So this week is going to be a bit wiggy since I’m off my routine. Usually I preset the week of blogumns, writing all of my personal blogumns on Sunday night, so that outside of blog promotion, my week can be dedicated to novel writing. The weekend is spent with Fierce and Nerdy, the week is spent with my novel — that’s my routine. And it’s one that I’ve managed to stick to through book tours, computer failures and other life happenings.

But last Thursday, I got a phone call that someone dear was in the hospital and an hour later I headed out to the airport. And after many delayed flights I finally headed out of Los Angeles, back home to St. Louis. So for the first time in a long while, we’re going to have to take this personal blogumn of mine day-by-day.

It’s been interesting spending the last three days at someone’s bedside. I had a lot of time on my hands, but I couldn’t write under those conditions with nurses and the occasional doctor coming in and out of the room. But it was very conducive to reading. I finished one reading project for someone else ahead of schedule, while my own pages piled up.

The patient sometimes wanted to talk, sometimes watched TV while I click-clacked on my computer. I found myself partially viewing a few movies. I dozed off a few times. Hospitals are a surreal, black hole of time. And my three and a half days spent in one are already fading away. Where did they go?

My to do is on code red. And now that both doctors and nurses have assured me that the patient will be fine, I feel the real world nagging at me. My daughter misses me, and my husband, rather sweetly, has trouble falling asleep when I’m not there. I’m supposed to finish the second draft of the next women’s fiction book before I head out to NYC. I went to Paris and Scotland after I finished the rough and found that there’s nothing like traveling with a recently finished draft in your heart. Are m/b it was the fact that I was in Scotland and then Paris, that made me want to dance with outstretched arms and sing just about everything from the My Fair Lady soundtrack with a light heart.

My inbox, which I pride myself on attending diligently, now chastises me. For whatever reason, I’ve found it hard to return all but the most urgent emails even when the patient was sleeping. And now that the patient has been released, the real world outside the hospital is pulling me back.

I got thrown for a loop. A few loops, really, but now it’s time to get back on the horse, which in my opinion is the most important bit. Bad things happen. Unexpected things happen. But how do you handle them? Are you good at getting back on the horse? Because they don’t teach Advanced Getting Back On The Horse in grad school, but really as it turns out, that’s the most important thing. Isn’t it?

featured image credit: Eduardo Amorim