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Life is Beautiful

September 2, 2009

Which is something I know and almost never forget.

Almost.

But every now and then I just get this… feeling. This… stronger-than-usual reminder.

I am blessed. I have four wonderful, healthy children. I have a home that I love (even though it’s 150 years old and used to house dairy cows) in a beautiful and serene place that allows me the quiet I need to be at peace in my mind and spirit. I have the privilege of waking up every day and working at a thing that feels, most of the time, like the greatest fun. My work is something that, honestly, I’d still do even if I wasn’t paid to do it (and for years I wasn’t – but I did it anyway out of sheer love for it). Plus, I often get to work in my pajamas.

And comfy=good, yes?
πŸ˜€

The thing is, my life of late might seem like an embarrassment of riches, and this might, in some situations, prevent me from saying anything about it. But here’s why I want to share it; a very short time ago, none of this was true.

In fact, a very short time ago, I hated my job, spent very little time with my children because of said job, and lived in a place (and at a pace) that left me feeling overstimulated and exhausted. So I spent a little time thinking about how much it all sucked. And then I made changes. Big ones. Changes like quitting my job without another one in the pipeline and with no plans of GETTING one I hated ever again. Changes like moving my family 3,000 miles to a very small (and most importantly at the time, CHEAP!) town where I knew no one and had no idea what I would do next. Changes like giving up my big corporate salary and living paycheck to paycheck – when we were lucky enough to have a paycheck coming.

It was amazing. Exhilarating. Terrifying. Life-altering.

And here’s the important part. Ready?

I did it. I made those changes. I re-invented myself and started over, even though I had four children and a mortgage. Some people thought I was irresponsible. Many people thought I was crazy. It wasn’t easy. I didn’t always know what was around the corner. But as it turns out, that’s the fun part. If you can get over the terror! Heh.

Seriously, though. I know more than anyone that life is rarely perfect. That often, we’re thrown one loop after another. Which is why I think it’s important to really stand back and relish those moments when everything seems to fall right into place. When you feel like every moment, every day, has led you right to this one.

This is one of those moments, and I want to share it with you. I want to tell you that you CAN reinvent yourself. You can do – and be – anything you want. And it doesn’t matter if you have children, a mortgage. It doesn’t matter if you’re 20 or 30 or 60 or 80.

I have been a student of many things, a mother four times over, a wife (twice – but that’s a whole other story!), an executive, a homemaker, an antique dealer, a writer. I still am many of those things and sometimes it feels as if I discover more of myself every day. It has been a revelation to me that we don’t have to choose just one. The beauty of it is, we can re-invent ourselves as many times as we like. We can BE as many things as we like. As many as we DARE.

When I look back on my life, I can honestly say there is not a single thing I regret DOING. All of my regrets lay in the things left undone. Unlearned. Unexperienced. So my wish for you, dear readers, is that you dare. That you dare to live the life you want starting now. It may not always be easy. It may NEVER be easy. But if there’s something you want to do, try, experience, I can pretty much guarantee that you’ll never regret doing, trying, or experiencing it.

And visit me here or on Myspace or Facebook to share your journey, because the next best thing to having your own adventure is sharing someone else’s.
πŸ˜‰

On another note, I have a couple of totally unrelated and seemingly random bits of… stuff!

Tricks, the new book by Ellen Hopkins has debuted at #1 on the NYT Bestseller List. This makes me SO happy because A) Ellen is an amazingly gifted writer, and B) Ellen is an amazingly nice person. I LOVE it when good things happen to good people, so this news made my day!

Daisy Whitney’s book deal for her debut YA book, The Mockingbirds, was announced in Publishers Marketplace. Daisy will be working with my editor (lucky Daisy!) and I can’t wait to read The Mockingbirds which is about an underground vigilante group of boarding school students committed to righting the wrongs of their peers. Sounds cool, right?

Some other super amazing books are out as of today including The Hollow by Jessica Verday, Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins, Hate List by Jennifer Brown, and Ash by Malinda Lo. All I can say is, it is a seriously great time in publishing.
πŸ˜€

Aimee at the blog My Fluttering Heart wrote an incredible review for Prophecy. And that’s really saying something, because there are so many talented bloggers out there and Prophecy has been fortunate enough to get a number of amazingly thorough, well-written reviews. Sometimes I have time to post them and sometimes I don’t (which makes me sad), but I HAD to post a link to Aimee’s because, well… she just nailed it in her review. It was one of those reviews where I found myself nodding and thinking, “She gets it!” So thank you, Aimee. You made my day/week/month! And, ahem, I think we may have another writer in our midst.
❀

Lastly, I want to thank the many, many readers from all over the world who have taken the time to email me on Facebook and Myspace about Prophecy. Your enthusiasm for the book reminds me why I love what I do, and it means the world to me that you take the time out of your busy lives to share your love for Prophecy. Even though I email each and every one of you back, I just wanted to say it again here; THANK YOU! I ❀ YOU GUYS!

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16 Comments leave one →
  1. Rose permalink
    September 11, 2009 8:30 am

    Hey, Life has been crazy and I just realized that I haven’t popped over to see how you’ve been doing…
    Sounds like you’re busy doing (most) of the same things as me…(kids). Wish we could see you on the Book Tour, but not this time either.
    Sarah’s wondering when Book II will be published? I’m thinking next August? Am I right?
    Hope you’re well. Take care,
    Rose

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      September 12, 2009 7:52 pm

      Hi, Rose! Right now the release date is August, but there’s a slight possibility it could be a couple of months earlier. I guess we’ll see!
      πŸ˜€

  2. September 10, 2009 5:21 am

    ohhh thank you Michelle for this inspiring post!!!!It was just the story I needed to read by someone I admire and “want to be when I grow up”
    I have received the prophecy and am half way through and decided I am going to read reeeeal sloooooow because I don’t want it to end!It is AWESOME!I carry the book around like it is a stuffed animal,I really treasure it!
    Thanks again for sharing your inspiring thoughts,like I said it was just what I needed!
    hugs Dees

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      September 10, 2009 9:26 am

      I’m so glad my entry spoke to you, Dees! I find inspiration daily from the many insightful blogs out there, so it’s nice to know that I may have contributed something of value to someone else.

      It means a lot to me that there are readers in the world who treasure my book as much as I do. It’s difficult once your book is out to accept that not everyone will love it or even “get” it, but those times are made so much easier by the times when someone really does both.

      Thanks for making my morning!
      ❀

      MZ

  3. September 4, 2009 2:31 am

    Adele, I’m pretty sure that Michelle wrote that post for ME.

    Nah, just kidding. πŸ˜› But the fact that we can all relate so personally to it says something either about your writing, Michelle, or about humanity itself. This is something I really needed to read write about now, as I’m struggling to choose a major and the classes I will take for the rest of college. I think that hearing over and over again from people whose words I trust, who’ve been there and done that, that what I do now–even who I AM now–does not mean I have to be in the same position any time in the future. Your post has made me feel better about having fluctuating plans for my future. I now know that change is an expected part of our lives, and that I don’t need to have everything set in stone, because more likely than not they will change!

    So thank you. πŸ™‚

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      September 4, 2009 8:50 am

      You’re welcome, hon! Do what feels right to you for now, embrace it to the fullest, never stop learning, and keep your arms and your heart open to new experiences and opportunities.

      If you do those things, everything will be just fine, Sweets!
      ❀

  4. September 3, 2009 8:57 am

    I feel like you wrote that post for me Zinky. I am not that brave…yet. But I definitely need to think about making a HUGE change soon. Thank you for being so inspiring, caring and supportive.

    Mwah

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      September 3, 2009 9:12 am

      You are braver than you give yourself credit for, Adele. And of all the people I know, you’re at the top of the list of People Who Deserve Good Things.
      ❀

  5. September 3, 2009 1:09 am

    Its awe-inspiring to me that you were able to do that Michelle. I mean in all honesty I’ve only had three life-altering changes in my life and none of them was something I could change (my parent’s divorce, my mom placing me in public school when all my life I had been educated on army bases and my best friend since birth passing away) and I’m pretty ashamed to admit I didn’t react well to any of them. Actually my response was pretty much on par with having a mental breakdown…but well I’ve always been something of a highly strung person.

    I’m so happy that you’re able to do what you love and spend time with your kids. You really are such a marvelous person and I hope I can have that sort of serenity one day πŸ™‚

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      September 3, 2009 9:11 am

      You have much, much time, Lexi, to do and experience all the things you want to do and experience. I already know from your enthusiastic, open spirit that many wonderful experiences are yours for the taking.
      ❀

      PS. I used to be rather high-strung myself, but I've taught myself to chill…. πŸ˜‰

  6. September 3, 2009 1:06 am

    Thank you for this post is amazing. Wish you the best!

    Peace
    Michelle

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      September 3, 2009 9:09 am

      I wish all the best right back at you, Michelle!
      ❀

  7. September 3, 2009 12:36 am

    A friend once said regret is a useless emotion and I couldn’t agree more. Life is all to be experienced and mistakes are as important as successes. It’s all about learning and growing and choosing to be happy!

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      September 3, 2009 9:08 am

      I’ve heard that said about regret, and I couldn’t agree more.

  8. Jen permalink
    September 2, 2009 11:58 pm

    You are a pretty amazing person, Michelle. So, I think its fitting that things fall into place for you<3 It's a pleasure watching you succeed at what you love. It really is inspirational. The fact that you encourage others to pursue their dreams makes you even more special!

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      September 3, 2009 9:08 am

      Thank you so much, Jen. And if I’m fortunate enough to be in the amazing person/mom category, I’m in very good company.
      πŸ˜‰

      Keep WRITING!
      ❀

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