Working out my next-chapter brain

It’s all up to me.

When people hear it’s your retirement month, they ask a lot of questions.

It usually boils down to: What’s your plan?

Frankly, the favorite phrase I’ve come up so far has been <em>frivolous writing</em>.

I know I like to type type type and see how the words fire out from my brain.

Now I’m coming to realize I can do this without the need of an end goal for whatever I discover on the screen. It doesn’t have to be on a blog or in a publication or sent off to some publisher somewhere. Or it could be. Someday. We shall see. It’s up to me.

I’ve been somewhat sheepish because it seemed maybe a little thin.

I have been somebody cranking out work since mowing neighborhood lawns with Eddie Murphy as a teen, doing 8:30 to 5 at my dad’s workplace and 6 to 10 at the shoe store to save before starting college, working at the computer ribbon factory college breaks for the guy my dad and I met at the bar my first trip back home for Christmas, firing out stories and editing at college and professional newspapers during the school year and starting at the Maryland suburban paper the day after my graduation. When the big daily told me to go away after 30 years of toiling a decade ago, I fretted about what somebody aged 55 would do and then scrambled to find jobs.

Busy work life it was.

Time for a change.

I can enjoy this blank page of life.

Take a walk with my dog, take a walk with myself, read more books, be here when my dear wife Karen goes to work for her mid-day shift, wake up happily when she gets home after I’ve already been sleeping for a couple of hours, watch sports, watch shows, watch movies, watch news and talk to our cherished rescue mutt about it, go over to daughter Elisabeth and George’s house in a minute if they need me to let in a service person. Get the things done on my dear wife Karen’s wish list.

Write when the bulb goes on and the fingers twitch.

I do have a plan!


22 thoughts on “Working out my next-chapter brain

  1. Wow! I have been incredibly busy and I missed some of your posts. I’m so sorry…
    Retirement! Woo Hoo! Congratulations! 🎉
    I will tell you… it’s fabulous. And you will get so busy you will wonder how you use to work as well.
    As I often tell others… “I wake up with nothing to do and go to bed with only half of it done!”
    Enjoy your new chapter!


  2. I’m six months into “First Retirement” and still don’t miss full-time work, but I have started to snoop around and see what might be available on a part-time basis if I unearth something truly interesting. It is exciting to have this kind of flexibility, and I know you feel it as well, Mark.


  3. MBM I am so happy for you! I look forward to what you create, and do, at this new junction in your life. I have long been congratulatory of those reaching this point. What a time to celebrate and start something new. I never saw it as an ending. Congratulations!


  4. i love your approach to this next phase of your life, and know there are new and great things ahead for you. enjoy every minute. my plan (as of right now), is to retire a year from june, and i’m already considering my next chapter, but first would just like to sit and rest for a bit.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I can tell you from experience when you retire it will be odd at first… Eventually you will settle into a regimé. Then suddenly you will be so busy you’ll wonder how you ever had time to go to work! 💜🧽


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