By Julie Seedorf
We live in in a topsy-turvy world these days. It’s easy to get flipped upside down just by turning on the news or reading our news feed each morning. For my husband and I it meant hunkering down, staying in and figuring out our routine so we don’t kill each other by being in the same house together 24/7. My friend and author, Pat Dennis, has a book named, Kill Me, My Husband’s Retired. She wrote it before our Covid 19 strictures, but I imagine many families are feeling like that right now, not just with their spouses.
For me it has been a time of reflection. A time to remember the past and analyze what brought me to where I am today. Part of that reflection is my career as an author. My first book, Granny Hooks A Crook, was published in 2012. It was a fluke or a whisper from my grandmother or a blessing from God. It wasn’t planned.
In 2011 I was in the midst of an illness that took me down literally. At the same time, I was starting a new path in my career. For thirteen years I worked for a computer firm starting out as an office manager and I was at the grand age of 55 when they trained me and paid for my schooling to become a computer technician. In 2011, my boss decided to retire from the business and literally handed it over to me. In the midst of this, I contracted an illness. I decided I needed to do my sales and repair business from home because working was hard at the time and so I set up shop. I wasn’t sure it was what I wanted to do, but I needed the income, couldn’t look for another job because I was ill, and felt I was between a rock and a hard place. My business began.
I became very depressed. I now understand why people might take their life. You just want the pain to stop. Writing took me out of the misery of feeling as if I was living in a dark basement. I started a silly story on my blog. It was about an old woman who seemed to defy everything we knew about old age, and she wasn’t above using the misconceptions to get her way. She lived in a community that was unlike the ones we live in today. Houses were colorful, her friends were unique and silly, and the landscape was interestingly wild. Every morning I woke up with a new chapter in my mind. It got me out of bed and looking forward to a new day.
I have always been a dreamer. In grade school and high school, I can’t tell you the times I was told to get my head out of the clouds. Growing up in the era I did, dreaming was deemed as silliness that we didn’t have time for. I was made to feel that I couldn’t show my true self because it wasn’t accepted. I adapted to society, got married, raised my kids and did the things that were appropriate. I forced myself to be someone I wasn’t.
During my illness, creating the character of Hermiony Vidalia Criony Fiddlestadt aka Granny, allowed me to dream. Through her I became this old woman that was fun and cunning and brave. Granny surrounded herself with unique and quirky friends that were always ready to push the boundaries. In the community of Fuchsia, quirky looks and colorful buildings for the homes and businesses is the rule of the day. Looking back, I realize the entire series is a satire on how we live our lives today. Writing this fictional tale took me out of my world where my mother died, my best friends moved, my husband lost his job, another best friend died, my children got divorced and I had a job that I was blessed to have but didn’t want, and it was causing me great anxiety. Fictional Fuchsia, MN was born out of a need to dream again.
Getting published and my dead grandmother’s role in what I feel is a God thing is a story for another time. During this time of high anxiety, I encourage you to dream. I encourage you to take yourself away into a world of fluff and fun for a moment, an hour or a day. I now believe if you dream it, you can do it. If I quit dreaming my soul dies. It almost did. Dreams aren’t always meant to come true. Dreams change just as we do, just as our world does.
If you are old enough, you may remember the commercial that said, “Calgon, take me away.” Began to dream again. Let your dreams take you away and it will give you the strength to face reality with a new perspective. Dreams can be a mini-vacation. And those dreams can take you anywhere you want to go. Happy dreaming.
One person who comments will win a signed copy of Granny Pins A Pilferer (US only).