The start of a new year is like a blank slate. We don’t know what will be written upon it, but the exciting prospect is that there are loads of things we can engrave upon it!
I already have some thrilling plans put into motion for 2019. What else happens remains to be seen. My writerly pals and I are sharing our hopes – on the writing road and our personal lives – in our blog hop: “What I Want to Accomplish in 2019 Even if I Don’t Win the Lottery.”
Please have a read and then visit the other bloggers linked at the end of this post for more smiles and inspiration.
My Big Book Announcement!
I’m so proud to announce that my book, I’m Your Daughter, Julie: Caring for a Parent with Dementia, will be released March 2019. The book can be pre-ordered on Amazon.
This book is a memoir of sorts sharing my intimate story as primary caregiver for my mother who had Lewy Body dementia. But it is also a practical guidebook.
The statistics are brutal. Shockingly, one in three seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are about 15 million selfless and noble unpaid caregivers of loved ones suffering with dementia – the majority of which are family members.
They are the unsung heroes and my goal is to help them by sharing my journey, I want to make the process a bit easier and provide some comfort to all those who are losing their loved ones a little bit at a time like I did. It is my dearest hope that my experiences, my successes, and my mistakes can help others. I’m reaching out as one who has traveled this difficult but, in the end, worthwhile journey they are already on or ready to embark.
A Trip to Africa
My husband and I love to travel. We’ve been to all the continents with the exception of Africa and the Antarctica. The latter doesn’t appeal to me – WAY too cold – but I’ve learned to never say never.
But Africa…to step back in time to the pristine natural wilderness where animals still roam free. Those who have traveled around the world say that there is no other place that compares.
As my friends, family, and regular readers of this blog are aware, this has been my dream for decades. I’ve always been interested in seeing this country, but after reading Isak Dinesen’s lyrical book, Out of Africa, and seeing the magnificent scenery in the movie version during the 1980s, the allure of Africa began calling my name. I pined to see this vast, wild land with hauntingly beautiful scenery, golden savannas, and rolling grasslands with my own eyes.
I am a patient woman. Because if I want to do something bad enough, I know eventually it will happen. (On the flip side, if I don’t do it, I figure that I didn’t want it bad enough.) Now that I’m pushing 60, I wanted to make the long 21-hour flight before I get much older.
So, we saved the money and found a great deal and this is the year. In the fall, my husband, Scott, and I have booked a tour to see the famous white-sand beaches and breath-taking cliffs in Cape Town, the melting pot of cultures in Durban with a game viewing cruise, a safari in Kruger National Park, and the poignant Apartheid museum in Johannesburg.
On top of all that, hubby is trying to talk me into climbing into a cage plunged into the ocean so I can come face-to-face with a great white shark. We’ll see. Of course, I’ll be writing all about it in this blog, so stay tuned and you’ll see whether I gather up the courage.
When something bad happens, it can be a potent and powerful influence. The experience can clarify priorities and redefine paths. This happened after my Mom died and my caregiving days were over.
My life had revolved around her care, so I felt a bit lost when she was gone. I wasn’t the same person and wasn’t sure what was “normal” anymore. Did I even want the same things? So, I took a step back to look at my life. A few changes were in order. I began focusing on my spiritual, emotional, and physical health, which had been neglected.
After my Mom died, I made it a goal to read something spiritual and inspirational each and every day. I am a regular Bible reader. Even so, admittedly I’d become sidetracked with work and the business of life and a day or two would slip by without any spiritual fortification. Because of challenges I was facing, my reliance on God and need for spiritual food required more deep reading, meditation, and prayer – yes, every single day. I keep that goal foremost in my mind for 2019.
I also want to continue my journey to reach a healthy weight this year. Oh, it’s an endless battle, especially at this age. I almost accomplished my goal weight last year, then gained some of it back. So, hubby and I have joined Weight Watchers (you can join for free with the purchase of certain subscription plans right now). Now that I’ve shared this goal with all of you, I’ll be held accountable, right? So, once I succeed – a positive attitude is essential – I plan to finish an eBook on losing weight and keeping it off after 50 to share my journey and tips I learn along the way. If this doesn’t give me motivation to make my goal this time – nothing will!
Some changes in the direction of my career were in order as well. Out of financial necessity, I went back to freelance writing after Mom’s death. But after decades of stressful deadlines, I wanted more creative control. Specifically, I wanted to decide what to write and how much time I spent doing it as I head toward my retirement years. So, I started my journey to independence with this blog and a few book projects.
With that in mind, now that my book on caregiving is finished, I’m going to focus on my manuscript aimed at helping those who dream of writing. I’ve had so many people tell me that they want to write a novel or memoir during their retirement years, but don’t know how to get started.
Author Joseph Epstein wrote in a New York Times article, “Eighty-one percent of Americans feel they have a book in them – and that they should write it.” That means about 200 million people dream about becoming an author in the U.S. alone.
Unfortunately, most people don’t attempt to live out these cherished dreams. Why not? Many people don’t know where to start. Others allow self-doubt and a fear of failure to stop them from moving forward.
That’s where I come in. As a professional writer and author for over 30 years, I want to help those harboring a burning desire to write attain their goals. I’ll provide inspiration, motivation, and knowledge to help aspiring writers begin their writing journey.
The book will contain a wealth of information to help any aspiring writer. But, if you’re retired, this book is written specifically with you in mind. You finally have the time and freedom to pursue your passion. After years of keeping your nose to the grindstone to earn a living, haven’t you earned that luxury? Whether you want to write a memoir, start your own blog, write a how-to book, pen some poetry, or write the great American novel – this book is for you.
Now, it’s your turn. What are your goals and aspirations for 2019? What do you want to accomplish to tick off your bucket list this year? Please share in the comment section.
Thanks for stopping by! For more inspiration, be sure and visit my blogger pals below: