Quick Update! A Move And A New Kitty

Last time I wrote, I was traveling solo through Sri Lanka and the Philippines. When I returned, day-to-day life sucked me back into its tricky vortex.

One thing that strikes me in retirement is how easily the time goes. I thought without work I’d have so much more of it, and I do, but it also passes just the same. You know how sometimes you plan your whole weekend thinking how much you’ll get done? Laundry, bills, cleaning the house, tinkering with a project… but then by the time Monday rolls around you’ve done absolutely zilch? That Monday feeling is the same one I often confront in retirement. Where did the time go? Why am I not 1000x more productive now that I don’t work for someone else 40+ hours a week?

On the other hand…. sometimes retirement does just feel like retirement (from the beach in the Philippines)

At the same time, it’s important to look at the bigger picture. Sometimes I think— am I squandering this retirement, this opportunity, this time? Am I having enough adventures, doing enough art, writing enough? With more perspective, a quieting of the mind, sometimes I answer myself: yes.

Another Move To Add To The List

There has been a lot on my plate recently. I recently moved from Santa Barbara to Sacramento. Vowing to do the move differently this time (long-time readers might remember I moved from Portland to New York to Santa Barbara in recent years)

2019: The journey from Portland to New York

2020: A cross-country move from New York to Santa Barbara

2021: Moved to Amsterdam

2023 saw me move back to Santa Barbara, though I spent a lot of the time abroad. And now, once again, I’m uprooting. For at least a year, my partner has a contract in Sacramento. That meant the last few months I’ve been saying goodbye to friends and neighbors while the overcast clouds of June gloom reflected my mood about another move. This year I’m aiming to be very very intentional about the next move, because I’d like it to be the last one for a while.

Hard Mode vs. Getting Help

And, potentially because I often live my life on hard mode, I also adopted a new kitten two weeks before moving. That adventure deserves its own blog post! A place I found to rent dropped out last minute, and I scrambled to find something new the day before kitten pick-up. It all worked out in the end, but… well… there’s a reason everyone says moving is stressful.

I didn’t take life 100% on hard mode this time though. For the first time ever, I hired help. I hired two people to load a truck, one person to pack my ceramics, dishes, and glasses for three hours, and two people to unload. The rest I did with my partner, including driving the truck. Two days before we were supposed to pick it up, U-Haul contacted us to let us know they did not have a truck for us available. That’s what makes moving hard— not necessarily the things you know you have to do, pack, load, lift, etc. It’s the wrenches in the plan.

My New Cat Felix

Anyway, this is just a short post to let ya’ll know I’m still around and should resume posting, but moving tends to be a black hole of effort. When I’m not focusing on the move, I’m enjoying kittenhood while it lasts and running a small Instagram page dedicated to him:


Don’t get me started talking about him… I will never stop.

As usual, money is the tool that drives all of this. In the future, it would be interesting to write about the contrast between spending for moves in the past vs. now with movers (spoiler alert: it was much more expensive this time). Also, the new kitty is definitely tallying up a higher bill than MechaniCat (my first cat) ever did. So there’s definitely a lot more to write for the blog. If there are any topics you’re interested in me writing about, please let me know in the comments below.

Until then, I’m doing well, I hope you are too!

Bixby Bridge from a trip to Big Sur in March
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6 days ago

Hi Mechanic! Good to see a post from you and your new kitty is so beautiful and unique looking! I have been wondering about your finances in retirement. Did they work out as planned? How is spending tracking? I would also enjoy hearing more about your experience of time in retirement. I am still working full time, but not for much longer. I have been wondering about what life will feel like without the imposed structure of work.

3 days ago

Welcome to Sacramento. You certainly came here at a bad time with the heat dome over the area. Ha ha. Generally, we have a few 100 degrees days, but not a bunch like 10 straight days…

My wife and I recently retired after working for 30 years, not exactly ER like you though. We are enjoying the retirement life. So busy with pickleball, biking, and hiking in the area. If you are interested in pickleball, Sacramento area has many parks for courts. That will eat up even more of your time. Ha ha.

1 day ago

Happy to hear from you! I would love to hear what’s different mentally from retired life vs working life.