The freedom to do what I want when I want, without worrying about money. This is what got me hooked on the concept of financial independence five years ago already.
Since I took this alternative route, I regularly catch myself dreaming in the morning when I am waiting for public transport. I imagine myself letting the bus pass by, waving that I'm not getting on. Then I cross this quiet country road to take the small path that goes through the fields, and I go straight into the forest to watch the day rise peacefully. I take advantage of this plenitude to meditate during ten minutes, sitting on a tree trunk cut down by a woodcutter the day before, while listening to the song of the morning birds.
Once my lungs are full of clean air and my legs got their four and a half kilometers, I go home with the sun on my back. It's only 6:39am, and Mrs. MP and the kids are still sound asleep. I go wake them up one by one so we have time to have breakfast together quietly. Once their faces have been washed and their teeth brushed, we set off to accompany them on their way to school. The advantage of retiring at age 40 is that Mrs. MP can take the opportunity to chat with some moms who are off due to their part-time job.
Then we go hand in hand, and I share with my significant other that we're incredibly lucky to live such a life of freedom. We continue this philosophical reflection in front of a good espresso, nestled in our garden lounge in the coolness of this sunny May morning, before each of us enjoys their free time. For my part, it will be writing a blogpost for an hour or two...
My current weekly schedule
I could continue to go through the rest of this perfect day, but generally, the daydream stops at the beginning of the paragraph, when I get on the bus and the driver greets me (yes, we are polite in the countryside!).
Because for the moment, I still haven't reached financial freedom, and my schedule looks more like something similar to this (in theory, because life regularly brings its share of surprises) :
My dream schedule
With this article, I wanted to push the dream further and define my ideal weekly schedule for when I'll be financially independent. Because in the end, all these articles about financial portfolio and third pillars are only means that will allow me to reach this early retirement milestone.
As you can see, I will come back to a 6am wake up time to be able to watch more movies and series that I'm pretty much giving up at the moment. I had the misfortune to watch the first episode of "Casa de Papel" three weeks ago... I let you imagine the frustration of still not having had time to watch the second episode!
An alternative to waking up later may be to limit myself to one or two Netflix evenings, so that I can continue to enjoy this morning energy when the alarm clock rings at 5am.
The most obvious thing is the time saved with the kids. When I think about it, my reflex is to tell myself that I will miss the most important things by not taking advantage of this extra time with them right now. But although there is a part of truth, I already feel very lucky because I enjoy them enormously compared to many people who start their job at 8am and finish it between 7 or 8pm.
Especially since in less than a decade, although they will no longer be as dependent on us as they are today, I am hopeful that we will continue to enjoy spending time and sharing experiences together. It may no longer be Lego or football games (who knows!), but we'll have just as much fun going to the movie theater or to a Cowboys Fringants' concert together :)
On the blog and reading side, I deliberately put "only" five half-days because my goal is to give free rein to my creativity with the other "Free Time" slots for DIY stuff, a business project, or potentially just doing nothing and enjoy life.
I don't dare to imagine (in fact, I do!!!) what I would feel if I'd lay on the sofa on our balcony (I hope I'd have a hammock by then), with a good book in one hand, a coffee in the other, and the view of the lake and its petrol blue color. It would be a sunny Tuesday afternoon in September, and there'd only be the noise of a tractor working in the fields in the background. Everything would be peaceful while the rest of the neighbors would be at work, stucked in their meeting rooms talking about things that don't interest them... I can already see myself there!
Another thing I look forward to is that nap after dinner every day of the week. Every single day! What a delight it's gonna be, I tell you. I've to see if I have it right after eating, or if I wait for digestion to happen and do it only at 3pm, after reading, blogging, or grocery shopping. What a luxury dilemma :)
Speaking of grocery shopping: the advantage of this new schedule is that cleaning and other happy chores will be handled during the week so that we can fully enjoy our weekends. No more stress of cleaning and tidying up just before friends arrive, or having to catch up on the pile of dirty laundry on weeknights because we were out the entire weekend. It speaks to you, doesn't it?!
Then there is sport. As I'll be ten years older by then, I've planned enough blocks of time to stay fit and fully enjoy this financial freedom.
And the best for the end: this Thursday morning which will allow us to enjoy our Swiss countryside and the surrounding Jura mountains. Currently, we try to enjoy nature on some weekends, but with children's activities, birthdays, or household chores, we often get trapped with the remaining time available.
With this new schedule, I can already see myself climbing to the top of Le Chasseron regularly around 4-5am to watch the sun rise over Lake Neuchâtel and the Swiss Alps. Or canoeing on one of the surrounding rivers (by the way, if a reader has any recommendations on this subject in the canton of Vaud, I'd love to hear about it). In summary, so much fun to come!
Plans are made to be turned upside down!
I am well aware that this nice Excel file remains a theoretical plan. Because a decade from now, a lot will have changed. Children may be abroad for school, or we may have moved. I also reserve the right to take us on a world tour with no return date!
But right now, I really like this schedule. As my colleague Tawcan from Vancouver explained, it's important to dream. And this schedule is the dream that helps me stay on this long road to financial independence.
Back to reality
My April resolution was to stop running and start living now. I intend to apply it to this ideal schedule dream by gradually integrating certain blocks of time today rather than making a big bang on the D-Day. And this on the one hand to not undergo a too rough transition, and on the other hand to not lock me into a new race.
A good example? Nap time! Since my kids will soon be going to school on the afternoon of the day I work from home, I think I'll introduce a time slot to apply this rule at least once a week already!
And you, what's your dream schedule? Is it not having any at all? Or have you ever imagined what your life would be like if you no longer had to work for money?