The pandemic and the resulting stay-at-home order had a silver lining for me. It was time to tackle a project I’ve been talking about for some time: I wrote and self-published a book.
Over the past 10 years, I have written weekly columns for The Topeka Capital-Journal. In 2010, I wrote the first article called "One Cardboard Box" after returning from my mother’s funeral. It was the story of coming home with a box full of the keepsakes left to me.
The inspiring story was that mom had downsized into an independent apartment and had done all the dispersing years before. She lived an enthusiastic, social and fulfilling life for 10 years and passed when she was 95 years old.
I’ve not missed writing a column every week for a total of more than 500 articles. First, they were used as advertisements for Senior Living. After my retirement four years ago, I became an independent contributor to The Capital-Journal and the Valley News in Phoenix.
The book-writing project involved culling and editing articles and selecting 250 of the best. I asked a group of my friends to help me re-read for spelling or punctuation errors (there were some doozies) and categorize them into one of five categories.
That friendship circle made it happen, and I am deeply indebted. My granddaughter, Paxton Brittingham, who is a junior studying fine arts and business at the University of Nebraska, created the cover.
My job was to format it and put it all together.
I learned how to get an ISBN number (a bar code for sales), a Library of Congress control number, and I submitted my copyright application.
The first copy has been mailed to the Library of Congress as of today! The learning curve was steep and certainly challenged my computer skills, but it was eventually ready to print!
Halls Commercial Printing in North Topeka has been a great partner. I’ve been a participant in every step. Recently, I observed the final binding and watched the assembly line bring into reality "Daily Cures: Wisdom for Healthy Aging!"
My vision has always been to be an enthusiastic cheerleader for successful aging. Now I have completed my goal of compiling the best of my advice, education, strategy, encouragement and humor into a book! It has been exhilarating.
If you are interested in owning a copy, go to www.justnowoldenough.com.
Connie Mason Michaelis is a lifestyle consultant who is on Facebook at Just Now Old Enough.