*Are you happy at the moment?
At this moment, I am feeling content and weighed down by others’ pain at the same time. So feeling “happy” isn’t really at the top of my list right now. Still, I can see the good in even the toughest areas because I know that we all learn and grow as people during the difficulties, not during the high times of life.
*If you could go back and say anything to your 16-year-old self now – what would it be?
I would go back and tell my very younger self that my life path would sometimes appear only one-foot step at a time ahead of me. Other times, I’d be able to see farther ahead…but in both cases, I would tell myself to live in the moment of today…whether it’s a great moment or a painful one, don’t worry about tomorrow. God gives us grace for this day only…and when we worry…we deplete the energy we need for today!
*What’s the most important thing you’ve learned this year?
The most important thing I’ve learned this year is that when I tell myself I “need” something…I put myself under that “need’s” control. Whether I need respect from a specific person, love from someone, or kindness….it then becomes something that rules me…even though others may not realize it…I do. I do want respect, love, and kindness…but the truth is, even if I don’t get it…I can be fine. That is one freeing thought!
*What do you most want to achieve in the next 12 months?
I want to slow down and develop more of an inner quietness…the world is too noisy…too busy. I believe I need to step back and take back my time and energy so that I have what I need for what matters most.
*What’s your secret to happiness?
Realizing that no matter how different our lives look on the outside, we all have the same needs and desires on the inside. I believe it is poisonous to compare ourselves with others…
*What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded?
Every morning I spend time reading Psalms and Proverbs…it helps keep me grounded in my faith…and gives me an uplifted perspective on life in general.
*What’s your biggest regret?
My biggest regret is that at times I have been tempted to give up on relationships that were difficult, my writing career because it was difficult, and on the world in general! The older I get, the more I realize that every day has its lovely moments and its not so wonderful ones. That is life. That is relationships. That is work. Every day we are challenged to make the most of what has been given us.
*What’s the most important lesson you’ve taught your kid(s)?
I taught my kids that a life characterized by consistently thinking of others is the happiest life possible. For it is in giving that we receive. No truer words!
*What bad habit would you most like to change about yourself?
I would like to stop being hard on myself when I make a mistake…which is…hourly! I’m a reformed perfectionist…or so I tell myself. But sometimes, it is hardest to be forgiving and kind to yourself.
*Aside from motherhood/fatherhood and marriage what are you most proud of in your life?
My writing work defines who I am as a woman and as an individual. Each and every book I’ve written tells the story of my life or of my friends’ lives. Struggles, triumphs, joys and sorrows…it’s all there in black and white.
*When were you happiest?
I believe I can “happier” every day because I understand how fleeting life is and I want to make the most of my time and opportunities. As I age, I gain more perspective…and hopefully, grow wiser, gentler, and kinder.
*What ten words best describe you?
Persistent, hardworking, honest, loyal, trustworthy, bold, strong, kind, visionary, and reliable.
Michele Howe is the author of fourteen books for women and has published over 2000 articles, reviews, and curriculum to more than 100 different publications. Her articles and reviews have been published in Good Housekeeping, First For Women, Single Parent Family, Christian Single, and many other publications. Michele’s single parenting titles include, Going It Alone and Still Going It Alone. After having undergone six shoulder surgeries, Michele saw the need for a women’s inspirational health-related book co-authored with her orthopedic surgeon titled, Burdens Do a Body Good: Meeting Life’s Challenges with Strength (and Soul), released in 2010 and from which Prescription for Life, their health, medical and surgical informational book is based. One Size Fits All: Making Healthy Choices, Stepping Into a Meaningful Life, a women’s health/inspirational devotional by Lighthouse of the Carolinas was released late 2012 along with Burden Lifters: Every Woman’s Daily Guide to a Healthy Happy Life published by Bondfire Books in 2013. Her newest release is and Faith, Friends, and Other Flotation Devices published by ACTA Publications. Read more of Michele’s work at http://michelehowe.wordpress.com/ and contact Michele at: firstname.lastname@example.org.