Tactical withdrawal…

… not retreat. 

 (or even, indeed “Run Away”)

Today I’ve had to do something quite unusual, take a hard look at my situation and think about it sensibly. 

I’m not in the best of health. A stroke caused by someone running into the side of my car followed by a near-fatal road accident all within a year have left their marks on me. The three-week coma I was in after being air-lifted to hospital for a life-saving operation has left me with CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) which may be permanent or will, at best, be intermittent.

I keep trying to behave as if I’m the same as I was a few years ago, coming up with more ideas on how to spend my dwindling energies. Like a kid in a toy shop, I grab inspiration and go “Yes! I’ll do that!” This can’t continue.  I need to finish the Alchemy series. I have promised to write my comic memoirs “Knitting With Eels” and even thought about doing them in French. I now contribute a weekly article to two magazines. I’d like to write more of Cameron’s Jack and Rory books. This blog has become quite successful and I want to keep it going.

Decision time – acknowledge your limitations and act accordingly. (Again, this is very rare. I am superwoman, I don’t have limitations… well, not up til now.)

Having thought this out all by my little self, I sat down with Badger over a cup of tea out in the back garden and we had a chat about it. He is very good, despite sometimes being a bit of a bossy-boots and was relieved that I’d come to this decision myself.

As I am finding it hard enough to write in English with my damaged head, I can forget writing in French for the foreseeable future. (It’s one thing speaking colloquial French fluently and quite another, much harder job, to write it.) So, we shelve the idea of memoirs in French. Jack and Rory will probably be left alone unless I recover enough to take on more work.

I will have to discipline myself to write for a certain time per day and get my WIPs finished. If I build rest periods around my writing, I can manage. I need to limit the amount of time I spend on social media, although I adore my on-line friends. The blog and magazine articles count as publicity as well as being very enjoyable, so I will continue those.

What is needed here is self-discipline (who, ME?) and accepting that….

I am not Superwoman and probably never was. But my dog loves me.

L and me cropped



18 thoughts on “Tactical withdrawal…

  1. I can relate to much of this and i really feel for you. I understand when we don’t hear from you, as I know you do when you don’t hear from me. Please look after yourself – you are very precious! xxx

  2. I think its very hard to accept you can’t do what you used to be able to do, and as a woman I do think that we find it harder to do less. We need to accept our limitations and not feel bad about it and to pace ourselves. Its easier said than done though I find it hard to do less than I was used too. I do think we push ourselves to do more when we should perhaps be resting. Maybe try and prioritize a wee bit more and do less.

  3. I think you’re a superwoman but we all have our Kryptonite. Rather than doing less, sometimes we go into doing more to try to prove to ourselves we’re OK. And being OK is about accepting that even at our best that’s only so much we can do. Choosing can be difficult but going by the things we truly enjoy might be a start. Whenever you can come and visit we’ll be here. Do take lots of care…♥ Love to whole family (teddies included).

  4. You are making a wise decision, Ailsa, and I applaud all that you can do. Take care of yourself! I snapped up your first name for a minor character in my new book, so you are now the principal of a high school in Provence. Xo
    Patricia Steele

  5. Whatever you decide to do you must do for yourself and your health. Just remember though that we’re still here and will be thinking about you. When you come back, your friends will all be here waiting.
    Huge Hugs

  6. Glad to hear that a little bit of sensible has finally arrived, Ailsa, as we all need you to be around for a long while yet.
    Sounds like a perfectly reasonable plan anyway!
    (and still time for a spot of fun here and there!)

  7. It’s a sod, isn’t it, having to accept reining back when you never have. I don’t like it either, but trying to look at it as prioritising rather than giving in. The less stubborn half of me accepts that 😉

  8. Ailsa it IS hard to accept that we might need to do a bit less…at the same time as we get older we hopefully get “wiser”…so perhaps we learn that “quality over quantity” is our new motto?! 🙂 I hope you will take care of yourself and Ill be so happy when I CAN see you here! I am going through yet another start over in life and I do get tired and a bit discouraged at times…but we have to learn to pace ourselves, to always leave time for “smelling the roses” and loving our friends , furry and not…. sending a big hug….. take care and keep loving life as you do! 🙂

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