Another New Chapter…

So, when I was first offered “Ill health retirement” I was shocked. I’d been told, when I asked about when my back was injured and did not seem to be improving, that it was nigh on impossible to get. “As long as you can hold a bloody pencil mate, they’ll use you.”

Riiiiight.

That, however, did not turn out to be the case. I was offered a “lower tier” pension. That means I’ll get it until I shuffle off this mortal coil. Sounds impressive, doesn’t it? Trust me when I say it is not. The amount I’ll get each year won’t even keep me in “beer and skittles.” But honestly, the amount that I do not know about the whole pension system and what I’ll get along with any benefits added in, would not fill a matchbox.

I am hoping to learn. Mind you, I was hoping to learn before I had to make up my mind to take the retirement. It just wasn’t to be.

So in about the shortest time span ever, I’ve changed direction with my life once again. I think that this has got to be a new “personal best” for me. Three years ago, I leave my wife of over 25 years and set the wheels in motion for the divorce. Then last year I got injured at work and lost almost six months off of work and just started back when I had the heart attack.

Two surgeries later, I’m out of the hospital after four days with the doctors astonished at how quickly I’d recovered. Then just over four months goes by and I’m invalided out of Her Majesty’s Prison Service. Three years with a matching number of events, two of which were life changing.

Karma is sort of kicking my ass. I just don’t know if it’s because of something I’ve done in this life or the last. I’ll have to see if I can get in touch with Shirley MacLaine; she’s an expert in that sort of thing.

But despite the Keystone Kops pace of my life’s recent changes, I am at peace. Not all the time. I came close to having a spectacular blow-out the other day caused by too many questions and unknowns that were starting to panic the crap out of me. One thing that has helped me to keep a more or less even keel through all of this is my blogging.

I stopped by work for the last time today and said goodbye to the few friends who were on. One of them asked if I’d still be doing my blogging. Oh yes, I replied it was keeping me sane and even though it wasn’t paying any bills, I was pleased with the amount I was writing and the fact that I was pretty much doing it daily. I even went so far as offering the opinion that it might just lead to employment someday.

We all had a chuckle at that and I made my excuses and left. The one constant thing in my life right now is my writing. I started doing short stories again, although really they are more like flash fiction and hopefully I’ll accrue enough of those plus a few longer stories to fill a collection. Who knows?

It is amazing how satisfying it is to be creative again. I know, a couple of short stories do not a creative world make, but, most of my writing is in a sense creative. Even when spouting my opinion about things I’ve seen or read or watched, I do have to have a touch of creativity there. But like my slow recovery to fuller health, I am getting better at it (the writing) the more I do it. *At least I think I am and if you think otherwise, please keep it to yourself.*

The two short stories (flash fiction) almost wrote themselves. They actually had to wait on my uncoordinated fingers to type the words out for each one. The first one started as a sentence that just randomly popped into my head three weeks earlier. Two years ago, it would have been shoved to the back of my head for instant flushing. I had lost the overwhelming urge to take an idea, or a sentence, and run with it. See where it headed or died.

When I turned my back on the acting world I turned my back on creativity. I did not think I could do that anymore. But now that I’ve found that I have not lost the “knack” and I can rescue that little niggle in the back of my head. My new catchphrase in this new chapter of my life will be creativity.

In fact if I was writing the story, which in a sense I am, I’d title this chapter I Knew I Could.

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