I would start this post with "It's hard to believe another year has come and gone..." but that would be cliche. So instead I'm going to review the highlights of my year and what I've learned.
* My husband finished his PhD and is now a Dr. of Engineering.
I do consider this a personal highlight because it was a sacrifice for the entire family to support him while he went to school for the last 6 years (3 for his Masters and another 3 for his PhD - 18 months of schooling and 18 months for the dissertation). And I'd make that sacrifice all over again. I'm so proud of him! What I've learned is:
- PUT OTHERS BEFORE SELF. He went to school on a full scholarship and in order to maintain that he needed to pull off straight A's (with an occasional B). It meant I had to put his needs before my own so he could study, stay late at school or work, or lock himself in the home office for hours on end so he could write.
* I signed my very first book deal! Not only was it a book deal, but it was a THREE book deal!
- NEVER GIVE UP. Seriously, so many times in the past few years I wanted to throw in the towel, I wanted to walk away from this stupid dream of being a writer. I believed I wasn't any good and the sooner I admitted it to myself the sooner I could move on.
- WRITING IS HARD WORK. I'm about to learn just how very hard that is. I once thought, oh it's simple: Write a book, get it published. Not so. There's Editing, Revising, Crit groups, Beta Readers, Social Networking, Editing, Hair Pulling, Nail-Biting, Revising, Publicity....and on and on! There's so much that goes into a book I think writers deserve an honorary PhD.
- EVERYONE HAS A DIFFERENT PATH. At one point I contemplated self-publishing. I almost did it and I think had I made that decision I would have made the most of it. I've always lived by the Robert Frost quote, "Two roads diverged in a wood and I, I took the one less traveled by and that has made all the difference." It really wouldn't have been out of character for me to self-pub...I would have just taken the road less traveled.
- PERSISTANCE PAYS OFF. With the encouragement of my crit group, I tried one more time. That "one more" happened to be the publisher who fell in love with my story.
* My 12 year old daughter signed a three book deal!
- ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. She's my co-author on this journey and she is a truly amazing and gifted writer. When a 12 year old with disabilities can sign a 3 book deal, it is further proof that anything can happen in this beautiful world we live in, full of opportunities and growth.
- BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. She never gave up. She believed our story deserved to be heard. She believed in us. When I would break down and cry over another rejection, she'd simply say, "It's okay mom, our story is great and someone will realize it."
Of course there have been so many other wonderful events this year...
A daughter graduating middle school with straight A's.
A daugther who's artwork was selected and won best art for an entire district-wide art contest - it also went on to regionals.
Music recitals, family vacations, special moments, shared traditions, and love. Lots and lots of love.
- EMBRACE AND CHERISH THE SIMPLE, EVERY DAY MOMENTS. It's these moments that make memories and those memories we'll carry with us. We won't always have our homes or cars or clothes or anything else with us, but we'll always have our memories. That's what I cherish.
What about you? What milestones and accomplishments did you reach in 2012? More important, what did you learn from them?
May you all find the moments in 2013 that fill your soul with joy and your heart with treasured memories!