Yay, I Did It!

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DSC01475I thought that by the time I turned seventy years old, I’d have it all pretty much together. But last November when I hit the big seven-oh, I was still fumbling my lines and couldn’t remember where on the stage I’m supposed to stand. Let’s just say I’m still rehearsing my act.

When I was a kid my parents often told me that I took life and myself too seriously. I was supposed to laugh more … have fun … quit being so sensitive. I believed every word they spoke and started building what I thought my worth was … in their eyes.

I grew up, got married, had my own kids, and still hadn’t figured out that what I did was really good  and important. Whenever I thought I was doing something wrong, which was most of the time, I’d say, “I’m sorry.” I still say it, but not as much as I used to. I recognize those words as just a misguided belief and an old habit that may take a long time to find its way into the trash can.

A few days ago, in the midst of making an appointment, I was confounded when I tried to schedule a time that would be convenient for me.  In the past I always found it much easier to schedule things whenever it was best for the other person. Even if I had something else to do, I’d somehow find a way to work around it, never wanting to inconvenience anyone else. I was constantly frustrated and anxious about my own work and how I was supposed to get it done.  And I often blamed the other person for being uncooperative.  No more.

The other day when I told the receptionist what time I could be there, she told me that it wouldn’t work; that they don’t take appointments between noon and two.  But this time, without a second thought, I told her that 1 PM was the only time I could meet.  I told her that I work from 9 AM till noon, and my chosen time was the only one that would work for me, as the rest of the day was filled to the brim.

I felt annoyed; prepared to argue it out. But there was no need.  She smilingly said, “Oh, okay. We can do that,” and quickly wrote my name down in my chosen time slot.

For days I’ve been stunned that I said what I had and that the receptionist was so willing to help me out. I’m flabbergasted and embarrassed that it’s taken me so damned long to take my work and myself seriously enough to just say, “No, I can’t do that.” I’m proud of myself for the commitment I’ve made to the work of writing my book. In the past my thoughts would have been something like, “I’m just writing a book.  What’s the big deal?”

Tonight join me as I toast myself for finally beginning to learn my lines.

How about you?  Do you take your dreams seriously or just dismiss them as unimportant?


  1. It’s never too late to stand on the stage in full bloom.

    Go for it, Joan.

    Love the energy in this post.

    • Thanks, Shirley. You’re right. It’s never too late. Too many older people give up their dreams because they don’t think they have time to see them accomplished. Not a wise move in my book. Every day there are a multitude of things to be learned and taught. That is where the energy is!

  2. I feel so proud on your behalf. You are inspirational to me.

    • Thanks so much Ashana. You make me blush. But if I can inspire you in some small way, it makes me happy and gives me a purpose. You’re not doing too bad yourself, you know.

  3. Take a bow! You’ve made it to the stage and know where to stand. As one who knows all too well the words, “I’m sorry,” and how they feel as they roll off the tongue, I applaud your growth and success. I’m right behind you working steadily every day as I head toward 70. Inspirational post, inspirational you!

  4. Penelope J. says:

    Good for you for asserting yourself. It’s also good practice for your future as a writer when you will have to be pushy, demanding, and blow your own trumpet. Isn’t seventy a great age to make ourselves heard?

    • Oh my, yes, seventy is a marvelous age. It’s time when you suddenly realize it doesn’t really matter what other people think and instead of wasting time, you just march forward and live every moment to its fullest. Thanks for your comment, Penelope. I hope you come back again some time.

  5. Sharon says:

    A cause for celebration. I know the difficulty of standing up for self and I applaud you for taking care of what is your chosen priority.
    Love you and the work you are doing.

    • Thanks so much, Sharon. Your thoughts and words mean so much to me. I probably wouldn’t be where I am today, without your encouragement. Love you, too!

  6. You go, girlfriend! Oh, how I want to emulate you. <3

  7. Thursday night is the start of the weekend here, so I will raise my pomegranate spritzer to you for sure!
    I find that at the moment my own dreams to take a bit of a back seat to those of my husband and the children. But they’re part of me so I feel like I share them too.
    My own real dreams of writing fiction have been sucked away by writing for other people. Had a good chat with my husband last night and I’m seriously considering winding down the business and sponging off him once again! 😉

    • You go girl! Children and husbands are always in the front seat. But most likely the time will come when you’ll have lots of time for your own writing. However, do not sit and wait. Use every moment you have now to live your dream.

  8. I’ve been catching up with all your inspiring posts. You’ve really been working hard, Joan..congratulations on making yourself a priority!

  9. Cheering you on, Joan. You’re making all the right choices! I toast you *clink glasses*

  10. Way to go, Joan. It’s good to be reminded that success starts at home – if we don’t believe in ourselves other won’t either.

  11. You are so right. Thankfully I’m finally believing!

  12. Good story….I’m often surprised when I finally do stand up for myself and things turn out okay…it certainly gives me the incentive and courage to continue to do so….and congrats on turning 70!! I’m right behind you!

  13. Thanks, Laurel. Yes, I too surprise myself all the time. And being 70 is glorious. Hope you’ll be joining the club soon.