Back in the Saddle

Horse and rider looking at the mountainsBack in the saddle.

Maybe. I don’t have a horse. Not even sure I know how to ride one.  Be that as it may…

It’s been a long year.  Really, a long 18 months.  So much in my life has changed in this time, that I really do feel like I’ve lost myself somewhere. My marriage is over, I’m living life as a single mom again, I’m working working working to keep busy, plus pay the bills, and it is just my youngest daughter and I trying to conquer the world.  Not the life I had seen in all those times I gazed into the future.

I think I kept things together pretty well the first six months or so.  But the last year…it’s just been a lot of sleepless nights, a lot of tears, a lot of reorganizing my life and my house and my finances, and a lot of helping my teenager navigate our new normal. That last thing takes the most effort, and as a mom, I have put myself on the back burner a lot. I don’t regret that, but I do miss me.  The me that could get through to-do lists like a champ, who could always see the happy in the darkness, who could always find a way to get through.  I am still here, so I guess I’ve still got that last thing going for me.

But with a new year comes new resolutions, and I set them just like everyone else.  But this year, those resolutions were a very short list.

1. Stop finding a reason to cry about something every day.

2. Get back in front of the keyboard and finish something already!

Today is January 7th, and I’ve got the first thing under control. So far so good. Not that it hasn’t taken a great amount of effort, but this is a chapter of my book that I need to close. Looking backward is only useful to assess your history and plan an how you will use your future.  Beyond that, it is time to stop staring at what is gone.

That second thing…

That takes some real guts, and ambition. I have struggled so much to get that second novel finished. I’ve stretched myself so thin in other ways. I still have my side/second business in addition to my day job, and I won’t be giving that up. That side work will help me fund my retirement, which, while still 8 years away, is close enough for me to be paying much more attention to.  I started a craft business last year, mostly doing shows, but have an Etsy shop. The crafting, for me, is very zen.  I can sit in front of my sewing machine for hours, working on projects, ripping out mis-sewn seams, and get up from that feeling refreshed and whole. While it hasn’t been a huge success, yet, I am enjoying it, and again, it will be something I can do in my retirement.

But the stories in my head deserve to be out on paper (or screen, as the case may be) and it’s time for me to devote as much time to that as I do to the crafting. And it isn’t going to get done unless I sit in front of the keyboard and get things written. How I do that other than to sit down and write, I don’t know. I still am not in a position to write every day, but writing once a month isn’t going to cut it either.  LOL

But since I only have two resolutions, I should be able to do this, right? I did it before, and Fairest of the Faire is something I’m really proud of.  I need to feel that pride again. It’s time for me to turn this completed chapter of my life, and get back to work.

What are your new year’s resolutions?  I’d love to hear them!


8 thoughts on “Back in the Saddle

  1. I think you’re very brave. It’s one thing to turn over a new leaf, or start a new chapter. It’s another to take a look around you, redo your life and make a plan. And that’s what you’ve done. So give yourself a pat on the back for that one. As for the writing, I hope you figure out a way to go forward with it. I know with me, I try to set aside a set time, whether it’s daily or weekly or whatever. Or even a word count–100 words is manageable and can always grow. However works for you, I wish you the best. As for my New Year’s resolutions? I’m trying to be kinder. And I’m trying to actively notice the good things that happen each day. For now, I’m writing them down and sticking them in a jar. Seems a little silly, even to me. But with all the negativity surrounding us, I need it. Best of luck to you.

  2. As far as your writing goes, like you said, you’ve done it before and you can do it again. Let that success motivate future success. You’ve come so far. You can do this!

  3. Way to go Susabelle! I’m proud of you. I know how hard these months have been for you, but you made it through and are heading for a better you. Good for you. A very brave and difficult resolution! As for the writing, a schedule helps me. Wheaten it’s a hour or two a day,week,or month try to set aside a certain time and write. Keep track and see if there is apayern to when you are able to get it done and when your creativity isn’t it’s peak. Then congratulate yourself at the writing finished, don’t worry about how many words or how often just that you got it down on paper or screen. Good luck and keep us apprised of how you’re doing. As for my resolutions, 5000 word count per week is doable, hopefully. As we all have family matters that get in the way, this year will be rough as my father-in-law is in hospice and my mother-in-law is in memory care for Alzheimer’s and they’re 2500 miles away. My husband is an only child and it all falls to Us. Take care and best of luck with your resolutions. You’ve got this!

  4. A very personal Blog, Susabelle. You’ve had a very tough years. I can only imagine the strength you’ve had to employ to survive. Your daughter is very lucky to have you a she mother. She’ll learn from your endurance and determination. My thoughts will be with you as you start this new year, and I’ll look forward to reading your next book. All the best.

  5. I find (like you) that being creative with my hands (craft) is more soothing and centering than being creative with my brain (writing). There are times when trying tob be creative with my brain adds to the jangle. So… there’s a time for everything.
    I don’t know what the right answer is for you, but consider the possibility that now isn’t the time to expect progress in your writing, and, if it isn’t, trust that the time will come. Maybe keep poking at it wtihout letting it be another duty or frustration.
    Or maybe it’s exactly what you need right now! As I said, I don’t know the right answer for you, so I could be projecting a bit. Just my thoughts.
    Thank you for sharing your story and your struggle. We are cheering and praying for you.

  6. Thank you for sharing your personal story and your thoughts. You’ve been through a lot and have courageously stepped up.
    I think the longer one goes without writing, the harder it is to get back into it. Dry spells are common among writers. My only suggestion is to sit down and do it. Start with small increments, then work your way up. Or you may discover a better way, one that works for you.
    Best wishes to you in your daughter!

  7. Thank you for sharing your journey, Susabelle. I also had a rough year and I can relate to the fact that your first resolution has to come first. You have to find a way to get through the emotional anguish and the stress and move forward.

    As for writing, I’m fortunate that it does seem to calm and soothe me. My problem is fitting it in. I’m doing promotion for a new book right now (among other things) and went nearly a month without writing at all. What works best for me is to write a little bit, even a few paragraphs or a page, when I first sit down at the computer. I’m lucky in that I’m a morning writer and can stumble into my office half conscious and sit down and write fiction, even when I struggle to do anything else at that time of day. By making my writing come first, I not only make a little progress and keep the story in my head, but it really does calm and focus me, as I said.

    Anyway, good luck to you and try to also take time to enjoy nature and the outdoors, even if it’s just looking out the window and observing the sky and your backyard. That really helps me, too.

    Take care.

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