All Good Things...

I like that title, "All Good Things...". I've used it a few times for events surrounding the end of an era of some sort. It's the title of the final episode(s) of the series Star Trek: The Next Generation. But that has nothing to do with any of this. Not really.

On June 30th I leave my place of employment, voluntarily, mind you. I phrase it that way because it's not a layoff, but I'm not necessarily "retiring." My company is offering hard-to-resist financial incentives for us middle agers to resign. Making room for more motivated employees with stronger knees and who might not fall asleep for a nap midway through the work day.

The house I'm sitting in was built in 1997, the same year my youngest daughter Audrey was born, and the same year I began working at the company where I'm stepping down from in a couple of weeks. Twenty-four years!

Now, here's the rub: I'm thinking that maybe, God willing, I can focus on something other than corporate America for a supplemental income. If so, these might be my last couple of weeks working in the business world (I was a mainframe COBOL programmer/systems analyst). If that's the case, and this happens, then we should go farther back than 1997, and instead to 1985, when I first graduated college and got my first professional job at State Mutual Life Assurance Company (later renamed to Allmerica Financial, then Hanover Insurance) in Worcester MA.  

Mid 80's, Huey Lewis and the News and saving Walden Pond were some of the big things. The Internet as we know it now didn't exist. Neither did our modern cell phones. I was fresh out of school and moving out, on my own to the "big" city. Met a girl, got married, had three wonderful kids, during which time I changed jobs a couple of times until landing the gig I'm at now. I began writing in earnest, sold my first story, then my second and so on, my first novel (to a Russian then a German then an Italian then finally a North American publisher), also did some editing, film reviews and even began doing standup comedy. I learned to paint and built up a small gallery of art. I watched my children grow up, go to college, move away to begin their own lives in New York, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, even get married! We all went through a painful divorce and transition to the otherness of a new world around us. I met Linda, got married again, found an amazing church to pour into, began foster-parenting, adopted a wonderful little boy and took care of some other amazing children. 

In other words, I lived a life that feels pretty damn full, with ups and downs as lives go. 

And here we are, standing on the precipice of another next phase of life. I'm still writing, and editing, and now I'm prayerfully considering the possibility that I could supplement my early retirement with writing somehow, so I can keep the house and feed the family without having to go back to the corporate world as a consultant (but nice to know I could if I had to).  

It's exciting, a little scary, and I'm looking forward to have comes next.


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