365 days ago I celebrated a milestone birthday – I turned 50. Unlike most people who turn 50, I welcomed it, celebrated it, and shared it with everyone around me. Excitement coursed through my veins as I finally arrived at the milestone.
However, one year later, another birthday later, the feeling isn’t even close to what I felt 365 days ago. In fact, I’m starting to feel bad about my neck! (Thank you Nora Ephron)
Instead of wallowing in the hopeless feeling of turning 51, I decided to look back and celebrate my year of 50. Here’s what happened:
July – Yeehaw! I’m 50! Great celebrations as I welcomed in a new decade! I finally got my manuscript out of my head and onto paper (computer file), signed a book contract, and sent the manuscript off for editorial review. Unfortunately, I didn’t anticipate what the review revealed. Feeling completely deflated, I put it aside.
September – Pulled out my manuscript and started working on my editor’s notes. For the next four months my computer and I were attached – keyboard to fingers and ideas to screen. Rewrites, editing, and rewriting became my life.
December – Rewrites were completed and the revised manuscript sent back to my editor. Received glowing praise for my rewrites but the manuscript needed 30K words to be cut out. (Thank you Inger!!!)
January – Worked with another editor to cut out unnecessary words from manuscript without changing the story. The manuscript went back and forth between Florida and California via email and together we chipped off 7K unnecessary words. (Thank you Julie!!!)
February – Completed manuscript sent to typeset. Finalized the title, cover design, and back cover copy and inched closer to a release date.
March – Took a much needed break from computer and writing and began to notice people outside of my immediate family, a computer screen and the walls beyond my office and coffee shops.
April – Revealed the book cover and title (premature, but I couldn’t wait or contain my excitement!)
May – Official Book Release!!! Start promoting the book, sending out books, and writing more copy.
June – Book Promotion is continuing but in the middle, I’ve jumped back into reading! So far, I’ve read 5 books and I love it! (I still don’t have my house completely decorated or settled but when people come to visit, I’ll just give them a book to read instead of looking at my bare walls! LOL!)
My biggest accomplishment of the year, other than publishing a book, is that my health is the best it has ever been! I’ve made lifestyle changes resulting in my cholesterol numbers falling into the range of NORMAL. No cholesterol medications for this 50 year old gal!
My relationship with Mr. Small Town, my biggest cheerleader and fan, is deeper and richer now than at any other time of our married life and the Kid continues to challenge and change me to be a better parent and human being. Just when I think my heart couldn’t love the two of them more, it expands and I sink even deeper in love.
What I didn’t share about this year are the events that shook me to my core causing me to fall on my knees and cry out to God. We all have those events. We could dwell on those events. Or, we could dwell on the moments when God did amazing work in our lives. For me, I choose the later.
The year of 50 pushed me beyond my limits. When I felt like giving up, encouragement came through a text message, a phone call that cheered me on, and a hug from my favorite guys. All of them lifted my spirits as I persevered.
Friends, with just hours away before officially becoming 51, I leave this piece of encouragement to you. It comes from one of my favorite books, the Bible.
“Let your petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” Philippians 4:6-7 (The Message)
Blessings to you my friend! I’m off to nibble on some birthday cake and put some firming cream on my neck!
The Small Town Girl