On Finding My Voice Part 2

Diana Beebe, Mermaids Don't Do Windows, MDDW, Diana Beebe's Blog, science fiction, fantasy, Young AdultAn 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!

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22 comments on… “On Finding My Voice Part 2”

  1. What makes me happy? My little sister being happy. That’s what does it. The people in my life enjoying their lives and being loved. I’m happy that you chose a sweet, gentle, intelligent, loving and generous person to start this next chapter (not literally) and I’m happy that we all like each other on first meeting! I’m happy that you’re happy most of all and loved seeing it in your face. I love you, Sister, with all my heart.


    • Diana Beebe


      Dear Brother, I love you so much! I’m so grateful for the way you guys welcomed us to into your home. We had such a wonderful time with you. I love the chapter reference, by the way. 😉

    • Okay, this caps it. I was misty after your post but this comment from the bro sent me over the edge. So. Dang. Sweet. *sniffle*

  2. Aww, hello Diana’s brother. 😀

    Happy’s pretty cool, eh?
    What makes me happy? Inhabiting all the corners of me, shadows and bright places, the crazy and the crazier, and writing like there’s no tomorrow. 😀


    • Diana Beebe


      Happy is pretty cool! I’m so glad to hear from you! I love your list of happy things–great stuff there! Continue to do those happy things. 😀

  3. Oh, this is so good to hear. I’m glad you’ve found your happy place again. My happy place involves having time to do the things I actually want to do, which involves stripping all the other stuff out of my schedule. Not easy, but I’m working on it!


    • Diana Beebe


      Thank you! Yes, stripping out the extra things is an ongoing process, isn’t it? I’m glad you’re working on it. Here’s to doing the things that make you happy!!

  4. Oh, Diana, I am so happy for you! The second time (marital in my case) for me has been a wonderful time of finding and being myself as well. I am still extremely busy, overwhelmingly so at times. Caregiving is a big job. But I find joy in writing, in the small moments together, in watching my grown son and his family, and in watching my friends, like you, be happy. HUGS!


    • Diana Beebe


      Lynette, that makes me so happy to hear. I love seeing my friends happy, too! HUGS back!!

  5. Diana, I’ve been watching you as you’ve navigated this time of grief and when I saw a picture of you two it filled me with happiness that you had found someone who put a smile on your face. I’m so glad!


    • Diana Beebe


      Karen, thank you so much! It’s been an amazing and unexpected journey.

  6. Since age 40 hit, I’ve become a big advocate for finding happiness in your life. It’s interesting how you talk about that here, because my “inciting incident” for that attitude was the loss of a dear, dear friend who died at age 39. It was a wake-up call to me that “a lifetime” is however many years you happen to get here, and you’d better make them what you want, sooner rather than later.

    I’m thrilled for you, Diana. You are a woman who really, truly deserves to be happy.


    • Diana Beebe


      I’m sorry that the loss of a dear one seems to be the catalyst to wake us up so often. It’s too often the case. Thank you, Julie.


  7. Joni Hahn


    Diana,

    I an SO happy to read this! Congrats on taking the leap. It’s paid off and I’m thrilled for you. 🙂

  8. Hi Diana- Saw your comment on Paul’s thread so thought I’d see what you were up to these days. SO sorry to hear about Steve! 🙁
    But glad to see that you’re happy these days. That’s a good thing. Looks like the writing bug hit the both of us!
    Drop me a line sometime if you’re feeling neighborly. Would love to hear from you. 🙂 Laini


    • Diana Beebe


      Hi, Laini! It’s been ages! Thank you for the kind words. We should definitely catch up. The writing bug grabbed me a few decades ago, but I finally decided to run with it a few years ago after shelving a few not-ready manuscripts. Steve was the one who made me realize that I needed to go for it. His encouragement was amazing.
      I’m so glad you stopped by and left a comment! I hope you’re doing well. 🙂

  9. Was cleaning out my email and I found this …somehow I missed it the first time. So glad I read it. Life changes, sometimes in ways we can’t foresee or even want. SO happy you have found the joy in life. As a mother, sister, friend, writer and women. I think we have to find the happy inside, because anything that “gives” us happiness can be lost, so the joy has to come from within and be found in everyday life. Sending love and happy thoughts your way.


    • Diana Beebe


      I’m glad you found it, too! 😉 Thank you so much, Jolene! I completely agree with you–we have to be responsible for our own happiness, because that can’t ever be taken from us. Sending you love and happy thoughts back! :-*

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