Monthly Archives: February 2015

Keeping My Feet Up

1048416-Cartoon-Black-And-White-Outline-Design-Of-A-Woman-Falling-Down-StairsTwo and a half weeks ago I fell down some steps. I seem to have become more clutzy as I’ve gotten older; don’t ask me why. The result of this fall, other than my wounded pride, was that I sprained both my left foot and my right knee, and tore the meniscus in that knee. Ouch!

I was thankful that no bones were broken, but these injuries still require what the medical profession calls R.I.C.E. (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) and six to eight weeks of healing time. So for the past two weeks I’ve been doing a lot of sitting with my feet up. Initially I thought to myself, “Great! Forced sitting time. I’ll get lots of chapters written, blogs for the whole month, author newsletter sent out. Maybe a new book proposal…”

Ahem.

You may have noticed that despite my two weeks of forced sitting, there have been no new blogs posted. Nor have you received a newsletter. And you can trust me when I say that I didn’t complete any chapters or book proposals.

“Why?” you may ask. “You’ve had nothing but time.” I certainly ask that of myself, because suddenly my Monday and Wednesday Aquafit mornings were free, Thursday yoga and badminton were out, Richard did the grocery shopping, I ran no errands. Other than physiotherapy twice a week, I pretty much stayed home all day, every day, and sat on my duff and…

…read, surfed the internet, Skyped and FaceTimed with friends and family, watched TV, knit, did sudokus, played solitaire…

It strikes me that none of these activities involved creativity. During these past weeks my imagination seems to have been on a sabbatical. Not just from writing, mind you; my painting has been uninspired and playing the piano and recorder ceased to ignite me. All I can attribute this to is the idea that the blood which should have been flowing to the right side of my brain has instead been flowing to my knee and foot, healing the distressed tissue. I’ve decided the old adage that claims, “Out of pain comes creativity” does not refer to actual physical pain.  At least not for me. For me, the saying should read, “Out of pain comes couch-potato time.”

However, today I am blogging. This morning I woke up with ideas for my current work-in-progress. And I can’t wait to go to ensemble practice tonight. What does this all mean? That my injuries are healing? That the right side of my brain is once again getting its regular supply of blood?

One can only hope. Certainly, the swelling has gone down, and while my knee still troubles me quite a bit, the foot is almost back its old self. Soon my schedule will be back to normal, Aquafit will again be a part of my weekly routine, and hopefully yoga and badminton will too. And I’ll stop being a couch potato.

Fingers crossed.

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Reinventing Ourselves

reinvent_big1This week I sent flowers to one of my sisters. The reason I did so was to congratulate her on the acquisition of her own store. She’d worked as manager in this store for many years, and when the owners decided to sell, my sister bought it. It’s a huge step to take in one’s mid-fifties, but she was ready to take on the challenge and reinvent herself as a business owner.

Thinking about her new venture prompted me to ponder the subject of reinvention, a topic I ruminate on quite frequently. What is it that pushes a fifty-something woman to take a new direction in in life or to jump into something different and challenging?

Sometimes circumstances direct that decision. In my sister’s case, the fact that the owners were selling the business induced her to consider the idea of taking it over, and she had the gumption act on the idea. Ten years ago I went through a relocation to a different country and it stimulated a reinvention of myself as an author. Sometimes, though, it’s not external circumstances but an inner voice that challenges a person to make changes. I have another sister who, in her fifties, became a certified pastry chef, and recently she opened her own pastry shop. Another sister (yes, I have lots of sisters–lucky me!) went to teacher’s college in her fifties and completely changed careers.

For me as an author, reinvention is a compelling topic to explore in fiction; indeed, it’s the subject that inspires the stories I write. In my novel, The Unraveling of Abby Settel , Abby was forced to make changes and redefine herself because of a relocation. In Breathing Space, Lydia makes a decision that drastically changes everything about her life and causes her to view herself in a completely different light. My current project is a story about women compelled to reinvent themselves in Bermuda.

Certainly, life is about change, and we all constantly adjust and adapt to whatever gets thrown at us. But actively choosing to take on new challenges requires courage and motivation. My sisters have both, and they inspire me with their pluck.

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