TODAY was the last day of my college course, which has left me feeling a little sad. For just over nine months my studies have given my days a shape and structure, to say nothing of getting my brain back into gear.
When I enrolled for an Office Skills course at my local college I was so nervous I almost abandoned it before I started.
At that point my self-esteem was at rock-bottom. No-one, it seemed, wanted a redundant, ageing, technophobic journalist.
Not only was I singularly ill-equipped for a change of career, but it was 30 years or more since I had been involved in any kind of formal learning process and I wasn't sure how I would cope with being back in the classroom.
I needn't have worried, however. The support from staff and other students was fantastic. I loved every minute of the course. I enjoyed the challenge of learning something new, of seeking and recording information, and am immensely proud of myself for gaining qualifications in ITQ and Business Administration.
Much to my surprise, I discovered computers are not scary or difficult - they are fun and I really enjoy using them.
Once today's text processing exam was over I felt a sense of anti-climax but my spirits revived thanks to a lovely lunch with Romantic Novelist Phillipa Ashley (see her excellent blog and website at http://phillipa-ashley.com/).
And, as an added bonus, The Daughters presented me with flowers and a 'congratulations' card, which was really touching and thoughtful.
Now I feel as if I have finally drawn a line under redundancy and can get on with the rest of my life.
I'm hoping to use my new-found skills by doing some 'temping', I am considering taking another course, I can enjoy the company of my family, I have embroidery to do, books to read, family friends to meet, and the garden to finish.
And I can do all these things at my own pace, in my own time because I want to do them - not because I have to.