Let the good times roll! That's what I told myself when the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency asked for volunteers for "early out" retirement in 1979. Since then, they've rolled, and rolled, and are still rolling! Of course I had apprehensions. Who wouldn't? I don't care how calm, mature and sophisticated we appear on the outside ...inside, it's a gut-rendering decision to just walk away from a 27-year career at age 46 on a reduced annuity. I took a long and hard look at what I was about to undertake. What am I going to do with all of that time on my hands? After 10 minutes of heavy deliberation, I raced to the Personnel Office to get my name on that list.I surveyed my assets: I'm "survivor" motivated, have perseverance, and a keen sense of humor. I said to myself, "Self? This is the first day of the rest of your life. Get out of bed and go for it!"I keep an annual journal of letters to a captive audience...my relatives and friends. I decided to convert them into a manuscript. (The letters, Mouse, not the relatives and friends.) Throughout it, you will find my friendly imaginary companion, Mouse, both in the text conversations and illustrations. I call him Mouse. That's because he is a mouse. He was my inspiration for the original title, "A Mouse In My Pocket" because we collaborated on key issues. Due to a quirk of fate, one of the publishing companies I queried mistakenly thought I had written a children's book and rejected it on that basis. From that clue, I knew I would not reach the readership I am seeking, i.e., primarily those people who are reaching crossroads or crises in life that tie big granny knots in anyone's stomach. I speak of job changes, end-of-career retirement, or anything that forces people out of the security of their status quo, that may cause stress syndrome, anxiety, apprehension, or in simple terms... just plain gut rendering fear. As I said myself..."What will I do with all that time on my hands? How will I cope?" I hope this re
About Patricia Whitright Black
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Published November 10, 2004
Biographies & Memoirs.