or is that my b.m.i.? okay, it's probably the anemia.
yes, it's that time of year again. i have a birthday coming up, my 40-something or other. and, as usually happens around my birthday (and, actually, lately it happens more frequently), that whole "what have i accomplished?" question as begun to weary my brain. more often than not, this becomes a depressing list of failures, but this year i'd like to focus on what i HAVE accomplished. just because i don't have the traditional trappings of success doesn't mean i haven't accomplished anything. hell, not having the traditional trappings of success doesn't even mean i'm not a success. (and, with the amount of debt in my life, i at least have the illusion of having the traditional trappings of success. lol) so, what have i accomplished in my life . . .
i've had 4 children, all being raised very well, thank you very much. they are healthy and growing up to well-balanced, responsible adults. kitten is already just about there. considering the scale of poverty and struggle, i've done an amazing job of keeping them healthy, housed, clothed, and fed. i've provided them with healthy and positive examples in terms of doing your best, education, being a reader and a learner, and so much more. and while i may complain about their behavior at times, they are much better behaved than most kids these days. i done good.
i've kept us off the street. survival may not seem to be a big accomplishment to some - most of us want more than "just" survival. but all things considered, i'll pat myself on the back for keeping us enough afloat that we remained decently housed and fed.
after a 10 year absence and mediocre grades, i returned to college and graduated with my a.a. then my b.a. with honors. not an easy task when you are a single parent of 4 kids, one of which is multi-disabled. and i managed to pass several classes that a) were the hardest classes i've ever taken (an intro microbiology class being taught as if the students were all nursing majors or going to med school and had taken things like anatomy and so on; a psych class where both the prof and the book were as clear as mud; shakespeare - and that one took me 3 tries).
i've enjoyed a variety of life experiences from fast food worker to at home mommy to student. soon, hopefully, i'll get to experience being a teacher. i've lived in maryland, ohio, northern and southern cali, and now georgia. unlike a lot of people, my experiences aren't limited, and because of that i'd like to think i've learned a lot, appreciate a lot more than most, and accept - even appreciate - differences better than a lot of people. maybe that's also why i value being myself, without masks or games, so much. too many people never get out of their boxes; i've been out of, in, over, under, around, and ventured far, far away from mine. lol
i helped found a successful online writer's workshop. dii has been around for almost 3 years now, and while we've had our ups and downs, we're still going strong with a dedicated core group of members. and even those who have had to leave us have often said how much the group has been a help to them and how hard it is for them to go. to have been able to positively touch so many lives is probably one of the biggest accomplishments i have ever managed.
not only have i become a paid author, but i also completed my first novel. it took me awhile to figure out how i need to write novels, probably way too long, but i did it. and now one novel is nearly in the editing stage and 2 others are well on their way to completion (one is in the rough draft stage, the other is being outlined). and while i may have a lot of doubt as to whether or not what i'm writing will be published, or is even publishable, there are a lot of people who believe in me, and that's enough to keep me going. even better, i've not given up.
several times in my life i've had to "start over," and i've always managed to bounce back eventually. there are times when i struggle, and, yes, there are times when i cry, get depressed, or want to pull my hair out in pure frustration, but i never let it stop me from moving, from growing, from living. this newest move and time of starting over will be no different. as always, i'll keep going, find my balance, get my bearings, and weather through it. and probably become a better person for it.
i learned thml, graphics creation, web site creation and maintenance, and a host of other web related things that i never even imagined doing. i've been a leader within certain web groups, learning a host of leadership skills along the way. and what i've learned through the web can be taken into my offline life as well.
these are just the bigger things that i can think of at the moment, but they are significant. i've actually managed quite a bit in my life. so, happy birthday to me (and please forgive the plug). i may be feeling my age, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.