This year, so far, has very much been about decisions, changes, upheavals, regrouping and so on. None of these decisions were made lightly, and lots of people had things to say about it all, both before and after things happened.

  • “Stay here…”
  • “Go there…”
  • “This (or that) is what you should be doing..”
  • “You’re too young”…
  • “You should’ve made the changes earlier…”
  • “You’ll go mad if you go from a hundred to zero overnight!”
  • “You’re letting me (or us) down…”
  • “Don’t lose momentum…”
  • “Move closer to the children right now…”
  • “You’re mad…”
  • “You’re brave…”

The list was almost endless. We’ve made waves. Some advice was welcome, but not all of it. All this to say, that we needed to wade (and I really mean wade… as in waist-deep kind of wading) through so much advice, comments, thoughts, ideas, suggestions and so on that came our way. We read a few books, consulted with a handful of experts, and in the end, we whittled it all down to a handful of things:

  1. We need to spend some truly decent time with our children and grandchildren. And not just as a “one-off”.
  2. We also need some time out alone before we make any final, long-term decisions about our future and second-half of our adult lives.
  3. We need this to be somewhere far away from everyone and everything. Just the two of us once again.
  4. We need to make sure we don’t get bored during this season, and therefore both committed to getting the next book out ASAP, and he took on some study and consulting gigs to “keep the brain ticking”.
  5. We expect this to be a learning curve and a challenge on all kinds of levels.

It turns out we (and those who advised us) were right on all the above except the fourth one. There hasn’t been time for the bookish stuff…. the studies, the work or the publishing. This is a good thing.

It turns out we’ve been so busy, our lives so over-full, that we actually need a season to fully stop. The only problem is, writing helps me to do that, and with a number of manuscripts on the boil, part of unwinding for me is getting them finished. But I got lost somewhere in the last few months. I listened to some advice that was probably not the best thing for my writing, and now I need to “un-bog” myself and regroup.

So, the gist of it all is this:

  1. He has postponed his studies for the foreseeable future.
  2. He hasn’t taken on any new consulting work.
  3. The publishing has been put on hold till the new year.
  4. And I’ve taken on some fresh advice and found myself a writing buddy. She and I will work through the manuscripts, she will cast a fresh eye on the bigger picture, and we will work our way back to the path I was on six months ago.

PS: Part of me is so mad about yet another setback, there’ve been too many. But that’s not a reason to publish a book (or books) that I’m not happy with either. So this is a bitter pill for me, but at the same time it’s rather freeing and I’m looking forward to slowing down another notch and getting back to what I love doing… writing and telling that jolly story!


PS: Thanks so much to those who’ve signed on the easy, no-spam newsletters I send out no more often than monthly (and believe me, I miss sending half of those)!

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4 thoughts on “Regrouping…

  1. We travel a lot – for some of the reasons you mentioned – and for months at a time. We are older than you and enjoy the time we spend together away from the routine of life. We make special times to see our children and grandchildren, we go on adventures, we stay fitter and healthier but we do it now because we don’t know what might happen tomorrow. I rarely write anything sensible while I’m away and I certainly don’t try to publish anything. I write when the mood takes me, building up characters and stories. I can fix the problems later. Your current round of decisions (and yes, you have to regroup every now and then and make new ones) are all good. Keep going. You are living your dream, don’t spoil it by worrying.


    1. Wow Vicky thanks soooo much for your encouraging comments! I know we shouldn’t need permission or validation to do things, but having people share their experiences and giving good advice helps a lot. I think because of my mobility issues which mean I can’t even walk to a shop or along a beach, I had visions of doing what I do at home, just on the edges of beaches and mountains and so on. He of course had visions of riding or paddling every day. It’s the “perfect” combo. But the reality is that he’s thoroughly burnt out and doesn’t need to do those things to offset the stress any more. He can ride when he wants to. And right now he just wants to hang with me. And I love it (most of it haha), so very little riding for him and very little writing for me. … or reading, or very much of anything. And we realise we need to embrace that and enjoy it 😊😊


  2. My dear Jen you really have such open honest conversations with yourself it blows my mind. There is something very important for me in this blog – you have had way too many “I think you should do this” conversation and you are standing up for what’s right for you and Doug and I believe this decision is monumental. You go girl!!!!!! Maybe this will spur others to do the same (a little late for 84 and 88) but our journey was planned by God, as yours is, and that’s the greatest gift. Love you and sending lots of hugs. Peter and Shirley


    1. Oh Shirley, thank you as always for your own honesty and encouragement. It’s quite the balance isn’t it… listening to advice and sifting through the rubbish and the gems… the wheat from the chaff. I’m thankful I’ve been able to say “oops! Wrong turn” and tread backwards a bit now before it’s too late! 😊💜👊🏻


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