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Barely Breathing (A Colorado High Country Novel) — Look for the first book in my new Colorado High Country series on May 10! This new contemporary series is set in the small mountain community of Scarlet Springs and focuses on the lives and adventures of members of an alpine search and rescue team. It will be available in print and ebook, with audiobook coming sometime this fall.


Soul Deep out in audiobook! — Jack West, widower, rancher and former Army Ranger, gets his own love story in this special I-Team novella, which was picked by readers at Grave Tells as the Best Contemporary Romance of 2015. It will be out in audiobook any day now.


Seduction Game is out in paperback, (I-Team #7) — Holly and Nick’s story is out in all formats — ebook, audiobook, and paperback. Look for it in Wal-Mart, the Kroger chain of stores, Barnes & Noble, and your local bookseller.


Dead By Midnight: An I-Team Christmas is out! — The grand finale of the I-Team series finds all the couples you love brought together when terrorists attack holiday festivities at a historica hotel in downtown Denver. It’s bad news for the terrorists. They have no clue what they’ve done when they take Marc Hunter and his friends hostage. Featuring cameos by the men of New York Times bestselling author Kaylea Cross’s Hostage Rescue Team series. Available in ebook and paperback.

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I grew up in Colorado at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, then lived in Denmark and traveled throughout Europe before coming back to Colorado. I have two adult sons, whom I cherish. I started my writing career as a columnist and investigative reporter and eventually became the first woman editor of two different papers. Along the way, my team and I won numerous state and several national awards, including the National Journalism Award for Public Service. In 2011, I was awarded the Keeper of the Flame Lifetime Achievement Award for Journalism. Now I write historical romance and contemporary romantic suspense.

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Seductive Musings

Monday, December 28, 2009

Getting Ready for a New Year



For a lot of people, New Year’s Eve is a time to cut loose, drink a lot and party. For me, it’s always been a very reflective holiday, a time to look back at the past year — and my life, in general — and to face squarely my own shortcomings and to plan how I'm going to live a better life over the coming year.

It’s always been a melancholy holiday for me, to say the least.

Even when I was a child, New Year’s Eve was a reflective time for me. I’d watch Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve and try to plan a better year for myself, not in terms of random things that just happen, but in terms of my own actions.

I have to say that 2009 feels in some respects like The Wasted Year. Down in the heart over my younger son’s departure from the nest to his college in New York and recovering from 2008’s string of disasters and near-disasters, it felt like all I could do to tread water. It took forever for me to write Naked Edge, and though I did some things, like experiment with growing my own veggies, mostly I let time get away from me.

So this coming year — 2010 — needs to be The Year I Got Over Empty Nest Syndrome and Started Living My Life Again.

Most people are older than I am by the time their kids are grown and off at college. I have friends my own age who have toddlers and kindergarteners, while my boys are 23 and 20 years old. I tell myself this is a good thing, because I now have the chance at age 45 to create a new life for myself. But...

Well, that’s easier said than done, isn’t it?

I was visiting my friend Kat over Thanksgiving when I realized that I still have the same furniture, dishes, dish towels, bath towels and such that I had when I got divorced and my kids were little. Yes, I still eat breakfast cereal from a plastic bowl with the genie from Disney’s Aladdin staring up at me. I kid you not.

Kat is an artist and has the most amazing house, with a mix of folk, Native and artisan dishes, furnishings and so on. Appalled to hear that I still have a household of old junk — my sofa and TV are 20 years old — she suggested I get rid of it.

All of it.

I'm not a shopper by habit, and I like to be frugal. But there’s frugality, and there’s stupidity. I think I’m closer to the latter.

So this year it will truly be a case of “out with the old, and in with the new.” Not that I’m going to blow money I don’t have on the latest trendy junk. But with Kat’s help, I'm going to replace things bit by bit until the stuff of my Mommy Years is replaced with things that feel more like me in the here and now.

I’m not sure how other single moms deal with Empty Nest Syndrome, so ideas are welcome. But it’s time to stop moping and start living again.

In turn, I’m going to help Kat gain mastery over piles of paper, i.e., filing. It’s overwhelming to her but not to me. If journalists deal with anything it’s documents, documents, documents. So I’ll be at her place on New Year’s Eve firing up the paper shredder and getting down to work. Then she and I are going to start revitalizing my home.

What are your New Year’s plans?

12 comments:

Cecile said...

Hey Ms. Pamela!
This is a very nice post. I am not a single mother per say, I am now remarried, but daughter from previous marriage. I know what you are saying about the single mom thing and the empty nest. My daughter is now 16 and I am 34. I will be under 40 when she is done with high school. I am already dealing with empty nest. She now drives and when she wants to go - she can - without me. **sniff sniff** But I am like you, I have myself promise myself that I will enjoy the time to myself. I do not have many girlfriends around me that I can just hang out with, so this will be my time I guess. Although, I have to say that it is very hard just dealing with it now... then she is really gone. So ((((Hugs to you)))) dear and know you have a friend in me - who understands. ***PS. The people that are my age, have babies too.. So, I understand!***

Ronlyn said...

Love ya baby!
I have 2 words for you: Craig's List. Scott is going to pick up a buffet for me that I finally found (actually, he found it) for a price I'm willing to spend. It's not new, it's not perfect, but it's soon to be mine. :-)
Purging is good for the soul. I feel like I'm in a constant cycle of purging and keeping stock of what actually means something to me and what doesn't.
Anyhoo. Much like you, NY is a refletive time for me. I make plans on how to be a better me, try to figure out how I need to improve, try to let go of all the grudges. The past couple years have been tough, so I'm going to the 'tude that it's got to be better. 2009 was better than 2008...so 2010 has GOT to be even better. Right?!
Think of you often toots.
xoxo
R

Debbie H said...

Hey, sweetie! It is definitely time for you to start the next faze of your life. My son (the youngest) left home when I was 42. I lost weight, changed my hair color and got green contacts. I knew I was young enough to still enjoy life. Then he and his sister at one time or another moved by in, and left. LOL

I am at that turning point again at 54. I have some plans for this year and I am not going to waste another day of 2010 like I did
2009. I am going to plant a veggie garden, plant more flowers, just be outside more (if this damn ice and snow ever goes away), lose this weight once and for all, and just get healthier all round. I also will be working on some personality traits that I do not like about me. So, I think I will be a busy bee this year. LOL

Linda A. said...

Pamela, I hear you about New Years being melancholy. I've always felt that way. On one level I enjoy it, and on another it means taking stock and looking at myself in the mirror.
@009 was a very challenging year for me. My husband lost both his parents within 18 months and I've been in the middle of a career change, as well as dealing with second book syndrome and collapsing publishers, but things seem to be coming together. The second book is finished, I just got a teaching job (starting next week! Yikes!) and my first book just came out in print. I'm looking forward to a better 2010 in which I'm resolving to make the most of each day.

Your redecorating idea sounds like a good way to deal with empty nest syndrome. Purging really is good for the soul. Enjoy the freedom of it!

Mary G said...

Hi Pamela
It's okay to be melancholy at this time of year. Sorry to be presumptuous but I can't let you call 2009 "the wasted year". While you may not have accomplished everything you wanted to, you are a single mom with 2 careers (& good at both) who brought up a human being with enough knowhow & guts to be able to leave home. I'm tired just thinking about it. You are so amazing in so many ways that I have to say these things. My admiration for you knows no bounds. Best wishes for the New Year.(I guess you can tell I'm the glass is half full type LOL) (((hugs)))

Mitzi H. said...

Hi Pamela,

My son went off to college when I was only 42 (1996) and my daughter left the nest 5 years later. Although I’m still married after 36years and I enjoyed the return of our privacy, I missed them both dearly. Luckily my son came home once every 2 months to do his laundry (50 gallon trash can on wheels) and stock up on Costco goods, while my daughter lived so close we saw her almost daily.

I also looked at our décor and decided we needed a change. Out with the indestructible type furniture, water beds and 7- passenger minivan and in with the new....I redecorated, bought myself a truck, set up 1 bedroom for guests and the other for exercise.

Only thing is...kids moved back home, then out and then back again. Currently, the oldest son is newly married (finally) and settled with his wife in their new home...but daughter/hubby/kids are back (due to depression in construction industry).

Although my daughter hated moving home, I must say I’m enjoying playing with the grandkids more than I ever thought possible and even though I miss the time alone with hubby, I wouldn’t replace my time with them for any amount of money (youngest granddaughter is just 2 years old).

So my plans for 2010 are to take each day as it comes, enjoy the kids & grandkids (while I can) and be thankful for the family my hubby/I created...although I’m wishing I still had that indestructible furniture (and baby locks)...Hehehe.

Best of luck with redecorating and the new novel...Your books Rock (as the kids would say) and I can’t wait to get my hands on Naked Edge!

Happy New Year!!!

Hi, Cecile — (((Hugs to you, too!))) I think there's a period of time when our kids are in their late teens where it almost feels like they're gone. And that's when you realize 1) they'll never be little kids who need their mommy again and 2) it's only a matter of time before they truly leave home. I remember those days, too. I kept thinking, "I don't know how I'm going to deal with it when Benjamin goes to college." Well, here I am and I haven't been dealing so well. Thanks for understanding! And Happy New Year!

Hi, Ronlyn — I owe you a couple of emails and FB posts. I think about you, too. Thanks so much for the Christmas card. Your boys (all three of them) look so handsome! I can't believe Alex is that big already. And you're right — 2010 has GOT to be better... For both of us! (((Hugs)))

Hi, Debbie — It sounds like you have a wonderful year planned out for yourself and are good and truly motivated. That's wonderful. I know you can do it. I'm looking forward to hearing all about it. Green contacts, huh? ;-)

Hi, Linda — First, I have to say CONGRATULATIONS on having your first book in print! That's a huge accomplishment. And, as you know, writing that second book is tough! So congrats on finishing that, too! The publishing world is in chaos these days, but all you can do is ride it out and keep writing. But those personal tragedies you mentioned — your husband losing both parents — that has got to be tough. I hope this year brings you lots of smiles to soothe the grief.

As for the redecorating, at least I'll start to feel like my life is different in some way. Material possessions don't meant much in the long run, but when it's the stuff you surround yourself with, there's almost a feng shui to it, you know? New energy is what I need, and I think this will help. So thanks!

Hi, Mary G — What a sweetheart you are! When you put it that way, 2009 doesn't seem like such a waste. I think it's the internal emotions that really weighed me down. I need to absorb some of your glass-half-full way of thinking. And thanks so much! :-)

Hi, Mitzi — What an adventure you've been through! I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who turned to redecorating for solace. And I have to say that hearing about your kids' moving back in periodically is really reassuring. Having a house with grandkids in it would be fantastic — but not right away. LOL! I need to go sow my wild oats first. ;-)

I bet your grandchildren are adorable. It must have been fun to spend Christmas with them and see it through their eyes.

As for your plans for 2010, it sounds to me like you have your priorities straight. There's so much we all have to be grateful for, foremost of all our families.

And thanks for your kind words! I hope you'll feel that Naked Edge was worth the wait. I can't wait till it's out!

Jane said...

Hi Pamela,
I wish you a happy and healthy 2010. I do hope it'll be a good one for me and family, too.

JennJ said...

I think you have it right girl I feel that the New Year should be a time of reflection as well. But its not been a wasted year for you hon it was a hard one for you. That was a major change in your life with Benjy going off on his own to college and I can totally see how that would affect you. I so dread the day when I will have to go through that with my son.

LOL at the Aladdin bowl girl I will tell you something that will make you feel better there are three plates in my cuboard that were mine when I was little LOL! My mom saved them and the we have been using them since Stephen was born. Mickey Mouse and Sylvester and tweety and a three bears ones. LOL! So I feel your pain in the old stuff still around department. I would love to be able to do this same thing this year and get rid of a lot of my mom's things and make it more our home now that she has passed. I think it would make things a lot easier in many ways.

You hang in there girl you did good this year it may have taken you a while but you DID finish Naked Edge and it's FABULOUS! Plus all your hard work at the paper and many more things. So you have nothing to hang your head about at all girlfriend. BIG BIG HUGS hon and here is hoping that this next year is the best one for you ever!

Heather D said...

Hi Pamela, I am just getting around to checking out the blogs again after dealing with the holidays. I have lurked around your site for a while only posting comments occasionally. This one however has touched me. Like Cecile, I am no longer a single mom. In fact I haven't been for 8 years now. My daughter is 14 and when she graduates I will only be 36. I know it will be heartbreaking to watch her leave the nest and I am thankful that I will have another 7 years before my son graduates. I am hoping to keep them both at home throughout college but sadly I am not counting on it. Any tips you learn please pass them on to me. I start tearing up at just the thought of having to teach my daughter to drive this summer.

On another note... I just finished reading Ride the Fire. My first book of the new year and by you. I loved it!!!

Hi, Heather — I'm so glad you posted. Thanks so much for sharing your story with us. It's so hard to have our babies grow up!

I think in your situation and Cecile's it must add another level of poignancy when your oldest leaves home in that this child was from a previous relationship. (((Hugs)))

Having lived in Europe, I was adamantly opposed to having my kids drive before they were 18 (you can't get a driver's license until age 18 there). I bribed my oldest not to drive. My younger son drove earlier -- age 17 -- as a student driver but he didn't actually get his license till he was 18. Not that it kept them home any longer, but it gave me peace of mind. LOL! And then they still got into bad accidents anyway. Oh, well.

I'm so glad you enjoyed RIDE THE FIRE. That story will always be special for me.

Happy New Year!

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