My mother turned 80 today. A benchmark year. She and two aunts are all I have living from the generation before me. She's in good health, spry, and still has a keen mind--all things I hope she's passed on to me!
It got me to thinking about all our benchmark years. Not just the decade tabs, but life events. The year your first child was born. The year of a divorce, marriage, or infidelity. The year you got the job that turned the corner for you financially. The year loved ones died. All these things define us--imprinting us with memories and deep emotions.
When I was a kid I used to make life goals; things I was determined to accomplish by a certain age. Oddly enough, marriage was never on the list. LOL! Yet it was the first thing I did as soon as I turned legal age.
Looking back, none of the things I planned ever came about--at least not the way I planned. I started university late, but graduated in three years. My dream job came and went before I realized how perfect it was for me. There were other, better-paying jobs, but none that gave me the personal satisfaction of that first job.
Writing was never on my list. Not ever. Yet here I am, with ten books under my belt.
If I did anything right in my life it's that I wasn't afraid to take the road less traveled. And I was lucky that I found a guy who felt the same way. We've never done things the easy way, and that's okay. It's only made the journey more interesting.
My mother scolded me once for working too hard. She said I needed to enjoy my life more. She said I needed to have more fun.
...I thought I was. ;o)
What are your benchmarks? Did they come about the way you planned? Or do you prefer to let life carry you where it wills?
My world is in flux until Greg is officially retired and moved, but I've been madly planning my goals for the next ten years. It's exciting and a lot of work--but a lot of fun.
See, Ma. I took your advice.
And here's a little sample of unexpected goals. I wrote Mistress of the Stone because I wanted to try my hand at a historical with a paranormal twist. I learned yesterday that Bitten By Paranormal Romance named it a Top Pick for August. Just goes to show you never know where those whims can take you.