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I work with a really talented group of guys. Guys as in, some-of-them-I’d-consider-REALLY-HOT-if-I-wasn’t-married kind of guys. Yeah. Those. But since I AM married (and rather enjoy staying that way), they’re just guys.

One of them in particular has made an incredible impression on me. We’ve worked together for more than a dozen years. I’ve watched him become a father, get married, suffer through his wife’s infidelity, and then forgive her only to have the marriage sadly fall apart anyway.

He easily accepted the responsibilities that come with being a single dad to two beautiful girls. He juggles a demanding work schedule in a difficult economic climate, right along with school sports and buying tampons.

And through all the turbulence, he continues to be optimistic, he continues to smile, and he always tells me he’s “living the dream.”

As a writer, I can honestly say I’m living the dream. I’m up at 4 a.m. (or earlier if I have to clean up cat puke), working through a manuscript before heading to the day-job. I sneak in a few more words at my desk during lunch (if I’m lucky it doesn’t involve a love scene – awkward!), then I come home and crank out a few more pages in the evenings after dinner. Five or six hours of sleep and the cycle repeats itself with variations involving a trip to the gym or . . . Ummm . . . yeah . . . that’s about it. (Note to self: that is so sad!)

The weekends are spent either with my fabulously talented critique partners (*waving* Hello, Angels!) at a local Starbucks or – surprise – sequestered in my home office working on a story. All of this in between loads of laundry and the occasional run to the grocery store because I’m out of chocolate.

And after nine years, I’m still writing in spite of editor rejections. I’m still chasing the dream of being a published author. But I figure I’ve got a couple of choices. I could shut down and give up, or I could keep moving, keep going to workshops and conferences, keep learning from other authors, keep pitching my manuscripts to editors, and keep honing my writing skills.

For me, it’s a no-brainer. Giving up is not an option. Besides, like my guy-friend, I honestly believe I’m living my dream.

So, I’m curious. How are you living yours?