It’s difficult to accept but I certainly feel as though I have been in hibernation for the past three years. It all began with the seemingly endless months of writing and editing our unexpected eleventh popular novel, Silent Destiny, a novel set in Scotland and containing a very compelling and exciting mystery about the 14th Century Scots hero, William Wallace. This novel was published at the end of October 2014. Also, in 2014, I made the decision that Robert and I could no longer live in our current home, one that we had loved for 28 years but had gotten not only too large for us but too difficult to manage due to our busy schedules and our aging circumstances. Yes, sadly, our years were catching up to us! So, I began the arduous journey toward that dreaded decision to ‘downsize.’ Robert believed he could persuade me to hold off for awhile longer but he had not yet experienced the scope of my determination! Cut to early Spring 2015 … when two neighbours helped me realize that time had definitely arrived. They reported that some extraordinary house sales had happened in our area, with prices well in excess of asking. I decided we (I) had to get a move on and fast, so I told Bob and got to work!
As the saying goes … to make a long story short, within 4 months he had told me he would not live in a condo and soon after fell in love with a one-level rancher in Central Saanich. I felt the importance of this house too as it was perfect for us and so I gathered my thoughts and also the help I needed to finish prep on our Gordon Head house so we could list it asap. Robert was in full swing down at Bastion Square so I knew I couldn’t count on him for any help. The move had become my baby and I was excited, so excited I suddenly had so much energy, unbeknownst to me I was heading for a health crisis. Clearing out 28 years of living is no easy task, although deciding what to get rid of was easier once we realized we were moving into a house. I knew (rightly) that our home was going to sell quickly thanks to the work my team and I had accomplished plus an amazing staging job. The morning we listed, we had word within 8 hours that there were 2 or 3 offers coming in the next morning. There were 3 actually and they arrived by 2pm the next day (as another gang of realtors continued the showings)! Our market was definitely hot! We accepted all of them so we had 2 backup offers and the best one, yes … it was a bit over asking! This meant we could get on with the next phase … horrors, it was moving time!
So, excited, but with no time to relax as yet as we had only 3 weeks to get the house organized, cleared out and move. Needless to say, it all came together amazingly well but I was exhausted and my thought processes had come to an utter standstill! My team of women, from my daughter to both the realtors (mine was the amazing, Colleen Milne!), our mortgage broker (Kelly Curtis of Mortgage Designers) and Tara, my OA (and her husband who did the heavy work) were instrumental for making it all happen! We were almost done and my daughter now referred to me as the Energizer Bunny. I had no clue anything was wrong because I had no time to think about it, despite the fact I had lost 15 lbs (not normal with a low-thyroid).
After the early Sept. move, I suddenly remembered to have my thyroid checked and thus began a years’ worth of unexpected health issues, high and then low thyroid, a trip to Emerg (calling 911 in early March) with extreme heart palpitations and 3 days later, 2 frozen shoulders that almost incapacitated me for the next 4-5 months! Chiropractor, Acupuncture, Massage and finally Physio all played a part in my speedy recovery from what I learned could have been 2-3 years. The worst of the pain was gone in 5 months. The palpitations remained, however, and after another trip to Emerg, I was put on meds that really helped. An interesting situation had developed where I had become super-sensitive to light (difficult in the summer!) which set off my palpitations with a racing heart incomparable to those I had experienced for the previous 50 years.
I also had to learn to say NO to anything that was adding stress to my life. Who would have thought 5 years before that stress could be my issue. As a result, in July I ceased doing the Sidney Thursday Night Market which was no longer a profitable place for our summer book sales … we discovered that Sidney area customers shop just before Christmas and catch us at the winter shows! Getting my health back in order was now my focus and walking and swimming became my regular daily routine so I could sit at the computer for longer periods of time. My heating pad became my almost constant companion and boy did the hot tub at the swimming pool feel good!!! I was on the road to recovery at last … as long as I kept active so my shoulders didn’t freeze up again as my thyroid righted itself. I had learned that each day was a new beginning, and even today most early mornings are met with degrees of tendinitis of the back and arms making me eager to get to the pool! I’m now able to swim again, beginning with one length and now up to 8. It’s a starting point. I also have a new understanding and respect for people who suffer serious chronic pain, like my daughter who has had FMS (Fibromyalgia) for about 5 years with no end in sight.
So, today I sit here thinking how lovely it is to be actually looking forward to doing anything related to our books, even to write a blog entry is a start. It is my ‘Awakening’ for sure and I consider it quite miraculous!
Until next time … Joyce
Note: Robert and I are finished our Outdoor Markets for 2016 and now move indoors. More details on our Events Page.