The plague year changed things for me. Changed how I think about things. I had a non-Covid-related health scare myself last year — I was in hospital during the spring lockdown. It was rough and scary. Since then, I’ve thought a lot about what I value, what I want to do with my life. Which may not suddenly be as long as I always imagined. (My family is long-lived. I have grandparents on both sides who lived to be 100.)
So when my employer, ravaged by the Covid depression, offered early retirement at the end of the year — I took it.
When my friend Christian Martin moved out to LA a couple years ago to try to break into TV writing, I was happy for him. But I was ravaged by regret for myself. That I hadn’t done the same and given writing my all when I was young. That I had always played it safe.
I should have taken that leap of faith. I should have bailed on one of my succession of shitty McJobs, told my boyfriend (now husband) that he had to support us for a year, and worked full time on writing. Given it all of my energy and attention. Who knows how far I might have gone?
So, when the retirement option appeared, I thought, People don’t often get a second chance like this. A chance to make writing my full focus while I still have some energy and mental focus left.
(Okay, I’m making it sound like I’m at death’s door. I’m not. I’m managing my issues and doing well. But when I first got sick I was in a dark place for a while, and it colored my subsequent thinking.)
So I took it. The chance. It’s not even like I’m throwing myself on the mercy of the universe. I have a pension — that’s unheard of for Generation X! It’s less than I made, but better than I expected. And if things get tight, I can always get another job.
So, this year I have been working finishing my latest book. It is almost ready for publication. The genre is Solarpunk and the title is THE PONO WAY. I’ll tell you more about it in subsequent posts.
Come along with me as I put some actual skin in the game. Wish me luck!