I Did It, I Did It!

Tomorrow is my 67th birthday and I have posted one blog every week since July 4th of last year. I am not sure which is the greater of the two feats. Surviving, even thriving to the age of 67, or writing a blog every week for one year. Both have been great learning experiences and both have been arduous adventures I wasn’t sure I would achieve. While I have gleaned a great deal of knowledge about blogging and social media in general, I have discovered a great deal more about myself. Writing does that, memoir writing in particular. It’s the slowing down (un-like speaking) and putting down one word after the other, always looking inside for the right one to describe my thoughts and feelings.

In my 66th year, I published my first book, Ragdoll Redeemed, (how cool is that) and I wrote how words often occurred to me tangibly like pieces of laundry. I wrote about being seventeen and hearing my first husband string words together that mesmerized me with their brilliance. He wasn’t trying to speak brilliantly, having spent a year at Yale; he just naturally spoke that way. At the time I didn’t know what most of the words meant but I filed each word somewhere in the laundry basket of my mind so that later, I could hang them on an imaginary close line and watch them dance in the sunlight of my mind’s eye. As this anniversary of blog writing neared, I found myself feeling increasingly anxious and challenged in terms of producing future weekly blogs. There are many aspects of the blogging process that I have grown to love and I felt conflicted about giving it up. Yet, I just couldn’t see my way clear to continue to produce what I call “fill-in” articles.

Last night I got the answer that I have been praying for. My husband and I attended a member-member guest dinner at his golf club. By the way, at the age of eighty-one, he and his partner won the 2 day tournament. During the celebration dinner a friend was quizzing me about why I felt my weekly blog was so laborious.

“Why is writing so difficult? Is it difficult to find the content? What is it,” she pushed?

I could feel myself getting embarrassed. I said, “With several learning disabilities each sentence is extremely difficult to construct.  I don’t want the constant pressure anymore.” I so wanted to change the topic when suddenly another
guest seated at the table made a remake that turned out to be the answer to my prayers. See, angels do come wrapped in a million different disguises.

She said, “Well then, you must have a really good editor.”

“I do.” I replied quickly, hoping to get the conversation off of me.

Later, I remembered my husband telling me that she had apparently read and appreciated the blog I wrote about our daughter dying from long term substance abuse. Two “aha” moments occurred almost at once. First, she must have been complementing me on the content of my writing. THE CONTENT, THE STORIES, THE WORDS WERE ALL MINE. Just because I get the sentences structures all screwed up and need help straightening them out doesn’t cancel out that I have good stories. THE CONTENT IS MINE.

For example, in Ragdoll Redeemed, I wrote an amends letter to my mother. The words sort of poetically rhymed. One person told me that she cried when she read it because it reminded her of how sad she felt about not forgiving her own mother until it was too late. I wrote every word of that sort of rhyming letter. In fact, I wrote 95 % of the entire content in my book. What in the world had I been thinking?

The second “aha” moment came when I realized that writing, the act of writing, is effortless when I am writing about things of the heart, verses “fill-in” or teachings from my profession. While I would love to give away the things that I have learned during my thirty years as a counselor, I do not wish to become an advice blogger. I want to write about things that move me, things that open my heart to life’s vulnerabilities, thing’s that allow me to grow and be of service to others.

Maybe I will change my blogging frequency to two times per month for awhile while I savor this year of posting approximately 52 blogs. You did it, Dawn. A job well done!






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  1. Congratulations and Happy Birthday Dawn!

  2. Jeanette says:

    Happy Anniversary and Happy Birthday Dawn!
    and yes the content and the wisdom is yours! and your writing has only gotten better over the years.My hope is that you continue to sort out the experiences, words, and learnings from that basket of yours…your courage has inspired many- thank you

  3. Lisa Shindler says:

    Happy Birthday Dawn. Way to go!!!!! Truly an accomplishment. I have loved reading your blogs every week and your book. Your writing style is honest, humble and without presumption, while at the same time beautifully poetic. That is something that can’t be edited. As I work my way through graduate school, at 52 years, and the many papers I have to write these days, I completely understand that pressure and exhaustion you write about. Thanks for being such an inspiration for me.

    • Hi Lisa,

      WOW! Thanks for reading my blog every week. I donate all of my birthday balloons to you in appreciation. I also applaud you for hanging in with school. Talk about an accomplishment. Cheers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      You inspire me. dawn

  4. Chrysalis says:

    My treasured friend… I celebrate your aw hah moment about your skills and ownership. I am so grateful you share your joys and sorrows, struggles and celebrations so opening. Your wordsmithing is compelling and so honest. The world is a better place for the gift of your heartfelt words. It’s an honor to call you friend. Happy Birthday Dawn! I love you to the moon and beyond!

    • Ooh Chrysalis,

      Thank you so much for your frienship and words of encourgement. They mean more than you can know. Lots of love back at you. dawn

  5. Judith Churchman says:

    Congratulations, Dawn, on both accounts. Your content has always been true, moving, and inspiring. I know you have much to share, still, and I look forward to reading it all. I’m very proud of you.

    • My Dear, Dear Judith,

      So many years together. I went back to school, as did you, so that we could share our learnings. I think we have both kept our comments to each other and dto God.
      Love you always, dawn

  6. Dawn…First of all, Happy Birthday and I was stunned when you said 67! Girl, you look fabulous!
    Ok, that aside, I’m so impressed with your accomplishment of a blog a week, not sure I could pull that off but now I’m inspired….
    I also am hopping over to Amazon or somewhere to buy your book. My interest is piqued and I really need to hear your story…
    Have an amazing birthday!

    • Well, Hello there Laurel,

      What a nice surprise, a totally unexpected birthday present. I hopped over to your blog site and absolutely can’t wait to return. I feel as if I have found a long lost friend tiptoeing around behind the scenes in the mysterious world of blogging (at least it’s big and mysterious to me). More than that, it’s like meeting a sister in the place where secrets go bump in the night and we aren’t actually suppose to be here. Know what I mean? Ok, now that I sound like a crazy person (well, just a little bit) thank you for your kind words. Can’t wait to, “know” you better.

      Warmly, dawn

  7. Loraine Lovejoy-Evans says:

    Happy Birthday Dawn! I am moved by your stories and love your writing style. I am proud to hear you moving into yourself in a place of confidence and recognizing your own accomplishments. May this year bring you the joy your life is bringing to others. Much love, Loraine

    • Hi Loraine,

      Thank you for the birthday wishes and know from the bottom of my heart how sweet it is to have you in my corner.

      Have a safe and restfull 4th of July. dawn

  8. Dawn, You are a writer ( one who writes). When I was in a writers’ group they taught me that writing is 90% doing and 10% talent. You have been a living testiment to that idea. You are also one who lives and loves out loud and shines a light on the path to joy. I will look forward to reading what you find in your heart. Gayle

    • Hi Gayle,

      Too cute! “You are a writer (one who writes)”. Can’t imagine how I would have gotten through this year of blogging without such encouraging words. Thank you for your support and especially for being such a faithful reader. Sometimes when I get scared, just before I push the send button, I remember your cheering smile. It helps so much. Thank you, dawn

  9. Happy Birthday to a very special angel–YOU!
    thank you for your sharing and writing from the heart.
    May each day reflect to you the light of who you are–a blessing to all who really seek to know you
    and yoru thoughtful practice of forgiveness and reconciliation. Love, Dorothea.

    • Dear Dorothea,

      I am grateful that God the Mystery brings to us those we need when we most need. Thank you for being in my life. Love, dawn

  10. Brenda Cantelow says:

    Happy Birthday you are one of my angels. I have looked forward each Tuesday for the last year to see what experiences your going to share with me. It has all felt very personal and special. Thanks you so much for your dedication. I hope to share more of your heart in the future. Sending you much love.

    • Thank you for your support and good wishes Brenda. You and your entire family hold a special place in my heart. Love to your and yours. dawn

  11. .................k says:

    3:15 am (that’s 3:15 in the morning!) And I’m reading your blog as I often do on Tuesdays. I always remember your birthday and still recall when you gave me that information about yourself. I’ve always been blown away by your talent as a therapist and a human being and have many of your stories tucked away in my thoughts. You are a great story teller and a great expressionist (is that a word?) Your words have color. We feel them. You a great speaking voice too. Are there audio blogs? Happy Birthday and say “hi” to everyone………..k

  12. Happy Birthday Dawn! I’m so happy for you about these new insights you’re getting about being a writer, writing, voicing your ideas and thoughts. You have so much to give, and you draw from deep places within. You are beautiful and radiant! Congratulations on your TENACITY!

    Enjoy the whole week/month as a celebration!
    Hugs, Linda Joy

  13. Hi Beautiful Precious LADY! You are an awesome writer, a blessing, a mentor, a friend and my saving grace! It has been such a joy to witness you through the experience of writing the book and the blog- you are an absolute miracle and a real live example of “walking through the fear and doing it ANYWAY!” Thank you so much for sharing you and your experiences with all of us so that we can keep trudging without judging ourselves so harshly and finding a way to love and accept all of our parts. As you know, things have been insane and I am just catching up on reading- thank you for the gift of having this blog to go on to get spiritually and emotionally fed. Love you truly- YOU GO GIRL! 😉 T

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