Hello, my friends! Here it is, my last post of the year, squeaking in at the very last minute. Overall, 2019 was a profound year for me. I changed a lot, accomplished so many goals. I failed and failed and failed, too.
One of the biggest changes of all: I am no longer afraid of public speaking. In fact, I might even go as far to say that I enjoy it now. That’s not to say that I’m any good at it, but I’ve stopped caring that I’m not. Just last month, I stood in front of two hundred elementary school students and all their teachers and gave one of my book presentations. Not a muscle spasm to be seen on my face, not a single drop of sweat glistened on my brow. At one point when I opened the floor for questions and answers, one of the students raised his hand.
“Yes?” I pointed the microphone towards him.
“Why did you stand in front of the projector and screen the whole time? We couldn’t see anything!”
Now, a couple of years ago I would have been mortified. This time, I laughed and laughed. I apologized, naturally, but it was so funny to me that of course I would block the view!
Herein lies the most massive change I’ve seen in myself: I’ve stopped beating myself about things that — in the grand scheme of things — matter so little.
Despite the many successes I’ve enjoyed this year, my financial goals remain unmet. This continues to be a source of contention in my family and there’s a lot of talk about how I need to go get a “real job.” Several weeks ago my well-intentioned yet destitution-fearing husband made me aware of my “magical thinking,” and how problematic this is. My daughter, lovely K, calls it “Moo Moo Cha Cha.”
I gave this some serious, weighty thought. Magical thinking…..hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. I think they’re right.
And because of my magical thinking, here’s a partial list of what has happened in the last 6 years. I’ve:
- Pitched and sold 10 book ideas without an agent. TEN BOOKS. I got four book deals this year (Thank you Sasquatch Books and Little Bigfoot, I love you).
- Improved my health so much that I no longer have any Graves Disease symptoms, with which I was diagnosed in 2011.
- Lost nearly 20 pounds without dieting.
- Manifested illustration clients, magazine work, paid events and other opportunities that I couldn’t have even imagined six years ago. I modeled for a magazine, y’all. At age 48. With hyper-pigmentation and wrinkles and gray-streaked hair.
- Sewn literally hundreds of garments and projects. I can make perfectly fitting jeans. This, more than anything, seems to blow people’s minds.
- Become comfortable in my own skin. Most importantly, I now truly love my life and love myself. Exactly as I am, full of flaws and full of light.
Call me crazy, but magical thinking seems awesome, wouldn’t you agree?
I decided that in 2020, I’m going to keep going with the Moo Moo Cha Cha (I so love that term K coined). I’m going to experiment and try anything and everything that I’m curious about that people keep telling me are unrealistic. It’s amazing how many people tell me that I’m unrealistic — sometimes complete strangers!
I’m willing to experience discomfort on a grand scale, my friends. I’m starting now, by offering up for sale a little booklet I wrote with my thoughts on magical thinking because — why not? If it helps even one person get closer to a long-held dream or improve his or her health or aid in feeling just a little bit more okay in this chaotic world, I’m delighted. I put so much of myself in this little digital booklet, and it’s quite embarrassing in some ways. This e-book started out as a post that I shared with my Patreon group (they’re the best! I share all of the in-depth behind-the-scenes stuff with them) — I received such encouraging feedback that I wondered if it might benefit more people.
I truly believe that ANYONE can accomplish the things I’ve listed above. For six years, I’ve diligently focused on what I wanted my life to look like and lo! By changing the way I think and taking steady actions, I’m astounded by the results. This year, I’m turning laser-focused attention to the money aspect for obvious reasons — and I want to do it in a way that is with integrity, from a place of uplifting and helping others. For the e-book, I’ve added more to my original raw post and drew up some illustrations too. Included are actual, unvarnished thought processes, the struggles, and information about how much I actually earn as an author/illustrator. It’s my first iteration and I’ll be creating more products along this line over the course of 2020.
Here’s to experimentation and Moo Moo Cha Cha! If you’d like to purchase this wee digital book, click here.
2020!!!! This moment at the cusp of a new year is the most thrilling for me. The potentiality is gigantic and shiny and sparkly, and I’m shaking off the difficult bits and bobs from the past twelve months. I’ve learned a lot from them and I’m ready to move on. Onwards and upwards!!