It's been two and a half weeks since my mother-in-laws' passing and life is slowly moving towards a new normal. Sometimes it feels as if her funeral was months ago, sometimes as if it were yesterday. Such is the nature of time and healing, I suppose.
I've had this past week off from school and planned to get so much writing done! But we're tasked now with dealing with her house and I have an uncle for whom I've become caregiver and of course, the garden needed cleaning off and we have sixteen people coming for Easter dinner on Sunday and...
You get the picture.
It's been a while since I have taken time to myself to write something new. And the writing workshops? Sorry, they haven't even been on my radar. Looking at the calendar today, however, gave me a bit of a shock. The last time I sat down to write on my current work in progress was February 20th. Nearly two months ago.
That brought me up short. No matter what else is going on in my life, I always have time to write. I have to. It's what keeps me sane. In the past ten years, the longest I've gone before this was two weeks and I was nearly a basket case by the end, wanting to get back to my characters. What was different this time?
This time it was the number of directions in which I was pulled. I wanted to spend time with my mother-in-law, knowing there wasn't much more time to spend with her. Instead of writing, I'd go visit her. I needed to spend time with my elderly uncle, playing financial forensics with his accounts and helping to move him into an assisted living facility (we're almost there!). My son and daughter have both gotten engaged and I wanted to spend time with them and their significant others. I had to spend time at my day job if I wanted to continue to eat and pay the mortgage. Something had to give and that something was writing.
It was a choice, make no mistake about that. I'm not regretting my choice at all. Just offering explanations as to why I made it. Family comes first. Always. Your families should come before all else in your lives, too. My hope for all of you is that they do.
So no regrets.
Today I had an afternoon to myself and thought about writing but realized I'd need to start at the beginning and re-read the book to remind myself of what it was all about, and I just didn't have the energy. The characters, understanding their place in my life, have graciously moved to the wings and are patiently waiting for me to call them back to the stage, but I just couldn't do it. Not yet. I want to give them the full attention they deserve.
So what did I do instead? The next best thing. I lost myself in a book. At the Big Book Getaway, I bought a copy of Debbie Macomber's new book, Rose Harbor in Bloom and waited in line to have her sign it for my mom (Mrs. Macomber is my mother's favorite author, bar none). Mom read it and let me borrow it earlier this week. Debbie's books are easy reads. There isn't a lot of heavy philosophy. No long passages of description. The characters are likable and you feel like they could be your neighbors. In other words, a perfect book for an afternoon's escape.
I will get back to writing. Soon. You can count on it. The itch is already starting between my shoulder blades. Another week or two and I think I'll be ready to be creative again. In the meantime,
Play safe and hug someone you love!