There's an adorable picture of my daughter Jennie standing on the back steps proudly holding her very first schoolbag. It was taken on the day she started kindergarten and it's obvious that she's both excited and scared to death.
The person who took that picture-me-was feeling the same way since I was about to launch my first business as soon as I got her settled at school.
We both survived those early days of new activities and adventures. What I didn't realize on that early September day so long ago is how the growth of my self-employed life was going to parallel Jennie's growing up.
Somewhere along the way, I realized that my business was also filled with growing and growing pains that bore a striking resemblance to the things Jennie was experiencing.
I decided this must be normal.
Every year, we both got a bit wiser and more confident. Then puberty hit and things got a bit wonky for both of us. We kept moving forward, bit by bit. and eventually life got sweeter for us as we set new goals and explored new territories.
The summer Jennie graduated from college, I was finishing up the manuscript for Making a Living Without a Job. We knew we were stepping out into an even bigger world with those passages.
Yesterday I alerted my Facebook friends to another big milestone. Today Making a Living Without a Job
is celebrating 20 years of publication. There's no cake, but my Facebook friends have been sharing wonderful messages and I've been smiling a lot. I laughed out loud when Michelle Woolard Pippin posted a picture of her beat up copy of my book.
I remember telling my editor that I wanted this to be a book that wasn't just about how to get started, but also about how to keep going. So when I see a copy that has obviously been consulted over the years, I feel it's fulfilled its' mission.
If you're reading this message, there's a good chance you've got a copy lying around somewhere, too. I hope it's scribbled in and wrinkled from regular workouts.
Over the years, I've received many nice reviews and testimonials. Here's one that Steve Strauss posted in his column in USA Today:"I highly recommend the newest edition of Barbara Winter's classic, Making a Living Without a Job. This great book shows anyone how they too can become joyfully jobless.
"In a different life, when I was the unhappiest lawyer in the land working for the big firm, this book helped me plan my escape. It changed my life, and it can change yours."
Thank you so much for sharing this joyful journey with me. Now I've got some celebrating to do.