Hi Everyone! Audra here.
Thanks for following along on my journey into retirement from the day job. Retiring due to age gifting you the right isn’t as easy as people believe. There are pitfalls that occur as we change our years’ honed routines into a world of self-made decisions:
Still, for those who looked forward to the time when you can make your own schedule and pursue long-awaited hobbies, volunteering activities, devoting more time to family and friends, or (fill in the blank), these bumps in the road aren’t anything for alarm. With a bit of concentration and effort, you too will be ready to live the dream.
|Photo by Alexander Grey on Unsplash|
Speaking of living the dream, my life now dreams of picking up where I left off in my writing career and has captured a spot on my Prayer Hit Parade. Funny thing, prayers – God has a way of answering them, even though the particular scenario He chooses isn’t exactly how you’d envisioned the answer when you submitted the prayer.
You see, I started writing for publication a looooooong time ago. I prayed the good Lord saw favor with my work. He did. I began to win contests. I prayed He’d steer me to the right editor and publisher. He did. I was honored to join with other contest-winning, contract-driven, God-loving writers who became known as the Seekers, uniting together to pray each other into publication.
God smiled and blessed us with contracts at various publishing houses.
I enjoyed the honor of becoming an author writing for Love Inspired. I envisioned contracts ahead and ideas for future books peppered my brain as I’d never experienced before. My dream had come true.
|My Love Inspired book!!|
I enjoyed a year of living the dream until a series of events – some book related, some not – caused me to choose between the hit-and-miss, contract-to-contract life doing the work I loved (novel writing) and my stable, but increasingly demanding work I liked very much (admin position). It became increasingly obvious I couldn’t do both and the admin position offered more for my future and for my family.
Fast forward now to my saying good-bye to the 40–70-hour work weeks for an employer who was demanding, but awesomely great to work for. After leaving, I took my time to unwind and enjoy freedom. Then I sat down to write a book.
|Photo by Max Saeling on Unsplash|
I had a great idea for a series, but every time I sat down to write, the ideas all jumbled together. The idea revolved around a series of books set in a small mountain town in Colorado. I wrote pages, but the story didn’t come alive, it seemed the characters could care less if they saw the light of a printed page.
So, I went back to cleaning out closets and folding laundry (see prior posts about retiring). I’d get an idea and start to run with it but hit a wall. I couldn’t believe God kept the desire to write burning with in me only to stymie my efforts to re-engage with words-on-page.
Friends, it all comes down to timing. God’s timing.
|Photo by Andrew Seaman on Unsplash|
With most of the COVID-19 restrictions lifted for travel, I decided to go to the ACFW conference hosted in St Louis and get some hugs and loves from fellow Seekers and author friends I hadn’t seen in forever. That event was so good for the soul!
I traveled and roomed with a fellow author from Colorado and between reuniting with friends and making new memories, we also spent time brainstorming book ideas. From that very first night, ideas sparked and plots ignited. By the time we left the conference, she had 3 books ready to write and I came away with detailed concepts for 6 (count’em 6) novellas that would coincide with an historical romance series I had tried to complete for decades.
|Photo by Marcin Nowak on Unsplash|
God has taken a book of my heart that He wouldn’t let me complete for years and He whispered, “now is the time.”
So there, my friends, is the conclusion of my retirement saga. I hope you find the first 4 parts helpful as you transition away from the work force someday, and that you find hope in resurrecting your dreams that might have been put on hold for the greater good.
Like I said earlier, prayers are a funny thing. Yep, the good Lord answers them, you just have to be open-minded to His plans because they are so much better!!
Your turn! Have you retired from your day job? Are your dreaming about? Please share, I'd love to hear your thoughts and plans!!
And, for sticking with me while I muddled through these past few months, if you leave a comment, you'll put in a drawing for a mystery gift from my recent trip to South Dakota! Check the WE on Saturday for the winner!!