Grateful for Life after Retirement
I worked for the same employer for over thirty years, and for most of that time, enjoyed my job. I didn’t think much about retirement. I saw myself with many productive years ahead of me. But as I neared retirement eligibility, the idea of leaving that work behind grew increasingly more tempting. The thirty-minute commute in winter was also becoming more challenging; I could tolerate driving in snow but not over ice.
When I decided to make the change, I also decided to spend my winters at the condo we had purchased a few years before in Central Florida. At breakfast one morning while enjoying a week-long vacation in Florida, we needed to find a post office to mail time-sensitive documents back to Iowa. Our waitress indicated a place about a mile down the road. We gave it a shot.
That search for a post office changed our lives, as we drove into a community that took our breath away. By the time we returned home at the end of the week, we’d purchased a yet-to-be-built condo in a yet-to-be-developed part of that community basing our decision simply on floor plans and maps. At the time, I had no idea how that decision could change my life.
Since my husband continued to work back in Iowa during those first years of my retirement, I was on my own. I knew no one. Even though that gave me more time than ever to write, if I didn’t want to lose my mind with just my own company, I had to get out and meet people. I joined organizations, learned how to play Mah Jongg (two versions, no less), joined the library, even used trips to the grocery store as opportunities to meet people.
It wasn’t easy for me to extend myself, and making new friends didn’t happen overnight. But little by little my network grew. In large part, these were other retirees, who also now found themselves challenged by more leisure time than ever. Challenged, you might ask? Yes, because most of us had grown up with a work ethic that now sought other outlets. Mine was ready-made: writing romance novels.
My life and new circle of friends and acquaintances in Florida has given me the chance to start over, become another me, for which I am so thankful. How many of us get a chance to create a brand new life? Not that the old me is for a gone or that I would want her gone, but this fresh start and forced incentive to get out there and stay active have made my retirement years much more fun and meaningful than I ever imagined.
Not everyone is fortunate to live long enough and have the wherewithal to embrace and enjoy retirement. I am so grateful I’ve had that chance.
When the overbearing parents of billionaire Mike Woodley move back to town and reclaim the family home, he's ready to escape to his new house. First, he needs an interior decorator. Local artist Darren Williams could be the answer to his prayers, until he insults her. But to pay off yet another of her sister's gambling debts, she puts her bruised ego aside and accepts the job.
As they work on Mike’s house, the sexual attraction between Mike and Darren ignites, though neither wants anything more than a fling. Darren is still getting past the death of her fiancé, and the marital discord in Mike’s family has discouraged him from settling down. Still, they can’t stay away from each other, until family matters intervene. Before their relationship can move on, Mike has to confront his family’s expectations and Darren must allow her own family to help her for once.
Did he have any idea how this mere contact awoke the nerve endings behind her ear? Momentarily, she was glued in place, telling the rest of her body to ignore the shock waves rippling down her neck to her lower region.
Even in the room’s dim shadows, she could tell when his eyes went smoky. “This room is giving me ideas I probably should ignore.” He paused, stared directly in her eyes, giving her a chance to decide the next move.
He was coming on to her. No mistake. She’d never been propositioned by a guy she barely knew. Well, maybe at a rave when she was much younger, but that didn’t count. Nothing from those days was real. Did he actually expect her to roll around naked on this wood subfloor? She couldn’t help glancing down. “Uh…”
“Let’s check out the other rooms.” His voice had gone hoarse, urgent.
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