Everything. I want to know why it happens. Especially this week. Last Saturday! January 24th! Today!
I thought my injuries sustained in a fall on some stairs on January 24th were healing. I left town with husband Bob last Friday for a two and a half day writing conference on the Oregon coast. Common sense kept my mind busy for days deciding whether or not to travel, but I was feeling better. As we travelled, I even mentioned how much better my hip and back were feeling.
Fast forward to Saturday afternoon when the pain returned with a vengeance. A vengeance so deep and intense I became shaky and nauseous. My first thought was how thankful I was Bob had driven to the coast with me. My second thought: Why now? I called Bob at the condo where we stayed and asked him to pick me up. That officially ended the conference for me.
STILL NO REASON FOR WHY THIS HAPPENED.
Irritation, frustration, anger, and apprehension mixed to create emotional turmoil from this pain re-entering my life. Why was it back? How was I going to get this week’s work done? How soon would I be able to see my doctor? And what would I tell my readers and followers?
Nothing much has improved. I still have no answers, and I don’t see the doctor until Friday morning. But the bottom line is: Sometimes life just happens, and there is nothing we can do about it.
No attempt meant to extract sympathy from you, but I have one place comfortable for sitting and from there I’m writing and reading. I feel imprisoned. Last evening I threatened sleeping there because getting out of our bed is painful, but at the end of the day I needed a change of scenery.
This disruption in my day-to-day activities may keep me from posting as often as I would like as well as the newsletter, not to mention less activity on social media.
The message I want to send above all else is that despite what life throws our way, expected or unexpected, there is a reason for it. We may never discover or know the reason behind it, but rest assured there is a reason.
Perhaps the resulting experience will teach us something. Maybe we’ll grow as a result of the unexpected that came along. Or it may be something we should have learned from previous experiences but didn’t.
Next time something surprises you don’t just ask why. Stop and ask yourself what you’re supposed to receive as a result of this unexpected occurrence. Then exercise awareness. You may be pleasantly surprised by what happens next.
How do you handle the unexpected? Do you believe there is a reason behind everything that happens in your life? Share with the rest of us in the comment section below.
On Friday, January 29th, at Puddletown Reviews, I will share my review of Destiny’s new memoir. I hope you will join me for a look at her book in more detail.
Now join me in welcoming Destiny!
THE CHOICE OF INVISIBILITY
Healing, like writing, is a slow and difficult process. One day, one word at time, we fill the holes in our hearts. Each word is a drop of water in a dry pond. It is a tear finally shed, a hurt undone. The process not only heals us, it empowers us to do things differently in the future because it changes the way we see ourselves.
Unfortunately, changing the present is more challenging. As we work to give voice to our stories and release them, we are under a constant barrage of cultural norms that seek to diminish us. It takes great courage to rally our voices in a surging storm.
Nine times out of ten, if I’m in a business meeting with my husband (who is also my business partner), our associate will direct the conversation toward him. If I interject with a thought or comment, I’m often completely ignored. My husband knows this and works with me to balance the conversation, but he, too, is up against cultural norms.
Men are supposed to make the decisions. Women are to be quiet and not rock the boat. We’re the support system, not the engine. As such, we’re often invisible, even when that’s the last thing we want.
In every industry in this country, women are underrepresented, minimized, or ignored. Amy Schumer and other celebrities are working diligently to change the system and create opportunity for women to be heard, but try acting like Schumer in real life and the results are as disastrous as they are comical.
In my new book, The Romance Diet: Body Image and the Wars We Wage on Ourselves, I chronicle an experience I had a few years ago. At that time, my husband and I had recently acquired a bankrupt shopping center. It was the height of the downturn and we had our work cut out for us.
I have long believed that the only thing we can control is what we give, so I created a community giveback that I thought was win-win. I built a professional art gallery, complete with track lighting and moveable walls, and gave it to a different group of local artists every month. I taught them the business of art, helped them with pricing, statements, and hanging their shows. They used the space and my time for free and kept 100% of their sales.
One of the first art openings attracted several hundred people. Someone my husband had done business with for years attended. He couldn’t say enough about the gallery or the event. “What a great gift! This is so important, so necessary, so good for the community,” he told my husband. My husband thanked him and replied, “Let me introduce you to my wife. She’s the one behind all of this. I just pointed the lights.” The man checked out my body, turned back to my husband and said, “Well, it’s just great of you to support her little projects.” My husband’s mouth dropped open. He took my hand and pulled me away, speechless. He had never experienced this kind of behavior because he had never partnered with a woman. For me, it was one example of many.
As we toil away at our manuscripts, we face the probability that our voices will never be heard because, well, women are supposed to be invisible. On top of that, a million books are published every year in this country and most of them won’t sell a hundred copies. And yet, we keep typing the words. For women, these words are essential. The gates have crumbled and gate keepers, who overwhelmingly publish men over women, are scrambling to survive. Today, the publishing revolution has given courageous women a chance to tell our stories. Invisibility is a choice. We can go with conventional norms, or we can create our own storm.2
Thank you, Destiny, for joining my readers and me today to share your thoughts and feelings on what, for me at least, is an area of pointed abuse and influence against women in today’s business world. Of particular interest are the statements related to the writing and publishing of works by women.
IN HER LATEST BOOK, DESTINY ALLISON HAS DEFTLY PARSED THAT FEMINIST CLICHÉ THE PERSONAL IS THE POLITICAL IN A FRESH NEW WAY. THE SEARCH FOR THE AUTHENTIC SELF IS NEW FOR EVERY GENERATION AND ALLISON’S BOOK IS A VALUABLE CONTRIBUTION TO THAT QUEST FOR TODAY’S WOMEN.
–PATRICIA MURPHY, PHD, JOHN D. & CATHERINE T. MACARTHUR FOUNDATION WOMEN’S HEALTH POLICY FELLOW AND AUTHOR OFMAKING CONNECTIONS: WOMEN, WORK, AND ABUSE
Brave, raw, and unflinchingly honest, this book is a weight loss journey, a love story, a heart beating loudly on the page. Every day we battle against something–injustice, our spouses, our weight. Seldom do we acknowledge the real wars we wage. Repressing feelings and silencing our voices, we suffer under the surface, attributing emotional distress and unwanted pounds to the inescapable effects of hormones or age.
But weight gain, anxiety, and marital difficulties aren’t always so easy to explain.
In her poignant and touching memoir, Allison doesn’t offer recipes, exercise tips, or advice. Instead, she shows us how to stand up, express what we want, and develop empathy for ourselves and the people we love. In doing so, she provides invaluable insight for those seeking to lose weight, save a marriage, or make a significant life change.
Destiny Allison was a professional and award-winning sculptor. Her work is collected by individuals, civic entities, and corporations worldwide. When an injury required her to re-envision her life, Allison did what she always does. She applied her explosive creativity and dog-with-a-bone tenacity to new endeavors.
In 2011 she was named Santa Fé Business Woman of the Year. Her community building efforts and innovative business model transformed a bankrupt shopping center into a thriving community and commercial center.
In 2012 she published her first book, Shaping Destiny: A quest for meaning in art and life. The book won best independent non-fiction/memoir in the 2013 Global Book Awards.
Since then, she has published two novels and opened a general store.
Allison believes that one’s life is one’s greatest work of art. Hence, she flows freely between mediums. Unafraid to make mistakes and always passionate, she lives in Santa Fé, NM.