Live Like You Were Dying

Next week I’m scheduled for Nadine Brandes’s blog hop about what I’d do if I only have one year to live. Spoiler alert – not much.

A little over three years ago, the year I celebrated 20 years of liberation from the dystopia of high school, I sort of had a midlife crisis. Thankfully it didn’t involve cosmetic surgery or a sports car. I started writing. Now I have a completed manuscript and a great start on two more. My short story “Neatly Arranged” was published earlier this year as a stand-alone story and part of Mike Lynch’s No Revolution Is Too Big series. My short story “Detention” will be published February 3, 2015 as part of the anthology Out of the Storm.

When I first started writing, it was all I did. Eat, sleep, breathe, and talk about writing. While it threw my life out of balance for a while, it evened out. The benefits have been great. It’s recharged me in other areas of life – my roles as wife, mom, and engineer. I gained critique partners who turned into friends. I’ve been introduced fantastic books by great Christian authors.

Writing is my passion and even a ministry. It’s how I spend my free time. And I don’t miss the “Real Housewives” marathons (don’t judge), Facebook games (did I really enjoy them that much?), scrapbooking (when did I last order prints?), or knitting. OK. I do kind of miss knitting, but when it’s knit or read, the choice is easy. The rest of my life is better too. No televised catfights. No Farmville. No irritation that my daughter made confetti from cardstock. Maybe a little with the mess but not that she “ruined” my stash.

In a way, since I first put fingers to keyboard sometime back in 2011, I have been living like I was dying. Trying my best to make the most of my life. Leave a legacy. Along the way, I’ve realized writing wasn’t something I could do at the sacrifice of my husband, my children, my career, my health, my friendships, or even my walk with God. I mean I’ve always been writing to glorify Him. But was I always?

So now I write, but my “free time” has other priorities: a (mostly) regular quiet time, running to stay fit and enjoy God’s presence, sitting down to a video with my husband, bike rides and walks with the family, an ongoing game of Risk where somehow my minions and I defeated my husband. Good timing. Next week is fall break. Nothing says “mommy time” like plotting world domination. The minions must go down! Bwahaha!!!!



About Gretchen E K Engel

Chemical engineer by day, spec fiction writer by night

Posted on 2014/10/13, in Reading. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Plotting world domination via Risk? I thought my boys and I held the Monopoly on that!

  2. Love it! But no, there’s a new threat to the board game world. My almost 10-year-old has a great strategic mind.

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