May is usually a month I enjoy, mainly because the weather becomes warmer and it is the month of my birthday, but this May has been a difficult one and I can't say I'm sorry to see the back of it.
It has been successful work-wise in that as well as working three days a week, I have also taken on some audio transcription work which is helping ever so slightly to fill the much depleted coffers. The only problem with it is that I never know when the work is going to come in and because it needs a quick turn around, I have felt like I am constantly primed to work, checking my emails and often working at weekends and late into the night. Also time which I may have set aside for writing is instantly eroded if work comes in, because you can't turn down paid work.
Technology has also conspired against us too. For the first half the month my husband's van, which is essential for his own work was off the road, which meant juggling transport and trips to the garage, and then my laptop went haywire and also needed some emergency treatment.
During that time my mum was in hospital for a week with a problem with her gallstones, which was very worrying. She seems to be OK now but is waiting for a date when she will have surgery to have her gallbladder removed which, hopefully, after her recuperation will solve her current problems.
Disappointingly, my son's team didn't make it to the final. We endured a nail-biting semi final which went to extra time and then penalties and they lost by 1 goal. This was incredibly distressing for my youngest as goalkeeper, but also for us, watching him bravely standing in front of the goal knowing that all his team's hopes rested on his performance. He did brilliantly though, even though he took some convincing initially as he thought he had let them all down.
So with all this hassle and worry, I wasn't particularly looking forward to my birthday. But my boys, bless them, pulled out all the stops and I had a wonderful day, probably one of my most enjoyable birthdays ever.
My joy was brought abruptly to a halt though, when one of our friends died in the early hours of the morning after my birthday. It was a shock to say the least, but especially so because he took his own life. I still can't get my head round it and wonder what burden was so great that he thought his family would be better off without him.
A week later and we were due to go to Ireland to visit family for half term. When we learned that the funeral would be held while we were away we seriously debated whether or not to cancel the whole thing.
But in the end we went and I managed to move our bookings around so that we came back on Wednesday and not Friday and on Thursday we attended the funeral.
I admit that I was dreading it but it actually turned out to be a lovely service despite everything and was attended by around 350 people. The church was packed to the rafters but it was so sad that his life had touched so many people and yet not one of us had been able to do anything to help him through his own dark times. We spent the day alternately celebrating the good times we had shared with him and despairing over the way his life had ended.
So what with all that has been going on, I can honestly say that I have barely written a word in all this time. The stress and worry has just not been conducive to creativity. But I am not going to berate myself. I have survived this month and that in itself I consider to be some achievement.
Going away has given me some time to think and a bit of perspective though. Life can be short, whether we want it to be or not, and I'm even more determined to make time for my writing. The demands on my time may be great but writing is important to me. One thing this month has taught me is that you never know what is around the corner. Life is precious and I don't want to waste it by not doing something which I really love. Now, I just need to find some time!
Hope your month has been better than mine, and I hope that June is an improvement too!