So. I’ve talked about the unexpected stuff that happened while taking time off, but I’d already planned to take a few steps back this spring and sort out a few things. In April, I’ll be back in Uni, completing a course on Python for the first year of my Cyber Security Year, but I’ll also be doing other stuff. Like Blogging from A-Z. We’re already discussing the These Our Fandoms work, but I’ll also be running here at a minimum. I’ll be joining up, and announcing around the 8th of March for those projects, when this year’s theme is revealed.
One of the major elements of my ‘big rebuild’ is that I’ll be working on putting my books back. As everything is offline, I’ll be editing the books before they go back up, and straightening everything up. While I’m looking at all of this, I’m thinking about what I want to do with new stories, and working on everything. My books are important, and working on them is something I’d like to do regularly – books are a part of my life. Writing is a part of my life. So, when rebuilding my stuff, that’s one of the things I’m really focussed on.
I’ve not really talked about it much here lately, but I’ve completed a few games, I’m starting a few others, and I’ve watched my partner play through other games – we were lucky enough to get a PS5 recently, so we’ve been enjoying a lot of games, and it’s been good just having that to escape to. Though Assassin’s Creed: Vallhalla has resulted in A LOT of heckling in the house.
I’ve been talking about various things that’s gone on in our family – we’ve been through multiple losses, and that’s not the happiest thing to actually confront, but we’re having to. Extending our family isn’t easy. And I guess that’s what’s leading me to a lot of the non-fiction books I’ll be writing this year. The pandemic has definitely impacted us, as a family – not just keeping us apart, and losing people during that time – but as we’ve changed things. I’m also – currently – the only one of my family that’s been vaccinated, which is a bit…weird. My children – both asthmatics – are my worry, so when I ended up being invited, I was rather surprised, but I’ve had my first dose (felt like I was kicked in the arm by a horse for a few days), and we’ll go through and that’ll be awesome. I am really looking forward to things becoming less restricted, and going home, and seeing everyone, but I’m also looking forward to re-finding our rhythm as a family.
And finally, business
I’ve been off for several years, and not working outside of a few basic assignments, but I’m thinking that there’s a couple of things that I want to focus on. Mostly hosting and formatting for now, though we’re also looking at apps and other stuff while we work through stuff. I think one of the important things at this point is because I’ve been off, I’m taking it slowly. I know that this is probably critical to building things back again, but, I think a lot of what I have to address is what direction we want the company to run in. I’d rather have a small set of complimentary projects, than be as spread out as I used to be.
I’m not sure when things are going to be back to normal for me, and how tired I’ve been. I’m not really finding, after the transfusion, that I’m as energetic as I expected. I’ve improved a little, but I am still bone weary, which I guess I should be discussing with my GP. Again, there’s a book involved in that, so… lots of stuff that I’m trying to balance through. My life is in desperate need of a proper schedule, but, while I’m grieving, it’s hard to do that. If anyone has tips, I’d really appreciate it.
There are some posts you just never want to write. Some things that you just don’t want to say. Last week, my grandmother passed away. And while we’ve – not callously prepared, but due to the circumstances – been sorta worried this would happen, given the current health climate in the world right now, let alone the fact that we’ve got to accept this – as much as we want to keep people with us forever, it’s just not possible. As hard and as much as we wish it could be, there’s a reality that we can’t escape. And that’s something I’m personally struggling with. There’s the logical side of me that says ‘nope, there has to be ways to fix this, while the emotional is just going ‘nope’. My psych nurse says it’s completely normal, but I’ll be entirely honest, while I’ve got a little self-care routine that involves meditation every morning (something gran taught me, a little at least), and a few times a week in the evening, I’m kinda disconcerted to find that I’m managing *about* five minutes before breaking down and crying. Which is normal, but as I’ll come back to, I guess, because I have mental health challenges, I wasn’t sure it was till my psych nurse told me. And it feels awful to put it this way – I’m focusing on me when the loss affects all of us, but I’m trying to balance being a mum, a daughter, a mourning granddaughter, a partner. And I’m aware we don’t really ‘grieve properly’ for about six months (though, everyone has their own path). All of this is leaving me feeling a bit out of sorts and feeling like engaging with the world just isn’t something I want to do right now. But I’m a writer. I should know how to talk about this.
Spoiler alert – I don’t.
What are the right words?
This has been one of the toughest weeks I’ve ever gone through. As a family, we’re not geographically close, but though we live all over the country, we do all talk. My gran and I used to see one another at least once a week before we moved to the Cotwolds (and she moved further north for a while), because we lived in the same district in Edinburgh. I am very lucky – our family, no matter what, are always there for one another. My children have been abroad with her when they were younger (and my mum too) – we’d see each other at least one day when we were home, and we talked on the phone regularly.
So, to be told that she’s gone, and how sudden it really was, despite the fact she’s been unwell and the stuff going on with the pandemic etc., we thought that we’d get to see her again when the lockdown lifted. So, to say that I’m a bit stunned and numb is an understatement.
A good woman, my gran
I’ve said in various posts talking about this in private that grief is one of those things that takes our words away. We are silenced by the shock, by the pain, by many things. In my case, it’s unusual to be without words, but my gran was an integral part of a lot of my writing. She and I talked about stories – she’s a part of one of my pen names (and, my real name) – but we just talked books an awful lot. My family have all had a lot to do with my writing life. And it’s just…hard to say the right things. So I’ll say simply this. My gran was a good woman. She was a spiritualist healer, she was a kind woman. She was funny, and fun and our good memories will be what we focus on.
We will miss her, a lot. Words aren’t sufficient to express that.
One of the many things though, that gran told me that sticks with me, not just the poem in the image above, is that butterflies and dragonflies are our family that are gone, checking in with us. She and I talked a lot about that, because of my love of dragonflies and hers. So, this year, when and if we go to the little lake we know that there are dragonflies, I’ll be looking out for the one that comes to me, and maybe I’ll get to say hey. I’ll be working through this and everything else as we move through the next few weeks – her funeral is next week, and when we can go home, as long as the UK lockdown roadmap remains static and as planned, we’ll see our family in the summer. But… for now, I’m a bit lost, and a lot numb, and just taking time out.
If you could think happy thoughts for us, that would be great. If you’re going through similar, I’m really sorry. 2020 was a horrible year, and 2021 was supposed to be better, and in reality, we can’t ask for that, but….it’s hard to deal with knowing where we go from here.
That sounds like so much fun! I love games, especially RPG. Haven't played with a group in a few years.…