It’s funny how we are creatures of habit. I used to get up every morning at about 5:00. I’d stumble into the second bedroom of the condo, the one we turned into a work-out room, and jump on the bike while I was still half asleep and do my 60-minute workout. A quick shower and I motored out the door before 7:00 and was at my desk before 7:30.
Sometimes I would stay late to get things done and usually on Friday I would leave by 4:00. Before early retirement, it was very busy so I often stayed late, even on Fridays. My routine changed three weeks ago when I came home very early on Friday. I’m still an early riser, but now I have coffee before my workout.
I didn’t quite know what to do with myself that first week and I tried to establish a new routine. I set a goal for myself (write two thousand words), but that left me with a whole lot of free time. Time to get depressed, time to get in trouble, time to obsess over the ranking of my latest book, Captivated, and finally, time to hang out on Facebook.
Here’s the interesting thing. Before I was semi-retired I spent more time on Facebook in the evenings. It was my guilty pleasure. I also would write 500-1000 words before dinner hit the table. Until the last few days, I struggled with that goal of 2,000 words. My wife asked me if I was depressed. I answered honestly that yes, I thought I was. I wasn’t making a very healthy adjustment into the land of leisure.
I’ve lost my identity as an HR Professional and I want it back. I think I will get it back, but these things take time. In the meantime, I am missing a wonderful opportunity to write my little heart out. I only realized that in the last couple of days when the words started flowing and I’ve been able to write three times as much as my initial goal. I’ve also been able to accomplish everything on the honey-do list. My wife doesn’t put too many items on it, she knows this is a hard time for me.
So, here’s my new routine. I get up at about 6:00 or 6:30. While drinking my coffee, I start on my daily word count. I write a scene and then I bounce to Facebook or if a private message pops up, I take a break and answer it. When the words begin to trickle, I make my way into the workout room. After my workout, I hit the shower and depending on whether I have a honey-do item that requires me to leave the condo, I put on makeup and blow dry my hair. Otherwise, I take a shower and hang out on the couch in my robe, and return to my writing.
I joke a lot on Facebook about being a domestic goddess or maybe taking up a new profession as a sex slave, but I hate not being a full-time professional. I thought I would enjoy retirement, but the truth is that it is not a lot of fun unless your spouse is retired too. Mostly I just have to fight the urge to turn into a couch potato and watch soaps all day, or the lifetime channel. I’ve specifically refused to turn on the TV, because the temptation would be far too great. I used to love the lifetime movies.
Since I’m close to finishing this book, I have to decide whether to start a new one as wait for my next HR opportunity or obsess over the edits to the ones I already have in various stages of potential publication. I know an HR position is out there, I just hope I won’t get too comfortable in my new routine before it comes my way. I’ve finally developed a new groove and it’s starting to grow on me. If only I could make a living as a full-time author. My new routine would fit perfectly with that plan. I haven’t yet figured out if having plenty of time to write produces a better novel or not. I’ve done something totally out of the norm for me. This new book is pure romance…no mystery…no mash up with another sub-genre…just a simple romance. I know this is what my publisher has been begging for right from the start. I haven’t decided whether I like it or not yet, I’ll leave the judgment of this new work up to the betas who I hope will be honest.
If you’re interested in reading any of my previous works, written while I was a full-time HR Professional, you know the drill….click the links below.