If you’re like me you might be waiting for normal to be restored. I keep telling myself that I’ll get back into a proper writing schedule when life gets back to normal, but I really can’t remember what normal is anymore.
I used to have a lovely office with a huge desk and views overlooking the front garden. In summer the sun shone brightly making it a very jolly place to work, and in winter my heater made it warm and cozy. I had space to spin around on my chair, if I felt the urge. At last I had my very own writing space, and I could bang out five hundred words before breakfast every day. Then my normal was interrupted. My son moved back home. My lovely office became his bedroom and I was relegated to the other spare room. No sun and, if I put on one any more weight, no way I can get into the chair which is squished against my desk. My desire to get up and write was sorely dented. I’ve never wanted to use the new cold dark room. However I soldiered on, writing with the netbook balanced on my lap as I sat up in bed, pretending to listen to my husband as he mumbled on about airline frequent flyer point schemes and credit card deals that had flooded his inbox overnight.
I might have lost my comfy space at home, but I still had my office at work and could write in my lunch break, or I did until we moved to a new premises. Open plan ruined my peace. I moved my writing cave to my car in the underground car park and struggled to write with my laptop balanced on one knee and my lunchbox on the other. My work colleagues wave as they walk past, and word has got around that the weird woman eating in her car isn’t hiding she’s writing a novel.
Everything was working fine, and I still had loads of time to write on the weekends, until my son had exams and needed me to help him study. My weekends were swallowed up as I became the patient enduring all kinds of pulling, pushing and bending in the name of physiotherapy. Once exams were over my other son decided to buy a house and needed my help with all manner of things an adult should be able to do without his mother. Finally, he was all settled in, normal was about to be restored and then my dog decided it was her turn.
Every morning she runs around the side of the house to bark at the neighbor’s dog. She leaps at the fence until he barks back, and then she walks away, her job done. However, the other morning things went horribly wrong. She jumped at the fence and landed badly, screwing up her knee. So, off to the vets we go for a knee reconstruction. Now she’s home and demanding all of my time. She hates having to be confined in a playpen and only getting to go outside on her lead. When we let her out she has to sit on your lap because she thinks a new knee means she can, once again, base jump off the sofa without a parachute. The vet says it will be a few weeks before she can be left to her own devices. Until then, I’m her jailer, physio, masseuse, waitress, dog walker, and general entertainment director.
Don’t even begin to imagine that once this crisis is over I’ll get some sort of normal back. Did I mention that I quit my day job and leave in two weeks? I wish it was to take up full-time writing, but alas I have bills to pay, including the vet. I’ve accepted a new accounting manager’s job. The role will be challenging, but I think my efforts will be appreciated a whole lot more than they are by current employer. Will it affect my new normal? I guess I won’t know until I get there and see what else I need to adjust in my life to find time to write.
So, I’ve finally given up on normal. Normal doesn’t exist and life is all about rolling with the punches. And writing is all about grabbing what spare time you can where you can and ignoring the inconvenience and the discomfort.