Amy Kossoff Smith didn’t let age get in the way of chasing her dream to write about motherhood. In this essay, “Stumbling into Cyberspace,” excerpted from the book “Knowing Pains,” Smith writes about learning how to use the Internet to start her business.

My fingers raced across the keyboard, and my heart pounded as I heard the school bus wheels screech to a halt outside our house. Only a few more precious minutes to get that last e-mail out before the kids would bound through the door, kick off their shoes, throw their backpacks in the hall and demand a snack.

It was time to shift gears from work to kids, knowing full well that while my second shift was just starting, the third one (post-bedtime work catch-up) still lay ahead. After years of balancing three kids with my home-based PR business, I had added a scrumptious new project to my already-full plate. I started a website and blog that combined my organizational skills, my writing and PR background, and my passion for motherhood.

This latest entrepreneurial fire was ignited when I turned 40. For my birthday I went with some girlfriends to a spa where I paused for that rare moment of reflection in an otherwise activity-driven life. The Lycra-clad fitness instructor had us lying on mats: “Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out.” As desperate as I was for a true break, I was having trouble following her instructions to “clear my mind.” I found my mind wandering to my lengthy to-do list and unanswered e-mails. So much to do …. No, no, no … breathe in, breathe out. As I struggled to clear my mind, it hit me that I’d spent most of my professional and personal life focused on other people’s needs. Helping to fulfill other peoples’ dreams.

But as I lay there on that mat trying to breathe, the writer in me decided that 40 needed to be my chapter. I realized that it was time to pursue a personal dream of my own that could bring more passion, fun, and enjoyment to my career. As a journalist, I’d written articles for newspapers and magazines; as a publicist, I’d pitched press releases and managed countless special events. But one journalistic feat that I had yet to accomplish, but had always yearned for, was to write a book about something I really cared about, something to showcase my own magic tricks for managing the hardest job in my life: motherhood.

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Photo from The Business of Motherhood