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Downsized: How I Switched Gears at Age 50+

reinvent myself

by Deanna King

My gears have switched- no longer seeking employment- Now I will work from home- WRITING

Changing careers was a choice I made out of survival, not on purpose.  Not once in my life did I ever think “switching gears” would be a phrase written or spoken about me and my life.  I mean really- here I was heading down the pike to the days of retirement, or so I thought, at the company where I worked in healthcare management for the past sixteen years. Little did I know that was not at all the plan; at least not retirement with that particular company.

Downsized.

No one likes to hear the word “downsized”, but I did hear it and was heartbroken. The abyss was dark and never-ending as I searched for employment; not in the old conventional way as I had done long ago, but on the internet. I pounded a keyboard instead of scouring the want ads and then pounding the pavement. How times have changed.

It seemed that no matter how hard I ‘pounded’; how well I interviewed; or how good a fit or asset I could be for a company, I was not hired.  Someone was more qualified, or I even thought, much younger than I and the words ‘age discrimination’ popped into my head a few times. I never disclosed how old I am and I know I do not look my age – so what was the deal?

Here I was, full of not just life experiences; but on the job experiences as well, and yet no job. My worries about growing older every day played havoc with my mental being; I was not getting any younger.

Now what?

With no job but plenty of time, and not being the “sit on the couch watching soap operas eating bonbons” type, I looked diligently for work daily.  But what was I to do with the other 23 hours of the day? Sit and fret because I was not getting any younger or cry about who wants to hire an over fifty-year-old woman?  No. I got back to my dream. I never thought my intended fate would be to become an actual author, but I did.

Being jobless gave me ample time to do what I loved to do most: write.  I needed to see if I had a book in me. Therefore, I picked up the proverbial ‘pen’ and I wrote. I pulled my bootstraps up, sat at my computer, and pulled up the novel I started in 2007. By golly, ten years after starting it I finally typed “The End”. This was the start of my getting back to writing to stay busy to keep my mind off my immediate employment worries.

Fifteen months later, and still without a job, a longtime dream became a reality with a published children’s e-book. This accomplishment pushed me to work on an idea of a crime novel while I continued to look for work. Ten months from when I began writing this particular novel, an offer from a publisher landed in my email! I’ve since completed the second novel in this series and am working on the third.

The most satisfying chapter

Becoming published was the prompt I needed to be able to say, “I have switched gears”- and take that leap of faith. A writing career was something I needed to pursue, and I knew then my life was just beginning. Being downsized ended one phase of my life and pushed me into the next by providing me with time to pursue my passion.  It was time to live again!

The adage that life begins or ends at a certain age is just that, an old proverb if you will. Life can truly begin at any age, not just at one of those milestone ages we assume will suddenly be the one where we finally “start our life”. Unfortunately, life can abruptly end at any time too. We can end one chapter to begin a new one at any time; and not write “the end” due to our age.  Age is just a number, everyone says that – and with good reason. It is true.

At this point in my life I plan to focus on my dreams, dreams that are now a reality.  I am beginning what I believe will be the longest and most satisfying years of my life!

 

Deanna King

About Deanna King
Twist of Fate – A Jack West Novel is the official debut novel for Deanna King, and this is only the beginning of her plans for multiple books for her “Jack West” series.  The second novel is already a work in progress and the third novel is already a working idea. Jack is going to be very busy over the next few years!  Deanna lives in Texas with her husband Travis, her biggest fan, and two completely spoiled little dogs.  Contact Deanna

 

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