My husband and I have suffered some devastating losses over the last 10 years. We have had more than our share of “aha moments”, enough to seriously consider our life goals and dreams, and act on them.

The latest chapter in my life starts here. We found a place we love to be, and purchased a fixer upper. This was one of the scariest decisions we have made in a long time! The plan was to renovate, rent it out, and eventually spend our winters there when we retire. The plan has been executed. We renovated over the course of about 8 months, hired a property manager, and have started renting it as a vacation rental.

There is just one small problem: I don’t want to wait until I retire to be able to use it when I want. I’m done with the winter thing. The plot thickens, as I am currently employed as an RN in a large Boston hospital. Great job, great pay, but a horrid commute to go with it. And we need my income. Oh, and I should mention, hubby can commute to work from either place.

We had a plan. Just stick with the plan and all will be well in just over 6 years. Well, we had another “aha moment”, having to do with me. I’m going to be fine, just a little back surgery…which is going to alter the way I live my life moving forward. I’m a crazy outdoor enthusiast. I enjoy any kind of outdoor play. But I LOVE to run. Morning runs are my favorite, anywhere I go. My surgeon said I can run a few days/week, short distances. And that I need to get strong and fit in my recovery to avoid another surgery in 5-10 years to fuse my lumbar spine. I’m coming to terms with the running thing. That’s a whole nother blog. But it has given me pause once again.

I have a physical job, which can also have an impact on my long-term health. Three hours of driving every day is not good for me. And I want to be in Puerto Rico when I want to be there! After all, there is no guarantee…FOR ANY OF US…for longevity or health.

I have been using the time I have been sidelined to think about what I want to do for the rest of my working life. Six months ago, sliding into retirement sounded like a great plan. But plans change.  I don’t want to slide into retirement anymore. I want to do something different. Something that uses the skills I’ve attained over the last 34 years of my career, engages my brain, offers a valuable service of help to others, AND provides me with the lifestyle freedom I  SO desire.

I’m working on it. Health/Wellness/Lifestyle Consulting. I’m writing it down and putting it out there. Part of me says “You’re crazy! You’re 55 years old. Why would you give up a guaranteed paycheck and benefits at this point? You can’t afford to not work!” The other part of me says “because I can. And I know I can succeed. And it’s what I want for my life now.  More than anything.” I’m doing the work, getting connected, figuring it out. I know it’s not going to be a piece of cake, but what is?  What do you say? Am I crazy?

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