Participate in Creation

books

Creating feeds the world,

                 while negativity starves it.

Four years ago, when I embarked on my personal goal of finally shaping and writing a book, there were many fears involved. Would I be able to have the self-discipline and creativity and passion and stubbornness to follow through? Would I be able to strike a work/life balance with the project, and not neglect my husband or children while achieving my goal? Was this a realistic or reasonable goal? After all, over a million books are published each year, just in the U.S., so I knew that I had stiff competition, AND a saturated field of creativity that I was walking into.

Thankfully, I set aside my fears and reservations, designed a “dream board” so that I could make a coherent and realistic timeline (and book outline), and launched my project! Along with friends and family, my main support was my husband, who encouraged me to pursue this goal, kept me motivated when I lagged behind in my timeline, and backed off when had legitimate writer’s block and just needed a break. I took summers off so I could pay attention to the (quickly changing) lives of our four kids, and spent the school year sticking to a writing schedule and editing along the way. Much research went into it, because I wanted to have a balance of anecdotal and scholarly facts that backed up the experiences that my interviewees were imparting. And my friend of 25 years, Lisa, provided photographs and cover art for me. Truly a group effort, altogether!

Please visit my author’s page at http://www.bookbirthing.wordpress.com for more backstory on the project, and also visit

on Amazon to view and purchase the Kindle version of my book! Paperback to follow, as soon as I have worked out the kinks in formatting!

Hope you enjoy it! Creativity feeds the world, while negativity starves it. Be a creator!

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A Cup of Tea

FB_IMG_1522719415960.jpgyes, so true!

I’m not sure who wrote this, but it is so timely for me and (I hope) for you.

Women, especially, struggle with the concept of belonging. When we sense (or hear secondhand) that a sister, brother, acquaintance or coworker doesn’t like, appreciate, or accept us, we feel lots of different things: disappointment, hurt, betrayal, confusion, etc. We start to second-guess interactions we’ve had with the person, trying to discern “the moment” that we said or did whatever it was that made them change their minds about us.

This activity is the opposite of detachment.

Detachment is recognizing that we need less quantity, more quality. Less neediness, more mindfulness. Less chaos, more peace.

Someone said to me once, “It’s okay that some people don’t like you. That’s their loss, not yours.”

Less chaos, more peace.

Visit me at www.bookbirthing.wordpress.com to see what I’ve been up to!

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This is a photo that I took on Ellis Island, the portal through which almost all immigrants were processed as they came to America. It seems very hopeful to me, as the goal is in sight, but still: you have to cross an expanse of water to reach your final destination.

That has been my experience for the last three years; although this blog has been mostly silent, it’s been for good reason. I have finally reached the other side of a lifelong goal, which is writing, completing, and then pitching my own book!

My book is about vocational transitions and grieving (in short: vocational grieving), a process that most of us can relate to. It’s that awkward transition between a known country and an unknown one; that expanse between “the devil you know and the devil you don’t”; that chasm between what you had wished for and what you actually ended up with. About Walking a Mile in Someone Else’s Shoes: An Introduction to Vocational Grieving, Recovery and Transition.

I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing 48 ordinary (and extraordinary!) American workers, some of which are immigrant university students. 48 distinct, unique portraits of people from diverse backgrounds: male or female, married or single or celibate clergy, ex-priests and university professors, stay at home parents and blue collar and white collar workers, small business owners and entrepreneurs; Christians, atheists, agnostics. Each describes their journey to their dream jobs (or good-enough jobs) and back again, in their own voices and reflecting their own values, describing their awkward transitions, their triumphs, their tribulations, and lessons learned.

This is, in many ways, my dream job. To give voice to those who have suffered in silence, who have sacrificed for their families and their dreams, who have learned things the hard way and sometimes, through tremendous suffering. To observe the quiet dignity and honor with which people handle transition stress, and how their support systems loved them into, through, and around these experiences.

Because none of us has done this alone! Not even me.

Kudos to my loving and supportive husband, my patient and understanding children, and every friend who believed in me and supported my craft. Creativity is the language of the spirit, and every person who bolstered me while I wrote this book: I will be forever grateful to you!

This. is Me.

Becky ziplining

This. is Me.

I ain’t necessarily skinny, or perfect, or predictable.

I have my flaws, and  Oh! they are many, and I can name them all.

I am a survivor of terrible things, but also a thriver –

I want new, different, and scary, all outside these walls.

I offer myself, unreservedly, to those who will care to listen,

Whether tiny, or medium, or tall tall tall.

My hero is Joan of Arc, because tho’ she did end on a burning stake,

She didn’t go quietly, or actually – at all.

Her energy was transformed to spirit and became legend and large,

And she forged a path and answered His call.

So when I am a ghost and my visage is faded from your view,

I want my legacy to be “CANNON BALLLLLLL!”

 

 

 

New Year’s Conundrum

It seems that I am only able to do life improvement in one arena at a time:.if my weight loss/nutrition is going well, keeping up with editing my book falls behind. If I am very self-disciplined with my writing and editing, my physical self-care falls behind. Let’s not even wonder how my spiritual reading and discipline fluctuates as my stress or home responsibilities escalate!

I am blissfully envious of seemingly  balanced people…I am blissfully unaware of the work/scheduling/ accountability required to pull that off on a regular basis. I settle sometimes for a hippie mentality of “all things come in their time”, because it excuses my temporary ambivalence or apathy.

I do best when I follow a structured regimen of daily, weekly, and monthly plans that cover all the bases important to me: spirituality, marriage, parenting, physical self-care, writing and recreation. Things like volunteering and church involvement have their place, but after my family’s needs (and my own) are met.

Here’s to a new start, 2017! And a new plan for all the areas of life 🙂

18 and Life to Go

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This is my only son.

My firstborn.

Today he turns 18 years old, but I chose this old photo of him because it shows him rowing away from me (us).

In so many ways, there’s nothing more anxiety-provoking than launching your first child into the world. But when he leaves us in 3 months, I don’t actually expect him to come back, except for (maybe) in the summers in between college years. I expect he will probably start and finish college in a timely manner, find his way in the world, find a nice girl, get married eventually, have a family of his own.

For any mother, having her very first child turn 18, register for college classes and Selective Service, make adult-sized decisions and mistakes: terrifying. Because that first launch is the final test as to whether his mom and dad did a good (or not-so-good) job of parenting him. Did we teach him enough about God? About kindness, compassion, community concerns, how to treat women, how to succeed without putting money first? Did we teach him how to be a good man?

I can’t even imagine what it is like for him; to look forward to college, to realize that he will finally be totally independent from us, will make every decision himself, every morning that he wakes up. Maybe he is like me, launching into adult life without a plan or a well-developed format. Or maybe he is like his dad, who was already planning his life before he even started it, who had signed up for the military before he even WAS 18. Yeah. I think he IS like his dad. Who although not perfect, is a good man, is a goal-oriented person, who sees the pros and cons analytically; not me, who jumped into everything with both feet without even looking.

That makes me feel a little bit better.

Happy 18th Birthday, Son. May you make this world better than it was before you entered it. We love you.

 

Check out my new blog, From Conception to Birth, also on WordPress!

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Shesabadmother has been pretty quiet, mostly because I am writing a book on vocational transitions!
Check out my book blog, From Conception to Birth, on WordPress. You can also reach it by going to http://www.bookbirthing.wordpress.com
Let me know what you think! And I am looking for additional interview subjects, especially minorities, gay or lesbian folks, and atheists or agnostics (to better reflect the general population). Contact me via the other blog…peace to you!