Patricia Mann chases happiness as the Age is Just a Number series continues

I’m thrilled to welcome Patricia Mann, author of Is This All There Is and the newly released sequel, Is This What I Want? to close out the Age is Just a Number series. I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did!

I recently discovered that not only is Patricia a fellow author with Booktrope and a friend of mine, she’s a sorority sister! Yes, we’re both sisters of Alpha Xi Delta. I enjoyed Patricia’s insightful post about learning to chase happiness instead of goals.

Turning forty-six last month left me wondering if it’s finally time to stop chasing the next big high. I’ve done so much, but none of it brought the kind of happiness or sense of fulfillment I anticipated. That’s okay, because I learned unexpected lessons and am now working to find pleasure in the little things that I once saw as too ordinary or boring.

At twenty-four, I had a master’s degree on the wall, a shiny new wedding ring on my finger, and two years of teaching at a university under my belt. I felt ready to take on the world. My long list of goals to accomplish before turning thirty included buying a house, launching a consulting career, and having my first child.

In case this seems like bragging, let me share a tiny bit of backstory. I was a troubled child and teen. I did not do well in school and did all sorts of unsavory things. My Type A personality disorder didn’t surface until I was almost twenty. Extremes have always been my strong suit.

I reached every goal I set out to achieve by the time I turned thirty, yet the night of my thirtieth birthday I found myself in a deep depression. Is This All There Is? I wondered. I have so much, I should be beside myself with bliss, I thought. But I wasn’t. So, like my son’s hamster, who runs around and around her little wheel, appearing to expect some grand treat to magically appear if she just keeps going, I decided to set new goals. In the next decade, I ran a marathon, had a second child, continued to teach while also starting my own consulting business, and began working on my first novel. Not surprisingly, the title of that novel would ultimately become Is This All There Is?.

Don’t get me wrong, I knew I was blessed to have a loving husband, wonderful kids, and a rewarding career. I tried not to take them for granted. But I always felt this gnawing pressure to do more, to take things up a notch. Looking back, I wish I had allowed for more time to stop and fully enjoy everything in my life. Like a true addict, each accomplishment immediately resulted in the need to go after something new, searching for that greater high. At forty-six, I think it’s time to break the cycle.

On my husband’s last birthday, his forty-fourth, I gave him a card with a simple message on the front in large, colorful letters. He put it in a spot where we’re both guaranteed to see it every day. I can now admit that the card was for both of us, maybe even more me than him. It reads: Do more of what makes you happy.

Wow. At forty-six, I’m forced to realize that I kind of had it wrong. Maybe it’s time to stop doing all the things I think I’m supposed to do. Maybe my need to over-achieve and impress people was actually fueled by a misguided desire to heal the shame of my shiftless youth. None of it worked. The recipe didn’t quite turn out right. Yet, I’m left with all the ingredients for a truly fulfilling life. Really high-quality ingredients, in fact. All I need is a new recipe.

I think I’ve done a pretty good job of meeting everyone else’s needs. Now I want to start honestly looking at how to better meet my own needs.

I have no big goals to achieve by the time I turn fifty. I mainly want to do more of what makes me happy. Having romantic dinners and laughing with my husband makes me really happy. Spending as much time as possible with my kids, listening to them talk about how they navigate the challenging teen years, playing games with them and watching funny shows together is pure joy for me. Cuddling and playing with our dogs is heaven. Work still makes me happy too, but I need to stop trying to prove myself and settle into feeling confident about what I have to offer. Having fun with friends makes me so happy. I need more time with my friends. Going to lunch with my mom is one of my favorite things to do. I’m often too busy and put it off for long periods. No more. Running with my dad is our special time together and it means the world to me. He would drop everything to go more often, all I’d have to do is ask.

Last but certainly not least, there is writing. I always wanted to write but didn’t find the courage to do it until later in life. If I am truly going to do more of what makes me happy, making more time to write is probably the biggest step I need to take. Not because of a deadline and not because I’m naïve enough to think it’s likely to result in money or fame, but because it makes me so, so, so very happy.

I suppose it’s up to me to keep adding to my list of what makes me happy on my own time, rather than making this post way too long. So I promise I will. I want you to promise me that you will too. Whatever age you are, it’s time for you to do this now. Say it out loud with me, okay? “I will do more of what makes me happy.”

TIATS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My website: http://www.patriciamann.me

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PatriciaMann11

Facebook friend page: https://www.facebook.com/patricia.mann.969

Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Patricia-Mann/325125214262516

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/patriciamann14/

Is This All There Is?

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Is-This-All-There-ebook/dp/B00J6ELEX8/

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/is-this-all-there-is-patricia-mann/1114038095?ean=9781620153581

Is This What I Want?

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/This-What-Want-There-Series-ebook/dp/B00OMNR6CQ/

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/is-this-what-i-want-patricia-mann/1120586709?ean=9781620155806 Author Bio: Patricia Mann is a university professor and consultant. She lives in California with her husband, their two kids, and two sweet, silly dogs.

 

 

 

 

Coming soon:

How Do You Know (December 2nd)

What if you were approaching the end of your thirties and all of the life milestones you took for granted in your youth suddenly seemed out of reach? On the eve of her thirty-ninth birthday, Maggie Piper doesn’t look, act, or feel much different than she did at twenty-nine, but with her fortieth birthday speeding toward her like a freight train, she wonders if she should. The fear of a slowing metabolism, wrinkling of her skin, and the ticking of her biological clock leaves Maggie torn between a desire to settle down like most of her similarly aged peers and concern that all is not perfect in her existing relationship. When a spontaneous request for a temporary “break” from her live-in boyfriend results in a “break-up,” Maggie finds herself single once again and only twelve months from the big 4.0. In the profound yet bumpy year that follows, Maggie will learn, sometimes painfully, that life doesn’t always happen on a schedule, there are no deadlines in love, and age really is just a number.

Welcome Kenneth Bennett to the Age is Just a Number Series talking 54 and the environment

Today on the Age is Just a Number blog series, I have Kenneth Bennett, author of the sci-fi thriller, Exodus 2022, expressing his thoughts on life at 54 and his passion for the environment. I especially enjoyed his comments about redefining the meaning of middle-aged.

LIFE AT 54

I’m 54 years old and having a blast. I have an amazing wife, a wonderful son (now in his first year in college) an incredible extended family and passions—writing, environmental activism, swimming, backpacking, cycling, skiing—that keep me fired up and looking forward. I’m blessed to be able to hang out with funny, positive people who inspire me.  Three of the guys in my masters swimming group recently swam the Straits of Juan de Fuca, from Port Angeles to Vancouver Island (11 miles, 7 hours, 54 degree water). Their ages: 56, 58, and 60. There’s a 70-year-old dude in my cross fit class who lifts weights like a teenager and has the resting heart rate of a sword fern. People like this have caused me to reconsider what it means to be middle aged (and older) and to reject the cultural stereotypes foisted on all age groups.

Of course, like anyone who’s lived more than a couple decades, I’ve lost people dear to me. Witnessed my share of unhappy events. I’m fully aware that life can turn on a dime, that an accident or illness can sabotage the most carefully arranged plans. I try to take things day by day, and right now, I’m enjoying life more than I ever have. I’m comfortable with who I am and the path I’m on, excited about the future.

Perhaps because I am more aware of my mortality these days, I have more clarity about what really matters and what makes me happy.

One of the things that makes me happy is working on environmental causes. The planet is in dire shape. We’re losing species and habitat at an alarming rate. The U.S. Congress is now in the hands of people who set climate policy based on what Fox News pundits tell them to do vs. what scientists recommend. Writing about these things (in novels, articles, blog posts, tweets, and so on) is something I feel compelled to do. Also it’s cathartic. If I couldn’t write about this stuff I think I’d go mad. Example—my wife and I visited Yellowstone National Park in late October. It was just starting to get cold.  Vibrant fall colors. Wildlife everywhere. Not many tourists. We headed for the Lamar Valley, our favorite part of the park—the place where wolves were reintroduced in 1995 and ‘96. The wolves were there. Hunting. Playing with their pups. Living their lives. One evening—right at sunset—we watched four black wolves, likely from the 8-Mile Pack, trotting along a ridge against a platinum sky. It was a magical scene I won’t ever forget.

Sadly, wolf hunting is legal outside the park and the 2014 season has been a bloodbath.  Fifty one wolves have been taken in the Montana hunt since it opened in September—including some wearing radio collars—collars used by Yellowstone wildlife biologists to learn about wolf migration and behavior. Believe it or not, for some hunters, killing a collar-wearing Yellowstone wolf—a wolf that during its lifetime delighted tens of thousands of park visitors—is like winning the lottery. An achievement to be celebrated and bragged about on Facebook. The only way I can deal with this stuff is to write about it, work to educate people and fight for better laws. By the way, I’m not anti-hunting. I grew up hunting with my dad and brother-in-laws in Arizona and Alaska. I eat meat. What I’m against is trophy hunting and the senseless killing of highly intelligent, highly social animals that depend on intact family units—packs—to survive.

I’m optimistic that we will find ways out of this and other environmental messes we’ve created and I believe well-crafted stories can play a role. EXODUS 2022, my new sci-fi thriller, has received more than 100 reviews on Amazon to date and many readers mentioned that the book caused them to think about the planet, and other species, in new ways. One of my favorite comments came just a few weeks ago, from the educational curator of the Whale Museum in Friday Harbor, on San Juan Island: “… A must-read for anyone who cares about the oceans, wildlife, and the environment, and likes to think that the animals will win in the end. It’s my new happy place… Kudos to the author for creating a really imaginative way out of this environmental mess we’ve made of our planet.”

Such feedback keeps me writing, gives me hope and helps me stay focused, motivated and moving forward.

Thank you Meredith Schorr for giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts!

Sincerely,

Kenneth G. Bennett

KenBennett

Amazon buy link for EXODUS 2022:
twitter: @kennethgbennett

 

 

Coming soon:

How Do You Know? (December 2nd)

What if you were approaching the end of your thirties and all of the life milestones you took for granted in your youth suddenly seemed out of reach? On the eve of her thirty-ninth birthday, Maggie Piper doesn’t look, act, or feel much different than she did at twenty-nine, but with her fortieth birthday speeding toward her like a freight train, she wonders if she should. The fear of a slowing metabolism, wrinkling of her skin, and the ticking of her biological clock leaves Maggie torn between a desire to settle down like most of her similarly aged peers and concern that all is not perfect in her existing relationship. When a spontaneous request for a temporary “break” from her live-in boyfriend results in a “break-up,” Maggie finds herself single once again and only twelve months from the big 4.0. In the profound yet bumpy year that follows, Maggie will learn, sometimes painfully, that life doesn’t always happen on a schedule, there are no deadlines in love, and age really is just a number. 
 

Christina Boyd, 46, shares her thoughts & fears on aging – Age is Just a Number

christina

Thank you, Christina Boyd (reviewer, editor, social media specialist, publicist), for your honest thoughts below on aging. I see a lot of my own thoughts and fears in this post.                     AGE IS JUST A NUMBER by Christina Boyd Four away from 50. Four away from […]

[Continue reading...]

Dishing biological deadlines with Emily Clanton – Age is Just a Number

Today on the Age is Just a Number blog series, I’m very pleased to welcome Emily Clanton, Social Media Manager for Booktrope and self-proclaimed “social media geek.” Emily works tirelessly to promote Booktrope authors and so I am thrilled to turn the spotlight on her. Emily talks, not about a specific age, but about those […]

[Continue reading...]

Welcome Samantha Stroh Bailey to the Age is Just a Number series. Let’s talk 41!

Welcome, Samantha Stroh Bailey to the Age is Just a Number series. Not only is Sam the author of Finding Lucas, one of my favorite books, and a cofounder of BookBuzz (along with Francine LaSala and me), she is also one of my favorite people and among my best friends. She’s talking 41.   I am Forty-One. […]

[Continue reading...]

Welcome author Justin Bog to the Age is Just a Number series – fearing 40!

HarkAChristmasCollection

I am pleased to welcome Justin Bog, author of the newly released Hark—A Christmas Collection, to the Age is Just a Number blog series. I enjoyed hearing a man’s perspective on aging. Today, Justin talks about his fortieth birthday. And keeping reading for an excerpt from Hark—A Christmas Collection. The Age I Fear . . […]

[Continue reading...]

K.M. Randall is “getting over” birthdays as the Age is Just a Number series continues

kmrandall

Please give a warm welcome to K.M. Randall, author of Fractured Dream and The Reaper’s Daughter, to the Age is Just a Number blog series. K.M. dishes fearing the big 2.5. and how she finally no longer dreads birthdays. Getting over birthdays My hatred of birthdays began when I was twenty-two. I could already see […]

[Continue reading...]

Author Julie Farley talks turning 41 on the Age is Just a Number blog series

JulieFarley

Welcome Julie Farley, author of The New Ever After book series, to the Age is Just a Number blog series! I love reading about individuals learning to accept themselves, warts and all. Not that I think Julie has any warts, of course. Keep reading for her thoughts on turning forty-one. When Harry Met Sally was […]

[Continue reading...]

Talking 60 with author Arleen Williams – Age is Just a Number

face

Welcome, Arleen Williams, author of the Alki Trilogy, to the Age is Just a Number series. While reading Arleen’s wisdom-soaked post, I was moved to begin enjoying each and every moment of my life to its fullest. If only it wasn’t easier said than done… The Final Third “It’s time to start buying bananas one […]

[Continue reading...]

Age is Just a Number Series – Julia Park Tracey talks turning 31

JuliaParkTracey

I love this post by Julia Park Tracey, author of the upcoming Veronika Layne Gets the Scoop, on how differently she felt turning 31 compared to turning 30. I especially love her thoughts at the end on getting older in general. Enjoy!                       When I’m 31 – […]

[Continue reading...]
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 148 other followers