Today I’m 44 years young. There are days it feels like I’ve been in my 40s forever, and other days where I wake up and think I’m still 35. I wish. A friend of mine had a birthday last week and she created a beautiful blog post detailing 48 things she’d observed in the past year. While I’m not going to replicate that and list 44 of my own, I did want to share a few observations I’ve had over the last year myself, especially in the last six months (which have felt like the equivalent of two years).
I must get outside for a walk at least once a day or I get grumpy. Luckily, I have two dogs, so they help keep me active, although I usually go out without them at least once a day for my own "me" time.
Wearing make-up just feels weird now. I usually throw on some eyeliner and chapstick, but it takes a really special event (like photos or something) to make me actually smear the foundation on.
There’s nothing better than a pair of comfortable pajamas. I bought a few inexpensive pairs from Target recently, and I’ve been sleeping like a dream ever since.
I may be in my mid-40s, but I’m still not ready to let myself to surrender to all the grey hair yet.
Cooking and baking soothes me. It never fails. If I have a deadline, you’ll likely find me in the kitchen, making cookies, whipping up a batch of soup or attempting to meal prep three different things for the week. And I may grumble about it, but I enjoy feeding the other people in my household—it makes me proud.
I have an addiction to kitchen gadgets. My latest purchases are a handheld frother so I can whip up milk for my coffee and a Ninja Foodi air fryer. I also own a slow cooker, an Instant Pot, two blenders, a Keurig, a regular coffee pot, a Kitchen Aid stand mixer, a food processor, and maybe a few other things. I have a problem, but my kitchen has lots of storage so that's helpful.
You have to continue to promote your work, because you can’t expect to just be “discovered” one day. I feel weird doing it, but there are times I tell my friends I had something published and they never would have seen it if I hadn’t told them. Same goes for announcing awards and notable items on places like LinkedIn.
How to cure writer’s block: get a day job where you have to write copy all the time and interview people and not have time to work on your own creative projects.
Pay it forward whenever you can. I love helping and encouraging other writers, because it look me a long time to figure some things out on my own. If I can save another writer time and energy I'm happy to do it.
Don’t ever give up on your dreams. Work towards them a little at a time each day.
Renee Roberson is an award-winning writer and magazine editor who created a true crime podcast, Missing in the Carolinas, in her 44th year of life. Learn more at FinishedPages.com.