I got into a swivet last week.
“Lady Eve’s Indiscretion” hit the shelves, and in the law office, the contracts through which I represent foster children are being put out for competitive bid, while a couple of tough cases are demanding extra attention.
Let’s break those down.
I’ve been representing foster children for about twenty consecutive years, which means I’ve gone through at least five of these re-competitions. I consider myself competent to write proposals, and yet, I got my knickers in quite a twist over having to answer some technical questions about my proposal.
With respect to the tough cases, well, I’ve handled many tough cases. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but as a lawyer, if you prepare as well as you can, then the outcome is not in your hands. And yet, I took those cases home with me, and lost sleep over them I could not afford to lose.
And Lady Eve? She’s my eighth novel to hit the shelves, and my ninth title.There’s nothing at this point I can do to change the book, influence which titles are coming out the same day, or tweak the cover. And yet, there I was, compulsively checking my rankings, when I don’t even trust the accuracy of the sales reporting mechanism.
Nonetheless, I buzz-sawed through the week, steeple chasing right down the to-do list. Even remembered to send my daughter flowers on her 25th birthday…
Wait a minute.
Beloved Offspring’s arrival in my life has been the defining glory and the defining trauma of my existence. Being her mom taught me what I know about loving and being loved as an adult, though hers was not an easy birth: Three days and nights of uncoached, induced labor at the end of a high risk pregnancy, surrounded by tremendous uncertainty about my ability and fitness to look after a newborn, embedded in financial anxiety, and…
Oh, yeah. That stuff. Twenty-five years ago, she was born, and I was scared witless as I tried to grow up overnight. While I was exhausted. While I was broke. While I was utterly bewildered over relations with the fellows.
The emotional landmine I stepped on last week was not the contract recompetition, not the tough cases, and not the book launch, or not primarily those things. I lost my balance because of my daughter’s birthday. Some years it hits me harder than others, but I never seem to realize what has my tail in a knot until the day has passed, and life is beginning to right itself.
I’m amazed at how my subconscious keeps track of this stuff. Does your calendar have invisible landmines in it? The day a bad break-up started? The day somebody lost a job, or the anniversary of a surgery that took a long while to get over? Even when the outcomes are mostly good (my daughter was a perfectly healthy baby), what do you do to minimize the disruption the memories can cause, even decades later?
To one commenter, I’ll send a copy of the Grace Burrowes title of your choice.