by Linda Johnson, M.A., L.L.P.C.

“Linda has an incredible talent to inspire the uninspired and to craft meaningful insights from the patchwork stories of our lives. Every time I talk to her, I learn something new about myself or a new way to handle a situation in life. She is filled with grace and poise, and it was such an honor to be included in Chapter3Book. I have laughed, cried and soul searched while reading it, and I know it’s going to provide so many nuggets of wisdom for all who read it.”

Tiffany M.

“LOVE LOVE LOVE these stories!! Gave me chills reading and reflecting on them. Thanks for sharing the inspiration.”

I. S.

“You are always inspiring, thoughtful, and caring about any topic you write about. Can’t wait to share your new book!”

B. H.

August 18, 2013, was the beginning of a new Chapter for me. It was my 60th birthday. One of the Big Ones. And with that birthday came a major dose of reality.

I started thinking my peak most likely came and went any number of years ago and I hadn’t even realized it. My athletic ability stalled somewhere between cheerleading and step class. I looked around and all of a sudden noticed that my friends and I had lined faces, gray hair, and liver spots on our hands and legs.

A girlfriend said, “We used to go out for lunch and toss back a couple of margaritas. Now we go out for lunch and toss back a couple of Gas-X.” I had the feeling a lot of time slipped away while I wasn’t paying attention and I wasn’t sure how it happened, but turning 60 made me realize it DID happen. And I decided I wasn’t going to turn 70 and feel the same way again.

So turning 60 was the beginning of a new, liberating decade. Sure, I probably peaked at some things some time ago. But I’m nowhere near my peak in others.

Do you know what I discovered? You don’t have to be 60 to begin a new Chapter. And it doesn’t have to happen on a milestone birthday or any certain day of the week or month on the calendar.

It’s simply a matter of looking at who you are and what you’ve done and where you’d like to go. Consider the possibilities. Not the regrets. Recognize that most of what we learn is through experience. And those experiences, good and bad, have shaped us into the person we are in the present.

And yet…we are never really finished. We are a work in progress. There’s always another Chapter to be written and it’s just around the corner.

But you need to step forward and look around that corner to discover it. So where do you want to go? What do you want to do? How are you going to get there? Instead of reading about an interesting life, go out and HAVE an interesting life. Take a deep breath, focus, imagine the possibilities, and then…just start. Your next Chapter is out there too.

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