My Bittersweet Summer

when-life-gives-you-lemons-470-wplokI didn’t get much writing done this summer. I did edit a novel that someone expressed interest in but I didn’t do much on my new book. And for me that’s unusual. I’ve never been one to write everyday, but I do always write several times a week. And then my poor neglected blog. It took a major hit this summer. I can’t remember a time going this long without posting.

It started in June. I caught a terrible cold, that turned into a wicked sinus infection which flared up my chronic illness. I spent a week in the hospital because of it, and it took a long time to recover.

Normally, I’m okay enduring with my illness, but this summer took me for a loop and I fell into a funk. I fell out of my routine, which is another thing that is not like me. I wouldn’t say I was depressed, but I will say I had bouts of sadness that was overwhelming. I can be a Negative Ninny at times, always seeing my glass half-empty that it took me awhile to switch gears and see the positive things that happened this summer. I went on a great weekend trip with friends. I went to a special theocratic training school that changed my life. A family friend helped take care of me in the hospital and our relationship grew to a deeper, more personal level. My relationship with my mother, sister, and mother-in-law grew deeper. And my beautiful daughter and loving husband handled my illness like champs, always supporting me.

I learned a valuable lesson this summer—that routine can at times be the thing that saves your life. Maybe not literally, but mentally, having a routine can stabilize you and take the wheel for you until you are ready to start driving your life again. I really let my routine slip this summer, and although it’s great to be flexible and balanced, having a good routine can keep you focused. I see now that it wasn’t my illness that made my summer bitter—it was the lack of my routine that really threw me off.

So last week I started writing again. I was so rusty at first, I took an hour wasting time on formatting and researching Scrivener (which I plan on downloading very soon), that I had to make myself buckle down and just write. And write I did. I followed my outline, and wrote—and it felt so good. It felt good to know that I still enjoy writing, that the business side of it has not killed my joy and love of the written word. The word bittersweet can describe most of our lives—times that are so bitter and gut-wrenching that we can’t speak, and times that are so sweet we cry from happiness. But I’ve learned to never let the bitter overtake the sweet, that I should accept and endure the bitter, but cherish and adore those sweet times. And although my summer was bitter with illness, it was very, very sweet.

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