Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mary's Rants - Life

Yes I'm ranting about life. I'm a writer, what about you? So what do you do when life hits you like a ton of bricks, over and over again? I'm literally ranting today and would love comments/feedback. I'm not blogging to give out any great and wonderful words of wisdom, I'm asking for reader participation and what you do when catastrophic life events happen. They say things come in threes. But what about when they come in sixes or nines or twelves? Or just keep on coming to bury you.

Do you pull yourself up and dust yourself off and plunge forward? Over and over again?

That sounds like a good idea. But does there ever come a time when you just throw up your hands and let the life spoilers win?

Wouldn't it be wonderful, if you woke up every morning and had a routine. Say, ran on the treadmill 20 minutes, had breakfast, read the paper, and then hunkered down in front of the computer to work until your allotted pages are finished. Then play the rest of your day. All without any kind of interruption from family or friends, or life in general.

Why can't this happen? Because life is messy! It's full of monsters that jump out at you and eat at your time. There's kids that need to go to sports, school, the doctor, or the dentist. Or you have to go to the store, to the dentist or the doctor. And those are the everyday, normal interruptions, everyone deals with those. But what about life changing events? A death in the family or a life threatening/fatal illness of a friend. After that good old hubby being laid off, so you have to go back to your day job.

Is that enough for you?

I'm not done, even the dumb appliances are out to take up your time. They break down, then you have to call for repair or shop for something new.  Your roof leaks, pipes freeze or the old tree has a limb hanging over the car in the drive way and it breaks, then what? Insurance claims, possible injury, you know if someone is in the car.

Okay, maybe I've over dramatized a bit. I can attest that all of these can and do happen, and it always seems to come at you all at once. Everyone can and does handle all of the above at one time or another. But in the same year? So I ask again. If you have a run of bad luck, or bad life whatever you want to call it, what do you do? With me the writing is the first to go. I bet it would be the same for you, unless you have a book contract deadline, even they chance are you're going to miss that deadline.

When does it ever end? And how are you supposed to find time to write, and make a career out of it? You know, once the dust settles, can it be done? Dealing with all these life events, you've stepped away from you career, how difficult would it be for you to step back into your career?

I know a lot of people out there would say; "Take it one day at a time." That sounds too simple. But is it? If you forget what happened yesterday, and do not worry about what may or may not happen tomorrow, and just focus on the moment. The first hour of the day and write. Then the next hour, and write. Until you are through the day. Then start again the next day.

Can recovery for life's monsters be that simple?


Cassy Pickard said...

Mary: You raise good points. It IS hard, really hard, to keep on truckin when more keeps getting thrown at you. And, the writing is an easy thing to let slide. That is, unless the writing is your reward, your candy at the end of a meal, your gift to yourself for being just who you are.

One of the things that I still have not learned, but am trying, is to ask for and accept offered help. I'm one of those, "It's okay. I can do it. Everything's fine" kind of people. A friend recently was annoyed with me. She said she cares deeply about me and really wanted to help. I had hurt her feelings by being "just fine." And, the soup she brought over was very good!

Mary, I don't think there are pat answers. Screaming out every now and then might be one of them.

Kari Lee Townsend said...

I think it's healthy to yell, stomp, scream and let it all out over life's annoying monsters!

And then learn to let it all go...

I used to stress over everything, but then learned what's the point of stressing over things you can't control.

Life IS messy and often unfair, but that's life.

Not a damn thing we can do except make the best of it and find the joy in something. Good luck to you, chica :-)

Liz Lipperman said...

Sh** happens. As much as I hate that, it's really true. When I am going through a bad period (and you're right - they do seem to come in chunks.)I try to focus on something positive - like the fact we all still have our health. But that comes out of my mouth way easier than actually doing it.

I'm sorry you are going through a hard time, Mary, but "this too will pass." As for your writing, your muse hasn't gone. She's just got the flu!

Personally I say a novena to St. Jude and he never fails me. Let me know if you'd like me to send a copy!!

And hang in there. Your friends are here to keep you sane.

Mary Martinez said...

Thanks. Cassy I know what you mean about writing being your reward. Sometimes though while everything is going on, there is literally no time in a 24 hour day left to write.

When it's over, screaming and yelling sounds like a good idea. But then you have to get back up and try to get back into your routine.

Kari, I'm learning to try to control my stress impulse. My husband keeps saying the same thing you did, there's nothing you can do about it, why make yourself sick over it?

That's the best thing, Liz, your friends do keep you sane.

Lindsay said...

Mary, I agree with Kari Lee. A good old-fashion temper-tantrum can do wonders. If you throw something just make sure it's not valuable and replaceable.
Causes of stress, to some extent, we have some conrol over.
As writers we live, to one degree or another, under stress not only daily but sometime by the minute. Word count, page count.
Even unexpected family interruptions. Fortunately for me it can only come from Kebi, the wonder collie.
Right now I'm stressing as I wait to hear back from the editor who requested the full manuscript.
To help I keep repeating my favorite manta-'Don't sweat the small stuff, everything is small stuff'.

Mary Martinez said...

Lindsay I wish you luck! This business is slow. And I will try not to sweat the small stuff.

I don't want to break anything in my office so I guess I'll go out side for my tantrum, the neighbors will love it.

Lindsay said...

You want stress. Try taking you collie to a do-it-yourself beauty parlor and barely have a clue what to do or how to trim him
My reward-write