A Broken Understanding

Last weekend, our little family among millions accomplished something grand.

It’s actually so monumental to us as a family that I imagine that the universe celebrated along with us at the very moment that it happened maybe even with the creation of a new star out there somewhere in the galaxy. The residue from broken egos gathered like magnetized dust particles and came together in agreement. At that moment, a new and positive energy was created, and it’s unfolding with great purpose. While our accomplishment may seem like no feat at all to others, it’s life changing for us individually and as a family.

Simply put…

Bill and Kim have learned how to work together, not just as a father and daughter, but as musicians. I want to say that they put their egos aside, but that’s not actually what happened. What really happened is that their egos chronically, like a long-term illness, collided day after day and year after year, and it wasn’t a pretty father-daughter dance. In fact, as in many parent–child relationships, it isn’t pretty. And that’s okay because from our experience, imperfection can result in something even greater than we had imagined. Bill and Kim didn’t put their egos aside. Instead, with broken egos front and center, they decided to finally, and truly, work together.

Getting to that moment wasn’t easy…

Last summer, Bill and Kim had talked about working together as musicians, and at one point in time it appeared that they had come to an agreement regarding the direction that they were headed with Kim’s music career. It seemed that they had teamed up and were well on their way to forming a working band. However, for us, it couldn’t be that easy. And in all reality, they were not practicing together. They’d talk about it, but they just didn’t seem to be able to sit down and practice together for very long before getting into some disagreement. Last week, Bill learned that Kim was not in agreement with him regarding the creation of music, lyrics and copyright. They were at a crossroad. It looked like the time had come that Bill would no longer be a part of Kim’s musical journey, and we sadly thought that maybe he never was a part of her journey. Bill and I talked about the possibility that maybe the accumulation of music gear, guitar lessons, healed blisters and melted ice-packs were a false reality that we had created for ourselves as parents, and if so, how unfair to Kim.

Had We been lying to ourselves?

After careful deliberation, we got to the point that we told Kim, “It’s your career. You are in charge of it. You do what is right for you. You know what you are doing. We will still support you, but we can’t move forward with mom and dad as direct partners. You’ll figure it out.” And then this awful dark feeling enveloped our little family, and our smiles dissipated as if they never existed before. Sadness filled my heart, and emptiness. I wondered if I was desperately clinging to Kim all these years later after her last suicide attempt by way of music, and I wondered if Bill was doing the same. The following day, we didn’t talk to one another. Rather, we existed together.

And then…

that same day, moment by moment lapsed…and without really thinking about it…and somehow with all the motherly confidence that I had ever gathered before, particle by particle, I walked outside to the patio where Bill and Kim were. Bill was standing there playing guitar, and Kim was seated at the patio table. I looked at each of them and said, “We have to make this work for you Kim, and for you Bill, and for Jaden, and for me.” I then walked back inside the house. That was it. That was all I had, and I like to believe that it was enough.

Later that evening, Kim shared with Bill and I that she had received an email from a potential client who wanted to know if she could perform at an upcoming event. Bill and I hesitated to get involved with her decision making process and told her that it was up to her to decide how to respond and move forward with this new and exciting opportunity. She then asked Bill for his help. She said, “Dad, I need help with equipment and sound checks. And I need a guitarist.” Nothing more needed to be said. Bill and Kim started to talk to one another again, and they started to truly practice together, and they’ve been working together ever since. We move forward with renewed respect for one another, and we continue to support one another’s definition of self: Kim – singer/songwriter, Bill – guitarist, Stacy – writer, and Jaden – busy being three…1 little family among millions doing it differently…

You can find Kim here: https://www.kimking.us/

~ Stacy (1 Mom)

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A Dad Takes Note | He Learns How to Play Electric Guitar and Joins His Daughter on Her Musical Journey

How is it that a dad in his early fifties decides to learn how to play an electric guitar?

Is it the fulfillment of a childhood dream or perhaps a mid-life crisis? No. It’s neither. It simply has to do with love and respect for Kim as a singer and finding artists who are compatible with Kim who don’t have: ulterior motives, hidden criminal backgrounds and a myriad of other problems and ramifications that come with finding musicians for a band. That is what led this dad to pick up a guitar, learn Kim’s original music and cover songs, and join her on her musical journey.

What got us here today…

Ever since Kim was a little girl, she dreamed of becoming an established singer/songwriter, and she has worked diligently to fulfill her dream. Throughout her formative years, she wrote original music and performed at school functions and competed in local and national singing competitions. And by the time she was 19 years old, she had also performed with a few different bands. Around this time in her life, Bill advised her to form her own band, but she didn’t. It wasn’t until years later, when we moved to Tampa, Florida, that she finally decided to take Bill’s advice. However, she had nothing but problems. Listed below are a few:

  • Egos
  • Musicians that expected to be paid
  • Musicians that didn’t show up
  • Musicians that purported to be one thing but were not and certainly were not looking out for Kim’s best interests

I imagine that you might be thinking, based on the short list above, that these are typical problems that anyone might experience when trying to form a band. And I’m sure they are. However, for us, we got to a point when we realized that we had lost control for a brief moment. Bill, Kim and I had an awful, and sickening, “Oh my God!” moment when we it dawned on us, during a frightening experience, that we were working possibly with a wolf or two in sheep’s’ clothing, and that we were actually putting our family, and especially Kim, at great risk as we encouraged her to continue to work through the challenges of finding the right musicians.

We had gotten to the point where Kim was Inviting people into her life that she didn’t know…

all for the sake of starting a band from the ground up. Eventually, it got to a point where she had people come out of the woodwork that said that they wanted to help her, when in all reality they wanted to work with Kim because there was something it for themselves. At this point in the blog post, I am choosing not to highlight our OMG! moment because it doesn’t deserve the attention it would get. Instead, I want to highlight the good that has come out of a negative situation.

To help Kim form her band, Bill came up with an idea…

Last summer, during a conversation with Kim, he said, “What if I become your guitarist? Give me a month to see how far I can get learning guitar, and if it looks like something I can do, then we’ll make a decision to move forward.” After Bill’s startling announcement, we decided to have a family meeting during which we shared our thoughts and concerns about Bill becoming Kim’s guitarist. Naturally, the main concern was whether or not Bill could learn to play guitar at Kim’s level. We all agreed to give it a try. Since that day, our house has been filled with an energy that we’d been missing for awhile, an energy filled with renewed hope and optimism for a new beginning, the normal anxiety and concern that accompanies doing something new, high expectations for one another, the continued support for one another, and music.

About a month after Bill’s announcement, he hesitantly asked Kim, “Am I hired?”

She replied, “Yes Dad! You’re hired!” And so, Kim is at the helm of a unique and promising adventure with her dad. The rewards of our family decision have become endless, and of utmost importance, we can protect Kim as she furthers her music career. Despite the obstacles, Kim’s not giving up, and neither are we. And life comes full circle. 1 daughter, a grown woman by now, gets to teach, guide and support her dad as he learns how to play electric guitar and all that comes with being musicians. A band is forming and magic is starting to come out of this very unique situation…can you feel it? Next up, I’ll be talking about egos that just might be as big as the Sunshine State!

~ Stacy (1 Mom)

Dad’s Coat | True Family Teamwork

Do you happen to have a busy household with adult children still living at home with you? Perhaps you have grandchildren living with you as well? I do, and I find myself wondering at times how we manage to make it work. To give you an idea of what my household looks like in regard to the number and diversity of the occupants, imagine that you have a birds eye view of my house as if you were a bird flying over it. You can be any bird you like. As you fly over my house, with the weight of the world below you, your birds eye view would reveal that there are four different people from three different generations living under one roof. And the three adult persons all work doing very different jobs. One person is a project manager, one person is a singer, and one person is a writer. The adorable wee little one that actually runs the house, truth be know, has a job too. She’s busy being a two year old. What you can’t see from your birds eye view is that we have two other adult children who are grown and living on their own far from our nest. Therefore, we have a half full nest. I think that what makes our half full nest work is that we have infinite unconditional love for one another and another ingredient. It’s called true family teamwork. Last weekend, I happened to catch a glimpse of our teamwork in action, and it revolved around, and as my kids call him, Dad’s coat.

Bill had been outside working on the house. The work he is doing is A monumental TASK To say the least.

He’s completely overhauling the outside of the house, a house that had been neglected by the previous owners. After years of being exposed to humid and wet weather, the old, cedar plank siding with its random splits across each plank and warped edges that curl up, and that have become home to some small lizards, is being removed and replaced single handedly by Bill with new siding meant to withstand Florida’s humid subtropical climate. The windows are also coming out, one by one, and are being replaced with impact resistant windows. Soon we will have a house that will be more energy efficient, and it will be protected from most of Mother Nature’s unpredictable forces. At this time in our lives together, I can’t claim fame to any of the tremendous amount of work being done on the house due to a bad back and another issue that has come up recently.

I feel awful that I can’t help like I used to. Of course, there are things that I can do like hand him tools, help with clean up and other various tasks, but I can’t help with the heavy lifting. Luckily, with Kim still living at home, he has help! Even though we have our challenges as a family, we sure know how to work together. When Bill needs help with lifting or with other tasks that I can’t do, Kim steps in and helps. In the meantime, I watch our granddaughter. At other times, we simply offer one another help.

That is what happened a few days ago when I noticed something special.

It was a gloomy and dark day. Puffy rain clouds loomed overhead. Despite the weather, Bill worked outside. He was busy measuring, cutting and nailing on the new siding. At one point, I was outside with him for a little bit. I helped him as much as I could, and then I got really cold because it had started to rain. My fingers and my toes started to feel numb from the cold, damp soil, and I had become chilled from the wet rainfall. Bill said, “Go inside. It’s too cold.” I told him that he needed to go inside too. He replied with, “No. I’ll be okay. I’ll come in in in a little bit. Go inside Stace.” I decided to go ahead and head back inside the house but with hesitation because I knew he was cold as well and was getting wet. When I got inside, Kim approached me and asked, “Does Dad have his coat on?” I said, “I think so.” I hadn’t actually paid much attention to what he was wearing because when I had initially gone outside it wasn’t raining. I told her that if she went to the patio outback she would be able to see him and would be able to see if he had on his coat or not. Somehow, we both got distracted and continued on about our business. I made a fresh pot of coffee, and Kim tended to her little one.

Not long after, I decided to go back outside and check on Bill. I hadn’t been outside for more than a few minutes when I saw Kim walk up to us with a busy toddler Running along beside her.

She had Bill’s coat in her hand. She reached out to give it to him and said, “Dad, you need to put your coat on. It’s too cold out here. You’re getting wet. You’re going to get sick.” He said he was fine, but he took it from her and put it on. As he put it on, he turned away from us and started to once again work on applying the siding as he had been before Kim gave him his coat. There he was: my man; wet from the rainfall, the kids dad, and the grandkids grandpa working outside on a rainy day trying to fix a house in need of repair and trying to provide a comfortable and safe shelter for his family. And he had his coat on, and he was protected as much as possible from the rain. True family teamwork was alive and well that day. And somehow, I caught a glimpse of it in action. If you were a bird flying over your house, what positive action would you see?

Call for Submissions | Do you have a car charm hanging from your rear view mirror?

SFBlogBearTalismanPic

Hi everyone! I hope this blog post finds you doing well! I’m currently working on my next book, the first in a series about talismans, and I’m excited to share with you that it’s all about the car charms that we have hanging in our vehicles. The book is titled Stories of the Traveling Talismans © Copyright 2016, and it’s a collection of true short stories from people around the world about their talismans that hang in their vehicles. Each story includes a photo of the storyteller’s talisman as well. If you’d like to know more about the book, and would like to submit your story, please send me an email at the following email address: sunnygm2fikc@gmail.com. Once I hear from you, I will send you more details about the book, the Terms of Agreement, and the Submission Guidelines. Act soon because the call for submissions ends February 15th, 2016, and I’ve already had several inquires since posting the call for submissions. I look forward to hearing from you!

All the best,

Stacy

Wednesday Wanderings | I received an order for 3,000 butter cookies!

Katlin and Lily

Katlin and Lily

This past week, Bill and I had the privilege of having all three of our kids home for the holidays. What a fabulous time we had! We even had the honor of having our youngest daughter Katlin’s puppy with us. Katlin’s puppy’s name is Lily, and we all just love her! Of course, many conversations were had between all of us, and I imagine that at times our neighbors could hear the laughter that must have spilled and splashed like the sunshine on a glorious sunny morning beyond our backyard patio, where we oftentimes sat, into their backyards. From this important, and special, time in our lives comes the quote that I’m going to share this week for the weekly Wednesday Wanderings blog post. The quote is actually quite funny! I hope you enjoy…

 

What’s the funny quote that I’m talking about?

The quote actually comes from our youngest daughter, Katlin. A few days before her arrival in Florida, she called me and calmly, yet with a higher than usual tone,  said, “You’re making cookies, right?! I’m ordering 3,000 butter cookies!” If you knew Katlin, you’d know that she was fairly serious. Of course, I responded to her request by sharing with her that I didn’t intend on making 3,000 butter cookies, but that I’d make butter cookies. I told her that I was thinking about making a double-batch rather than her order of 3,000. She tried to persuade me with, “Well, I’ll share half with everyone, but I’ll take the other 1,500!” Can you tell that  my daughter really likes butter cookies? The problem is, I do too, and so does Bill, Paul, Kim and our granddaughters.

Did I make the 3,000 butter cookies?

bowltestimageWe made cookies, but we didn’t make 3,000! Well, I have to be honest. Katlin ended up making the cookies! She made about 3 batches, I believe, and by the time everyone headed home after the holidays, there wasn’t a single cookie nor crumb to prove this story even happened. However, I do happen to have a couple of pictures that I took as Katlin made the cookies.

Proof the butter cookies were made!

The pictures below are evidence that indeed cookies were made! I can attest to the fact that they were delicious! Thank you Katlin for making such a yummy treat! We are all looking forward to next years butter cookies! I wonder who will be making them next year?! Until next time, I hope you have a wonderful rest of the week!

A Lesson Learned About Time | The Dew on the Branch

DSCN5693-001Just last week, while in St. Louis visiting my kids, I had an interesting experience that turns out to be unforgettable. What experience am I talking about? Well…it was Thursday morning, and I had taken my daughter Katlin’s puppy outside in hopes that the tiny, 3 pound, four legged, black and brown, cute, furry bundle of energy would do her business so we could go back inside, especially since it was chilly outside. In fact, it was so chilly I could see my breath! As Katlin’s puppy made her way around the yard, I paced back and forth on the patio trying to stay warm. It was while I was pacing back and forth that I noticed something.

What did I notice?

I noticed a forgotten single branch laying on a weathered picnic table. It looked like someone had plucked the branch from a nearby tree, and for some reason, placed it on the table. Actually, the branch was almost unnoticeable. It’s surprising that I saw it. It was the same faded gray color as the picnic table. It was obvious that the branch had dried out just like the table. Both the table and the branch appeared more white than gray. Time had made its impression on both with the wind, rain, snow and sun. And yet, despite how lifeless the branch looked, life graced it’s presence with a shiny drop of dew. The dew was frozen in place on the branch. And it was at that very moment, when I had noticed the frozen droplet of dew, that I had the thought, “I should take a picture of this.”

Did I take a picture of the branch decorated with the shiny, frozen drop of dew?

I didn’t take a picture. Even though the thought, that I should take a picture, came to my mind more than once, I didn’t act. Instead, I refocused on the puppy, and moved on. The puppy and I walked back inside the warm house and settled in. The puppy ran around the kitchen playing with her dog toys, and I sat at the kitchen table planning out my next blog post. It was about an hour later, when I took the puppy back outside, that I saw that the frozen dew on the branch had melted. In that moment of realization I felt frustrated with myself. I asked  myself, “Why didn’t I take that picture?!” I had missed it. As you can tell, I’m still somewhat frustrated with myself that I didn’t take the time to take a picture. I missed it. It’s now gone. I can’t retrieve it. The picture would have been beautiful and symbolic, but the dew melted. It’s gone…

What is the lesson learned about time?

The dew on the branch is symbolic to me of the fact that life is fleeting. Next time we notice something that is important enough that it captures our attention, let’s do our best to capture the moment. Let’s seize it however you we can because at the moment that we notice it, it’s vanishing right in front of us.

Growing stronger…

Wednesday Wanderings | A Mother’s Indomitable Will

IMG_1583-1As many of you are aware, it’s official! Stacy’s Flutterings is no longer on hiatus. In addition to writing regular blog posts once again, I’m bringing Wednesday Wanderings back. For those who might be wondering, Wednesday Wanderings is a series of weekly blog posts that I publish on Wednesdays. Each Wednesday Wanderings post is comprised of a quote that I find meaningful and significant in some way. And what makes each Wednesday Wanderings blog post unique is that in addition to sharing a quote with you, I take it a step further, and I share with you the thoughts and emotions that the quote stirs up for me personally. My hope, in writing the Wednesday Wanderings series, is that on Wednesdays the blog post will spark some midweek inspiration for you. To help kick this off, I’m sharing a quote today from Mahatma Gandhi that I find very powerful. What is the quote, and how is it powerful? Keep reading…

“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” Mahatma Gandhi

Wow! Gandhi’s words resonant with me in such a way that it’s difficult to describe. Even saying, “Wow!” sounds like an injustice! I question, “How can I, a mere mom, say anything after Gandhi’s quote that would have any impact at all?” Even in death, the pioneer of the non-violence movement continues to inspire us all to not give up, to have faith in one another, and to help one another. And to think that the keystone, that locks all of his teachings together, is peace. Even though I know that I can’t come remotely close to saying anything at all that would inspire people as much as Gandhi has, and continues to do so, I’m going to share the thoughts that came to my mind after reading his quote. As ordinary as my thoughts are, here goes…

What happened when I read Gandhi’s words above?

When I read the words, “indomitable will” I thought about motherhood and the role of mother. In my experience, as a mother, there’s nothing stronger than a mother’s will. To me, a mother’s will is the manifestation of the love a mother has for her child. Who comes to your mind when you read the words, “a mother’s will?” Of course, I think of Mother Mary, the mother of Jesus. To me, she’s the mother of all mothers. She is the definition of strength. And I think of someone else, I think of my mother. It was my mother’s will that saw my family through some of the hardest times when I was growing up. What is incredible to me is that, intuitively, I knew that no matter what came my way, when I was a child, I would be okay. I knew I’d be okay because I knew that my mother was protecting me and watching out for me, and she still does to this day. Her love for me and my siblings is palpable, and yet she doesn’t live near me. That’s how a mother’s love is.

What about my role as mother?

When I think about my role as mother, I instantly think about my children: Paul, Kim and Katlin. I think back to the days that I carried each of them through pregnancy, birth and beyond, and I feel pride, and I feel joy. I feel a sense of satisfaction only a mother could know. I’ve done my job. I managed to bring three, beautiful, loving, human beings into this world. Now that they are grown adults, we seem to spend so much time apart. However, when I have the privilege of hearing them on the phone and/or seeing them in person, I stand in awe. They don’t know it yet, but now they carry me with each breath they take. They carry me forward, and their love lifts my spirt. That is the strength of a mother’s indomitable will. It’s so powerful that it’s invisible. And with it’s invisible nature, a mother’s indomitable will transcends life and death, and it even transcends the miles here on Earth between a mother and a child. To me, a mother’s indomitable will is the keystone to life itself.

It’s your turn. What comes to your mind when you read Gandhi’s quote about strength and the indomitable will?

Growing stronger…

The Zip Line Ride Over the Year 2015

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Wow! Where has the year gone? There are only about 5 weeks left before the calendars we look at, in all their paper and techy formats we are so familiar with, change to 2016. How did this happen?

Somehow, 11 months have zipped by as if I was sliding uncontrollably along an inclined cable on a zip line ride over the year 2015 with the tips of my toes barely touching each month as they passed by. Some months I glided over, like the months of January and February, looked and felt like the rough and rugged terrain of Alaska while other months I glided over, like the months of June and July, looked and felt like the smooth and glassy waters of a calm sea. Regardless of how the past several months have looked and felt as I glided month to month, we are in November, and November is almost over. Yikes!

Now what happens since 2015 is almost over?

The ride is about over, and it’s almost time for me to unbuckle the harness of 2015, slide it off and put the harness of 2016 on, buckle up and once again ride over the year 2016. Important to note, it’s all good. I’m not complaining. I’m just sitting here typing these words in awe at how time seems to speed up the older I get. And I have so much to do like:

  • Finish unpacking from our move last April
  • Finally sift through, and organize, our family’s old and neglected photos from years past (mind you, the photos I’m talking about are in several different plastic totes as well as on the computer!)
  • Deep clean the house
  • Start, and stick to, living a healthy lifestyle including healthy eating and exercise
  • Clean our cars
And the list goes on and on, and of course it doesn’t include my work goals and aspirations! I imagine that you understand where I am coming from.

What I Realize After Reflecting Back on the Year

As I reflect back on the past 11 months, regardless of how quickly the months have flown by, I realize how fortunate I am, and my  heart is filled with gratitude for all I have including my beautiful family and friends. And I’m actually looking forward to the zip line ride over the year 2016. I hope you are too! Hang on tight because, ready or not, the next zip line ride is right around the corner!

Growing stronger…

The Number 1 Reason Why I Started Stacy’s Flutterings Blog

DSCN5688As I get familiar with the landscape of Facebook, as Stacy’s Flutterings page manager, I find that I’ve been thinking about content and where to begin. Yesterday, I finally came to a decision. I’ve decided to repost one of my first blog posts so that I can share with you the number 1 reason why I started Stacy’s Flutterings blog.

Briefly, the blog post below was first published on September 25th, 2011, and it was originally titled, “Flutterings.” Goodness! That was years ago! I hope this repost sheds some light on why the blog was born. And another thought, I want to share with you that we’ve grown immensely individually and as a family since, and I think it’s important to remember where we came! Why? Because it shows growth of course and illuminates positive light where there appears to be none! Enjoy…

Throughout the years, I never really gave much thought to the special things that occur around me. I was so wrapped up in the big picture. However, last summer when Kim came back home for a spell, I noticed her looking at a rose bush Bill planted for me in the front yard. I saw her take pictures of the bright, magenta roses. I saw her look at the roses with great interest. I finally asked her one day what she was looking at. She said, “Haven’t you noticed? That rose just blossomed!” I was amazed it had just opened its tiny petals, and I had missed it!

I found myself wondering what else I was missing. I started listening to Kim as she pointed out butterflies gently swooping by almost as if they were floating by on a breeze to say, “Hi!” I started to listen when Kim said, “Mom! You won’t believe it! A hummingbird just flew by and stopped right in front of me!” “It just stayed in place looking at me and flapped its wings!” These moments became significant to me because days prior Kim’s heart had been fluttering from SVT’s after she had made another suicide attempt.

Kim’s sightings got me thinking about all of the times when she and I are together and the song “Apologize” by One Republic plays on the radio. Just last week when we ran to the gas station that song was on again! Wow! For some reason over the past four years, when I am with Kim, that songs plays! When we hear the song, we both look at each other as if we are saying, “Really?” I have taken notice.

When I was in Ottawa, Kansas, volunteering for the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition show, I saw large, brilliant blue dragonflies flying low around the crowd during the reveal of the Hill’s new home. I took notice. Also, while in Ottawa, Bill was out in an empty field picking up trash from the week’s event, and he found something that you would think would be impossible! He walked into the catering tent, where I was busy cleaning, to show me and said, “You won’t believe what I just found!” He reached out towards me with his hand holding something tightly. He unfolded his fingers, and in the palm of his hand was a dime! You see, Kim and Bill have had a running joke about a dime for years. Every time Bill finds a dime he gives it to Kim. They don’t recall how this started. Wherever Bill travels, if he finds a dime, he gives it to Kim. What a special dime this one from Ottawa was! I took notice.

When my kids come home to visit on the weekends, including my beautiful granddaughter, my heart flutters! I have taken notice. When my husband gets home from work my heart flutters. I have taken notice. When I think about mental illness and awareness my heart flutters. To me fluttering means:

  • life
  • energy
  • movement
  • fragility

Stacy’s Flutterings blog signifies my vulnerability as I continue to open up and speak about mental illness and awareness.

And that’s the reason I started the blog, simply to bring awareness to an oftentimes shunned topic: mental illness.

Growing stronger…

Gulp: I Changed Career Hats

Stacy's Sun HatI’m ready to share some scary yet exciting news! As of Friday, October 23rd, 2015, I became a full time writer. No more part time blogging for me! I literally changed career hats.

Yes. You heard right. I’m blazing new trails as a full time writer. I resigned from my position in Student Services at a state college where notable alumni like Jim Morrison, lead singer from The Doors, graduated. Even something as cool as that couldn’t keep me from gracefully hanging up my Student Services career hat and placing upon my head the full time writer career hat.

Just the thought of resigning from my job was a scary proposition for me because I had the comforts of a 9-5 job. For example, each work day was filled with pre-planned responsibilities. Therefore, I knew what I had to accomplish each day. I also had job stability in that I knew I would receive a paycheck every two weeks. Now, I’m responsible for planning and organizing my work days, and I don’t know if I’m going to get paid. Now, getting paid depends on if my blog and eBooks are successful and if I can garner the attention and backing of a publishing house.

By now you might be asking, “Why did you quit your 9-5 job?” Well, as my coworkers said so eloquently via a PowerPoint presentation at a special goodbye party, “Do What You Love – Love What You Do.” And that’s as simple as it is.

In regard to the concept of doing what you love, no matter what, I can’t seem to shake my passion for writing. For example, I had the privilege, as a Student Services employee, of helping get the college campus blog running full speed ahead. During those moments, while writing the campus blog, I re-discovered that I really am passionate about writing. It didn’t matter what topic I was blogging about, I got swept up in the writing process.

Getting swept up into the writing process isn’t a new experience for me. I’ve been very aware for years that writing is something I enjoy. I’m in flow when I write. I’ve written using a variety of formats and genres. I’ve written and sent query letters and emails, and I’ve submitted manuscript after manuscript over the years to various publishing houses all in an attempt to get published. However, I didn’t pursue full time writing because I thought I needed to be a published author first. I think I had it all wrong. Instead of thinking of writing as a hobby and as something to do full time after publication, I need to “Just do it!” like Nike says.

What’s exciting is that through writing I can:

  • continue the important work of Stacy’s Flutterings blog, finally write those eBooks I’ve been wanting to write, continue to seek representation from a traditional publishing house for our memoir and start other new writing projects I’ve been planning, and the list goes on…
  • support my loved one and anyone else living with mental illness
  • advocate for those living with mental illness
  • work to prevent suicide
  • help eradicate stigma
  • provide helpful, credible resources pertaining to mental illness and wellness

As you probably can tell, I will be very busy with my new job just like I was in Student Services. So with my full time writing hat now on my head, I turn my head to the side while grasping the back of the hat brim with the fingers on my left hand and grasping the front of the hat brim with the fingers on my right hand, and I adjust my hat by quickly tilting my head forward and pulling down on the brim as if giving a quick nod of approval and to say, “See ya next time!”

Growing stronger…