Thursday, September 25, 2014

Father Time Almost Kicked My Butt

by Jackie King

I love writing! It’s what I’ve always wanted to do. First I wrote at night, after working a day job. Twelve years ago, I was able to retire and begin living my dream of writing full time. For about eight years things were wonderful. Then my body started letting me down. I was forced to give thoughts to accommodating Father Time. My first reaction was to kick and scream and rail against this natural happening. What a waste of time.

Just living started to take all of my energy. Keeping up my 4-bedroom house, my yard and cooking meals left me too tired to write. I tried, but after about 20 minutes, I had to lie down for a while.

I fought this personal battle for much longer than I should have. Because of my own stubbornness, my  2nd Grace Cassidy mystery, THE CORPSE WHO WALKED IN THE DOOR, wasn’t getting written. Was my life as a writer over? I asked myself.

“NOT IF I CAN HELP IT” was my answer.

 My solution was to move into an independent living apartment complex where someone else would cook, wash dishes, and clean my digs. My continuing conversations with contractors of all kinds would be over. Whatever energy I had I could use to write.

This was pretty drastic for me. I’d lived in my 4-bedroom house for 40 years and accumulated a lot of things with precious memories attached. I’d have to get rid of most of my possessions. That was hard. Each book and each item on my shelves had some kind of sentiment attached to it. I struggled.

My youngest daughter was between jobs and said that if I wanted to downsize and move she would help me. She’s a genius at organization, and I knew she could make it happen. I have learned to follow my intuition, which some folks call their gut-feeling. Whatever one chooses to call this inner-knowledge, I believe it comes from God. I had such a feeling about this move.

Signing up for an apartment and calling a realtor to set everything in motion was a bit like stepping off the roof of a skyscraper into nothingness. But I wanted to continue writing. So I took a deep breath and marched forward.

To complicate things, I contracted pneumonia about this time. And sleep apnea. And a-fib. Downsizing and moving was a nightmare. Adjusting, traumatic. I had one serious melt-down which my sweet daughter talked me through. But I did it. And guess what? I love it. I call my 3-room-apartment My Writing Nest.

I finished book 2 in my Grace Cassidy mystery series, wrote a novella to include in an anthology, and am well into book 3.

I’M WRITING. Every day. And that’s what makes me happy.


Polly Iyer said...

Good for you, Jackie. As we get older we do what we have to do. I dread the time when I have to clean out my house of almost 40 years. My attic has grade school science projects, plus so much more. Glad you're doing what you want to do. Yay!

Jackie King said...

Hi Polly, Sorry I've been so long in responding. I really appreciate your comment.