people want others to think their life is always a bowl of cherries. Or perhaps it’s less innocuous and folks are just excited to share the good nature of the places they’ve gone and the sites they’ve seen.
I would guess it’s a blend of these. I also think that most people tend to consider the negative things in life to be a bit more personal and something they don’t want to put out there for others. Putting your “I need a mental break” thoughts on Instagram isn’t something most folks want to share.
The same goes for personal blogs to a certain degree. Although personal bloggers tend to share the good in their lives, they’re not always as forthright about the negative. That isn’t to say that they’re lying about it, but many bloggers focus on the fun and leave out the bad in their lives.
Again, this might not be malicious – most folks just get more excited to share the positives in life.
Personally, I try to be conscious of this in both my blog post and on social media.
There’s no doubt that financial independence and early retirement have changed my life completely… and for the better. It’s so hard to put into words just how significant this new freedom is for me and us as a family.
That said, I want my readers to know that life isn’t perfect. As pristine as someone tries to come off on the internet, he/she will always have their own set of problems going on.
Hopefully, you’ve noticed that I try to be honest whenever I write a blog post or something on social media.
Sometimes, I’ll post about the cool stuff I’m super excited about…
But, I also try to be upfront and honest about anything that’s not so good as well…
The same goes for my blog posts. You’ll always see posts about the stuff I’m excited about:
- Holy #$%*… I Just Hiked up Volcán Barú!
- An Epic 2 Nights in the Jungle at Rambala Jungle Lodge
- 41 Fun Activities We Did in Panama
But I also try to tell you whenever I have some concerns on my mind:
- Solving the Puzzle To Make It All Work… That’s Life, Folks!
- Should I Get a Job Now as a Hedge for Tomorrow?
- Is Anyone Else’s Mental Health Still a Wreck?
Although I try to be as authentic as I can be with you as my readers, there’s only so much time for writing so you’re obviously never going to know the whole story.
But the same goes for every single blogger and social media influencer out there. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you, but don’t fall into the trap of believing that what you see or read out there tells the whole story of someone. The internet makes the world a lot smaller but it also gives folks the ability to mold their life into what they want you to believe. It has the potential to make you think your own life isn’t that great – even though your life might be far better than the half story you’re seeing out there.
I need a mental break
That was a long rant but I thought it was worth saying. The reason is that I don’t want to pull any punches and ever try to make you think that my life is perfect.
Life is much less stressful without having a 9-5 and the freedom we have truly is awesome. However, it’ll never be peaches and cream 100% of the time.
And right now, I’m tired.
It was amazing to explore Ajijic, Mexico – such a cool place with some awesome culture and people…
Then, spending 31 days on a road trip throughout the U.S. gave us a chance to see a ton of sites we had never visited before…
Even more breath-taking, boondocking surprised us and made our jaws drop at the spectacular scenery that nature provided around us…
There’s no doubt that we had a fantastic time and made some amazing memories.
But we’ve essentially been going non-stop since mid-April… and we’re not done yet. We just spent the weekend at Kelleys Island and Lisa and I are on our way right now to North Carolina to get furniture for our new apartment.
We’ve also spent a heckuva lot of money along the way… more money than I’m used to spending.
Throw in a beatdown from COVID at the end of our road trip with a lingering cough and the lethargy it generously provided and I’m spent.
Traveling takes a lot of mental energy. Traveling a lot takes even more. Between the planning, constantly adapting to change, and the actual doing, it’s a lot of work. It’s fun, but it takes its toll.
I need a mental break. I need some time to chill and not do anything for a little while. I need to regroup and focus on myself for a little bit. I need to ramp up the working out, get back to eating better, and just be still for a little bit. Maybe I’ll spend some time reading and catching up on some movies, too. Of course, we’ll have family time as well with some games and getting settled into the new apartment.
This is not a depression thing or anything like that so nothing to worry about there. Life is good – tremendously good! I simply want to take a little time to bring things down a notch for a little bit.
I need a mental break to get back on top of things and then I can get back to the fun. After all, we do have a Caribbean cruise scheduled in October… and then we’ll be done traveling probably for the rest of the year.
With that said, I’ll probably take a break from Route to Retire for a week or two. But then I’ll be back with the latest scoop, new and fun ways to save more money, and thoughts on helping you to live your best life!
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- Recurring Expenses Spreadsheet
- Credit Card Rewards Tracker
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- HSA Unreimbursed Expenses Tracking Spreadsheet
- Roth IRA Conversion Ladder Calculator
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Fun stuff, right? You know what to do…
Until next time, my friends!
Plan well, take action, and live your best life!
Thanks for reading!!