Some years ago I created a 45X45 list of 45 things I wanted to do before I turned 45. Over the past six(ish?) years I’ve revised it several times…adding things and taking others away. This year, I turned 41. I’m creeping up on 45 faster than I like to think about, mainly because I didn’t feel I had enough of the items on the list done. Of course, there were a few things I wanted to add as well. So I sat down with my list, looked it over. Once again I did some trimming, cut a few items, then I added some more. I’m super excited to tackle the list. There are at least two items that I get to cross off within this next month, which will be really cool. The solar eclipse is a given, and I’m going to where there will be 98.99% coverage, so bonus! Then, at the end of the month hubby and I are heading to Disney World (which we will return to in December…woot)…which, since I went to Disneyland in May, will put me in both US based parks within a one year span! After that…there’s a lot of options ahead of me. Take a look at my new list: 50 X 50 Take a real vacation. (Not to Buffalo, not w/ the kids) (Done 4/23/12) Take my kids to Disney World. (Done, thanks to Make-A-Wish 10/28/14) See my name in print (get published, e-zine, paper-zine). (Done 6/24/12 – Sirens Call June 2012 Issue) Have a novel published. (Done 2/8/13 – Changing Tracks & 17 more times [so far] by 7/18/15) Get my Dominion Falls books series in front of a producer. Completely tidy my house [w/reference to KonMari]. (Started w/ my clothes. Lots left to do) Take a photography class (or 2 or 3) Perform on stage again (done 12/4/15 – Violet Grey in A Charlie Brown Christmas) See Colorado Camp – really camp in the Rockies See Yellowstone Go skydiving. [Yes, I feel slightly insane here] Go to a blogger’s conference. (done 4/23/12) Sit at a book signing. Get on a regular exercise regime & stay on it for more than 3 months. Hand craft (knit, sew) 1 item for ME for a change. (DONE 4/1/12) Make a complete Victorian era dress from skin out. (underthings complete, corset 50% complete) Get some crazy color in my hair (purple, blue, pink highlites/streaks) Done 2/11/12 Read the Harry Potter series aloud to my girls. (2/3 of the way through by 8/4/17) Sing Karaoke Get up close with the wolves & photograph them at Wolf Park. Move to Florida. Pay off debt. Get a car that is less than 2 years old Run a 5k. Done 9/22/12 Do something daring (paragliding, zipline, etc.) Done 7/14/12 See the butterflies at the Indy Zoo (Done 3/19/13) Learn sign language. Go on a road trip with a girlfriend Go on a hot air balloon ride See Cirque du Soleil (Done 6/27/2012) Ride a horse – not a trail horse. A real ride on a horse. Volunteer Stop drinking pop Visit Disneyland (Done 5/2/17) Get a tattoo (Done 7/16/11) Go on a Cruise [preferably Alaskan, but I’m not picky] Go on a wine tasting (Done 10/16/10) Get a Henna tattoo Take my husband to swim with sharks Fly first class Read at least 50 of the 100 Greatest Novels (I am saying the book can be from either of the 2 lists there. In total I have read 8/50 at this point) Have a real spa day (Done, thanks to Hubs, 7/2014) Visit a real haunted location (Done 7/16/16) Sell a photo Visit Salem, MA Visit both US based Disney Parks in one year. See a solar eclipse. Have one of my pictures on the Indianapolis Zoo website. Go through a sweat lodge ceremony. So, I have to pick one to do next. Which would you choose? Read more »
I’ve always been the “Silver Linings” girl. Well, maybe not always. I did have a rough time as a tween/teen. Still, since adulthood I’ve tried to always keep on the bright side, to put a positive spin on things, to see the good in people and believe in their best when they might not be showing you their good side. It hasn’t always been easy, but I’ve tried – and mostly succeeded. There’s been times I’ve been down pretty deep in the doldrums, times where it lingered. Somehow I’ve always pulled myself out. I’d hesitate to call it anything like depression because I’ve seen depression, I’ve seen what pain others feel, and I was never that deep, never that lost. This year has been rough. I’ve said it many times. It’s knocked me down over and again, every time I’ve tried to pick myself up. I thought it was just the bad times knocking me down. Those were the reason I couldn’t pick myself back up so easily. Those nasty, horrible events were the reason I couldn’t drum out the doldrums as I always had before. They were the reason the good times didn’t have the luster they usually did. In the past couple of weeks I’ve had to be honest with myself. I’ve had to be honest with my husband. And I forced myself to be honest with my doctor. I am depressed. I can’t do this on my own. I’ve been trying to claw my way back out for months all on my own. All it’s done is left me nasty, bitter, and angry on top of depressed. I was always worried I’d insult those with severe depression by admitting mine. However, my bipolar husband thinks I’m being ridiculous by thinking that. As he put it, “Would you not admit you were sick because someone else has cancer?” Sometimes, he’s pretty damn spot on. So here I am. Being honest with you all, as I’m attempting to be honest with myself. I am surrounded by my family, but I feel alone. I am surrounded by joy, but I feel removed from it. I feel like I’ve tried to reach out, but no one reaches back. I’m tired of not going out, because I don’t see the point…and because I’m afraid no one will care either way if I’m there anyway. I feel like the bad is winning. That we will never be in a good place again, personally, financially, physically. I’ve begun to seek help, but I think it’s going to be a long row to hoe. And I’m so tired of feeling alone. Read more »
by Sarah CassMulti-published author. Mom of 3 special needs kids. Wife to 1 good man.
Redefining Perfect every day.
It’s been a rough year, so I take every moment of joy and kindness with a little extra heart these days. A few weeks ago an innocent conversation at work turned into one of my favorite stories ever. An older gentleman came to my window to transact his bank business. We made the common small talk, but then he took notice of my necklace. It’s nothing elaborate, just a moon-wrapped pentacle pendant–that I wear simultaneously with a Mickey Mouse pendant. He paused in our conversation and said, “Your necklace reminds me of a book series I just read. It was very good, I enjoyed it a lot. Now what was it?” As he pondered, I finished his transaction. Then he had his epiphany. “Oh, yes! The Hunger Games! Have you read it? It’s really good.” Call me sexist and ageist, but I was surprised when he announced he’d just read a YA series…but I brushed off my non-PC moment and smiled. I nodded and replied. “Oh yes, I have heard of it, many of my friends have read it, but I haven’t read them myself yet.” “Oh, you should! I tell you what–I’ll bring in my copies, and you read them.” At my initial protest he held up his hand. “No, really. The only thing I ask is that once you’ve read them, you pass them on to someone else to read. Books are meant to be shared.” He left and I thought little about it again…until I got to work the next week, and the whole series was awaiting me in my station. So now, I’ve moved these to the top of my list…because such a gesture must be met with enthusiasm. And thus, I am now (finally?) reading The Hunger Games. Read more »