Tag Archives: Dementia

New Beginnings – Kind of

8 Mar

Seven years ago, I decided that it was time to get a wee job, out of the house, but with low stress and few responsibilities. The job I got at the newly opened, local Waitrose was meant to be a stop-gap, after all I am a qualified librarian, and had spent many years working in adult, and then further education. But I’d left librarianship not long after I became a mum for the first time (nearly 20 years ago); and left teaching when trying to juggle a very challenging job with three small children just got too much.  So, working in a supermarket, just down the road from the house, during school hours seemed like just the thing. It was meant to be a two-year max job, but life had other ideas.

Families are highly recommended, but mine has come with a barrel-load of issues, so in the past few years I’ve had to deal with Parkinson’s, Dementia (two types, one person), Scoliosis, and Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome. Each Hogmanay, we’ve said, surely next year can’t be as bad, but then life excels itself, and so we are in March, and I am about to start on extended Carer’s Leave. My job will be kept open for a year, and then I can reassess where we are (hopefully not in the Poor House). In the end, the decision made itself, after the tragic death of a young person very dear to us, which pulled everything into very sharp focus. I need to be at home, giving my kids (even the one who doesn’t live here anymore), all the emotional and practical support they need.

So, a new start. Illness has dictated that there will be a bit of home-schooling going on here (although I hope there is no trigonometry); and I will be chief taxi-driver; bereavement counsellor; cook; housekeeper; teacher; shoulder to cry on; the list goes on. But I am also aware that I have the chance to spend more time reading, writing and proof-reading. My Publishing Training Centre course in Proof-reading is almost finished (which I’ve been saying for weeks, but you can’t spot errors through tears). And I should be able to start touting for business very soon – Beech Editorial Services. I’m also very aware that this really is my last chance to make a go of being a professional writer. The money is dripping in from various publications, but more of a gentle stream (or a flood – go for it), would be nice.

In case you think I am being a total martyr, I am running away from my family next week, for my annual writers’ retreat – back at Moniack Mhor, in beautiful Inverness-shire. From there, I will keep you informed of my progress.