Is There Life After No Life?

In a violation of some rule that exists, but has never been seen, I find myself in the wrong place on my life’s journey. Good. Too, I’ll warn you now I’m going to praise myself in this post. No humble Christina this time around.

Photo: CA Hawthorne
Photo: CA Hawthorne

What got me to this place in my life wasn’t all good, and much of it was incredibly bad, so I won’t be celebrating any of that. Regardless, I’m starting life over when I’m supposed to be thinking about full retirement and doing whatever it is an elderly retired person does.

Yeah, it’s that pesky invisible rule again.

And while I’m at it, I’m ditching that word elderly. Instead, I’m working hard on my immaturity and anyone who works with me can tell you I’m excelling.

Last week I narrowly missed bronchitis. I responded fast and my doctor did exactly what she should. Although I was prone on my couch for a few days, I bounced back fast.

How fast?

I work in a large building with a lot of stairs and when I have to travel from one end of the building to the others (1-2 times per hour) I take the stairs up and down and up and down. It’s my way of getting exercise while working. It’s a routine I started last January. Stairs were long my enemy when my lung issues were acute, but that changed in 2017 with the best pulmonologists ever!

Photo: CA Hawthorne
Photo: CA Hawthorne

Now, five months after I began, I find I’m charging those stairs and passing people half my age. Today I climbed the equivalent of 14 flights. After work? I came home and went for a two mile walk. Not only that, but the walking path has white lines painted along its edges and I often walk that as fast as I can to practice my balance.

Excellent health aided me when illness came to call.

All the while I was sick last week, I still managed to get some editing in each day. In fact, I reworked an old short story from 2016 I’d about given up for dead and now it works.

At an age when those my age are talking about moving to a retirement community in Arizona I’m starting a new career and working with student workers a third my age. I’m finding I often have more in common with them. I get odd looks at times because, you guessed it, I don’t fit. I don’t fit the accepted life path.

Okay, I’ve never fit.

This wasn’t a cushy life journey. Sickly and abused when I was young, I spent decades wrestling with inner torment just to start finding myself when I was struck down with a lung disease (which I still have, by the way). Half of each lung is dead. Yes, I’m an INFJ, which means I’m an introvert. I also wrestle with anxiety and depression, for which I can’t take medications.

Pannulus - 2019. Map: CA Hawthorne
Pannulus – 2019. Map: CA Hawthorne

Yet, here I am, scrappy. I started reinventing my fantasy world in 2015, learned to write in Deep 3rd, adopted Scrivener, overhauled my maps in Photoshop Elements, and have, thus far, written seven novels worthy of revisions. The last fully drafted, Stealing Light, is the most diverse, containing well-rounded LGBT characters, including one that on Earth would be transgender.

*Surprised? Check out Taking Flight, a short story on the website.

Everyone becomes older, but some people become old. I tasted old when I was sick and if it wants me it’d better bring its A-game when it tries to get me—again. When I was told in 2010 that the rest of my life was going to be a chair and an oxygen tank my response wasn’t pretty. So much for the diagnosis.

Okay, I’m done. If you need me I’ll be singing at the top of my lungs in the car…

One Reply to “Is There Life After No Life?”

  1. Pingback: Is There Life After No Life? | Christina Anne Hawthorne

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