Falling Back on What I Love
It’s the first day of 2023. It is a good day to post another blog. I’ve been silent for months. Last year, my goal was to write a blog post every month. I succeeded for a few months, and then I just stopped altogether. Looking back, the blogs stopped when I took a second job.
Also at that time, depression began to suck me down into the muck. Now some of that was related to a failing thyroid, but it was more than that. The last few years have taken a serious toll. The first few years I lived in Springfield, it felt like heaven. I loved the community and my close circle of friends. I loved the work we did. I loved the pace of my life and the ability to spend large swaths of time writing. I relied on savings to keep that pace slow, but I had faith that something would come my way before I ran out of money.
And then the pandemic hit. I was one of the ‘lucky’ ones who didn’t lose work. I became busier than ever, with more responsibilities and stress. However, while there was plenty of work, fun came to a screeching halt. There were no more girls nights. There were no more movies or meals out. No galas. No concerts. No shows.
There was no fun. There was only work and stress for years on end. And we all know that’s not a good combination. While other people were paid to stay home and used that time to publish their first novel, there was no room in my head for stories. Everything that gave me joy was gone.
Then the financial blows came. The house continued to need significant repairs that I had hoped would wait a few years. And, of course, there was inflation. Suddenly the saving account that had allowed me some safety was gone, and debt began to pile up.
I saw no route out of this mess, at least not in the middle of a pandemic, living in a city with a lower median income than many other cities, in a state that already has a low median income. Even a second job wasn’t cutting it, leaving me weary and still sinking further into debt.
Eight years ago, I took a leap of faith, leaving Hollywood behind and moving to Missouri. Now, for the first time since moving here, I suddenly see the ground rushing at me. It is terrifying.
I’ve developed a reputation at work as a fix-it person. If there’s a problem, call Lynette, and she’ll fix it. I’m seen as competent and resourceful, so the go-to person to fix anything. But lately I have begun to wonder, who’s my fix-it person? Who do I call that I can always count on to handle it when I have a problem? The answer that resounds with deafening silence is ‘no one.’ As a single person, no one sees me as their priority. There’s no one with a dog in the fight to work things out with. There’s no one saying, “I want to help her succeed.” So, if I’m going to get out of this mess, I’m the only person who will make it happen.
After that epiphany, I began work on figuring out how to survive. I’m almost 60, and I’m running out of time. The window to the life I dreamed of is closing rapidly. I have very few liquid assets, there’s an impending recession, a mountain of repairs needed on the house, and I feel completely burned out. So how do I fix that?
I am choosing to fall back on what I love, which is words. I’m hoping to stop my rapid descent by catching an updraft and starting Updraft Proofreading and Copyediting. When I’m editing, it feels as if it’s what I’m meant to do. I love spending my days teasing apart someone’s writing and making it shine. If I can begin to earn a living from that work, I won’t even care about ever getting published. I will still be doing what I love and creating a lifestyle I love. Even better, it’s something I can do into old age.
So this is what I’ll be focusing on in the coming year. Anything I’ve ever wanted in this life, I’ve had to figure out how to get on my own, and I can do it again. I’m a farm kid who had a 25 year career in Hollywood without experience and connections. I will do it again. I have no other choice, just like I felt like I had no choice back then.
The future of this blog is in limbo. I will endeavor to write here, perhaps detailing my work as an editor. But I make no promises. When you work over 60 hours a week at three different jobs, finding time for blogging is hard.
Until I get another website built, if you would like to inquire about my services and rates, leave me a comment with your contact information.by
I’m so sorry for your problems! I knew a little about what was going on but not in this depth. I wish I’d known more. As another single person, I could have been there for you, at least some moral support. I’m cheering on your new venture! It sounds exciting. Remember, I’m still here if you need a boost. Give me a call.
Thanks Dottie. I’ve always felt your support. I didn’t mean to diminish any of my friend’s support with this post. I have always felt you are rooting for me to succeed and I truly appreciate that. Most people who are partnered up don’t realize all the ways they lean on the other person. Sometimes they’ll tell me that I’m idealizing relationships and their partner isn’t always there for them. I get that. But they are there for them sometimes, and that’s more support than I ever get. At times you just want someone else to drive the bus for a little while so you can rest and figure out what to do next.
I enjoyed meeting you Friday at the Hein’s. I left the event thinking I’d like to get to know you better. Thanks to Abbe for posting a link to your blog. Now I do know you a little more. BTW, I finished War & Peace over the weekend
It was so nice to meet you as well. I can’t wait to re-read War and Peace with an adult’s point of view. I’m sure it will mean a whole lot more.