So here are my thoughts on #45.
Writing Life: When I was turning 42, I decided to finally commit to taking writing seriously and giving it a real chance. I'm a hard worker and when I commit to something, I see it through. It's been a great run at that life goal.
When I was 43, I signed my first book contract, and when I was 44, I saw my first book in print. Now, at 45, I have two books of my own, and have my work included in three anthologies, which allowed me to take this picture at my book launch party. See that grin? That's pride and joy and gratitude for the chance to follow this dream.
Looking forward, I still have plenty of dreams to pursue here. I'd like to fund a great vacation for my family from the money earned from my words. I want to finish all the books I've started, then start some totally new ones. I want to win awards and try not to brag about them too much. I want to be famous enough to be invited as the featured guest author at a con, but not so famous as to be recognized on the street by strangers. Pie in the sky would be complaining to my writer friends about how the television adaptation changed my stories and characters, but what can you do?
Family: When I was 34, I thought my life had fallen apart and I'd never be able to put it together again. My first marriage ended. I was in financial straits that demanded that my daughter and I move back in with my parents. Then, on top of it all, I got sick and was practically invalided for an entire quarter of school, and was treated badly by my school district and my insurance company in the classic "kick a girl while she's down move."
But, when I was still 34, I re-met Sweetman, a man who had been my friend for many years. Timing
My family and writing career goals are all wrapped up in each other. I want flexibility and time to be able to be there for my girls, my husband, and my dog in the ways they need me.
Teaching Career: This is my twentieth year of teaching. I've taught in small places and large places,
That said, it's also exhausting and repetitive and it can be hard to hold on to your positive outlook when it feels like the state of North Carolina and the United States government is out to crucify you daily to hide their own failings. Being scapegoated can make you bitter and strange. It's hard not to feel frustrated knowing that, had you chosen any other career path, you'd be making double the money or more after twenty years and that your prestige factor would have grown rather than faded.
My goals here are to find a way to keep working with young people, but in a new way that inspires me to new height and offers a little flexibility that will help me with my family and writing goals. I've got my hat in a new ring on that one, so wish me luck!
So, the TL; DR version:
In my 45th year, my goals include: finding inspiration and flexibility in my paid work, making more money off my writing so it can become my paid work, and writing yet more!