Baby Boomer Looks Forward to 2019 with Exciting Book Announcement
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:
Cage diving with great whites will be awesome! Are you sure Scott is up for the experience? Looking forward to lots of pictures!
Hi Eddie! Scott is not only up for the experience but this whole ‘let’s meet a shark face-to-face’ thing was all his idea. After reading my blog, he said, “You know you’re getting in that cage.” Lol. And yes, I’ll be sharing lots of pictures. Very excited!
Your book is going to help so many people. Congrats on its upcoming debut. <3 And have so much fun in Africa.
So happy and excited for you and being able to realize your long-awaited Africa dream! Sounds very well earned and deserved, Julie. I have seen studies which report that 3% of those starting a book ever finish it. Hoping your book can improve those, especially for seniors before treasured memories and information are lost. Very best wishes and every success in the New Year!
Thanks, I am very excited about my trip to Africa. And yes, if I can help even a few caregivers of those with dementia, I will feel extremely satisfied. Wishing you all the best in 2019 as well, James!
Julie, you can count on me to spread good words of your book to my friends. I know several that have parents that are suffering through this. You are helping so many.
Wow, your future plans sound brave and amazing! No doubt you will be physically ready for your trips as you and your husband spend lots of time hiking and going on adventures.
As far as the weight issue you mentioned, I’m thinking, who, what, where? Ha! You always look great. I do know what you mean though, keeping weight down for health issues. As we get older, it gets tougher to keep it under control. I’ve hear Weight Watchers is one of the healthiest programs out there.
I’m stoked to hear about your book on writing! It will be full of great suggestions and helpful ideas, I’m sure.
The best to you and your family in 2019 Julie!
Thanks so much for being one of my beta readers and all your support, Rosie. Much appreciated! As far as my weight, I may not show it, but I was 174 pounds when I started this journey last year – definitely in the overweight category. My goal is to get into the upper end of a healthy weight for my age and height which is in the low 150’s. I think WW is amazing and, as you said, a healthy way to accomplish my goal. As you age, it becomes much more about health than looks. The trip to Africa will be physically challenging, so that’s part of my motivation. Wishing you all the best for 2019 as well, Rosie!
This was such a moving piece Julie. Your book will help and touch so many readers. This is definitely a need for many. I wasn’t aware the statistics were that high, 1 in 3. My husband’s grandmother died from a form of dementia coupled with depression. Her husband and favorite child died within one month of each other. After that, she started on a fast pace downward spiral. A book like this would have been such a useful tool to help understand better. Due to her dementia, she reverted back to Portuguese, her first language. The only one who knew the langdied unexpectedly, her son. So my husband and I learned some basics to help communicate better.
Cannot wait to read more about your adventures in Africa!!
What a tragedy! How interesting that your husband’s grandmother reverted to her first language and how loving of you both to learn some Portuguese to communicate with her. It is my dearest hope to help people like you and other family members trying to help a loved one like your grandmother-in-law with this terrible disease. And yes, I’ll be sharing lots of details of my trip to Africa! Thanks for sharing your story.
That amazing cover on your new book moves me to tears, Julie. I know yours will be a moving tale that will help caregivers going through the same experience with their parent. Can’t wait to read it. And kudos to you for a new career direction as a mentor to seniors hoping to publish!
Hmmmm…..coming face-to-face with a great white? You are AWESOME! Love how you follow your dream of visiting Africa. My nephew studied there for a year and adored it! (He didn’t do the shark thing but bungee-jumped off a cliff.) You will have tons of content to blog about. Maybe even ideas for another tale?!?!?
I’m so glad you liked the cover of my new book. Much deliberation went into the process, as you can imagine. No bungee jumping for me – that’s even more scary than the shark cage diving! And yes, I’ll be blogging all about my trip. Can’t wait!
Hi Julie, My best wishes for every success with your book, “I’m Your Daughter, Julie.” You know how impressed I was when I read the draft. It is a book that will help so many people dealing with similar issues. You were so brave to put your emotions so openly out there for everyone to read, but it is essential for others to heal when they know they are not alone. Many will be comforted by your words.
Love the idea of an ebook after you lose the weight. Such a great motivator. Good luck on that journey, I have been struggling with the same issues. Menopause is such a drag! I’m doing well so far this year just have to stay on track and not yo-yo. 🙂 Maybe an impossible dream.
Enjoy your trip to Africa, stay safe and keep to guided tours. I’m sure you will have an amazing time, look forward to reading all about your adventure, sharks or not.
Thanks, Sandra. I SO appreciate you being one of my beta readers for my new book along with your input and suggestions. And as one who yo-yo’d with my weight last year, I feel you! We are taking a guided tour in Africa. Something I don’t normally do, but think is wise in this case for safety purposes. To be sure, I’ll be posting my thoughts and pictures when the exciting time comes!
Gorgeous post, wishing you ever success for the book. It will help so many out there I am sure of it. I am beyond jelous about you going to Africa, I am itching to go back again. I spent my childhood in that beautiful country and it was the best childhood ever! And going in a shark cage too!! That’s on my bucket list so yes very jelous ha ha. It will be amazing and I am so excited for you. I wonder what inspiration you will find while you are out there. Enjoy every second and all the best for what looks like it will be a cracker of a year for you.
Thanks for all your kind thoughts. I really hope my book will help other caregivers – that is the goal. And I can’t wait to visit the magical place where you grew up. Yes, this will be an eventful year for me. Wishing you all the best in 2019 as well!
No goals. They all too easily get shoved aside by everyday life occurrences. For me, I rarely seem to make one that I actually end up being able to accomplish.
I have preordered your book. 😃I hope it does very well for you! ❤️🙏
Ah, Pearl. You’re comments here always make my day. And as far as I know, you are the first person to pre-order my book. I am doing an happy dance and can’t thank you enough! I hear you about the New Year resolutions. I don’t usually make them either. This year, I just so happened to already have some goals in motion. Wishing you all the best in 2019, Pearl! Thanks again for your support!
What a wonderful thing to write a book about dealing with dementia, especially from the point of view of a personal, family caregiver. I agree – people who are dealing with the care-giving aspect need more help, more understanding, and more guidance and I applaud you for turning your heartbreak and experiences into something positive that can help others.
I also am so intrigued by your plans to travel to Africa. What a wonderful thing to set a goal and even if it takes a long time, continue to pursue it until you make it a reality! I wish you fantastic travels, but if I were you, I’d tell my husband he needs to tell me how the shark tank was when he comes back up! My husband also wants to dive with Great Whites some day but there’s no way he’d ever talk me into it! But it certainly would make for an exciting blog post! 😉 All the best!
Thanks for stopping by, Shana, and your positive remarks about my upcoming book. And you bet I’m doing a bit more research before I get in that shark cage. For example, has anyone ever died doing this? We’ll see…