When the offer came, I was stunned.  "I only have three years to go," I thought to myself.  "I'm not ready."  But then, I thought about I was actually being offered and realized very quickly that my thinking about retirement had always been based on other peoples' dreams.  Ultimately, I knew that if I could be able to afford my basic necessities, with a little left over to save for travel, I could take this step at any time.

I'd never taken the time to really get to know who I am or what I wanted out of life.  Up to this point, my entire life was spent in service to others -- husband and kids -- until that all broke down at age 58.  Single once again, I was finally able to start to see who I really am.  Of course, I was still serving those at work, as I had done for 42 years, so the time I was able to devote to myself was limited.

I've now been without an employer for four weeks and it's been quite the journey so far.  I've been sick with a cold that turned into a severe case of COPD, but after being on steroids and antibiotics for the last eight days, I'm really start to see things are turning around.  I've been taking it easy, binging on Hulu and Netflix, crafting, reading, and listening to music -- feeling better every day.

I wanted to record my experience on my blog to remind me of the progress I make -- mistakes or triumphs.  I'm looking forward to the next 20 years doing exactly whatever I want!