There was a time I got up at 5 AM to write before getting ready for work, then getting to the office before 8 or on the road if I was going to one of our facilities. Now at 7 AM I want to stay in bed — mainly because I haven’t gotten to sleep until after midnight for the last few nights.
Right now it’s 9 AM and I feel like I should be back in bed. My husband and daughter would say. “Go ahead. You’re retired.”
Retirement is one of the biggest Life Changes:
In our society your profession defines you and when you no longer have your profession, then who are you?
That really means: You’re not needed. After 44+ years of nursing and retiring as a VP of Nursing (don’t be impressed, I wasn’t), I wanted/needed to slow down but this lack of direction is not want I wanted.
Oh, I know I can set goals for myself — just like a nursing care plan. And then try to meet those goals. But I have no confidence in my abilities. My goal for today was to vacuum downstairs. I don’t have the strength to empty the darn thing in order to get started.
When I was young I wanted to be a writer with all my heart
Now I have the time and I find that writing takes energy of which I’m in very short supply. I have one paranormal mystery completed. edited, and ready for self-publishing. But I cannot do it — my brain can’t think about it. Let alone the other four completed novels sitting in notebooks or in my computer. “The fire in the belly” is now just an ember, glowing with the help of Medium.
Physical limitations are not helpful
Back pain has been a problem for me for years. However, lately (after a stroke) it has worsen. Physical therapy seemed to help but I had to drive 30+ miles round trip to get there. A newer car with heated seats helped — but not enough.
After the stroke I have some weakness on my left side. I was lucky to get out of the it with no paralysis. But I must be careful in what I do. I consciously tell my left foot to step up. I’m cautious when taking our dog out for a short walk.
And I fall — the first one of 2020 was this week as I tried to walk backwards (yeah, I know) down the stairs to turn off a friggin’ light. Back hurts more and one butt cheek is a lovely purple along with my right arm since I used it to try to catch myself on the banister.
The weird thing with the stairs is we have a stair glide — a seat that moves up and down the stairs. My husband had it installed when his first wife lost a leg to cancer.
So why don’t I use it?
It would be the first step to admitting I’m no longer Mitzi.
Mitzi was an middle-aged woman who went to Musikfest for one week in Bethlehem every year, she went to Gettysburg once a year, she went to England five times. She was an active member of a large writers group and held several board positions on a smaller one. She went to writers conferences. She wrote novels and short stories in the morning before she went to work. She wrote freelance for a daily paper and a monthly one. She managed a department in a company that oversaw nursing homes. She would take long walks. She had dinner with friends.
And she was able to walk up the friggin’ stairs without holding onto at least one banister.
Finding the new Mitzi
Writing on Medium has been helpful in my quest — even when I get no claps or comments. I’m still making enough money monthly to pay for my wine — not expensive wine, but good wine.
I’m looking into a train excursion though England. My last trip with Jamie George of Gothic Images, I recommend highly and would go again but there was too much walking for me now.
I’m pulling up at least one of my ghost stories about Gettysburg so that may also be a destination.
I’m rejoining a small writers group in the little town where I now live. And I’m joining the local library’s book club. If I had more energy, I would join the library’s Board.
Mitzi is definitely around even though she can’t march for her beliefs like she once did. Mitzi still read more than 70 books a year. And Mitzi still writes.
Look in the mirror.
Yep, there she is — a few more wrinkles and now with gray hair. But it’s Mitzi.