I’ve alluded to a big move in my future. It was the deciding factor in hanging up my chiropractic license earlier this year. I hesitated to let the news out until it was official but now it is, so…
I’m moving to Ireland in the spring!
My husband’s company has a facility in Galway and he goes over for work pretty regularly. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to tag along on most of those trips, for a total of 8 times over 10 years. Needless to say, I fell in love with the place, so when an opportunity arose for H to take a job in Galway, we began making plans.
I’m getting rid of everything except books, clothes and a few personal mementos. My house will go up for sale after the first of the year and I already sold my car. Today I leave for Galway with my mother to check out potential houses and apartments in areas outside the city. She is thinking about joining us, if she can find something suitable for seniors (she’s 86) and not far from where we plan to settle.
This will be only my second time driving on the left side of the road, since our car rentals thus far have been booked through the company so only H can drive. But I will have to get used to it eventually so might as well start right away. Am I nervous? Who me?
I’m not sure yet what kind of work I will do when we get here. I’ve got an odd situation: I’m not lacking education with a bachelor’s degree and my doctor’s degree, but I have such a limited set of skills (at least on paper) that I am concerned that I won’t qualify for anything more than an entry level position somewhere. Getting my chiropractic license and opening a practice over here is out of the question. I don’t have the zeal for starting from scratch at this stage of the game. On the other hand, chasing the brass ring of writing and maybe selling some of my art online or locally is a possibility. I keep (half) joking that I will paint and sketch scenes around Galway and sell them to the American tourists in the summer! I already get confused for a local till I open my mouth and between now and then I’ll be practicing my accent.
In the meantime, things are hectic and exciting (but stressful) so if I seen absent and don’t post or visit as regularly, you will know why!
In two days time, I will close the doors on my chiropractic practice for good. The week leading up to the finale has been busy. On Friday, one of my first patients will be my last and she and I are going for lunch to celebrate. On September first, when people ask me what I do for work, I will tell them I am a writer.
Being a chiropractor for 23 years has helped me become a good writer of fiction. How is that possible? There are several ways:
- I hear about people’s lives, their jobs, their families and what they like to do for fun. This gives me a deep reservoir to draw from in creating characters’ basic details.
- Truth is really stranger than fiction. My patients all have stories to tell. Some of them give me ideas!
- As a doctor working with people who are in pain, you learn to develop empathy, to stand in their shoes. This also helps develop characters. Especially, the villain of the story who a writer may not fully explore. But I have found that even the scoundrels have a reason for why they do what they do.
- I have had to learn to be a good communicator. People in pain are emotional, scared and sometimes even angry. Being able to explain, console and reassure is absolutely vital on the patient’s first visit. Good communication means being concise, not muddying the waters with overly complex and/or technical terminology. This is also the goal of the writer. Unless of course you are writing a technical manual!
- Last but not least, I have had to actually do some writing. I’ve written countless reports for insurance companies, attorneys and claims adjusters. You learn a certain writing style in composing letters and compiling examination findings. While this doesn’t translate directly to fiction writing, it does give you practice in consistency and flow.
I cannot say whether or not I will miss being a chiropractor. I can say that I am excited to begin the next chapter of life. After a little vacation planned for next week, I will return to my war story with renewed dedication this September. And I will work at it as my full time job.
Happy writing and productive editing!
Some days my feet are light
And I dance as if on air
Other days they’re heavy
As I trudge a path of despair
While in my lows, I wallow
Yet my highs can touch the stars
But whether in joy or sadness
My heart is wherever you are
A short poem ~ by Meg Sorick
Just a note; this is hyperbole, lest you all think I’m suffering from bipolar disorder.