Hello, again, and welcome to my relaunch! Or, for those of you who are subscribed to my newsletter and received this draft that I accidently published a couple of months ago, welcome back!
Invent. Reinvent. Choose yourself.
This is a quote that was provided to me by Cynthia Leitch Smith over ten years ago.
Invent. Reinvent. Choose yourself. Reinvent again, and choose yourself again, too–embracing the fun along the way.
Over the years, I’ve tried to invent new versions of me by going in new directions. I’ve tried to reinvent my writing career again and again. I’ve given myself a thousand chances, riding a runaway mental roller coaster for the past ten years. Invent. Reinvent. Fail. Rise up again. Rinse, later, repeat.
But in all my efforts, I’ve always missed a crucial step:
I haven’t fully chosen myself.
And by that, I don’t mean I gave priority to everyone but myself. No, I’ve given myself time to put in the work through meditation, journaling, educational courses, new planner systems, rejuvenation goals, etc.
And I’ve always remained happy.
I’ve had a total blast on epic Disney trips, family cruises, bike tours with my husband, international travel, training for tough running events, spending lots of time at the beach, and for that, I’m grateful.
But I haven’t fully given myself a chance to succeed by figuring out what’s keeping me on that damn roller coaster.
Rather than dig deep into why those new directions haven’t worked out, why my writing career reboots have failed, why my goals and resolutions are rarely accomplished, I’ve been sweeping my mental issues under the rug rather, putting Band-Aid after Band-Aid on my deep wounds rather than allowing them to heal.
This changed in the beginning of 2023.
This is when my husband and I decided to make drastic changes in our life.
The biggest way is by slowly retiring from our construction business in stages, ending over thirty years of stress, pressure, and long hours. Don’t get me wrong. I’m grateful for our many lovely customers, loyal subcontractors, friends, and the opportunities our business has afforded us. But we are still feeling the effects Covid had placed on construction, making it harder for everyone, and we’re mentally worn out from dealing with customers and material shortages.
Bob now has a job he absolutely LOVES and although the transition period for the past six months has been chaotic, there’s light at the end of the tunnel and I cannot WAIT to start our new life together. I mean, seriously. I can’t imagine what it will be like for Bob to punch out at 4:30 on a Friday evening and not have to think about work until Monday. It will be HEAVEN.
Along with his new job comes another incredible perk we’re so grateful for:
Better Health Insurance.
Kickass insurance, to be exact, one that has brought along a new much-needed element in my life:
To note, we’ve always had insurance but with high deductibles and less benefits, since we were self-employed. But now? I’m seeing an amazing therapist every week for only $10.00 and it’s been LIFE-CHANGING. I’ve been finally dealing with childhood trauma, stress, negative beliefs, and remnants of a relationship that had stripped my identity, issues I’ve been sweeping under the rug for most of my life until it grew to the size of a pitcher’s mound.
And then there’s one more thing. A whopper:
I have ADHD.
Yes, at the fabulous age of 54, I’ve been diagnosed with ADHD, which makes SO. MUCH. SENSE. I mean, this is me, 100%:
This diagnosis has brought on a ton of grieving over the person I could have been, the books I should have written, the writing career I would have had, and the understanding that my lack of focus and other mental issues weren’t entirely my fault.
So many damn coulda, shoulda, woulda’s.
I’ve had some tear-filled days and frustration while trying out new medication, but for the first time in a LONG time, I’m starting to feel hopeful. Like, truly hopeful, not just New Year’s Eve optimistic that only lasts a few weeks until that energy dissolves into my usual frustration over failed goals and dreams that feel unachievable.
I’m feeling like … myself again, even though I’ve yet to fully discover who she is.
Which brings me to this blog.
I started this blog back in 2006 … a whopping sixteen years ago! (Wow. That’s a long freaking time.) At its beginning, I focused more on day-to-day commentary about my life, content in the same style that I used to post way back when on LiveJournal. (Btw, I loved LiveJournal. That was community blogging at its finest!)
But now, I will use this space as a wellness diary, documenting my self-publishing journey and my quest to reinvent my writing career, even if it’s for the thousandth time.
I will also focus more on:
- writing tips
- book reviews
- planning and organizing
- ADHD for writers … there’s apparently a lot of us!
- and some random life updates.
As part of this blog reinvention, I’ve done a MAJOR cleanup of my nearly 400 posts, deleting older ones that no longer serve my new focus … like this gem from 2007 about me creating a MySpace profile:
I finally stopped procrastinating and created a MySpace page on Saturday evening while listening to the Ravens lose, sniff, sniff. And okay, it wasn’t as hard as I thought it’d be, so I’m kicking myself for being such a wuss about it for the past few months.
p.s. I was very disappointed over not being able to view my MySpace profile. Ah, memories!!
I’ve also been writing a TON of draft posts … 55, to be exact, including this one. My words are flowing, my chaotic thoughts that have been swirling above my head for years are starting to fall into place like puzzle pieces, and for the first time IN A LONG TIME, I have a direction that makes me happy.
That feels RIGHT.
I’m still fearful, though.
And here’s a confession.
Another goal I had discussed with my therapist back in May was to use November 1, 2023 as the date of a major relaunch for another blog and social media platform I’ve also been working on called …
This is my passion project, a wellness journal and a way to document my personal joy reinvention. A place to dive deep into topics like menopause, ADHD, skincare for mature skin, fitness, lifestyle, travel, and my newfound love of belly dancing.
Yes, I’ve also learned to belly dance. It’s an amazing core workout!
So far, I have 48 blog drafts written and I have pages of content ideas and scripts planned out for the new social media accounts I want to create.
But I’m still paralyzed with fear and doubt.
The thought of releasing that content and sharing my most vulnerable self with the world, however small of an audience that might be, makes my chest tighten with anxiety. My deep rooted fear of other people hating me or thinking I’m foolish still has it’s grip, despite the conversations I’ve had with women my age who would appreciate this type of content.
And despite me knowing that it’s all in myhead.
I know I should just freaking jump, already, but with my upcoming travel plans, NaNoWriMo in November, (National Novel Writing Month,) and the holidays, I’m cutting myself some slack, once again, by setting a new deadline of January 1, 2024.
Feel free to hold me to it.
Instead, I’m using today … November 1, 2023, to official launch this updated website, however quietly, and diving back deep into blogging again. And then on January 1st, I’ll also be launching a new Writer, Reinvented Instagram and TikTok account as well!
(Which reminds me. Maybe I should create those accounts now to make sure I can get that name.)
And then there’s …
Remember me talking about failed new directions earlier? Well, here’s one of them.
I had started Joyfully OC, MD in 2021, back when I was still healing from a toxic relationship and hiding from fiction writing. My intention was to write about all aspects of Ocean City, Maryland … a place I dearly love, (and often gets an unfair bad rap,) but that goal fell through, along with so many others.
During a fun-filled Labor Day weekend in 2023, however, my daughter-in-law and I decided to give JOYOCMD another shot by launching an Instagram and TikTok account together! And now that Bob and I will be retired from building, we’ll be able to visit the beach more in 2024, giving us more opportunities to gather content about a place we all love!
Official launch date is also January 1, 2024!
Officially ending Joyful Miles has been difficult decision long in the making for me. I had started this website, YouTube channel, and podcast with friends way back in 2016 and I loved it. The community we created, making content that helped others improve their lives, the fun times, I absolutely LOVED IT.
It was assumed by others that I’d continue solo back in 2020, but that was too painful, no matter how much I missed it. For those of you who read my previous Welcome Back post that I accidentally posted two months ago, you also know that wanted to relaunch Joyful Miles as Joyfully, runDisney.
Yes, I love the word JOY, lol!
I’ve since realized, however, that this plan needs to be put on the back burner for now so I can better focus my time and energy into my writing career. In other words, I can’t use another passion project as a way to deflect my biggest goal in life: to become a successful indie-author!
So that’s it, this is where I am right now.
I’m medicated. I’m in therapy. I’m supporting my husband as he goes through the difficult process of ending our business, I’m being supported by my amazing family, friends, and rebooted frienships with writers.
I’ve forgiven myself for past failures.
I’m reflecting on past successes that deserve more credit, and I’m becoming…
A Writer, Reinvented.
I’m going to be raw, here. Honest. Ugly. Borderline dramatic. And there’s a good chance that I will want to quit when my mental demons become too loud to ignore, but one thing I admire about myself is that I never give up.
I’ve given myself a thousand chances and I’ll give myself a thousand more, if that’s what it takes.
Now. How about you? Are you also in the midst of your own life reinvention? Starting a writing career or rebooting? If so, I’d love it if you’d subscribe and join me in this adventure! We got this, m’kay? M’kay.
Until then, thanks for reading, happy writing, and take care!