The Impatient Patient

I don’t know about you, but I am terrible at being ill or injured. It’s not so much the pain and discomfort that gets me, it’s the mental aspect of being thrown totally off your game. Illness or injury not only impacts your physical abilities to do things, but it messes with your mind and spirit as well.

I am an impatient patient. I find that healing takes much longer than I think it should. Most of the time, my mind and spirit have recovered long before my body does, and I chafe at the restraints of my condition.

I had surgery a little over a week ago (nothing serious), and I had great plans for how I would spend my recuperation. Editing and writing, mostly. Care to guess how closely I followed my plan?

You guessed it – not at all.

The day of my surgery lasted longer than expected. The day after I could do little but sleep. I think it was the first day of my life that I can honestly remember doing literally NOTHING. The next two days were better, but I still slept a lot—everything exhausted me.

I am finally feeling more myself, but perhaps that is the worst time of all for me. I FEEL like I CAN do all these things…but I can’t. Physically I am still in some pain, and creatively I am still drained and unable to focus. So what’s an impatient patient to do?

Go with the flow.

I have managed to catch up on all the back issues of my magazines. I also have read 8 Newbery Award books in a little over a week. I’ve cruised the net, learned more about my new coin collecting hobby, written a couple of blog posts and stayed on top of social media. So not unproductive time—just not what I had planned.

Am I upset that I ended up not following my plan? Not really. I know that I could not have done good work if I had tried. And the things I have done needed doing, and were better suited for my condition. Having cleared the decks of those things, I will be able to focus more fully on the creative writing when I get my mojo back.

Sometimes the key to finding contentment in life is not sticking to your plan, but learning to adjust your goals to find success in the moment (a topic I will discuss more in depth on Tuesday over at The Author Chronicles).

How about you? Are you, too, an impatient patient, and how do you deal with times when your body betrays you?

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Earthquakes, Hurricanes & Moving, Oh My!

We moved on Saturday. Chaos, of course. Boxes still hide half my stuff from me.

We have no phone or internet at the new house because Verizon was on strike. That makes online life very hard to maintain. Thankfully, we have cell phones, so at least we can make and get calls.

I had (minor) surgery on Tuesday. Told not to lift anything for 48 hours. Two days of unpacking lost. Plus, have you ever tried NOT lifting a toddler who is still in diapers, high chairs, and cribs? Yeah, that worked out well.

Then there was the earthquake. I don’t live near the epicenter in VA, but I was scared enough here in NJ. No way am I ever moving to CA. The whole house shook, everything rattled, I could feel the ground rolling under my feet! The funny thing was, I thought for a moment I had hallucinated it. I had a contractor out back working on my deck, and he didn’t even pause or look up while I was hanging onto the sofa for dear life. As soon as it stopped, I ran to the front door, but no one else was coming out of their houses. I had almost convinced myself I had imagined it, that it was some sort of side effect from the surgery, when I heard the water sloshing in the toilet bowls. I knew then it was real, because I would never have thought to imagine that detail. Besides, my daughter was upstairs in her crib screaming her head off.

So that all explains why the post is a day late.

I felt like I was living in a novel this past week – it seemed like one thing just piled on top of another, each complicating the earlier ones. Which is exactly what we want to do to our characters – pile on the problems so they don’t get a chance to breathe. If you’re at a loss as to how to up the ante, toss in an earthquake—it can happen!

And now Hurricane Irene is set to batter us. An earthquake and a hurricane in one week. Crazy stuff.

I want to know who’s writing this book I’m stuck in—I’d like to tell the author that I quit!

I should have Internet next week, and be back to business as usual. I hope you all weather Irene safely!

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