My Life in Numbers

I was born in 1965, child #11 in a brood of a baker’s dozen. Seven sisters and five brothers join me in this bunch.

I started drinking alcohol at age 14. Before I was 16, I was already struck by the hard truth in these words: “The chains of alcohol are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.”

Thankfully, I survived my 10-year drinking career and have worked a life of recovery from alcoholism since September 4, 1989. Some days are better than others, yet each is spent swimming rather than drowning. For that I am very grateful.

After finally letting go of the hope that I would one day marry, I met my husband Darcy at age 32 and we married nine months later, at 33.  That was in 1998.

Motherhood came at age 36, when our son Sam was born.  I became a step-mom to Arthur and Emily when I married Darcy. They were ages 3 and 6 1/2 when I met them.

Having been a runner most of my life, I had run many 5Ks and 10Ks, and had dreamed of one day running a marathon, especially after watching the first women’s Olympic Marathon in 1984. Twenty years later, a comment from my niece Katie got the ball rolling and we ran marathon #1 in Chicago in October of 2004. I was 39 years old. Darcy and I have run 12 more since.

It took until December of 2010, when I was 45 years old, to be officially published and paid as a writer. It was an op-ed piece in the Minneapolis Star Tribune titled “Slow down; you move too fast.”

Guest blog posts, other op-ed pieces, a monthly column in our local newspaper, my first blog, “Habitual Gratitude,” began in March of 2012 and had surpassed 1300 posts as of April, 2016.

“Late Bloomer and Slow Learner” was officially launched with the first post on June 16, 2016.

Darcy and I became grandparents to little Leo in March of 2015. What a wonderful little teacher he is!

A slow learner in life, I do have some formal education. I  graduated from high school in 1983, got an undergraduate degree (B.A. in Social Science) in 1987, and a master’s degree (M.A. in Guidance and Counseling) in 2000.

I taught high school social studies for 10 years and have now been a school counselor for 19 years, along with doing prevention and intervention work.

Some of the most gratifying experiences in my career have been the seasons I spent coaching-10 in softball, 5 in track, and 5 in basketball.