We can become so tied to our jobs and our families we forget to have our own lives, especially mothers. Those of us with dreams and passions beyond those others understand have to fight harder.

When I taught school I had no time for writing or friends who didn't teach at my school or know my husband through photography. As a woman born in the early 1940's, I believed being a good wife mean giving up anything that didn't help my husband, and make me a good daughter, a great mama, and a good teacher. Mama was the perfect example of the woman I wanted to be.

I graduated from college and married in time to escape the "free love" and "do your own thing" period. (Actually, my personality wouldn't have allowed me those freedoms.)

I have no complaints about helping my husband,now my EX, build his Photography business, but I regret that I didn't allow myself to branch out and make more friends. I don't know when I would have done that while taking care of my daughter, my parents, and my job. I often wondered if I did a good job in any of those areas.

Once I stopped teaching I gave in to my secret passion, writing. I'd been a storyteller all my life, the time had come for me to write stories.

A stroke of luck sent me to Georgia Romance Writers and Romance Writers of America and friends who wrote stories. I made new friends who understood the characters who interrupted my dreams and entertained me while I drove alone. Some are still my best friends.

Discovering computers led me to the Internet where I found more friends. Now my friends are people who are here for me when I feel like the world isn't working. I've belonged to several critique groups and have made lasting friends though them. When I need a shoulder to cry on because of a rejection or a personal setback, I go to my friends online and my critique partners. When I need someone to celebrate finishing a book with me or just feeling good, I call my critique partners. Writing even helped me connect with a high school and college friend.

One other friend became my first reader and my friend when I told her I wrote novels at least fifteen years ago.

If you don't think you have time to make and keep friends, re-think that. My friends, even those I made online, helped me get though the deaths of my parents and my divorce.

If you put off your secret passions or delay going after your dream, you might miss it completely. There is no better time than now.

I celebrate everyday with help from my friends.

8 comments

  1. Beth Trissel // July 7, 2008 at 10:30 AM  

    Wise touching post. Thanks Mary.

  2. Nightingale // July 7, 2008 at 10:36 AM  

    Ever on target, MMMM. We at the PFS are lucky to have someone grounded, particularly as I only have a summer home in reality.

    I need to take to heart the part about making and keeping friends. Balancing a job, writing and trying for a social life, I forget to keep in touch.

  3. Toni V.S. // July 7, 2008 at 11:50 AM  

    Right on, Sister! The ironic thing is all I ever wanted was to be a wife and mother. Instead, I published 8 novels and have 3 more in the wings! (Fail at that desired, succeed at another?) But I have met some good people--you and Linda have been bulwarks--and the others are great!

  4. Mona Risk // July 7, 2008 at 12:45 PM  

    What a beautiful and realistic blog Marie. It comes on time to remind me how to set my priorities.

  5. Mary Marvella // July 8, 2008 at 1:36 AM  

    I'm glad something I said struck a cord with you ladies. I've made friends on the fuzzies and they are keepers!

    HUGS!

  6. Donnell // July 8, 2008 at 2:42 AM  

    Mary, I can't imagine not having you in my life, and we've never met -- in person. You're that important to me. I love this post. Better send out the link :) Very nice. Thank you!

  7. Mary Ricksen // July 8, 2008 at 1:51 PM  

    I only wish I had started writing sooner. Had more guts to do things. I can only imagine where I would be now.
    Better late then never huh?

  8. Mary Marvella // July 8, 2008 at 2:03 PM  

    Me U 2, Donnell!