An amazing thing happened to me when I emerged from the shock of grief after my husband passed away. It’s been over a year, and I haven’t blogged very much.
Honestly, it was a struggle to post the posts I did. Since the last one, I’ve been focusing on my daughters… getting one off to the university and establishing a different new normal with the other one in a much quieter house.
I’ve been writing like a crazy person. I might just be. While I’m writing two new novels (at the same time!), I’m also revising my first YA Science Fiction novel, and those revisions have been… not easy. It’s a lot of character development for all the people—most of that won’t end up on the pages, but the exercise of writing each one is huge.
My 19-year-old day job is history. It was one of the best decisions ever for me to retire early. My days have been spent revising and writing and house maintenance.
Here’s the amazing thing that happened. I’m happy.
It sucks what happened to my family. But it happened. I can’t change that. Life continues, moves on, doesn’t skip a beat. I had to go with that or feel stuck in a numbed mental fog that my late husband didn’t want for me. I didn’t want it either. I chose to live and be myself. Take me or leave me.
A few months after I quit the corporate day job, a really good friend whom I’ve known for years asked me out. And I said yes. And I’m happy.
Interestingly, my brother said that I’m more myself than I’ve been in decades. This made me pause. In years? Really? What was I doing in the last couple of decades that made me… not me?
I was still me, just a busy me—someone who worked a day job full-time in addition to being a wife, mother, housekeeper (although those windows…ick), dog trainer, and school volunteer. On top of that, I wrote every spare moment that I wasn’t fulfilling one of those other roles. If I wasn’t care giving, I was writing or working or freelancing. A good night’s sleep was five hours—who am I kidding? I was lucky to get that. When did I have time to be the me that my brother remembered?
I was still me, but I was busy with all the things. All. The. Things.
When I quit my job, I regained 45 to 55 hours per week. That’s 9 to 11 hours everyday that were mine again. Former co-workers asked if I felt odd leaving the office after 19 years… unequivocally no. I was busy writing and working for myself. I was busy taking care of my kids and animals. I was figuring out how to do all the things as a single woman who didn’t want to define herself by the “young widow” marital status.
In all that, I realized I’m happy.
My relationship with my good friend blossomed into something joyous and happy and relaxed—more than I could have ever imagined or expected or dreamed of. And if grief pops up from time to time, he gets it. He’s held me and let me cry it out once or twice. I am myself with him. He chose to take me as I am just as I have accepted him for who he is.
With all my recently-changed circumstances, I’ve chosen to live, to be a mom, and to write for me. Perhaps that’s the me that my brother has seen recently. The happy, satisfied, silly, and confident me.
My voice has always been my voice. It’s had to change with different life events. My voice needed to fulfill the many roles that made me the person I am today.
And today, I am happy.
Thanks for all the love and support while I get back into the swing of blogging. I love you all for hanging out with me, and I hope you stick around for more. I’m working on a few ideas. 🙂
What makes you happy? Please share!