Since my mid-November post, I’ve spent a lot of time watching the changing seasons. Most winter days in the Pacific NW are gray, foggy, and rainy. Not uplifting.
I spied a joyful surprise on one of these gray days as I returned from our mailbox. Abundant blossoms are peeking from beneath the leaves on our Christmas Rose Helleborus. (See image above, thanks to Pixabay).
With the changing seasons come changes in our lives.
Unfortunately, my surgery still isn’t scheduled yet. My husband and I have been waiting for this date for some time. But, insurance companies do not move quickly in approving surgeries.
Waiting leads to boredom. I find myself dabbling in a variety of pastimes. Lots of reading, some knitting, adult coloring, and trying my hand at journalling. While dabbling, I sense joy in what I’m doing. Quite often one thing leads to another.
Like thinking. I’ve been doing some deep thinking about my writing. Starting now, the focus of my site and blog is changing. I’ll no longer post instructional writing topics and tips. Book reviews from time to time remain in my plans.
The big change is a move toward a more contemplative style of writing. Within my life experiences, my faith, a love of words, and memories, there are many things to share with you. I will be bringing to the blog a greater sense of who I am and where I come from. I’m excited about writing something new and fresh.
Also, the newsletter will no longer be part of my online presence. If you have received posts via the newsletter,please take note. To receive future posts, you must sign up using one of the following choices:
The first, “Receive Updates Via Email,” is in the sidebar. Simply enter your email address and click on the button; and
The second has no label but appears below the first. A simple click on this blue bar immediately signs you up for updates:
Have you ever noticed it doesn’t matter to a cat where it rests or naps? Or when or on what piece of furniture? Or in what position–belly up, draping its legs this way and that? Oh, to be so relaxed that it doesn’t matter.
We humans live under too much stress to act like a cat. Yet, I’m going to try. I managed to do it once before and then lost it.
In 2005, I enjoyed a three-month sabbatical with my last employer. Obviously, it was to my credit that my temperament improved from the law firm and its lawyers. At the end of my time off, my husband announced he had enjoyed my time at home with him. So much so, he had decided it was time for me to retire.
In a few months, I retired.
I haven’t looked back with any regrets. With one exception, retirement has been everything I hoped for. However, I tend to take on too much too often to enjoy any time for me. I’m learning to say the word “no” more often, but not yet well-practiced at saying the word “yes” to myself.
I’ve enjoyed the time to write, but life has gotten in the way of publishing my memoir. And I’m growing tired of blogging and social media. I don’t find joy in any of them at the moment.
That’s why it’s time to pause. Like a cat–right now–today.
November 15th is the beginning of personal time for a while.
I will not be posting to the blog for approximately six weeks. There won’t be a quarterly newsletter until after the first of 2019. I will not be on social media for reasons other than family and keeping up with church and volunteer activities.
I am hoping to get some work done on my manuscript, but I’ll also be preparing myself for a third spine surgery. I want to be in the best physical state possible as I want this surgery to work in easing my pain to some degree and to experience a good recovery.
Thanksgiving and Christmas
To each one of you, I send Thanksgiving and Christmas greetings. I hope the season of gratitude and the season of His birth bring hope, joy, and love in abundance to you and yours.
Almost a month ago, I posted on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn that I was taking a breather. I needed some self-care, and I wanted to attempt a little spring cleaning. I thought ten days or less should cover it. Why I didn’t post my planned absence here I don’t know. So much for my thinking things through!
During what was to be a short time, life took over. You know how plans exert their muscle and change themselves around. That’s what happened. Family issues, health issues, things you never expected–they left no time for my plans.
But wait, you say! There have been no blog posts or newsletter for a while.
I realize you’re following here or receiving updates via my newsletter to receive posts and more information about writing. The reason for this post is to let you know what happened and what is happening in the background. I’m on my way back and want to get back to a normal schedule.
About the Blog
Right now I’m working on the following:
A series of posts on writing with chronic pain or illness;
A couple of memoir reviews for you–
Rose Bingham’s Buy the Little Ones a Dolly;
Abigail Thomas’s Thinking About Memoir; and
Posts on balancing family life and writing.
Blog posts will return to the previous schedule with posts on Wednesday.
About the Newsletter
After this newsletter mailing, I will not be sending out a newsletter. Personal reasons dictate a writing load I want to keep up and there is not the time for everything.
If you receive my blog posts via the newsletter and wish to continue receiving them, please go to the sidebar on the right of this page. Choose one of three options near the top of the sidebar:
The first option is just under the search box. If you are a WordPress user, this simple bar reads “Follow The Writing Studio.” It allows you to “follow” my blog with no more effort than a simple click. My blog posts will then show up in your WordPress Reader.
Option two is just below that bar and asks if you’d like to receive my posts via email. If so, simply fill out the form and click on the “Click to Follow” button and WordPress will send them to you.
A third option labeled “Let’s Connect” allows you to receive my blog posts on any of the social media channels listed there. Simply click the icon and it will take you where want to go.
Thanks for your understanding and continuing support as I get back in the saddle. Sometimes the writing life is a difficult one, but I can’t seem to turn my back on it. I love writing, the writing community (all of you included), and the joy found in the written word.
On this next Sunday, August 6th, it will have been two months since my last post here. During that time, I’ve had surgery, am in my eighth week of recovery, and have managed to recover from sticker shock at the medical bills we now have to pay.
The best news is my pain level is vastly diminished, and my surgeon released me last week to return to normal activities. That release came with a disclaimer. My surgeon’s expectations are that I will use common sense and previous experience with back surgeries to keep my activities within reason.
Soon I will be returning to my blog activities and my newsletter. Both bring me to the favor I need from you.
A Favor to Ask
In September, I will be moving my site to another platform. As you may know, each platform affords its clients a variety of options for use in building a site. The trickiest among those options, I have learned, is the way you can build the email list for your blog and newsletter. Therefore, I need your help.
If you signed up using the “follow” button or “follow via email” option in the sidebar [of my wordpress site], AND You want to continue Receiving blog posts, Please do the following:
I am hoping you continue to follow by using the above directions. However, should you decide otherwise, I will miss you but know like changing seasons our interests and needs change. Either way, I wish you well on your journey wherever it takes you.
Everything. I want to know why it happens. Especially this week. Last Saturday! January 24th! Today!
I thought my injuries sustained in a fall on some stairs on January 24th were healing. I left town with husband Bob last Friday for a two and a half day writing conference on the Oregon coast. Common sense kept my mind busy for days deciding whether or not to travel, but I was feeling better. As we travelled, I even mentioned how much better my hip and back were feeling.
Fast forward to Saturday afternoon when the pain returned with a vengeance. A vengeance so deep and intense I became shaky and nauseous. My first thought was how thankful I was Bob had driven to the coast with me. My second thought: Why now? I called Bob at the condo where we stayed and asked him to pick me up. That officially ended the conference for me.
STILL NO REASON FOR WHY THIS HAPPENED.
Irritation, frustration, anger, and apprehension mixed to create emotional turmoil from this pain re-entering my life. Why was it back? How was I going to get this week’s work done? How soon would I be able to see my doctor? And what would I tell my readers and followers?
Nothing much has improved. I still have no answers, and I don’t see the doctor until Friday morning. But the bottom line is: Sometimes life just happens, and there is nothing we can do about it.
No attempt meant to extract sympathy from you, but I have one place comfortable for sitting and from there I’m writing and reading. I feel imprisoned. Last evening I threatened sleeping there because getting out of our bed is painful, but at the end of the day I needed a change of scenery.
This disruption in my day-to-day activities may keep me from posting as often as I would like as well as the newsletter, not to mention less activity on social media.
The message I want to send above all else is that despite what life throws our way, expected or unexpected, there is a reason for it. We may never discover or know the reason behind it, but rest assured there is a reason.
Perhaps the resulting experience will teach us something. Maybe we’ll grow as a result of the unexpected that came along. Or it may be something we should have learned from previous experiences but didn’t.
Next time something surprises you don’t just ask why. Stop and ask yourself what you’re supposed to receive as a result of this unexpected occurrence. Then exercise awareness. You may be pleasantly surprised by what happens next.
How do you handle the unexpected? Do you believe there is a reason behind everything that happens in your life? Share with the rest of us in the comment section below.