This week I hit a wall and didn't expect it. That’s not true. I felt the wall building around me since the March covid virus restrictions were put into place, but chose to ignore it and continued to climb around it.
Most in my community have been faithfully following the guidelines of keeping safe. Time has clocked the days, weeks, and even months of this "new" norm. The challenge and dislike of our isolation became normal. The patience in accessing goods and services in a different manner became normal. Watching others around the world act irresponsibly without regard for others’ life or health has become a daily expectation and our most recent focus of entertainment.
So I hit a wall, and looking back after the fact, can agree that the wall really was there just waiting. I had masked many emotions by expressing I am tired and looking forward to the summer break. But I did not feel tired physically, I have had more time than enough time to sit still and rest. Instead, I became tired mentally and emotionally and didn’t realize it.
My excuse as compared to others? I have caught myself adding this comment to any inquiry question when asked, “…and I have been isolating since November.” Why was I saying this? In February and March, I was free of surgery restrictions. Now the new restrictions were preventative ones for my recuperating body. My unexpressed emotions involved feeling teased when that limited time of freedom was taken away.
What I viewed as my normal disappeared once more. I abided by the new limitations with gusto, masking true emotions. I created physical masks for others and made my own sanitizer and wipes. I felt useful and busy in my work. Other challenges though, that should have been resolved, were being delayed because of our societal restrictions. My true feelings were building.
The wall tried to give me hints of it’s impending presence but I ignored it. Then the wall made itself known, which for me, is usually physical symptoms...not this time. In the middle of night my motions exploded, my anxieties erupted, and I truly believed my heart was coming out of my chest. I woke up not able to breathe.
I didn’t stop to think maybe this was emotional. I was focused on the physical effects of increasing chest pain and an irregular heart beat. My body was drenched in sweat. I did not step away from the situation and ask why if my heart was in distress I could change my clothes, or find my shoes under a stool with ease. I even stood at the open door way of my home waiting for the ambulance.
So to the hospital I went in an ambulance I had summoned on my own. Some may be asking, why share this? I do not feel embarrassed that I mistakenly diagnosed a true anxiety attack for a physical heart attack. In fact, the ambulance attendants indicated that many have ignored similar signs and created more severe issues for them to deal with. Our suppressed emotions during this time of isolation and fear have added further challenges to our health givers.
Instead, I wish I had step backed and acknowledge to the wall what I was truly feeling--wishing for a miracle of change. How powerless I am feeling because of our restrictions and the devastation of families and even communities elsewhere. Most importantly I had hoped this new world, that will continue for a long while, would just disappear. It won’t. I will need to change instead.
My Apologies - I wrote this piece a few months ago, but forgot to hit the POST button.
A few weeks ago Weebly sent me a reminder that my website membership was due. I pondered whether to continue to have a webpage since I had become still in the promotion and sharing of my writing. Writing continues for many reasons but I am not yet understanding the vision of what my second book should be. I was waiting but had no idea what I was waiting for.
The last six months of time have been full of personal challenges including the journey I experienced with spinal surgery in early November. The outcome of the medical procedure was very successful and I am now walking relatively pain free.
The world's horrific circumstances have furthered isolated all of us from each other. My life was mainly isolated already during my recuperation and this time has only given me more opportunity to ponder who I am and what do I want others to know about me.
I am an author and but I am also someone who encourages others to share their words of writing. My tutoring business is as important to me as writing and should be shared with others. My love of crafts and making teddy bears to give to others continues.
I am pondering though how long this isolation will last?
For over fifteen years I have known that I would probably need further surgery for my spine. The day after my first spinal surgery in 2005, I celebrated in receiving more time to live. I had no idea what journeys my life would take and for the most part let those journeys lead me down different paths. Some of those paths were difficult ones, while others seemed to be straight and focused in their intentions.
My ideas for my first published book came to light soon after that surgery so long ago. I wrote but wasn't serious about the project until a different life changing event happened three years ago. The first chapter of my current writing project retells that story of how writing healed me while I was recuperating.
Immediately after completing the first draft of this book, I started a second, a similar genre but with a different voice. The chapters were spewing freely on a daily basis. Publishing my first book changed things. That tap that opened my mind and let the words flow became clogged and plug. I continued to write, but as life got hectic with the marketing and promotion of the book, the flow of words decreased.
I am starting to think that maybe my writing is a means of coping when my body is not functioning the way it should. Maybe my writing is an outlet of patience while I wait for medical professionals to make their decisions. I do know that writing during medical challenges brings me comfort and hope. Maybe the tap isn't with my writing skills, maybe the tap is my emotions. My writing is starting to flow once again.
There are balances in our world that are forever tipping to one side or the other. My scale has been way over to the far side, with the majority of the past year focused on marketing and promoting my first book.
There are consequences though to becoming engaged in a single quest and ignoring other importances. My writing seems to be strangled by the issues of the world around me. I had switched my focus from taking time to capture my current thoughts to instead jotting down an idea, and hoping I can retrace that idea at a later time. That is not how I write, and I know that the craft I am learning requires better attention from me.
Writing is good for me because it keeps me still. When I am still, my spine has time to heal and recover from the physical activities I force upon it. Last year's busy time of travelling, carting books, and using all my energy to sell books created a consequence that I am once again having no choice but to address it.
My spine has decided to create new symptoms and challenges. My spine is my thermometer of what I should be doing. My spine helped create my first published book and is now telling me it's time to work on the second one.
2018 was a fabulous year as a new author. A year ago in January, my anxiety and worry about how would people react to my writing was high. I was in the last few months before publishing, That is Not Me, and totally questioning whether this journey to become an author would be a good one. I never expected what would happen once the book was published and I have been on a tremendous ride since sharing my story.
I knew by the end of 2018 that the pace I was going at, in trying to promote my book, was draining me. I decided I needed to slow down for the first few months of 2019 and hopefully find some time to work on the second book I have started to write. I am so glad I made that decision. A tired body needs time to gain energy and a tired brain needs time to rest before creating new words on a page.
My quest to share my first book with others will start again in the spring. I drive a lot better on dry roads and look forward to visiting with those interested in hearing my story starting in March.
October was busy with six different events scheduled. The last two events were held this week in Lloydminster. Click the picture below to access a journal writing I wrote about one of the events.
Yesterday I started writing again. Since finishing my first book over a year ago, I have continued to wake up with words to write — but recently have ignored those urges because of all the daily commitments that were required for promotion and events. I was starting to believe that maybe I would have to discontinue promoting my first book if I wanted to work on my second. This week I have taken myself physically away from my home office and am spending time living in our families’ trailer that is currently sitting in the middle of a friend’s farm yard. For the first twenty-four hours it felt like I was coming off a medicated addiction. I didn’t know what to do without multiple devices and screens in front of me. I couldn’t focus for any great length of time. The silence was too silent and I was flittering from one activity to another. Yesterday afternoon after reading pieces of writing that I had been working on months before I began to write. It was like trying to start a vehicle that hasn’t been running for a long time. I choked with my ideas, I coughed out the words — but soon the words started flowing and I was picking up speed. I didn’t write for a long time but I did write. This has been a good lesson to learn. I have always liked to write even when my writing was just for me. I know I have obligations as an author of a new book and need to continue promoting that book. I also feel though that I have an obligation to continue working on improving my craft. I just need to figure out how to balance the two.
It has been a while since the last posting. The three June events kept me somewhat busy and I am feeling the need to take a break from active book promotion for a while. It has been a while since I have felt this way in June. Having been retired for four years now, I have enjoyed the warm sunny days and have actually kept ahead of the battle with my garden weeds. Teachers joke that sometimes we do not see the light of day in June. There are other professions that have deadlines and year ends but for teachers the pending end of June is not negotiable. Your tired body is looking forward to rest during the summer holiday but your head is frantically trying to figure out where to find enough time to complete all the tasks required. This is the first June after retiring that I have felt a similar feeling. Have a safe summer!