by Jamie Patterson
Even though it’s a little more than 20 years away, I joke sometimes that I can’t wait to be retired so I can become a full time writer. I even have a countdown at one job that only requires 10 years of service and a minimum age for full benefits. The day I turn 52, I’ll happily submit my retirement request. My life is full now and I don’t often enjoy the studious leisure it takes for me to really write. I’m not complaining, though, there was a time in my life where the only thing I had was writing.
I would wake up, walk down to the coffee shop for a cup of coffee, return home, and write until dinner, only breaking to let my dog outside. If I hadn’t been newly married and then newly divorced and facing the largest paradigm shift in my life so far, it would have been heaven. I couldn’t see that, then, though. As it was, waking up and writing kept my focus, kept me out of bed, kept me moving toward a better place where I could work and be myself again. This focus on writing produced my first book and I worry sometimes that without the ability to wake up, walk to the coffee shop, go home and write, that there might not be a second, or third, or fourth book.
Sometimes I think of how interesting it is that the worst moment of my life also presented me with exactly the day-in-the-life I’m hoping to achieve again (but without the heartache). And then I think—as I scramble to keep up with two jobs, being a full time graduate student, and a newly-published author—that maybe that life of “get up and write” is closer than an early heartbreak or an early retirement. Maybe it’s a matter of making a choice and making it happen…Perhaps after I finish the big project at work, or after I discover a better retirement plan, or after I graduate. Or…
I can’t wait to be retired.
Jamie Patterson is a writer, teacher, runner, and dog owner. She has a Master’s degree in Language and Literature, which provided the opportunity to study creative writing under author Michael Pritchett (The Melancholy Fate of Capt. Lewis) at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. A former spokesperson for the American Red Cross and the Girl Scouts, Jamie is a frequent flier based in Minneapolis, and an academic editor with Walden University. Visit with Jamie and learn more about her memoir of emotional abuse in marriage at www.lostedens.com.