Still Young and Not As Restless

I celebrated another lap around the sun the same week an iconic soap opera celebrated its 50th.

More so than ever, I’m most thankful for my family, friends, health, and the opportunities to do things and be with those I love.

While I am lowkey about my birthday, I appreciate when people remember to send a greeting and to those who bring smiles to our days, like my thoughtful teammates who decorated my office!

And to the hubby who gave me my annual night off parenting – with pho for dinner too!

I used the time off to enjoy the latest episode of the excellent Star Trek: Picard.

And yes, T did write, “Happy birthday Ab” on his handmade card.

In fairness, I signed his recent birthday card as, “Love, Ab” – cuz parenting brain does that!

It’s very fitting The Young and the Restless celebrated its 50th anniversary the same day as my birthday because this iconic daytime drama has been a huge part of my life – 32 years to be exact.

I first stumbled upon the show in Grade 4 summer, because there was nothing to do at home by myself and my parents couldn’t afford to put me in camp.

The Lauren-Sheila baby switch storyline got me hooked and the show inspired me to want to be a writer.

I started writing my own soap opera scripts using a 286 computer and Word Perfect 5.1.

My first creation was a show titled “Life is A Library.” Little did I know back in Grade 4 the huge role libraries would play in my life!

I chuckle as I think back to how I wrote 2-3 page episode recaps during the daily journal writing time in school. My Grade 6 teacher’s reactions to my entries are hilarious to read as an adult. 😆

This was fun to look back at on this rainy Saturday.

In Grade 6, I wrote a letter to Y&R headwriter and executive producer, the late and great Bill Bell, asking to join his writing team and attached my grade 6 photo and a sample script. I never heard back. 😂

When I was in high school and through my university years when I studied journalism, I ran one of the first Y&R fan sites. I coded HTML line by line using Notepad. None of the fancy tools like WordPress that we have today!

It was the very first fan-run site to feature original content, such as interviews with actors and sometimes even out-scooped the media. I fondly remember actress Jess Walton (Jill Abbott) sending me a very nice email about the site.

I’d hunt down actors/publicists – this was before social media made celebrities accessible – and call them and they’d be like, “Who is this?” 😆

One of my favourite memories was when I was working as a customer service job in 2001.

The late Kristoff St John (Neil Winters) was doing an appearance at a nearby mall. I ran to catch his appearance during my lunch break, got a few quotes, and it was up on my site that evening.

Getting to meet “Katherine Chancellor” and write about it for my fan site was amazing.

I think back so fondly to these memories and I wonder where did all this free time and where did my hustle go?

Now in my 40s, I still feel young but I don’t feel as restless. I feel comfortable in my skin and have shifted my priorities towards my family.

All the skills and life experiences I’ve made are now used to make life as positive as possible for T.

A fun article about soaps I wrote during an internship at the National Post.

I spent this weekend enjoying the 50th anniversary episodes of Y&R – and enjoyed the trip down memory lane.

When we learned T was moving into our former tiny condo with us, I created livable space by whittling down my boxes of Y&R magazines to just a handful of issues I wanted to keep for warm memories on rainy days like today!

So many happy life experiences and academic, professional and personal opportunities were directly and indirectly made possible because of the love of writing that this show sparked in me.

Happy 50th anniversary, Y&R. May the trials and tribulations of Genoa City continue on for many more decades to come!

Y&R unveiled a new opening this week. Love that Tracey E Bregman (Lauren) leads it. She’ll always be my favourite.

30 thoughts on “Still Young and Not As Restless

  1. Say it isn’t so! You just had your birthday, it can’t be another year already! Happy Birthday and what a great hubby and that Pho! I watched Days of Our Lives since 1982 until they took it off NBC about a year ago. Made me so mad because they moved it to Peacock, pay station.

    1. Thanks Diane. Time just seems to fly by doesn’t it! 😆 Days is a great show. I don’t follow along but remember the crazy Marlena possession storyline possession in the 90s. I can see why it’s annoying that it moves to streaming. I could Y&R headed in that direction in a few years too.

  2. Not a TV person but I do remember this show growing up… cool how your determination caused you to write to them even if you didn’t hear from them at one point.Life begins at 40 so bring back what you feel you lost…..Happy belated….

    1. Thank you Faith! I’m amazed at how international the show’s reach is. And you are so right, life begins at 40! 😊

  3. I cant believe you met celebrities!!!! Holy crap! I. In awe! I am trying to hustle with writing a second book in my life, but not going as well as I had hoped. Lol. I have chosen my family over writing the book and I am ok with that. I have become the mom behind stage in my kids plays who does the props. I love it. It has made me respect and enjoy theater. Never thought I would say that! I used to dislike theater so so much! Now I am a lover of it. Happy Birthday!!! Going down memory lane is always so much fun!

    1. Thanks Rebecca. It was a fun part of my life when I was creating content just for the fun of it (not getting paid or anything).

      I hear you on the second book. I think you are amazing to have prioritized your family and all those memories and experiences will so be worth it once the kids are older. And you’ll still have time to write that book too! 😊 Theatre and supporting it sound like a lot of fun!

  4. Happy birthday, Ab! I loved this post for all the fabulous and fascinating reminiscence about your past. I think you still have the energy and hustle – but as you said so well channel it into making life better for T. That’s how you make time for those group meetings and morning quotes and every other way you show up for T!

    And I love your 6th grade teacher’s response – priceless!! I haven’t watched Y&R for years so I had to think about how Genoa City was pronounced when I saw it written. Ah, so that’s how they spell that! 🙂

    Wishing you an amazing and delightful year ahead!

    1. Thank you, Wynne. And that is a very kind thing of you to say. You’re right in how our energy and focus as parents shift to other things. 😊🙏

      I’m glad I kept these school journal booklets. They provide such delightful memories from time to time. And a good reminder for why I do the same for T.

      Wishing you and the kids a great week ahead!

  5. Happy Birthday, Ab! I loved reading about your former soap opera writing – you sound like you were an amazing kid! Although i never got into Y and R, I was an All My Children Fan from 1975-1998! Including scheduling nap times for the kids around the soaps before I could tape them. Wishing you health, happiness, adventure, love, and more writing today and every day! V

    1. Thanks Vickie! 😊 I love your All My Children too. Another great show with great stories.

      And I used to watch daytime TV when I was on parental leave and T had his twice a day naps. I sure miss his naps! 😆

  6. Wow Ab, this is fascinating on so many levels. First of all Happy Birthday my friend! Thanks to my mom, I grew up in a General Hospital household, lol.
    Writing/pitching a script to Y&R, incredible. Doesn’t matter that you didn’t hear back , you making the effort & having the courage to do it is awesome. As a kid I sent some of my cartoon drawings to Mr. Walt Disney once I found out he was a real person & not just a place we went to for summer vacations,lol.

    1. Thank you! 😊 General Hospital is a great show too and is celebrating its 60th anniversary next month. It’s amazing how long these shows have lasted.

      I also love your story of sending cartoon drawings to Mr Disney. That is too cute. I hope you have a copy of those illustrations with you still. I find looking back at these memories from time to time to be quite fun and special. 🙏

  7. Happy Birthday! That’s some snazzy doorway at the office. So fun to read your memories of Y&R and the inspiration for your career Ab. I was a Y&R fan for many years and honestly didn’t even know it was still on. I was one of the whole Luke and Laura crew and then caught bits and pieces when Sonny was doing his crime boss thing. 50 years is a long, long time.

    1. Thank you Deb. The inside of the office was quite cool as well but didn’t post it for privacy reasons. 🙂

      Luke, Laura and Sonny are from General Hospital, not Y&R, and they’re celebrating their 60th anniversary next month. 😊 It’s amazing how these shows have lasted decades!

      1. Duhhhhh! OMG! I guess that shoes just how much I was into soaps 😉 I kept wondering why the names weren’t ringing a bell- just thought those were the years I was REALLY not into the show! You can just disregard 90% of what I wrote- but I do still like the snazzy door!

      2. Haha, it’s ok. I know way too much unimportant info. 😆 And yes, the door is quite fun isn’t it!

  8. OMG, we might actually have the same birthday!!! Happy birthday, Ab! Wishing you great times ahead. While your days writing articles about Y&R were a thing in the past, there’s really no reason not to feel young. I’m not familiar with the TV series, but it’s really fun to read what you wrote back in the days.

    1. Oohhh, I’ll have to ask now was it closer to the end of the week or the beginning? 😊 Either way, happy belated birthday to you and I hope you had a nice day of celebrating too!

      It was a good show. I don’t watch as often now because I don’t have time and pass out when I watch tv most of the time but it was fun reminisce about this period in my life the last weekend. 😊

  9. Happy Birthday, Ab! It sounds like you had a wonderful weekend, and I hope the year to come will be good to you. 🙏😊 I’ve never seen Y&R myself, but I loved catching a glimpse of your life through that lens. I’m so glad you were able to hold on to just a few of those special mementos.

    1. Thank you, Erin. It was interesting to read your post this week asking how did you get into your career. Because I was reflecting on that too. I never ended up pursuing a career in journalism, which I studied, nor writing. But it was those experiences and education – first sparked by a love of this soap opera – that led me down a different unexpected path. As you said yourself, life does have twists and turns and it’s wonderful when we leave ourselves open to it! 😊

      1. Life has a way working out. At no point in my life have I been where I thought I would be, but I’ve learned that embracing things as they are makes every moment important. Viewing chronic illness or an upset child as part of the journey shrinks the sense of hardship and expands our ability to see the lesson or the gift. 😊

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