As I do occasionally, I met some of my former workmates for lunch yesterday. Since retiring from my “day job” and writing full time, I still like to keep in touch with selected people I once worked with.
Over the years, I’ve worked with dozens of people facing retirement and found myself envious. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like not having to deal with the corporate rat race or an alarm clock—to do exactly what I wanted to do every day of my life.
For me, of course, it’s a bit different than it is for the average retiree because my writing career keeps me as busy—if not busier—than when I worked a traditional job. I’m not complaining. Believe me. I love writing novels, but there is a dark side to my world.
First of all, every time I meet my ex-colleagues for lunch, I always feel a little down when we part company. I feel nostalgic and disconnected, completely out of the loop. I miss the social commerce of the workplace, the camaraderie, talking about Monday Night Football the morning after, discussing politics, participating in a pot luck for a holiday. All these little things I took for granted now seem so significant. What’s the saying? “You don’t realize what you have until you lose it.”
As much as I love it, writing is a lonely job. It’s just my computer, me, and my creative thoughts. Some days the words are flowing like a waterfall; other days I can hardly write a meaningful sentence. What I can’t do, is walk away from my “office”, pop my head in a workmate’s cubicle and escape from the demands of my job. I’m a solo pilot.
Moral of the story: If you’re part of the corporate rat race, hate your job, can’t wait to retire, and want to shoot one of your annoying colleagues in the face, take a step back and look at your career from a different perspective. You just might discover that the benefits outweigh the liabilities.
UPDATE: I thought you might be interested to know that Amazon Publishing will release, I Do Solemnly Swear, my third novel, on October 16th. And here is more exciting news: I’m about 52,000 words into my fourth novel entitled, Hypocrisy. I hope to have the first draft completed by December 1st.
Stay tuned for updates.