When I am old and I look back at my life, I'm sure I will say that staying home with the boys was the happiest time in my life!
I can't imagine there being anything more fulfilling than being part of every step they took in their developmental years.
I also know I will say that writing this blog was a major part of that happiness, as well. When you do something for many hours straight and the time flies, you know you are doing the right thing for yourself. When I write, I get lost, and when I look up, hours have past. Writing is my happy place. Fortunately, I am lucky enough to have people, like you, who want to read it and maybe even relate to it. Having a bunch of strangers become your "virtual friends" is the gift I have received for the work. I have met so many people that are sharing our same life through sharing this blog. Many of you have reached out and helped me through some dark "mommy moments". I thank you for your kindness and compassion. Also, thanks to you, in 2013 we reached our goal of 100,000 hits!
Two years ago, a friend’s mom who had just retired from a major publishing house gave me advice on how to approach publishing companies to publish a book I wrote more than ten years ago during my/our infertility experience. It is a raw account of the emotions one goes through during infertility. My friend's mom said, "Start a blog and reach 100,000 hits. Once you do that, you will have the backing of an audience and then you can approach publishing companies." She told me that publishing houses want you to come with a book AND an audience who want to buy the book. Well, two years to the day, thanks to you, we reached our goal!!!
When I actually saw the number I worked so hard to get. I smiled a private, slow and proud smile. I sent a screen shot to my friend and asked her to send it to her mom. I also sent the screen shot to my mom and a few friends who encouraged my writing along the way.
Then, I cleaned the bathroom.
As I cleaned, I wondered why I wasn't hopping on publishing sites or going straight to the Amazon self-publishing website. I started thinking about all of the reasons I wanted to publish my infertility book in the first place. For the 100,000th time, I imagined the women it could help during their struggle. Spending untold hours seeking a publisher (time which I now no longer have since going back to work) felt overwhelming to me. The thought of writing hundreds of anonymous emails and receiving hundreds of rejection notices was a non-starter. It was easier cleaning the toilet.
I said to myself yet again, "If I don't send it, I can't get rejected." That thought has overshadowed my desire every time I began to attempt publishing. Over the five-year time span while I wrote, I giddily imagined it in the front display of every Barnes & Noble and Borders, as i am sure all writers dream. I imagined being on Oprah and Regis & Kelly explaining how hard my infertile years were, hoping to reach the masses that were also struggling. Well, fifteen years later, Borders has gone out of business, Barnes and Noble sells more books online than in stores, Oprah retired her show and Kelly is now with Michael.
So I think I am going to have a new goal this year. Instead of publishing a hardcover book and getting rich and famous, I think I will publish an online copy and hope it gets around to the one in every four couples dealing with devastation of infertility in their lives. As I grow older, I am realizing helping these people is way more important to me than my own recognition. Plus, thanks to you, I have already reached "fame" by actually connecting with people during their difficult times dealing with childhood diabetes and hopefully helping them feel a little better.
Helping moms and dads cope with diabetes in their children, through my blog, has fulfilled me more than I could have ever imagined. With each new comment on a post and every "Like" on Facebook, my yearning for fame has evolved into something different. Writing this blog satisfied my need to help others going through a struggle, but to my surprise the struggle was actually with diabetes and not infertility. I never knew the infertility was actually the path to the diabetes. In more ways than one. Lol!
As I cleaned the toilet, I realized that the rich and famous part I craved had already been satisfied through my journey in learning how to write and have people want to read my words. Getting to 100,000 hits was actually an added bonus. The 100,000 hits for me is like $100,000. Apparently, I am already "rich" and "famous" and it had nothing to do with my infertility book.
I will still try to publish an online version of my book because I am motivated to see that goal actualized. However, now it will just hold a little less weight than it once did. I want to say thanks so much to you for helping me reach my goal. I appreciate you taking time out if your day to share in ours. I promise to write more in the new year! It's my happy place and I hope for a quick five minutes a week, it can be yours too.
Here's to safe New Year for us all!