One of my favorite writers and friend, #1 best-selling author Iris Johansen, once said that she got up at four a.m. to write. At eight, she went to work her day job at the airport.
That motivated me to do the same for several years. Though I was unpublished at the time, my dream tap-danced before me in brilliant 3D Technicolor. I arose at five a.m. and wrote until eight. Then I went to work at our family business.
I learned something from that. I found that the more structured my efforts, the more I accomplished. Lately, lingering PTSD symptoms from a life-threatening accident two years ago weighted me down with depression and sporadic pain.
Apathy is so not fun.
The accident trauma sapped much of my get up and go. Only those who have fallen victim to such shock can understand how lasting the effects can be. I recovered enough to be ambulatory and my mind functional. But depression did not completely release me. My former upbeatness seemed to be holed up somewhere and I couldn’t find it except on rare occasions. Even the most celebratory happenings did not boost me very far above that gloomy crater.
And then, my husband’s health issues forced me into action. Suddenly, there was a reversal of roles in my home. Sometimes life takes over, leaving us few alternatives. In my case, it became an issue of survival.
“We do what we have to, when we have to,” was my grandma’s stoical response to any given calamity. She never entertained the possibility of helplessness. She just took it minute by minute and did what had to be done. At the time I didn’t realize the significance of her determination and grit.
Now, I get it.
I’ll go even deeper with Larry the Cable Guy, who admonishes to simply “Git ‘er done!”
I totally get it!
Now all these blend to become my own mantra. I do what I have to do, when it needs doing. Having been somewhat sheltered through the years by an adoring, male protagonist husband, I knew nothing of behind-the-scenes financial struggles he daily experienced. Being mathematically gifted, he’d always handled anything to do with numbers, allowing my creative leanings to blossom and flourish.
Now became payback time.
At first, I moved in an intricate maze, unable to find the next turn that would steer me in the right direction. I quickly determined that the solution was to walk with Lee, step by step, through each financial transaction, sit and write out payments myself, accompany him to the bank and ask questions, record business data. I shadowed him until finally I moved independently and divined the next step without prompting. I created a system of organization that I could understand and follow.
Amazingly, I’m discovering a lode of monetary management skills I never dreamed I had. Funny how the old saying “necessity is the mother of invention” applies to the stretching of myself.
Lately, I think of this twist in life as an opportunity to thank my husband for all the years he single-handedly supported a head-in-clouds writer wife and allowed her to merrily pursue her dream.
We’re having the time of our lives mapping out our days together. As we travel business routes through sun-washed, rolling Carolina foothills, Lee shakes his head and says, “And to think, we get paid for this.”
Yup. We do and who’s to say it can’t be fun? I even write while waiting on Lee at some stops along the way. That too, being structured, flows easily when I apply myself. That’s called multitasking. Another revealed capability.
In the process, I am both physically and emotionally energized and challenged in pleasant ways. There is that sense of well-being that comes from accomplishments. Expectancy and purpose greet me each morning I arise.
Amid my shining discoveries, depression has no place to light. My mind is too occupied to be bothered with pessimism. Another old saying comes to mind: “If you want to get something done, ask the busiest person around.” Now I know why that’s true. The momentum from busy-ness is magic and rousing.
My writing? With purpose surging in all directions, I’m riding a fresh, even higher wave of creativity, meeting each project with a doggedness to “Git ‘er done!”
Life is good!
Happy reading, my friends!