I’ve thought about it several times. I’m going to be 52 this year. A little young to be thinking about retirement some would say.
But, if you’ve lived my life, you might want to consider retirement as well. Let me explain.
The first time I thought about retirement was in 1998 when I developed Grave’s Disease. Even though I was put on bed rest for six months and as weak as a kitten, I had fierceness in me to survive. What I wanted to do, I wasn’t sure, but laying in bed literally thinking that your next heartbeat is going to be your last, gets a girl to thinking about unfulfilled dreams.
I didn’t want to be a Technical Writer for the rest of my career life. I want to write. Write fiction. I wanted to write novels.
Writing was a dream I gave up after graduating high school and joining the U.S. Marine Corps. I rebelled against family who wanted me to go to Business School. It was my first time saying “no” to my family and it felt good. I didn’t want to lose that fierceness.
Should I retire from working as a Technical Writer and join the mass of writers all waiting for that next novel to get published?
So, I sort of retired and technically changed careers. I went from a writer of computer user manuals to a writer of novels.
The first book I got published practically wrote itself. I was hooked. I was an author.
Then the pain started. Hospital CAT scans confirmed the worst. Tumors on my ovaries. Cancer? It couldn’t be. I had just started my new life. I prayed for a chance to live a life I hadn’t finished with yet. I prayed to live to see grandchildren, still not conceived.
The result was no cancer. But, I had to have surgery to removed my diseased ovaries. Then it happened. Menopause. I was only forty. My life was filled with hot flashes, mood swings, and weight gain. I grew old before my time. I stopped coloring my hair and let the gray grow through.
I was old.
I could retire.
Then, that little voice in my head whispered about my dream of writing. The passion flared.
I got involved again with writers’ groups and online conversations. The writing bug pulled me back.
Somehow, I got distracted by helping six other women develop a new statewide writers’ organization. Florida Writers Association. I poured myself into the development of the organization ad put my writing second to the success of FWA. Within a few years FWA became its own entity. A life onto itself. Self-sufficient, the group no longer needed my continual support.