When faced with flight or fight, our rough collie Savannah will run every time. She rarely barks and, as far as I know, has never growled in the first two years of her life.

I used to laugh at her fleeing tendencies—until I realized that I was the same. What many people don’t comprehend is that writers work. This seems to be especially true of people who are retired and think that retirement consists of watching TV, talking on the phone, and sending private messages through Facebook. They don’t realize that for writers—there is no retirement.

When I go to Facebook briefly to catch up with family members and someone who doesn’t realize that authors are working even when they haven’t punched a time clock starts sending multiple messages and ignores my explanation that I don’t have time to chat—I drop off Facebook to avoid hurting their feelings when I get frustrated by their interruptions.

I laughed at myself yesterday when I went several blocks out of the way to avoid a somewhat toxic woman who leans out her window and yells down to engage me in conversation. Keep in mind that I’ve recently had knee replacement surgery and am still in the process of building up strength in my legs after two years on crutches—and I really don’t need the extra distance.

This woman’s words are always the same and I could probably type them out ahead of her faster than she can speak them: the other people in her flat are noisy; they are terrible neighbors; they have no respect for other people; the authorities won’t do anything; she’s too old to move (she just turned 60); her family won’t help her, her family won’t spend time with her…

Rather than walking several blocks out of the way, I could just stop and listen…again. No particular effort is needed except to stand in one place a long time. She supplies all the exertion.

I found Bible wisdom that makes me feel a bit better about my avoidance tendencies. “Do not be deceived; evil communications corrupt good manners.”

“Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” Philippians 4:8.

But the Bible also says that laughter does good like medicine, so the next time our dog runs from a flapping plastic bag—I will probably laugh!

6 thoughts on “Avoidance

  1. Well written and true, as always, Stephanie. I feel so guilty sometimes when I ignore messages (not actual friends, just folks who want to chat) but–I can’t keep up with actual friends. As far as Savannah–Ares is afraid of the sky, so…

  2. LOL Don’t laugh too hard at Savannah. You might hurt her feelings. But it’s good that you stay away from the “toxic” woman.

    I understand how you feel about people who think we do not work as authors. Sometimes I feel guilty at all the time I spend writing or editing and not communicating with others, especially on my Facebook group forum. But I simply can’t be on the page all the time, or my writing would not get done. It’s even more true about “Messenger.” I just laugh when messenger pops up with a message from someone I don’t even know. Sorry, I’m not the chatty type.

    Now I do enjoy getting emails from my friends and loved ones. I’ll take time for those, at my leisure. Did I really use the word “leisure?” (biting my tongue) I’m not sure I even remember what it means. LOL

  3. I know how you feel, Steph. I am not retired and I write, but I have family and friends who seem to think I am free because it is lockdown and am not physically in class. I have to turn everything off then! I also avoid people on the street because I rarely have time to stop and talk. Your bible wisdom is perfect. Thank you, my friend! Xx

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