Wednesday, July 18, 2012

It's My Party and I'll Give Presents Away if I Want to

I’m turning 44 on July 19th and lucky for me, I’ve got nothing to cry about, except maybe a few more wrinkles and dimples that I didn’t have 20 years ago. But with each year that passes its hard not to look back and ponder the decisions I’ve made, to reminisce, think about where I am and what the future holds, to think about the accomplishments and yes, the failures.

I remember riding the bus for the hour-long trip to school everyday, staring out the window and being the star in the daydreams of my future. There was always adventure in those inspirational moments, many twists and turns, and oh, the drama. Inevitably, there were horses and I was a world-renowned horse trainer. There were sexy men with hearts of gold who swooped me off my feet. And the career woman who beat the odds in a male dominate world. I wanted to be anything but what I was and anywhere but on that school bus.

I had four major goals or vision for my life during those hours and years riding that yellow hunk of metal - they included the following:

1. Career woman
2. Barrel racer
3. Horse trainer
4. Published Author

The decisions and reminiscing:

1. Career woman - I went to college despite a school counselor telling me not to bother going because I’d never make it and a father who said I’d end up pregnant before it was all said and done. Jokes on them, considering that would never be possible, me getting pregnant that is. And not only did I make it through college, I did it with flying colors. Since graduating, I have done all the things I though a career woman would do. I’ve had the luxury of travelling all over the U.S. and staying in some magnificent hotels. I’ve worn fancy dresses to fancy dinners and drank some of the best Champaign (I’ll take a beer any day, thank you). I’ve given presentations to corporate staff and have sat in hour long meetings with customers from foreign countries. Was it as glamorous as the teenage girl thought it would be, at times—yes, but for the most part—no. It’s work just like anything else.

2. Barrel racer - When I was in my late twenties, I decided it was time to pursue this dream. I bought a 15-year-old seasoned barrel racing mare (Baby D), who taught me the ropes. We competed for fours years together and running some pretty good times when I had to retire her due to arthritis and the fact she’d gone blind in one eye. She’s thirty-two years old this year and looks like a spring chicken. She is doing great and enjoying life. Even though I don’t barrel race anymore, it’s still a dream fulfilled. I think about getting back into it, but it just hasn’t been the same since riding Baby D.

3. Horse trainer - This one is simple. I bought a yearling and trained her to replace Baby D. With the exception of hating to go in the horse trailer, she turned out to be an excellent all around horse. She is good in competition, but never managed to fill Baby D’s horseshoes. Where she does excel is with the little ones. Put a child on her back and she is the sweetest, gentlest horse you will find. I trained a horse. Goal accomplished.

4. Published Author - This one took the longest to achieve. More from lack of trying than anything, because once I tried things sorta happened pretty fast considering five years is nothing compared to the industry standard. It has been possibly the hardest to achieve because of the personal, emotional and time investment that it takes to write and then sell a book. And the time investment isn’t just your own, but your families, too. The time it takes away from them. It has been, however, the most satisfying, self-rewarding accomplishment because in writing I have found my passion.

Where I am:

Literally, right now? On my front porch, a cool breeze blowing across me and my laptop as I write. But in life terms—it’s all good. I’m still working the career woman angle until the movie deal comes through for one or all of my books. Hey, just because I’m 44 doesn’t mean I’ve stopped dreaming. I’ve still got my horses and I enjoy them even if I don’t barrel race or ride as often as I’d like. Spending time with them, watching them in the pasture and smelling them when I walk into the barn brings me peace. 

I have my dream home—a log cabin—and live on the farm I grew up on as a child. I have wonderful people around me—family and friends, many are both. 

I count on exercise now like never before and age defying creams all in effort to look younger than what I am. I’m playing softball again for the first time in 17 years, and that’s purely for enjoyment and because I missed it. 

God is a strong force in my life and I thank him everyday for the many blessings. I pray for strength to be the person He wants me to be and I hope one day to be worthy of His love and mercy.

What the future holds:

Who knows, right? It could all end tomorrow. Not the world, but my life or my life as I know it, but you can’t spend your time dwelling on that. You do the best you can and what’s meant to be will be. 

Work as if it all depends on you and pray as if it all depends on God.  

For my birthday, I’m giving away a FREE copy (e-book or print) of EMOTIONAL WARFARE and a $10 gift card to Amazon to two lucky commenters. Leave a comment below about a goal achieved or anything else or just leave your e-mail address to be entered to win.


cindy said...

A goal I have recently achieved is teaching my formally non verbal 14 year old son with autism to speak. He currently has 4 works - mom, dad, home, and gum. Nothing beats hearing those words spoken by him.

Calisa Rhose said...

Great post Tina. I enjoyed reading of your accomplishments! I have to say I kind of cheated and did two of your goals with one fling. I wanted to barrel race too and a guy had a horse he wanted trained to barrel race. I didn't make it to a competition, but I trained his horse to race. I've trained many horses over the years as that was my passion as a teen and young woman. My sister and I both broke horses for years. In fact- the last one I raised and broke was my own- the only one I ever owned and broke. Congrats on your book success! I hope I win. The card would be fine- but I'd just have to buy the book so... lol

Harley Brooks said...

Happy Birthday girlfriend! You're still a baby (and as cute as the little one in the picture). You're also one of the lucky ones to have achieved all your listed goals. Like you, my goal or I should say dream, was to published--something I didn't know I wanted until 4 short years ago, and when it happened I honestly didn't trust it was real. My ultimate goal is to live to be 100, mind and body intact, and buying a red convertible sports car to celebrate because I'll still be driving! Until then, I just hope to touch the hearts and minds of more and more readers. Love your closing line. Perfect. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday to an amazing woman..a great friend to my sister and a gift to your family. Your books are amazing. I feel my accomplishment is that I have raised a strong confident daughter who amazes me everyday. She will start graduate school in the fall to work on her Phd in school psychology.

Lori C. said...

Tina. What a wonderful post. I too dreamed and struggled. I always seemed to do what everyone else wanted me to do. I didnt finish college because i lost interest because i didnt get with what i wanted to do. I married thinking it was right and i didnt know myself. I lived for him and not for me until my son was born. He struggled early to live and i fought for him. Then my husband battled cancer, i put him first of course and to protect my son. Then he decided to love someone else. It crushed me but at that point i began to live. To make my own decisions. To stand up. We reunited but he lost his battle cancer. Not before blessing me with a future husband. I almost lost him too. But stood strong and fought for him. Prayed my decisions were the right ones and to this day i dont regret. I just look forward with hope courage and faith to live life on my terms and not for others but along side others

Loretta said...

Good mornin, Birthday Girl! Loved the post:):)
For my dreams...I think I'm living them in part...the other part...we'll see:)
I did want to do something "more", not average, with my life and I think I'm doing that. Not quite to the level I wish yet, but at least I'm on the right page:) ( of a pun there;) I want to try and do a little more, using my voice, hopefully to do something audio (linked with my writing would be excellent:) Part of that fulfillment depends on me...I think I can feel myself revving up inside toward that goal, so again, we'll see:)
Wishing you a fabulous day, filled with blessings, and all the things you love:)

Anonymous said...

How wonderful to have achieved your dreams at such a young age. Happy birthday and here's a wish for you to have many more birthdays -- and many more dreams to come.
My goal was to be published, which Ihave acompllsihed. Now I want to find an agent and be published in hardback. We;ll see!

christine warner said...

Happy Birthday Christina! I loved your post....and I mean I LOVED it. Truly makes you sit back and think about things. How lucky we are to have what we have, to be able to have dreams and achieve them, or depends on the path you choose I guess. You sound content and happy and I have my fingers crossed that your movie deal in in the making! What an accomplishment...and even if it isn't in the have written not just one, but several books...that's a major achievement so many aspire too but never reach....and you've done it.

Have an amazing day, enjoy the breeze on your front porch, enjoy the horses and your home and family and most of all enjoy all you've been blessed with!

Christina Wolfer said...

Thank you for all the wonderful comments, for sharing my birthday with me and for sharing your dreams and your struggles.

marybelle said...

Happy Birthday!!

You sound like you are in a great place in your life.

I found strength I never knew I had as the years roll on.


Grace Greene said...

Christina - Thanks for sharing so much of yourself with us. Accomplishing goals is great, but in reading your post, I get the sense that you are comfortable and happy in your own skin - that's a blessing. It's a wonderful thing to be able to appreciate where you've been and where you're at now and enjoy who you are.

I think I'm envious of your front porch! It sounds like a marvelous place to write!

Helen Riedel said...

Tina, enjoy your Birthday Weekend! I think it is fantastic that your books are going over so wonderful!

Jennifer Johnson said...

What a blessing it is to know you and to have worked with you. Your cup is running over. Isn't it wonderful? And wow! I learned something about you today-barrel racing! You share my mom's birthday by the way. I've read Emotional Warfare and think it's a great story. No need to enter me in the drawing-just stopping by to celebrate with you on everything you've become and what you are becoming.

Jessica Lemmon said...

I'll be joining you soon in the ranks of published author...but that's all I can say about that. ;-)

Christina Wolfer said...

Congrats to Mary Belle and Jessica, you are the winners of a $10 gift card to Amason and a copy of Emotional Warfare.

Thank you for the wonderful comments. Thank you for sharing your stories with me.