Sunday, November 27, 2011

Coping with an Empty Nest, headaches, no power and NaNoWriMo

So the nest isn’t 100% empty, I have one chick left for the next eighteen months.  But the absence of the older two dwarfs everything else.  I was doing okay with just the one chick left at home.  We’d got into a routine, kind of, learned to put up with each other’s foibles and moods.  Rolling along rather like a car on a slope without a foot on the accelerator.  Not much effort, just existing, heading ever forward to the time the last chick leaves.  Our idealic life was blasted into a high energy one with the arrival of my middle chick for a two month stay.  Then the eldest came for two weeks and I realised just how much I miss not having all my chicks in my nest.  So much activity, sparkling conversations and debates, putting my body on the line to stop them from killing each other, eating together as a family, going away to Kenya - our first big whole family holiday in a year.  All that brought back so many old memories and created so many new ones, that I realised how much I miss out on with us all spread around the world.  Our solitary life, just the youngest chick and I is more of an existence than an actual life.

Saying goodbye to the eldest as she set off to start a new life on a ship was hard.  As she’s got older she has become a best friend.  She knows me better than I know myself.  I feel a large part of my heart went with her.  But I survived that goodbye knowing I still had two chicks in the nest for another month.  Yesterday the middle chick left.  I felt worse than I did after my divorce, the other huge chunk of heart that’s gone with him has left a void and a feeling of such emptiness and sorrow, there are no words to express it.  The house is silent; the youngest chick and I both experiencing our loss in our own way.  No happy banter, quarrels and fighting over which channel to watch on TV.  Just an eerie silence and the noise from the cicadas in the garden.  I expect I can only have myself to blame, passing onto my chicks the love of travel and living in strange places, exploring new worlds, living life as an adventure.

All of which does not help when you are trying to get into the right frame of mind, The Zone, for writing a novel.  NaNoWriMo couldn’t have come at a worse time for me.  50 000 words in 30 days was always going to be a big ask.  With a full nest it’s a near impossibility. Distractions too numerous to mention.  Add in a full time job and you start getting the picture.  NaNoWriMo has been tough this year, but I am still determined to get to the finish line even if it means writing like hell the last four days.

This past week has also had migraines added into the mix.  Chronic ones where you just get fuzzy concentric circles affecting your vision so you can’t read a page, see a computer screen or keyboard.  The medication I take knocks me out for two hours at a time.  These migraines plagued me on and off for four days.  Dehabilitating.  In the extreme.  Not good for NaNoWriMo either.

For two months, since the middle chick’s arrival, we’ve had virtually uninterrupted power which is definitely not the norm here.  This past week, the power has gone off a few times but nothing as bad as its been in previous months where we sometimes had up to 72 hours with no power.  And just so you no, no power here means no water either as you have to pump it into your tank attached to your house.  Yesterday, the power went off on three separate occasions.  First in the morning, putting an end to an early bout of writing, then when we came back from taking the middle chick to the airport we arrived home to no power, and at 6pm sharp the power went out and stayed out.  We watched the new season of Nikita until the laptop battery died and then put on the generator.  By that time I was unable to construct a simple sentence, let alone work on a novel.

So although this might seem as if I am just making excuses for not completing NaNoWriMo this year; watch this space.  Wednesday I’ll be at that finish line, just you wait!
Have a good week ahead!


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