Monday, March 21, 2016

In the Long Run

First and with all sincerity: I stopped doing much long term planning on the day my wife died.

We had all kinds of daydreams and goals and most of those are dust now. 

It is what it is.

Like Jeffe i will tell you a story. 

When my wife passed I thought long and hard about what I planned to do and what I came up with as a goal was surviving her passage. 

So far, so good.

I worked on being a better me, because that was all I had left. I started exercising (Not that I could prove it) I started eating better. I moved to a new place without the miserable ghosts haunting me in every corner. Want to know all about it? You can go here. 

I worked on surviving. It was a all I had left.

That, and my writing. And a few friends and almost every day I found something else I could consider a reason for living, but I actively LOOKED for them, because as Stephen King wrote in Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, You have two choices: Get busy living or get busy dying. I'm paraphrasing but you get the idea. 

I decided I'd rather live.

So I got the new place, I got myself as situated as I could, I gathered a few friends around me and then the Interlopers came. 

We'll leave it at this: The interlopers are family members who suddenly needed my help. I gave it to them to the exclusion of myself. One lived with me for 19 months. The other for nine. During that time my home became theirs and not mine. 

Eventually I worked it out. Eventually I sent them packing, but it took a while. During that time I worked as I always had, but my writing suffered immensely. I went down from my usual speeds to about one tenth of those speeds and that was on a good day.

Enter my next big plan. I set a goal and I made up my mind to leave Georgia for a while. I am now in New England and have once again set myself up in a place to call my own. 

But one thing has never changed throughout this long process. One thing that KNOW has been the downfall of many an author and artist. I have insurance. Health insurance, life insurance. Learn to live by them and love them before it is too late. As I pointed out to one coworker of mine (I work at Starbucks, because, damn, the health insurance and benefits are nice), one broken limb will ruin you if you are uninsured and even moderately successful. if you make too much money, the medicare and medicaid want nothing to do with you. If you make too much money, no hospital will write you off as a charitable situation. 

I know easily a dozen authors and writers who were financially RUINED by not being properly insured. And that ruination lingered past their recoveries or in a few cases their deaths. The bills are like hits on the Top 40 charts: They just keep coming. 

Be smarter than that. Had I not had insurance on both me and my wife when she passed, I would have been financially devastated. 

Even WITH insurance, I was once forced to declare bankruptcy due to outstanding medical debt (The insurance at that point was NOT very good but all I could get.). It would have been far worse without.

That's probably enough of a downer for today.

Have a few backup plans and keep them ready, because you absolutely never know what the future holds or what will come along to derail you. 

Be prepared. 

Keep smiling,


This one's out in a little over a month, by the way:


  1. I agree with Jeffe, a nice post.

    I work with cancer patients and it's the people who decide to look for the good in life who are happy. It's not always easy and well laid plans are often disrupted. But I would rather smile and enjoy the little things in life, maybe make others smile too, while enjoying what life brings me.

    War has come and been without end so bring on Total War!! I can't wait!

    1. I would rather look for the good in people. Those who would insist I see the bad first are welcome to walk away.