Shedding my skin
As a seasoned workaholic, dedicated to the private school I have worked in for decades, I knew I needed to retire yet I was unsure as to what this meant for me. I'm older than I look but young enough to have an entirely new career if I so desire. Most of you know me as a paranormal romance writer, something I did "on the side," fitting it into my busy day.
I am happily married, step parent and a grand parent. All of these roles require commitment, constant attention and dedication. After living through the pandemic I knew it was time to live a more honest, meaningful life which meant "shedding my skin." That which is familiar to me yet not necessarily in a good way. I had to take the risk and so I took the leap and retired from my "day job" and got into my car the next day and headed to my other residence in southern Florida where I planned to relax for two months and contemplate some serious decisions.
I am now back in my home state of New Jersey and still loving retirement. I have been able to focus more on my fourth novel; tentatively titled 'All That Remains' as well as plan my move next fall. Yes I will be heading to Florida to bask in the sun, walk the beach, write, read and enjoy my friends and family. Retirement was not a decision I came to quickly, but once I realized that I was done with work I embraced my new found freedom.
In posting photographs from Florida the feedback has been positive. "You look great." " I never saw you look so relaxed." I "Retirement agrees with you." I did not see it but I guess I wore my stress on my face and boy was I stressed out. Now, I wake up each morning with a general sense of how I want the day to go. Some days are busier than others but the most important aspect of my day is that I have time. A commodity of which there is no price tag.
I realize that the person I need to be truest to is me. Honestly, I have never minded spending time alone and I do enjoy my company. I find myself writing so much more and I have ideas for other types of novels as well. The thing is - I had to let go of my fear; I had to leap empty handed into the void and leave myself open to whatever comes my way.
So far it has been thrilling.