Nicola Vincent-Abnett

Nicola Vincent-Abnett
"Savant" for Solaris, Wild's End, Further Associates of Sherlock Holms, more Wild's End

Wednesday 5 September 2012

Opting Out

Yes, I know that I haven’t been here for a while. In fact, this is my longest absence since starting my blog over 200 days ago.

I didn’t know it was going to happen like this. I didn’t know I’d feel this way.

In most instances, it’s possible to put something personal on one side and do other things, especially when it comes to the work. That’s almost what work is for. When things are difficult or dull, or worrying, the work takes me away from them. I can immerse myself in a story, escape from the world, and things are better for a little while.

As it happens, a blog isn’t really like that. A blog... This blog, is more like a diary, more personal, more involving. This is where I come with the things that occupy my mind. This is where I come when I want to get something off my chest. 

So, when Saturday came around and I got very emotional this is where I should have brought those feelings, right?


Saturday was somehow bigger than that.

What happened on Saturday was personal, but it was universal, too. I just didn’t want to whine and cry and be one of millions of middle-aged women going through the same thing. I didn’t feel like one of the crowd. This felt too personal, too painful, too real, even for me... It still does, and I guess it will for a long time.

I knew that my younger daughter leaving home would be painful, despite the fact that she was ready and happy to go, and despite the fact that she belongs out in the world, making her mark on it, making it a more wonderful place for all of us.

I simply did not know how bereft I would feel.

Work does not make it better, and writing about it here does not make it go away, even for a moment; it only reminds me of the loss that I feel.

I’m a lucky, lucky woman. Being paid to write, to do what I love, is a pleasure and a privilege, but, trust me, right now, I’d give it all up for the chance to raise a couple more kids. 

If you haven’t done it yet, or if you’re in the process, bringing up your children is the best, most rewarding job you will ever do. There are no performance reviews or bonuses payments along the way, and I never got a promotion, so it  wasn’t always easy to assess how well I was doing, but if the daughter’s anything to go by, I had a pretty successful career as a parent. 

It helped that I had great material to work with.

This is the daughter in one of her very many silly moments

(I used her face for the cover of "Prom Queen" (above) too, although I believe there was 'pocket money' involved.)


  1. Your absence was noted (and keenly felt) but I completely understand why. Must have been awfully emotional for you and as you say, there are some things that are too raw and too emotional to simply share with the world straightaway.

  2. Pocket money indeed! You got off lightly, my son was my first reader of the novel and somehow jokingly suggested I give him one percent if I sell it. But seriously, it's agony, isn't it?

    1. It is agony!

      'Pocket money' is in ironic quotes, although, right now, she can get as expensive as she likes. Smiles.

  3. sounds like she's a lucky, lucky woman too! *hugs*

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  5. We hit a milestone last week with our son, Jack, starting primary school. I expected my wife to be a little emotional, and Jack to be a bit clingy. As we walked him to his room we saw several "melt downs". Upon entering his class, and checking him in with his teacher, he turned, gave us a smile and the thumbs up and hurried away.

    When we got back to the car Kendra turned to me and said “We don’t even get a hug. He just marched off”. I gripped her hand and assured her that we were raising a secure and self-reliant child. That he knew we weren’t leaving him to the wolves and that this was his adventure. And besides, he would eventual need his mommy to make everything right again.

    Remember Nic, at some point she’ll need your unconditional love and you have an endless supply of that.