Monday, February 10, 2014

Today is my 40th Birthday

Today I am saying goodbye to my 30's and thought I would reflect on my journey over the last decade. When I turned 30, I was working as a veterinarian in a large animal shelter. I loved my interaction with the animals who were brought into the shelter. I made it a point to spend time with the new arrivals to help them adjust to being there. My co-workers nicknamed me "The Dog Whisperer" due to the fact that I was able to calm a fearfully aggressive dog down to the point that it could be adopted. I'm very proud to say that several dogs found their forever home due to my efforts.

During this time, I was still single and starting to think I was never going to find that special person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, so, I did something completely outside of my normal personality and signed up with an online dating service. Lucky for me, I met my soul mate. We were married a few months after my 31st birthday. He lived on the other side of the state, so I quit my job at the animal shelter and moved.

After I moved, I worked part-time at a veterinary practice and part-time teaching at a community college. Due to the fact that I come from a family of teachers, I had actively avoided that occupation. However, I found that teaching at the college level can be very rewarding. During this time, I also stepped way outside my comfort zone and took a job as a play-by-play radio announcer for the local high school football team. I have always been an avid sports fan, but had zero experience as a radio announcer. My husband became my color commentator, despite knowing absolutely nothing about football. We had an absolute blast and both feel that the experience helped strengthen our love.

A couple of years later, we moved again. After we were settled in our new town, we decided we wanted to become foster parents. I was in my mid-thirties and my husband his mid-forties, so we were looking to foster older children. We didn't think we had the patience for a younger child. I was working at a veterinary clinic at the time and my boss was also a foster parent. He began fostering a 10-year-old girl and her 2-year-old brother. I fell in love with them and my husband and I decided we wanted to take them into our home and hearts. 2 years after they moved in we were able to adopt them. My daughter just celebrated her 16th birthday and my son is in the 1st grade. They are both terrific kids.

During this time, I left my job working at the veterinary clinic and took a job working for the USDA as a public health veterinarian. Due to a good promotion opportunity, we moved once again. I enjoyed my job. However, it required me to be on the road a lot and I hated being away from home so often. My father-in-law knew that I had written a book nearly 10 years ago and couldn't find a publisher. He told me about self-publishing and a few months before my 39th birthday, I published my first book.

I now have 10 books published and have an enough success to quit my job with the USDA and become a full-time writer.

So, here I am at 40. I'm a wife, mother, and full-time author and I'm loving it! I can't wait to see what my 40's bring!

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