Today was one of the highlights of my life. Tricia and I had a wonderful afternoon hearing the words of wisdom from one of the world’s most popular and prolific authors–Mary Higgins Clark. Despite being in the middle of a new project and facing a deadline to complete her new book, she graciously took off the afternoon to meet with us and answer questions about her life.
Imagine, Mary Higgins Clark invited us to meet with her personally at her lovely home located in Saddle River, New Jersey. We flew into Newark, New Jersey on Wednesday afternoon and found a hotel not too far down the road from her hometown. Thursday morning we spent working on various tasks, some related to the book and some not, before we headed out from our hotel at around 1:00 pm. Though it was not more than a couple of miles away, we did not want to run the risk of being late, so we left with plenty of time. Naturally we were early so we parked the car and waited until it was appropriate for us to go in.
Her home is spectacular, large and gracious. Mrs. Clark was immaculately dressed in a green plaid jacket with her hair beautifully coifed. She invited us to visit with her in her study-a loft located in the third story of her home in a cozy nook with bookshelves filled with books, awards and mementos. The walls are covered with numerous awards, and illustrations of her many book covers. It is a dream office for a serious author with windows that let in the light and overlook the beautiful trees that dot her property. We were served tea and cookies and then Mrs. Clark patiently answered our questions and told us stories about her life.
Once again, I was touched by the message that seems to resonate with all the women we have met. Each of them have dealt with problems and struggles–many of which are of tragic proportions–yet they are incredibly resilient. When we talked with Mrs. Clark about her philosophy on life and finding her path, she responded, “Somebody once said, if you want to be happy for a year, win the lottery. If you want to be happy for a lifetime, love what you do. That’s the way it is for me — I love to spin yarns.”
The take away —Love what you do.