The experts tell you to have a retirement plan, to know where you’re going before you’re out the office door and gone. I didn’t have a clue when I left the Boston Globe in December 2005 with a severance package and 32 years of newspaper clips. I just bolted and groped.

I’m still groping. It’s not a bad way to live, but it requires yoga. It requires practice, this shedding of the career skin, this letting go of what was to figure out what is and what might be. It requires patience, this loss of control, this chucking of the 9-to-5 schedule, ditching of deadline demand that ticked like an atomic clock in the brain and kept time with a fractured mantra of Descartes: I’m published therefore I am.