As a new week begins and a new month begins tomorrow, I admit, I have been under pressure. But now the monsters are temporarily under control, either beaten back, or caged.
As you can see here, I have tightened up the cover design for part two of my novel re-write AeroQuest. The work on that has picked up pace. And the pressure is off because I have already completed and published the novels most essential to my writing life to finish before I die. But there is still the pressure to produce more.
My health has reached a point where immediate worries of death have been pushed back enough that the pressure is off. At least for now. My heart is still pumping properly in spite of the 2017 heart-attack scare. I still can’t afford insulin for diabetes, but careful attention to diet is still reducing the times I have to take to my bed all day due to high blood sugar. I have taken positive steps to secure a position as a substitute teacher in the local district. After next Tuesday I may actually be back in classrooms again, doing what I was born to do. Yes, I mean babysitting middle-school monkey-house denizens. I love it, and I have missed it. You may have noticed (if you’ve looked at any of my novels) that all my books are about school kids. Old teachers never die. They just lose all their class.
Money worries have loosened their grip on my heartbeat as well. Texas legislators were turned more friendly to teachers and retired teachers by the Blue Wave election of 2018. I got a healthy cost-of-living increase paid to me in September. I got a refund of a tax penalty that I paid to the IRS and didn’t actually owe. I was able to buy the new prescription glasses that I have needed since last January and wasn’t able to afford until now. I can actually see again.
And, assuming I can actually teach again, money will be coming in as a substitute. And when I don’t feel well enough to teach, I don’t have to.
The thing is, I will still be preparing for future bad turns of fortune. Good times never last for long. And I am naturally a pessimist. But even though I will always be living under pressure, that is not a bad thing. The fire in the forge tempers the metal as it is hammered. And in that metaphor I find my strength.