I'd get up at 4:00 a.m. with my husband. I'd prepare his fresh coffee and lunch, while he got ready. At 4:30 on the nose, I'd kiss him out the door and head for my office. If no sows were farrowing, I'd get in two hours of writing and submissions done before I woke the kids to do chores while I made breakfast and got myself ready for school.
In the mid-nineties, we moved my parents to a nursing home more than two hours away. Mom's health problems were physical; Dad's diagnosis was Alzheimer's. Loving my parents and my own family as I did, I sometimes felt like a squished tomato sandwich. In the midst of this, I moved to a Grade Five class where I had new curriculum and, unknown to me at the time, one of the most challenging classes of my career. This was definitely not the season to write, but I did manage to have some stories published even then.
One day my husband asked in a kindly voice, "Why don't you wait until you retire before you write?" That was absolutely what I didn't want to hear. For one thing, retirement seemed a long ways off and I wanted to write now. Pouting, I suspect, I headed right back to the computer.
By December that year, even I realized I needed help. Visiting a psychologist, I learned how seriously my invincible attitude and my work/life imbalance was affecting me. Diagnosed with clinical depression, I needed meds and time off work. I needed to gear down in all aspects of my life, except for my faith life. That one I figured out on my own.
Although I had believed in God all my life, I needed to get in closer touch with the God who loved me enough to send his Son to die for me. I read scripture and other inspiring and introspective material. I poured out my heart in my journal, often praying as I wrote. I spent time with my family and close friends and tried to ease up on myself in many aspects of my life.
As for that year to write, it still hasn't come for me. Even in retirement, life gets busy. If you've read my last couple InScribe blogs, you may remember that my husband and I have sold our bigger, dream home and moved to a rental property. It's a long story, but the last several months have been extremely busy. Sometimes we think we rented more work.
Did my husband and I make a mistake with this move? Possibly. But we are here and we are doing the best we can with the circumstances. Leslie Williams in Night Wrestling talks about how we may think we have made a wrong choice. Then she explains, ". . . Because of God's redemption on the cross, there are no ultimate 'wrong' choices. God redeems all our blunders, all our stupidity. The crucial
|Church visited in Mexico on our pilgrimage|
I had hoped that downsizing and living in smaller quarters might give me more time to write. So far, this theory isn't working. We'll see. In the meantime, I choose to trust God that we are where we are supposed to be for now. This will be a year of faith.
Prayer: Dear Lord I pray that all of us as writers who are Christian will look to you for inspiration and guidance in our writing and our time management. Be our guide in balancing the responsibilities each of us have in our lives. Even though few of us have that year off to write, help us to write what you would have us write, when you would have us write. Bless our lives, our families, and our writing, Lord, that we may honour and glorify your name. Amen
Photo by Marion Lalonde