I remember a job interview from 2008 and was asked what I set as my 5- and 10-year career goals.  Honestly, before that moment I had not thought about it.  My reply was something like, “My husband’s work just transferred us to this area so my focus is finding employment with a small financial company where I can use my skills and be appreciated for my contributions.  My life significantly changed years ago and I realize that life is short and can change in an instant so I tend not to set too many goals.”  The look on his face was a combination of shock and confusion. 

Fortunately, the fact that I had not set career goals wasn’t a deal breaker for the man I interviewed with and I accepted the job offer.  I worked for this financial firm for about 11 years before relocating back home to Indiana. 

I tell you that story to better understand how important it was for me to set a personal goal – the goal to write and tell my story, along with publishing books in memory of my three children as well as my two incredible step-children.

With the recent release of Hot Dogs for Every Meal, I have accomplished that goal and it feels wonderful.  Healing Tears was published on Valentine’s Day 2017, and the five children’s books followed.

            I Love & Like You! – for Jarod

            Ornaments of Love – for Sean

            Precious Time – for Brandi

            Shared Courage – for Courtney

            Hot Dogs for Every Meal – for Connor

When I was a little girl, I knew that I wanted to write and publish a book one day.  After the military, I thought I’d write about my adventures and crazy stories from serving in the Air Force.  But my life was then filled with a husband and three children, along with a great career.  When my world fell apart in 1998 with the loss of my children, I realized what my book would be about.  I wanted to write the story of my loss and journey of healing. 

That goal was set but with no timeline in mind.  I journaled for a year then spend the following year putting my notes into story format.  It was during those two years of writing that I began my journey of healing, forgiveness and acceptance.  I submitted the manuscript to a few publishing companies but received several reject letters.  That was not the time in my life when I could handle the rejections so my solution was to close the folder and put it away.

The folder sat unopened for about 15 years. 

Remember that job interview I referenced earlier?  It was at the encouragement of Mary, one of the owners of that business, that I decided to revisit the goal.  The process of editing my manuscript, finding a publishing company to self-publish, and put my book to market was a tiring but exciting 18 or so months.  

The pride I feel for finishing all six books is immeasurable.  An incredible sense of accomplishment!

I encourage you to write your goals somewhere – a journal, document on your computer, or even the Notes app on your phone.   Setting timelines and plans of action can be useful tools to keep you focused and on track to reaching those goals.  But as the Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, said, “The only constant in life is change”.  With that in mind, you may need to alter, add, or delete those goals.

Don’t measure your life by meeting those goals or not.  View the goals as hopes, dreams and aspirations to work towards. Remember that the life you envision now may not be the same tomorrow, next year, or 5 years from now.  Nothing is certain but change.  Embrace those changes!

I wish you love, laughter, and much happiness.