My book tour is coming to an end, and I don’t think I could count the number of times that I have pronounced the word ‘privilege’. Honestly what more amazing way could there be to visit this huge country than by being on a mission that sees me invited into beautiful homes, stores and other venues.
The opportunity to meet so many people whose names are already familiar to me through the blog or social media is also a joy, and I’ve enjoyed our conversations. I get asked a lot of questions about life at home: about the dogs (ahem!), about the garden, about shooting the books. But I think that the questions that arise the most often are about how the blog has allowed me to reinvent myself.
Some of you may already know that I started the blog in 2010, when the youngest of my four children was growing up too fast, and having been a hands on Mum for twenty years, I knew that I was rapidly becoming redundant and that it was urgent for me to reinvent myself. I hardly knew how to use a computer, I knew zilch about websites, but when I discovered the world of blogging I wondered if it may be the answer to my need for a new activity.
From the first day, I only ever wrote about things that really interested me, I wrote from my heart, and although I never revealed anything personal about my family, it seems that my words made sense to some people.
Today I like to say that I am an ‘accidental entrepreneur’, as the blog led to the tours, the books and My Stylish French Box, and today I find myself working full time, or more than. A couple of ladies have asked me with a smile if I should have been more careful what I wished for, and I won’t lie, there are mornings when I wake up wondering why I have so much going on.
But really what I believe is that the ability to reinvent ourselves is one of today’s biggest luxuries. Not only do we have the ideas and the technology to do so, but we also live in a society where it is more and more accepted that – whatever your age – you are still allowed to follow a dream, and live each day with passion.
If my story has helped anyone that I have met, take that step of faith and dare to start a journey of reinvention then that makes me very happy.
I’d like to thank everyone who has come to meet me on the tour. It has been such a pleasure seeing so many people. Special thanks to everyone who has hosted me:
Les Fleurs in Andover, the Newport Flower Show, Mitchells Book Store in Nantucket, Rejuvenation in New York, Chicago and Berkeley, Bastide in New York, Nell Hills in Kansas City and today Chateau Sonoma in Sonoma.
Thank you to all the kind people I have met along the way: the Uber drivers who made me laugh, the young girl who cleaned me up when a guy spilt coffee over my white pants at the airport; and of course the friends who have taken me out to lunch, dinner and breakfast! Finally thank you to Gibbs Smith for asking me to write the books.
Writing this blog is a daily privilege, but never is it more keenly felt than when I’m on book tour!
I’m delighted to have your new book in hand that my daughter picked up for me at Nell Hills..I was unable to attend… but so looking forward to savoring this book!
Well said, Yes reinvention is a luxury. So glad your book tour was a success.
You have absolutely inspired me in so many ways! I am just trying to figure out what my next chapter is going to be, I have your book and really enjoy it! I love you blog and I am always excited to read what you are up to. I asked my husband for the French Box for my birthday! Thank you!!
Dear Sharon….Now, that’s a lovely posting….and, yes, gratitude is an attitude that becomes us all.
Your generous-hearted posting reminded me of this unfinished poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay:
“(From an unfinished poem)
“As sharp as in my childhood, still
Ecstasy shocks me fixed. The will
Cannot entice it, never could,
So never tries. But from the wood
The wind will hurl the clashing sleet;
Or a small fawn with lovely feet,
Uncertain in its gait, will walk
Among the ferns, not breaking back
One frond, not bruising one fern black,
Into the clearing, and appraise
With mild, attracted, wondering gaze,
And lifted head unhurt and new,
This world that he was born into.
Such marvels as, one time, I feared
Might go, and leave me unprepared
For hardship. But they never did.
They blaze before me still, as wild
And clear, as when I was a child.
They never went away at all.
I need not, though I do, recall
Such moments in my childhood, when
Wonder sprang out at me again,
And took me by the heels, and whirled
Me round and round above the world.
For wonder leaps upon me still,
And makes me dizzy, makes me ill,
But never frightened – for I know –
Not where – but in whose hands I go:
The lovely fingers of Delight
Have hold of me and hold me tight.”
Best wishes to you in your further adventures and work, Sharon…..
Quail Roost Farm
Edna determined it is unfinished?
Bossy-boots Nora (millay’s sister and wildly-arbitrary literary executor, as you may know) is dead, so she’s not doing any talking, but Millay was always quite vocal about her writing process and unusually diligent in her filings/curation of them. This poem first appeared in the definitive “Collected Poems” (Circa 1970 or so?) and was titled (by Nora, one assumes) “An Unfinished Poem”. Oddly enough, it is my favorite poem of hers. —–david terry
Thank you Sharon. Keep up your ” labor of love”.
I love your books and have all of them. Bought the Girlfriend book for my girlfriends!! I need to do a bit of reinventing myself as well. I never miss a blog!
Congratulations! I started following you near the beginning and have really enjoyed watching the evolution!
I have your book and love it! I wish I could have met you on your tour.
Happy for your adventures and happier that you are willing to share! Safe journey home.
Yes … you are “all this” and more , but , most importantly you are such a very nice person .
You seem so humble , so honest and appreciative.
You are an inspiration to me and so many women !
I wished one of your tour stops would have been closer to where I live .
Safe return journey to home and sweet memories always .
I’m so glad your tour and visit to the U.S. has been a success and that you’ve enjoyed yourself. I wish one of your stops had been close to me … maybe next time. Keep those wonderful posts coming!
Safe travels home…
Sharon, ” Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others; cannot keep it from themselves.” by James Barrie
I so love your blog and appreciate your sharing your thoughts with us. You are our sunshine every day. Thank You!
It sounds like it’s been even a better trip to the US than the last one. Perhaps one day we shall meet.
Congratulations. You’re most likely exhausted, but what a way to go. Enjoy every minute. There are many of us living vicariously through your adventures and success.
I’m sure your lovely home will welcome you with open arms. What a beautiful spot you’ve found and made in Normandy. Keep blogging. I’ve just started up again as I’ve missed the creative outlet.
Glad you enjoyed your visit to the States. Your Instagram post showed that you visited many lovely places. I met you during your first visit to the States and I was so excited to meet someone that has been an inspiration for me for many years. I am sure you met many ladies this time that feel the same way as I do. I love you blog but never as much as when you talk about reinvention. I need to be reminded at times that it doesn’t matter your age you should never stop dreaming or reinventing yourself as life circumstances change. Keep writing but make sure you take some time to rest. Take care. Fondly Victoria
Our meeting in Sonoma was so lovely today. You inspire us with your blog and your own personal experiences trying to find your home. Please keep positive thoughts for us that we may find our “Chateau Napa” home soon. This has been quite challenging to say the least but we are certain our home will be there for us. Your book inspirational with lovely ideas that will be incorporated.
A special day indeed and a lovely book that will grace our home to come!
Myrna and Peter
Huge congratulations, so happy for you and remember not only have you reinvented yourself and become an amazing entrepreneur but you have also enriched so many other peoples lives. Your blog is, as ever, a pure delight. xx
Thank you for your inspiring words today. You have reminded me that reinventing oneself is the ultimate freedom in life and it is never too late!
I am so looking forward to reading your next post and planning my own reinvention.
I wish I could have attended one of your signings. Thank you for the encouraging words about reinventing ourselves. I am on the very edge of an empty nest and you are truly an encouragement to me. Enjoy the remainder of your book tour!
I have so enjoyed your blog and have only been reading them a couple of months (since the article in “Victoria”). I have missed so much – 8 years. I missed seeing you in Kansas City but thank you for coming to our state.
It was such a pleasure to meet you at the Newport Flower Show! Thank you for sharing words of inspiration! Wishing you a safe trip back to France! May you find the strength to continue your wonderful blogging and to do all the many lovely things you do for many years to come!
lovely post, you deserve the rewards as you have put a lot of effort into your re-invention!
I really needed to read your words today. Thank you for the timely post.
I’m approaching my 74th birthday, have moved to a fishing village in what’s known as “The Valley” in far South Texas and am at loose ends. Having raised two sons, worked at various times and been involved in the communities where we lived, I suddenly have nothing to do. Well, does a woman REALLY have nothing to do?!?
Hmmm…..I’m wondering how I can reinvent myself.
Reinvention is truly a gift from God. I did so at 60, and now, fast approaching 65, I feel like I have just started to reach my stride. I was able to meet you on your first book tour, and treasure that short time together.
You are an inspiration. I love everything that you do. I have just started my blog in the last 2 years, mostly as a living diary for me and my children. It’s been fun, scary, difficult, rewarding…..all the things that come with putting yourself out there. We are now in Newport (for vacation )and wish I knew you had been here….Looking forward to seeing more wonderful things from you.