By Susan "Honey" Good
When I was a little girl my mother gave me my first diary. It was lavender with a lock and a key! It was the lock and the key that made it so very special. My diary promised secrecy. I could put down all my thoughts on paper and no one would know. I wrote each night after my mom tucked me into bed and kissed me good night. When she left my bedroom, I would flip on my nightlight, open my diary to a blank page and with pen in hand, my thoughts and feelings of the day would pour onto its pages. I shared all my dreams, fears, joys, and disappointments with my beautiful lavender diary. I began each entry with 'Dear Diary' and ended with 'Good Night Dear Diary.' My collection of entries stopped when I left for college.
Fast forward to 2012. Two women, both named Gail, one a new acquaintance, the other a best girlfriend, put me on a course that would forever change my life.
Because of their suggestions and my desires I reentered the wonderful "world of words"
Here is my story, darlings.
I met Gail, by chance, in April of 2012. We shared our short time together in non-stop conversation- a life changing conversation, for me. It took place in Palm Springs, California, a resort community, where most of you know my husband Shelly and I spend our winters.
After establishing that my home was Chicago and hers was Palm Springs, she asked, "How do you spend your time in the desert?
"I play golf and cards and do some charity work," I said, adding out of the blue, "I'm really searching for a new purpose." Then I changed the subject, asking her what she does with her time?"
"I am a writer and an author," she responded.
I was taken aback. "You are?!" I said.
Hundreds of women and I mean hundreds have passed through the doors of my life and not one was a writer. I was impressed and a little bit in awe. Before I could inquire about her writing career she quickly added, "I think I can help you solve your dilemma."
I stared at her dumbfounded and listened as she continued, "Keep a written journal for three months and YOU WILL FIND YOUR VOICE."
You have no idea the effect and impact those five words had on yours truly! First of all darlings, I love drama! "You will find your voice" was drama at its best and so the words kept running through my mind as I drove home.
I remember being filled with excitement and wonder. Little did I know I would go from that little girl who kept her secret diaries to a woman who shared her written thoughts with other women on her own website!
"Shelly, Shelly," I called out to my husband as I raced into our home, "You are not going to believe what happened today."
He listened, smiled and encouraged me with, "I think you should go for it!" after I told him the story of my conversation with Gail. Little did he know how consumed I would become with "my new purpose!"
The next morning I awoke with one thought. I promised myself I would persevere, solve any and all obstacles that might confront me, and not miss a day of journaling over the next three months. I kept my vow.
On day one with a fresh cup of coffee and my pooch Orchid by my side, I opened my MacBook Air and placed my fingers on its keyboard. I remember feeling a physical peacefulness come over me. I was in my own quiet realm with my own personal thoughts. I cannot begin to tell you how happy, content and fulfilled I was over the next three months jotting down my daily musings.
My laptop, dictionary, thesaurus, computer teacher and Google became my new best friends! With my Apple and husband, I traveled. Over the next three months I wrote in Palm Springs, Chicago, Paris, Normandy, Moscow, Saint Petersburg, in hotel rooms, in airports, on airplanes and in cars... never missing a day! I learned how to program my computer so I could write without WiFi. I read all my entries to Shelly who became my audience! I was hooked. I had found my purpose, my new hobby. Or, what I thought would be just a hobby!
Three months later, I was sitting in the park in my 'beautiful Chicago' with Orchid and my laptop! The park, one block from our apartment and behind the Museum of Contemporary Art, is a perfect place to write. As often happens, my phone rang.
Another life changing development was about to occur. It was Gail, my best friend.
"Good Morning!" (I started answering my phone with a good morning when I was first married at twenty. It is an upper!) Try it darlings!
"Hi!" She got right to the point, "So I have a question. I know you accomplished your three month goal of journaling for three months. I'm just wondering, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH YOUR 9 BILLION WORDS?"
" I don't know." came out of my mouth.
"I have a suggestion," said Gail, "I am going to a networking meeting tonight and I will ask Harvey (the president) if he knows a Social Media person because I think you should write a blog and share your nine billion words of thoughts with other women. You need a Social Media person to put your writings on line."
I played devil's advocate.
"I'm not Internet friendly. I have never taken a writing course," I declared!
"So what," said Gail. "You have read some of your stories to me and I love them."
"You're right," I said. "Ask Harvey. Talk later."
Walking home with Orchid, I decided I would sit down and read my three months of journals. It took a week.
After turning the last page I realized I was a sage, a woman of wisdom, because of my age and incredible life experiences. I had earned my phD... in life!
I am a woman with many titles: wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, world traveler, expert shopper, entertainer, homemaker, a hip 21st Century grandmother to 20+ grandchildren who call me "Honey" and a woman who knew a woman's inner style, her essence, is what creates her outer style.
I could be of information to women. Did I want to share my thoughts?
My journal was filled with my life secrets. I wrote about my family, how to blend a 'his and her' family, widowhood and devastating illness, friendship and the loss of friendship, suicide, love the second time around, aging parents, world travels, my cherished daughters and delicious grandchildren, my dog Orchid, all types of girly stuff and how to live your life with style.
My philosophy: thread your life with sound values; 'ride the wave' of life. See the glass half full, make lemonade out of lemons, take a chance and turn your dream into reality living outside the box.
I listened to the first Gail who told me I would find my voice and to the second Gail who told me to put my voice on line in a blog. Two women, both named Gail, led me down a path. The third person, yours truly, made it happen.
HoneyGood.com (my real name, how lucky is that!) is now over 3 years old, has over 116,000 followers on Facebook, 8 thousand readers on email and, as my husband and best friend Shelly says, "The best is yet to come!" With a smile on my face I have to admit, he's right again!
Warmly, Honey xo.
Connect with me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/_HoneyGood