Life as I know It

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San Luis Obispo, California, and South Bristol, Maine, United States
Author ~ Illustrator ~ Lecturer

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

What I Expect of Myself

Me and my best friend Hans Lovejoy

Years ago I stopped doing what other people expected of me and started doing what I expected of myself.

 The 21st century needs another Mark Twain

It wasn't only teachers and counselors trying to dictate my choices, but also my family. "What Sharon? You are an art major? What will you do with THAT major? You need to learn how to type and take dictation."

"I can't believe you're not going to accept the job with the school district. You could retire in 20 years and THEN do what you want."

Twenty years? Really? Wait 20 years to do what I want?

Right around that time I met a woman in an electric wheelchair. She was proud to tell me she once trekked all over Britain, but now? Now she blew on a mechanism to make her chair work. Her words to me? "Don't waste any time, don't put off doing things, follow your heart. I was waiting to retire before I did so many things. I retired at fifty five, but look at me now."(She was 56)

 Oh how I love the wisdom of Eleanor Roosevelt

I chose to take chances. To start businesses, some of which thrived, one which didn't do well. I chose to devote myself to drawing and painting and to learning everything I could about the critters and the gardening I loved. I chose to write, well, maybe I didn't choose it, it chose me. I knew that whether or not anyone ever read my work,  I wanted to try to touch other lives and open doors of understanding and build bridges between me and my readers.

So, I didn't learn how to take shorthand, but I did learn how to type, thank goodness. It makes my life so much easier. Mom was right about that one.

I guess what this final blog posting for the swiftly fading 2015 is all about, is believing in yourself and always trying to live up to your own expectations. It is impossible to have expectations of others, you never know when people are going to do a 180 degree turn from what you think you've figured out. But, if YOU know what you're going to do and how you're going to live your life, you're on your pathway. You are "honoring your calling," as author Elle Luna says in the following quote.
Because I honored my pathway (despite the bumps, wrong turns, and dead ends), my life is richer and more joyful. Because I honored my pathway, I am sometimes broke, sometimes frustrated, sometimes on fire, and sometimes sitting alone under a dark cloud. But if I hadn't taken the chance and expected more from myself, well, I'd finally be ready to retire and start living.

I'm living now–what about YOU?

My generous editor and publicist at Workman Publishing have offered TWO copies of Elle Luna's book to my readers. Please leave a comment and we'll do a drawing around January 15th of 2016 (Don't hold me to that). Workman Publishing will ship the books directly to the winners.