CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- May 6 marks an important occasion for me -- my anniversary. Not my wedding anniversary though. It's the commemoration of my first "Live Life Fully" column -- six years ago!
Reflecting back, I realize we've covered everything from defining moments in life to having our buttons pushed. And from breaking bad habits to living our lives on purpose. Obsessions, addictions and the vastly different ways men and women communicate have popped up in this space. And we've run the gamut from emotional fitness to tough love.
I couldn't do it without you. So, I want to thank you (and I do mean you) from the bottom of my heart for your continued interest.
When I started on this mission, my intention was to create a dialogue on "Life 101" issues we all experience. And to get feedback from you. Because I believe we all learn from each other.
It's actually worked out pretty much that way. Writing this column is one of my favorite things to do, and I feel it's part of my life's work. It's not something I have to do. It's something I get to do. And your feedback keeps me on my toes and helps me walk my talk.
In some ways, six years seems like a long time. In other ways, I feel I've just begun. It's a good time to take stock of things. Many of you have asked for additional information and have requested collections of my columns. More on that later.
For now, I want to acknowledge three people from the Sunday Gazette-Mail who believed in me six years ago and took a chance on me: Rosalie Earle, Patty Vandergrift Tompkins and Trip Shumate. To this day, Rosalie remains my editor. And, from the operational helm, Trip is still overseeing the effort, while Patty cheers me on from the sidelines.
Several unsung heroes, though, make me look good week after week. Like my copy editor, Rob Stiles, who makes sure I don't embarrass myself with some inappropriate structure or reference. Rob also makes sure the column gets out electronically. I can't forget Melinda Hill and Kathy Mobley from the administrative side -- or professor Mary Jo Brick, who got me started on my psychology path in graduate school, and still weighs in often with her opinions on what I've written.
My hat's off to all of you, as well as the other folks who provide press proofs, enforce the deadlines and make sure all the trains run on time to get this information in your hands or on your screen.
And a quick nod to my husband, John, who tolerates my getting up in the middle of the night because I have an idea to explore -- and respects the quiet time I need to dive into a topic, no matter what else is going on in our lives. (Unlike our furry children who like to pick the times I'm at my computer to insist on going for a walk or getting a treat. That's OK, though, because they're my muses.)
On a current note, I want to acknowledge all of you who are facing your first Mother's Day next week without your mom. This is the fourth year for me, and my writing -- and your responses -- have helped tremendously with my own healing. As a recap, here are a few nuggets you've shared with me: