MY YEAR WITHOUT FEAR……SO FAR

Things changed quickly almost immediately after my last overly-optimistic blog.

Once again, the settlement date got pushed back, but I decided to go ahead and start taking steps to get out into the world.  That, too, was a little overly-optimistic.  After five years of becoming a recluse, it wasn’t as easy as anticipated to walk out the door, sooooo…….

I signed up for the Writers’ Police Academy that’s put on by Sisters In Crime (SinC) in September. It’s an abbreviated police academy held at the Greensboro Police Academy and training facilities in North Carolina.  I’m really excited…..and it’s several months in advance so I have time to get my act together. There will be police car driving, breaking down doors, gun stuff, and a ton of forensics information to make the details of my writing more realistic and accurate. And I get a tee-shirt with “WRITER” on the back. What more could a girl want?

Step 2: While waiting to renew my drivers license at AAA, I struck up a conversation about traveling destinations with a gentleman that lasted about 45 minutes.  On the way out, I handed him my card. He didn’t call, but I hoped he wouldn’t.  The fact that I reached out and made myself vulnerable was the important part.  The truth is that after not having a date for five years, it would be kind of like a dog chasing a bus.  I’ve read that if you don’t find your husband in high school or college you’re probably never going to find him.  I should have paid more attention.

Step 3: In an especially optimistic moment, I signed up for the Our Time/Jewish Date website, thinking that maybe having a date or two would get me up and running…..but the next morning I was more lucid and cancelled the membership.  I’m not ready yet.

Step 4: Marketing my book hasn’t gone well — again, fear of being in public..I mean, once I get there, I’m fine. It’s getting there that’s wanky.  So, I did a trial sign-up with an author’s publicist. We’ll see how that goes. 

One of the obstacles is that my current “part-time” job is more work than any of my full-time house director jobs. The house needs a lot of maintenance, we’re planning on doing construction this summer, and I both grocery shop and cook for the girls twice a week.  But I’m using that as an excuse, and realize I’m allowing it to happen. When I went to Abbi’s to feed her cats last week, I took a very long side trip and went to sit by the ocean for awhile. Just long enough to have lunch, but it’s a start. Tomorrow, I’m going to see “42.” Sure, it’s only a movie….but it’s not in the house.

My biggest problem is no local friends to call and hang out. Go out to dinner. Hit a movie. Walk around a mall or spend a day at the beach like I used to do with my precious Laurel. I’d bask in the sun, and Laurel, the tiny sprite, would be in sweatshirt and jeans over her bathing suit, wrapped in a couple of blankets. But we always had a good time, followed by dinner and a cocktail before heading back to our respective sorority houses. I miss those days. We were never on the same campus again, and that’s a shame.

As soon as my blog is finished today, I’m calling West Virginia Vital Records to get a valid copy of my birth certificate. I need to get a passport under Hyman, but they will no longer accept my original birth certificate with the adorable footprints.  And while I’m sitting at the computer, I’ll rejoin Sisters In Crime, SoCal’s chapter of California Writers, at least the national Alpha Xi Delta alumna association, and Classmates.com.  (I’m also doing this to put off, once again, doing my expense report.  There may be something I hate worse than paperwork and math, but I’m not sure what it is.)

You know how much I’ve missed exercising, and in about 10 days, I’m going to do something pretty drastic in hopes it will help take the pressure off my back and legs.  I’ve always been a risk taker, which is strange since normal stuff seems to have me baffled now.

My life has rarely been either normal or boring. Sometimes, that would be nice.  But more often than not, it could be a country western song without the train, dog and rain. And that’s OK. I look at my friends whose lives haven’t changed much over the years, and in some ways wish my life had taken that turn…..but that wasn’t the deck the universe handed me. When I look back, several of the twists and turns were things over which I had no control.  Others were of my own making because I wasn’t paying attention to what was going on around me.  I tend to be too trusting and believe the best in people – and it’s gotten me in trouble more than once.  That’s OK, too.

My life, with more twists and hair-pin turns than West Virginia roads has kept me on my toes and opened up adventures I never would have experienced otherwise.  There are so many things I want to do, and by sometime in May, I should be able to start doing them…..jump out of a perfectly good airplane, find a place to walk in a tank with sharks (the only one I’ve found so far is at Atlantis in the Bahamas), go on a singles’ cruise, mine for gems in North Carolina, spend time on east coast beaches, finish the thriller my agent wants redone, take Abbi and maybe a friend or her boyfriend to Hawaii to show her where she was born and swim with dolphins in the warm Hawaiian Pacific while we’re there.  That should take care of the next 12 months. We’ll see what happens after that.  I’d really, really, really love to find a way to get into the old City Hall  in New York City where the subway turns around, but there’s no longer a stop.  Hmmmmm. How could I pull that off………

At least on paper, I know how to get out of the house and start living. Now, I have to find a way to open the door and put the first foot outside. I promise that will happen, and you’ll be the first to know.

In the meantime, please take care of yourself. Leave the house and do something out of your comfort zone. Being comfortable can lead to being in a rut, and ruts become chasms.  Life should never be spent “content.”  It’s important to learn the difference between satisfied and content. I’m not in either state now, and once again, that’s a good thing. I know I’m where I’m supposed to be — right here, right now.

Remember, you’re never too old to wish upon a star. Dare to dream and live. Our job is to continue to embarrass our kids while we’re here and give them reasons to laugh once we’re gone. 

See you soon…….