Hi friends! Today is my 51st birthday!
Normally people begin the New Year on January 1st. It’s when the calendar year starts and we make resolutions to live better lives. When I turned 50 last year, I decided my New Year would begin on my birthday. After all, a new decade, milestone birthday (Half a freaking century old!) sounded like a good time for a new beginning. The better part of January 2018 was spent deciding what I really wanted to do with this next chapter in my life.
The final choice was going to go back to work full-time or going back to school! Either way, meant new opportunity, new growth. Man! I was so excited to see how things would play out.
Then, February 2nd, 2018, an Email arrived from a friend saying: “Hey Sara, Have you ever thought of writing a cookbook?” It went on to outline a potential book deal, time frames etc. A cookbook? That wasn’t work or school. A cookbook was not in the plan. This is where Thomas Rhetts song “Life Changes” comes to mind. The chorus says:
“Ain’t it funny how life changes
You wake up, ain’t nothing the same and life changes
You can’t stop it, just hop on the train and
You never know what’s gonna happen
You make your plans and you hear god laughing
Life changes, and I wouldn’t change it for the world, the world, oh no
And I wouldn’t change it for the world, the world.”
I never contemplated writing a cookbook. A historical romance novel, yes! Ever since 7th grade. But a cookbook? Well, we hopped on the train and went with it. Now, a year later, not only did I co-author that cookbook, it published in September 2018, and we have a revised and expanded edition due out in just a few weeks! That’s incredible to me. Incredible and humbling.
It’s true. You make your plans and God starts laughing. Obviously life had other ideas for 2018 and it’s been a journey. It was not an easy journey, to be honest. If anyone ever tells you writing a cookbook is simple, they aren’t being truthful! There were plenty of other things thrown in the mix that we never expected either. Family and friends battling cancer. My Mom breaking her C2 and various other bones. Deaths. Car accidents. Life stuff. It’s what happens when you wake up every day! While it may not have been easy, there was so much to learn from each experience. So many things to be grateful for! 50 has been quite a ride!
Now, I’m looking at 51. It makes me giddy to think of what might be on the horizon this year! Let’s see if we can make God laugh again.
Instead of a large goal (why tempt fate?) I’ve chosen themes for the year. Three themes: Fit. Free. Fun!
Fit: healthy in body, mind and spirit. “Fitting in” and adapting to life changes with a happy spirit. Finding where I “fit” in this world.
Free: Eager, independent, unhampered by what the world says I should be or do, clear in my communications and unburdened by guilt or having to keep the peace at all costs. Generous with compliments. Not so fearful about sharing my story.
Fun: Let’s celebrate this glorious life! Take pleasure in the little things. Take risks! Be joyful. Laugh often. Relax and remember the things that make my heart sing.
As for the rest? I’m planning on going back to work or school at the end of the year (mid-November 2019). There are other things already scheduled for 2019 too. My oldest son is getting married in April. (Cue the Mom tears!) The Bridal Shower is this weekend and I’m hosting. My Mom is moving this weekend too. (No stress in trying to juggle both things in the same weekend!) There will be events to promote the new cookbook. I’m blessed to be going back as a judge for the Claremont Pie Festival in March. I’ll be doing demos again at the Orange County Fair in July and August and hopefully the LA County Fair in September! I’m equally blessed to be teaching cooking classes at VomFASS in Claremont and doing some private classes too. We have a 10 day trip planned for the end of October, hence the waiting on the job and school until after we get back. Beyond that, who knows! Whatever it holds, I know 2019 will be a year of growth, learning and progress!
So bring it on 51. I’m ready for you. I hope you’re ready for me!