The year 2017 has been a whirlwind of craziness. I became a first-time indie-author and published a book that has been called “brave” and “riveting.” When I was writing it, I didn’t feel brave at all. I simply felt called by God to write my story, and I wrote straight from my heart. I am grateful for all the outpouring of support and love from family, friends, and readers around the world.
Of course, there have been other things that have happened since January 1, 2017. Good and bad. Happy and sad. Like most of you, the list is long by all accounts. One thing I have learned well over the years is that you can’t change the past; you can only learn and grow from it.
When I was younger, I used to make a New Year’s Resolution List. As for many, the list did not last long and ended up in the trash – typically by the end of February. I believe that I had good intentions; however, instead of making reachable goals, I set the bar way too high. Thus, I set myself up for failure.
In the past few years, I’ve used a “wish” or “bucket” list instead. I don’t add self-improvement tasks anymore (like losing 10 pounds or eating healthier) because I am forced to do this as I age (my body demands it). As an alternative, I now think of ways that will improve my mind and enrich my life overall.
I came up with three main things I want to continue to do, or begin to do.
Whether it is a novel, a memoir (like mine), the newspaper or a favorite blog – I plan to read A LOT! In 2017, I read 40 amazing books! Each one of them educated me in some way or another. My mind is sharper today because I took time out of my crazy life to read. And it was fun!
One of the best advantages of reading is that it helps solidify or enhance your view on any given topic. When I want to learn more about a specific issue or event, I read about it. Recently I wanted to learn more about our Founding Fathers, and I read three books associated with the birth of the United States and the Civil War. I learned so much more than I ever did in any of my high school history classes.
I recently learned that there are almost one million books published in the United States every year! The selection is overwhelming – but you can find whatever fancies your interest too!
When I was younger, I was too poor to do travel much. It was a luxury our family could not afford. Fortunately, I am now able to travel and explore life outside of Wisconsin. My husband and I have so many places we want to visit – not only in the U.S. – but in Europe as well.
Traveling will indeed enrich my life; learning about other cultures is not only fun – but it can be rewarding. The few times I have been able to travel outside of Wisconsin has opened my eyes to many new cuisines. I tend to be a picky eater; however, when you are in New Orleans, it is hard not to try Cajun style foods. It was there that I discovered how yummy jambalaya is.
After reading those books on the founding of our nation and the civil war; I desire to visit places that will transport me back to those incredible days. Such as Gettysburg, PA, Mount Vernon, VA and Boston, MA (to name a few). Our nation has such an incredible history, and thankfully much of it has been preserved for our benefit today.
I have enjoyed writing since my early 30s. There are so many topics swimming around my head that I hope to write about in the next year. At the top of the list is a book about mission trips (which is currently being written). Other topics I want to write about include leadership, communication, family genealogy and a positive mindset. There are other topics, but this list will take time to turn into manuscripts.
Even if I never publish another book, writing will still be a part of my life. There is a great sense of accomplishment in writing. Especially when it can benefit others. Writing is a healthy habit and keeps your mind just as sharp as reading.
What does your “wish” or “bucket” list look like for 2018? Whatever you desire in this New Year – make it happen!
“Life is short, and it is here to be lived.” –Kate Winslet