I’m back on the blog today after a two-week break, which hasn’t really been a break at all. At least, it hasn’t felt like one. But the topic of today’s post is change, and for good reason: I’m dealing with some major changes in my family, as my parents move past the autumn of their lives.

Last Monday was my wife’s and my seventh wedding anniversary, and it was also Memorial Daynot a holiday we were considering when we got hitched, I’ll admit. I chose to take time off from work, and that worked out well. My wife ended up being able to get the day off too, so we actually got to spend our anniversary together. That’s not always an option for us. 

But as the week progressed, my family was dealt a massive one-two punch.

 

Good Thing They’re Divorced

You’d think it would be tragic that my parents divorced after 33 years of marriage. In reality, it was probably long overdue.

That divorce was just one of many landmark life changes they endured, and it was a good 30 years ago. Today, both are in their mid-80s, with Dad living out west and Mom in an assisted living facility right up the road from me.

They haven’t had a relationship for all these years, and it’s inevitably fallen to me to help them with the aging process. My father’s an old-school dude (think Clint Eastwood in all those spaghetti westerns), so he hasn’t exactly accepted much in the way of help. Mom, on the other hand, planned for the worst, and wisely got the long-term care coverage she’s ultimately needed.

The reason I entitled this section Good Thing They’re Divorced is because we’re not that archetypal close-knit family with kids and grandkids. So this past week’s events affected us somewhat differently than they would in a more, er, functional family.

Long story short, my father had a major health event last week, and within a day of that, I got word that my mother had received a major health diagnosis as well. The cliché “when it rains, it pours” exists for a reason.

 

And How Are You, Doing, Mike?

In addition to all the phone calls I had to make and receive in the past several days regarding my parents, I also reached out to some of my own circle to talk about all this traumatic stuff. And one of the best things I heard from a friend was, Make sure you’re taking good care of yourself.

I’ve never been a big fan of large, unexpected changes, especially unpleasant ones. But I also recognize that changes are about the only guarantee in life, and there will always be a hell of a lot of them. So I’m taking care of myself as well as I can without shirking responsibilities, doing my best to roll with the changes.

Books As Extended Business Cards

As I mentioned on here a couple weeks back, my freelance copywriting gigs feed my addiction to writing fiction, not vice-versa. However, my copywriting business is just part of a larger vision for Sahno Publishing, and that's a publishing company that provides...
author

Are Authors Typically Obsessive-Compulsive?

Recently I’ve noticed a trend in author blogs toward the confessional. After all, no one wants to read about your characters all the time, and God knows that readers don’t want to read about marketing. They want to know something about you. Happy to oblige. Although...
break

A Bit of a Blog Break

I've been busy scheduling my social media for the next few months, and came to a realization: I've got a ton of existing content, and no one has seen anywhere near all of it. As a result, I decided it's time for a little break. This realization did coincide with...

The Marketing Thing Vs. The Working Thing

Last week, I took a vacation with my lovely wife, and missed doing a blog post entirely. I see where WordPress has an option of writing and scheduling posts, but frankly, I was too busy doing that with my monthly newsletter. I figured I could ignore the blog for a...
Whizzers

The Glories of Language: Making Stuff Up and Other Fun Things I Do

“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.” - Pablo Picasso   One thing I was never especially afraid of was breaking the rules. What I was afraid of was getting caught. When I was young, I got into a tiny bit of trouble, but not much....
self-marketers

Authors As Self-Marketers

A couple years back, in an article about self-publishing, I wrote the following: If you’re an author with a traditional publishing contract, you don’t really have to be an entrepreneur as such; the publishing company does the marketing and PR for you, though you have...
process

Create A Process That Works For YOU

This week’s topic: create a process that works for you. I can’t tell you how many times a fellow author’s quote has upset me for the simple reason that their opinion is presented as fact. Here are a few examples: “Write every day, line by line, page by page, hour by...

Short Story Contest Part II

Last week, I launched a short story contest here on my blog as part of a major national promotion. To recap: this is not a call for submissions; I'm serializing a short story in anticipation of my upcoming release of a short collection. Here's how it works: read it...
recovery

Recovery 202? Long-Term Sobriety Is Possible

So, the plan for today was to write a post about recovery. Unfortunately, I’m in a different kind of recovery mode today—recovering from a sinus infection. What that means for you, the reader, is I’m going to keep this short. Really short. I took my last drink 30...
running

Running & Writing: A Classic Combo

Writing and running. It’s one of the oldest and, to my way of thinking, weirdest connections in the world. I’ve been a writer, truly, since 1979. Over these past forty years, I’ve written hundreds of poems and songs, and a handful of publishable short stories. (I’ve...