It’s something that I’ve always dreamed of doing, and that I’ve started a number of times but never quite finished. I’ve helped others do it, and I’ve done it twice as part of a larger group, but never on my own – until now.

I’ve just published my first book.

I don’t know which was more exciting, holding an actual copy of the book with my name on the cover, or seeing the book listed on Amazon, which made me feel like a “real author” in a way I never have before.

The book, “Find Your Buried Treasure: Nuggets Mined from Everyday Life,” is a collection of 30 columns that I’ve written over the years for the Chanhassen Villager, starting with my very first column, on March 1, 2001, and ending with the column from July 23, 2015.

Even though they had already been written and published in the paper, turning the columns into a book was a challenging process. For one thing, I realized early on that the casual, informal voice I use in writing my column seems a bit choppy and sloppy when the columns are all put together in a book. So I had to do some rewriting on many of them.

Deciding which columns to include was also a challenge, as I had almost 800 columns to sort through. But even though it was a time-consuming process, it was an enjoyable and rewarding one. It felt like I was going back in time and reliving the years my kids were still at home and in school, and I was watching them grow up all over again.

Some columns reminded me of things I had long forgotten, and some brought back to life some of the people close to me who have passed away over the years. Several columns surprised me with an observation or insight that seemed prophetic, like the one about a fortune cookie with the message, “You see beauty in everyday things. Treasure this gift.” In that column, I acknowledged that I do see beauty in everyday things, but had never considered this a gift. I also said that I didn’t know how I could use that to help anyone else, but I’d keep my eyes open for any opportunity. That column came out a few years before I started my company, “Find Your Buried Treasure,” and before I started coaching and helping people to see and use the gifts and strengths in themselves that they didn’t even realize they had.

I hope it’s okay for me to say here that I’m really proud of this book. And it’s not because of my name on the cover or the listing on Amazon. It’s because in it, as in my column, I really do try to help people to see the treasures that are all around us in our everyday lives, if only we take the time to look for them and notice them.

If you’re already doing that, I hope you’ll continue. And if you’re not, I hope you’ll start today. You’ll be amazed at what you find.

The column “Find Your Buried Treasure” appears weekly in the Chanhassen (MN) Villager. This column was published on November 10, 2016.
©Betty Liedtke, 2016

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