My name is Alison, and I’m a statistic—another fifty-something in search of a new path.
I spent more than thirty years working in the life insurance industry, and for most of that time I actively enjoyed my job. However, during the last couple of years burnout started to creep in. I began dreaming about retiring early as soon as my husband was eligible for Medicare and Social Security, but that was still several years away. Or so I thought.
I was lucky in one important way—I was able to leave on my own terms. Unlike so many, I didn’t lose my job to the recession. My firm underwent a reorganization that included dismantling my position, removing the aspects I’d found rewarding, and leaving only tasks that sucked every ounce of pleasure out of coming to work.
After a few weeks I knew I would never be able to stick to my original retirement plan, but at least I was still employed. I decided to try to continue working while allowing myself six months to come to grips with the new reality and make plans for the future. Gradually, I began to see the exciting possibilities in a self-directed future.
From the outset I wanted writing to be a big part of my new life. I began writing fiction twenty years ago and have published two novels and a novella in the past three years. But my creative well isn’t deep enough to write fiction all day, every day. It needs time to refill, and I need more variety. So I've decided to try my hand at designing a more personalized new career.