When my father retired, he did so at the age of 58. He’d worked since he was 14, and after my mother nearly died from a bleeding aneurism, he figure it was time. That was 28 years ago. Mom passed away nearly two years ago, but Dad is still with us.
Their retirement consisted of a bit of traveling, lots of games of shuffleboard, and delivering food for Meals on Wheels. They enjoyed their time together until Mom developed dementia a few years before her death.
Following in my father’s footsteps, I retired at the age of 58. Needless to say, I didn’t start working when I was 14, but I did have a series of interesting jobs: day care worker—hated it. Security checkpoint at the Houston Intercontinental Airport—wasn’t bad. Ticket counter/gate agent for Continental Airlines—loved it. Mother/home school teacher for 18 years—best job ever! Substitute teacher, which eventually led to a job as performing arts director at a small Christian school—one of the most stressful, yet rewarding jobs after motherhood.
I retired in order to spend time with my mother before she passed, and to help my father however I could, but the one thing I never stopped doing was write. I started my first novel in 2001, and was finally published in 2012. It took me a while to realize that writing a book was the easy part–getting people to take notice, quite another story.
A month ago, my second novel “The Rose Ring” was published. Though my husband and I no longer have 9 to 5 jobs, I find myself working harder than ever. I have to balance writing, blogging, publicizing, housework, and family. I love all of the above, but sometimes struggle to make it work. The last few weeks have been spent spreading the word about my book, and spreading rocks in the garden at the front of my house. It’s my attempt to balance my life. I’m eternally grateful for a husband who supports my passion for writing while keeping me grounded.
For me, retirement doesn’t mean the end, it means what’s next. I don’t want to rock my days away on the front porch (okay, I don’t have a front porch). I want to create. I want to travel. I want to explore. I want to stay busy. I want to work at making whatever years I have left, the best years ever.