There Goes My Groove

Scene from Emperor's New Groove. I'm sorry but you've thrown off the emperor's groove.

I know I usually start with a quote from a children’s book or about writing or reading, but this one is from a children’s movie. That counts, right? Besides, this quote sums up my current life situation. Let me explain.

For the last several years my husband has worked two jobs, not including pastoring and teaching martial arts. This has been difficult on the family in many ways, but we’ve made it work. God recently opened up the opportunity for a new job which allowed him to quit his part-time position. Yay!

I’m thankful for this change. I’ve been praying for this change. I know it will open him up for more time with ministry and family. It will reduce his stress levels. It will allow him to do things around the house that have been neglected for far too long.

It’s been a while since he was home regularly at night, and a lot has changed. We have only one child still living at home. He is the one child we’ve never had to do extra running for, no practices and no volunteer hours. We joke that all you have to do is occasionally throw cheese crackers into his room to keep him happy. The stress of the previous years of running has dissipated as our empty nest grows closer.

Another major change is my writing. In the last few years, I’ve moved from struggling writer to, well, still struggling writer. But now I’m a struggling published writer. With two published books and a third due to release in June 2020, I’ve added a slew of new activities to my writing resume.

No longer do I simply write and research markets. I have to do those things, learn more of the craft of writing, grow my presence in front of my intended audience, learn marketing information and techniques I never cared about before, and take care of the business side of writing. It’s a tall order, especially when I just quit my full-time job as a receptionist to help provide at-home care for my grandmother with dementia.

I had gotten into a groove. I knew when I needed to write on my manuscript. I understood when that had to be put aside to finish the day’s blog post. Research, classes, and business development all had their places. I came home from my day job tired, but most nights, I could focus and get done what needed doing. Then came the change.

With my husband home, everything is different. He asks what’s for supper. He never did that before because he got home late enough that he didn’t eat. If I suggest leftovers, he asks me if it’s because I “have to write or just because”. Does it matter? But now supper is on my to-do list.

He’s home before I am in the evenings. I feel like I should be spending time with him. But if I do, I won’t get my writing or anything else writing related done. It’s a tricky situation without a clear answer. He’s not against me writing. He’s my biggest supporter. But I struggle with drawing that line now that he’s home.

Add to this the mental and emotional strain of caring for someone with dementia, and I find myself without motivation at the end of the day. Making dinner, spending time with the husband, and needing a mental break form a perfect cocktail of reasons to choose the living room sofa instead of the office chair each night.

I’ll be honest. I don’t know the answer to my current situation. Time? It’ll probably help. Long talks about what is expected with my husband? That would probably help too, though I know it’s not high on his list of things to do! Prayer? Always a great place to start. And so I ask you to pray with me. Pray God shows me how to handle this new stage in my writing life. Pray He helps me find my groove again so I can get back to doing this thing He’s put in my heart to do.

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    The Conversation

  1. I know that caregiver walk all too well. (And how change throws a wrench in everything.) I am praying for you. Be sure to give yourself grace and YES! Definitely talk with your husband. It’s an adjustment for everyone (children included). It helps to talk and figure things out. Truly, if ever you need to vent or need caregiver support, connect with me on facebook and message me, or hop over to my blog and email me there. Caregiving is HARD. I always felt so alone in it. Don’t do that. You have permission to reach out. There are tons of us out there, all struggling. Hugs and prayers.

    • Heather Greer says:

      Thank you for sharing a little of your journey with me. It’s a different kind of exhausting that I’ve never experienced before.

      • It is. Hang in there. And ask for help when you can. I never knew what to answer when people ask how they can help. Write down some meal ideas and when they ask, give them that to work from. I wish I had done it more. It does help.

  2. It’s hard when the schedule and routine changes drastically! Todd retired before I stopped working at the library, so when I DID quit, he was home. A LOT. I was so glad when he started working again! Lol! Praying for you, my friend! I’m so proud of you for what you’re doing for your grandmother. You will have no regrets there, and the writing will happen as God gives it to you!

    • Heather Greer says:

      I know, even though the days are long and hard, I’ll never regret having this time with my grandmother. I never thought I’d say that when it’s all about giving to someone who can no longer appreciate anything you do, but it’s true. And just in being open about the struggle, I feel God has already started working in the circumstances to show me how to adjust. It’s still very much an adjustment, but at least we’re moving in the right direction!

  3. Heather, if God has called you to be a wife, a mother, a receptionist, a writer, a caregiver…then He will enable you to handle all those responsibilities. One of the problems is that it’s so easy to say that and so difficult to live it out. Why? Because we live in a fallen world. Satan is always at the ready to sabotage our walk. You’re in a season of transition right now. Change is usually a tough time. Give yourself some grace as you work out your new situation. As for supper, use a crock pot, make sandwiches, or ask your husband what he’s making–especially if he gets home before you do!! Praying for strength…

    • Heather Greer says:

      Thank you for the encouragement! I’ve found just by writing this post and sitting down with my husband to discuss things, God is starting to show me who and how I need to be in this time.