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Friday, October 14, 2005

RIDING LIFE'S ROLLERCOASTER: The Ups and Downs of This Writer's Life

"Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) The Rainy Day (1842) st. 3

It's true. Life isn't always a bed of roses, though mostly I try to keep my little garden blooming and gay. However lately there have been some ups and downs and a few set-backs. And some days I simply haven't had the heart to write. In fact, this week, on top of other things, I came down with a bad flu and was laid up for a couple of days, an usual thing for me.

It seems just when things get back on track, something happens to throw a wrench into the works. In this case, it's the teacher's strike which has caused my night school classes to be cancelled. Of course, because I was sick this week I would have had to cancel anyway, but I'm worried now that this strike will go on and next week's classes will be cancelled too, thereby totally screwing up my finances once again. I'm already on poverty rations for the next week and it's likely to get worse. You just can't win! (The strike, I must add, is totally justified, and although our totalitarian provincial government has declared the strike 'illegal', the teachers are determined to stay out. ) I know things will even out in the end as they'll extend the classes to cover the full 8 weeks, but who knows when this will be settled? Frustrating, indeed!

The other thing weighing heavily on my mind these days is my friend's illness. Since he came home last weekend he seemed on a steady decline into despair. I realize now he likely had the flu virus too and fortunately today when I passed by I was informed he was much better. There have been some positive doctor's reports, he's been up and around and at last, friends are starting to drop by to see him. Still, it has been such a sad thing to see this man who is an intellectual with such a passion for life being so brought down by this cancer and, in the past week reduced to sitting zombie-like in front of the TV depressed, sick and bewildered by all that is going on.

I went out today, the first time since earlier in the week, and met up with a couple of nice guy friends, had some pleasant chats, sat awhile my favorite Italian coffee shop listening to uplifting Italian music. On the way home I stopped by to see A. and was so pleased to hear the news. That certainly brightened what has been a rather bleak week.

Still, there are events coming up that will make up for these periods of 'down'. Yesterday I got the program for volunteers for the Surrey International Writer's Conference that will take place here next week. (check the website at ) I was thrilled to find out I've been chosen to introduce some of the authors who are presenting workshops. These include well-known best-selling authors Diana Gabaldon, Jean Auel, Terry Brooks, and Jack Whyte, a couple of agents and a local author specializing in Memoirs. Wow! I was quite taken aback by this assignment. I spent some time yesterday writing up my intros. It happens I can't usually afford to attend the Conference so this year I volunteered for all three days and this is a special bonus and certainly an honour.

I've found the best way to cope with the down side of things is to have lots of 'ups' to balance the 'downs' and tomorrow night is a big Libra Bash with three bands, including my son's Westcoast Blues Review (see their website at )
My Havana Buddy and I got on the guest list, he because he's a radio guy and plays the band's music on his shows and me because I'm Steve's mom, the band's main groupie.

Tonight I'm heading for my favorite bistro for a bit of salsa dancing. I'm also on mission to alert some of A's friends that he really needs some music therapy and cheering up. And I just had a call from another of my good friends who wants to drop by Sunday eve to watch some videos.
That takes care of the weekend. Now, if only that strike would end!

"What's the use? Yesterday an egg, tomorrow a feather duster."
Mark Fenderson (1873-1944) Caption for cartoon "The Dejected Rooster."

but remember:

"Keep your sunny side up."
Buddy (George Gard) De Sylva (1895-1950) "Sunny Side Up" (1929) title song.


Sam said...

It is hard keeping a smile sometimes. I know how you feel about your friend, and having the flu is exhausting, not to mention tight finances. Argh!
I hope things get brighter for you!

Norbert Fizzy said...

the balance looks good. besides, you just spent time in greece...
cant complain really
[ )