Thursday, October 15, 2015

Has it really been 40 years?

Forty years ago, I was into my second month of my freshman year of college. I was young, idealistic, and excited about the future.

My alma mater.

In two days, I'll be attending my 40th high school reunion. Ouch. How exactly did that happen?? Forty years. Forty years!! For all of you young parents out there, let me warn you about something. It happens quickly. You don't think that's possible when you're home surrounded by piles of laundry and dirty diapers, when your colicky infant simply will not sleep, when your spouse is working late, or you're going the single parent route, and you simply need a break... nothing seems to be moving quickly, does it? But wait until the first day of kindergarten. Or your daughter's first prom. Or your son's high school graduation. You'll understand then. It's like, "Oh yeah, this is what she was talking about... it's the blink of an eye."

It really is like that. You close your eyes and wake up and it's 40 years later. 

I look in the mirror, happy with some things I see and distraught over others. I ask myself why I didn't try to lose weight before today. I check out those godawful bags under my eyes. I stretch the skin on my neck to no avail (it slips right back into those telltale wrinkles). 

But then I look into the mirror of what really matters -- where my life has taken me over the last 40 years, and I smile, confident that my soul will outshine my aging face and figure. Of course, it will. 

I mentally list my professional accomplishments and am pleased. Am I where I want to be career-wise? Absolutely not. But I'm on my way and I'm working toward goals I've had since I was a child. At this point, in addition to writing and publishing Vinegar Fridays, I've also published 84 children's books, and am under contract for more ( I speak to various groups and at writers' conferences. I run a successful monthly writing group. And, I'm respected by my peers. 

Wrinkles? Yeah. A thick middle? You betcha. But it's okay. The high school bullies, some of which still act that way from what I hear, can take their best shot. But they won't get anywhere this time. I'll be rocking my confidence and a new pair of some pretty kicka** boots.

Wish me luck!

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