Getting old sucks.
I come from a family that ages very slowly...but when it catches up with us, it catches up with a vengeance. Just a few years ago, I didn't look or feel my age. I still don't look my age, but I sure do feel it! I'll be fifty-nine in a few short months. That means next year I'll be...SIXTY! Oh, crap! Turning thirty was no big deal. I felt like I'd finally grown up (that's what I thought, anyway). Forty was a bit unsettling. I was thirty-seven when my father died, and I was starting to feel the sting of mortality. If my dad could die, I could die. Fifty passed with only a slight nod in acknowledgment. That year was the beginning of a lot of turmoil in my life, and my fiftieth birthday was the least of my concerns. I'd lost my mom by then as well. My life seemed to be falling apart and I could do nothing to stop it.
Sure, I have a lot to complain about. I take too many meds--for hypertension, hypothyroidism, acid reflux, epilepsy, high cholesterol. Menopause is wreaking havoc on my sleep patterns and concentration. Certain hormones have taken a nosedive and replacing them synthetically is out of the question because the family history of heart disease says the risk is too high. I can't dance like I used to because I've got a bum leg due to an accident last year. I've lost too many loved ones--the latest on that list being my beloved Sammy Bird. I miss him. I miss all of them.
But I still have a great deal to be grateful for, even happy about.
I'm starting over on so many levels--rebuilding my career, rebuilding my life. I'm not making as much as I once did as an author, but I'm writing the books I really want to write. I have my faith, which is stronger than ever, and a great church. I have some wonderful new friends, friends I likely would never have met, had I not experienced the financial downturn. I have Collin, and I could not have asked for a better son. We've survived our own issues and are now--I think--closer than ever.
Sure, I wish my loved ones were all still alive and with us now. But do I regret the loss of my conventional publishing career or the income that went with it? No. I learned a great deal during that time. And I became someone I didn't really like very much. But a fall from grace was what it took to bring me to where I am now, so I'm glad it happened.
This year, I think I'll start counting backward. I'll be fifty-seven in August....
NOTE: Hope you'll check out the posts on my other blogs, too:
Beishir Books: From the Pages of the International Intruder 1
Beishir Books: From the Pages of the International Intruder 2
Basking in the Afterglow