Night She Disappeared cover

Looking back, looking ahead

In 2012, I had one goal. It was “More or less.” Pretty much everything in my life I wish I had/did more of or less of. It’s proved to be a good guiding principal, including helping me to say no to some things that I had a feeling if I said yes I would be sorry.
orange belt picStrength
This year I got my orange belt in kung fu (I have on in kajukenbo as well) and became the only woman in our school who regularly spars. Every Tuesday I glove up and kick guys in the groin and try not to freak out if I get popped in the face in return. (Everyone has good control, so it’s “kiss-touch” contact.)

I also decided to just own being 53.  I am the cool older woman who takes kung fu.  She may not be the best, but by God, she is out there trying.  On my birthday, I took a class on practical responses to violence taught by Rory Miller. I was probably the newest kung fu student there, and I only knew two of the 30 people (who were all younger than me.) I had thought it was going to be him talking, but it turned out to be mostly us practicing techniques. It is scary having a stranger sneak up behind you and attack you!

One of the best things I did this year was to find an excellent physical therapist. There was nothing really wrong with me. Just a nagging pain in my back that never went away. Runs that sometimes hurt to the point where I would think maybe I should just stop

Erika Lewis, PT, turned out to be a miracle worker. She has changed the way I sleep, sit, stand, walk, run, and lift weights. I think of all the books I have bought or checked out over the years - Yoga for Athletes, Heal Your Hips, Dynamic Stretching, etc. etc. - but they were NOTHING compared to having a gifted person look at me and say, “Did you know you run with the toes of your right foot pointing out?” or “Did you know that you stand with most of your weight on your left leg?” Now I am basically pain free. This whole year I have not had one of those episodes where all I can do is lie down in a fetal position and try not to move

Take aways: Sometimes you need an expert. And it’s good to venture past your comfort zone

Heart
After losing three people I loved to cancer last year, I was sure I had been clear to the universe about being so over cancer. But I guess the universe didn’t listen. In February my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer, and in September my close friend X was diagnosed as well. I take X to chemo every Thursday, and watch her having as much fun with it as she can (she likes goofy hats and wigs).

Over the summer, someone close to me had a scare where it looked like he had something serious. I watched him lose weight and rack up bad test results while doctors tried to figure it out. He was sick for several months, but now he is back to normal, although no one is the wiser as to what caused it

Take aways: Life is short. Love your friends and family and show it. Don’t complain about age spots and wrinkles. There are a lot of people who never got to be your age.
Night cover
Mind
My 12th and 13th books were published this year. I also had a bunch of crazy book deadlines this year, but I have met or am meeting all of them

I did book events in Ohio, Missouri, Illinois, Nebraska, Nevada and Oregon. At one talk, it was warm, spring break was the next day, and they had not been prepared at all. They had no idea who I was - 120 kids just herded into the library. They were giggling, squirmy and some were falling asleep.  

Even though I couldn't stop yawning beforehand - I only got about four hours of sleep the night before - things still clicked. Since it was all high school students, I just emphasized the scary/gory parts of my talk and the kids woke up and paid attention. I have become a lot more comfortable speaking to kids and getting them to connect

I sold a new series, started a new book that I’ve had to put aside for a bit, sold audio rights to a bunch of books, and added Turkey to the list of foreign countries where my books have sold

Take aways: You can do more than you think
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April, you are the "cool older woman" in general, and you have only a few years on me. Your posts always inspire me to do better. Hope your 2013 is fabulous:)
I had a boss 10-15 years ago who turned 60 while I was there and she was so sexy and smart. She made getting older look pretty damned good.
Comment
April, you are now officially my hero--or rather, heroine! I love your books, but I also love that you are learning new things, like martial arts!

Can't wait to read your new book! I am a big fan!

Sherry Thompson
Re: Comment
Thank you! Martial arts is right on the edge of my comfort zone. Every week the guys hold back less - and I realize how much I have to learn. This year I am resolved to learn how to do a cartwheel (something I don't think I have ever done, not even when I was five). It's a requirement for purple belt.