It’s been a long time since I’ve had to process the kind of emotional loss I’m dealing with at the moment.
If I were a full-time writer, I think I would be entirely adrift. All my stories seem to have dried up under a knot of pain. I can’t think straight about publishing or marketing or anything, really, related to writing.
Sometimes I even forget that I have a completed manuscript out there that needs my attention. (Third book? I say in confusion when a friend asks. Then I remember, Oh, yeah, I did write a third book…) Deep down, I know we will get Daughter of Aithne out sometime in the not-so-distant future. But when or where or how is all a nebulous cloud right now. I have something much more important to attend to at the moment.
Fortunately for me, I’m not a full-time writer. Fall semester is starting at Avila University, and I’m very grateful to have a job that I enjoy and that demands my exclusive attention through so many hours of the day. I’m grateful for my friends and colleagues, and the very supportive and dynamic work environment that they create. I’m grateful for the 140 or so students who are depending on me to get my act together by the start of classes next Wednesday. I’m especially grateful to have courses that I’m deeply excited about teaching, namely Animal Behavior and Introduction to Ecology and Evolution.
Work cannot fill every hole in my heart or heal emotional pain, but it provides me with an anchor, a safe place where I can lean on the scaffold while friends and family help me sort through the rubble within. In this way, I feel blessed even when confronting times of loss and painful transition.
How about you? Where do you find comfort when you’re feeling down?