Tag Archives: hard work

Susan Speaks: Doing the Hard Work


Recovering is hard work.

Spin that, twist it, turn it however you like. But the simple fact is that recovering is hard work. It may not seem like it — even I am now a pro with drops, and I’m not doing much more than hanging out on the couch with a cat who’s decided he’s my therapy cat — because, really, how hard is it to sit on the couch all day?

You’d be surprised. It’s hard, and not just because if you’ve followed me for the past year, you’ve seen me happily and gloriously transition to a standing desk.

My teenagers have been phenomenal, helping with laundry and dishes and the boy has taken over the litter pans as his own project, no resentment that his sister isn’t helping with them (she’s getting pretty much the full brunt of the laundry, and they are splitting dishes). It’s working.

We have a hodgepodge of friends helping out with the driving. A few strangers. And last year’s captain of the boy’s ultimate team thrown in for good measure. And food still shows up every now and then, although with less frequency. That’s a good thing. My freezer is full of red sauce and meatballs!

And yet… and yet… snags happen. One happened yesterday: the pressure in my eye is still too high. We have to get it down. No options. We HAVE to get it down. Two pharmacies, two new eye drops and an oral something-or-other, and a lot of crossed fingers, toes, arms, and legs. I’d cross my eyes, too, but … yeah. Maybe not right now.

This would be a good time for more prayers.

But there’s a lot to be grateful for. Kids who bravely face this with me. The cat who’s decided he’s my therapy cat and rarely leaves my side. Health insurance that’s saving me from bankruptcy and letting me keep my house.

And, of course, a sense of humor. Some of the bad jokes are slowing as this progresses from a shocking incident to become a new way of life. Doesn’t mean I’m not seizing opportunities. It just means I’m not searching them out, trying to use levity to keep my cool.

Except… right now, I’m kinda scared. This was a hurdle I knew we had to jump over, but when I’m standing in front of it, it’s a pretty tall one, although the surgeon is concerned but not terribly alarmed. Keep the good vibes coming.

And work! Work is rolling in and I was going to turn yesterday into my first work day, but wound up spending first most of the day at the doctor’s and then a couple hours trying to find the medicines I need. (And in the middle of that, my father had the misfortunate of Face Timing me and I think I scared him more than I needed to, but my transportation was on a strict timeframe, so chatting wasn’t the best idea.)

Overall, it’s a mixed bag. I’m looking forward to working today, on the couch. Sitting on my butt, per the doctor’s orders. Taking my medicines and eye drops and hanging out. And healing. Thursday, I go back to see how things are progressing. And I’m scared of what the answer will be.

Recovery is hard work. But you gotta do the hard work to get the payout. Vision. Standing desks. And clients who write amazing fiction and keep me on my toes.

As one of my favorite clients says, Excelsior.

But keep those prayers coming. I’ll keep doing the hard work.


Priscilla Fiction: The Marriage Bed


Some new characters I’ve been playing with… tell me what you think of them. Yes, they are part of the Trevolution!

Priscilla felt lame. That was the only word for it. Lame. As in: uncool. Tragic. Loser. It took her right back to life with Gregg, when he’d managed to convince her she wasn’t good for anything—but, at the same time, she had to maintain the image of the perfect housewife. Wear the high-end designer suits, have lunch with the ladies, have manicures, pedicures, facials. Use a personal shopper. And on and on.

It had been all about maintaining his image.

All that was so far behind her, she wasn’t sure why she was standing here on the edge of Zephyr’s studio, feeling inadequate as she looked over his latest creation: a new bedframe.
He came to stand beside her, crossing his arms over his chest.

“It’s beautiful,” she breathed.

“Yes,” he said.

She tried not to let his usual terseness bother her. That was who he was; Zephyr wasn’t a man of many words. Cassandra said it was the way he’d been brought up: measure what you say. Make sure it’s worth saying. She’d said the only time he forgot that instruction was in bed, that he lost control of his mouth and his words wouldn’t cooperate with the austere life he’d been taught to lead.

“What are you going to do with it?”

“Cassandra will call the family who commissioned it. She’ll handle it.”

“I want one like it.”

He looked at her, uncrossing one arm from over his chest. “You do.”

She nodded. “I do.” She licked her lips—and realized this was what was causing the lame feelings. She wanted a bed by Zephyr. She wanted a bed for Zephyr, and a bed with Zephyr.

But first, she had to be able to afford a bed by Zephyr, and they both knew she wasn’t there yet.

“I’ll let you know when,” she said. “You are not to make me one as a token of our love or anything.”

“A man should make his wife a marriage bed,” he said. “That way, it’s sacred to them both.”

She paused, not sure how to take that. Was he hinting at something? Insinuating that the people who’d commissioned this had been wrong to? Was he passing judgement on how and why people cheat?

“And what should a wife do? That’s a big gesture, to make a bed. What’s her contribution?”

“The quilt,” he said. “The sheets. The pillows. Each brings something vital that makes the experience complete.”

Priscilla nodded. Life with Gregg hadn’t been like that. Not really. He had brought money and image. She had brought his image to life. She hadn’t been allowed to contribute. Not the way Zephyr meant.

She turned her head and looked out the wide door of his workshop. “So Cassandra will handle it all from here? Getting it wrapped up and shipped out of here?”

He nodded once.

“The payment?”

He nodded again.

Priscilla tried not to sigh. Why was she expecting Zephyr to share his financial arrangement with Cassandra? Sure, she needed to know so she didn’t make any mistakes with her own business, but this was Zephyr. He only spoke when he had something of value to offer. He’d made it clear more than once that his business wasn’t of value to Priscilla.

He believed in hard work, and once upon a time, Priscilla hadn’t been afraid of it, either. But then had come Gregg.

Zephyr moved away from Priscilla and started examining pieces of wood. He’d lost interest in her brooding, not that she blamed him. And he had more work to do, another project to get started. Another marriage bed, or a book case, or one of his famed dining room sets. Priscilla didn’t know.

She left his studio and went back to the cottage. He wasn’t the only one with work to do.

That resolution let her feel a lot less lame.

This has been a Three Word Wednesday post. Be sure to see what others are up to. And don’t neglect the #FridayFlash crowd, either!