#43: July 2, 2006
Relaxation, and Recuperation
you ever run a marathon? Participated in a speech competition?
Pushed the envelope in a swim meet?
the thought of coordinating a full day conference make you tired?
you had a baby? Or been the birthing coach?
of these activities, and many others, take so much energy that the only
thing you can do when it’s over is rest. After I gave birth to my
first son, all I wanted to do was sleep, but because of the excitement
as well as the concern since he was born with a spontaneous pneumothorax
(pinhole in the lung), I found it difficult to sleep. At least I could
be still and allow others to take care of the important matters. Nine
years ago, in the afterglow of successfully planning and executing my
father’s 80th birthday party, I’d replay what went right
and what went wrong. After expending so much energy, I just needed to
relax and recuperate. The dishes, the laundry, the vacuuming would just have to wait.
There was no one around to help. The body seemed to know best … it
just needed to rest.
about a time you exerted so much energy that your muscles hurt or
your brain felt spent.
what it was like. Did you feel emotionally drained or physically
exhilaration create a tension of its own?
your own handwriting write three pages about your experience. How
long did you need to reccover? A few hours … or days?
must have been warned against letting the golden hours slip by.
but some of them are golden only because we let them slip.”
It’s Just Best to Rest
Lissa Ann Forbes
my case, it took four days. I feel as though I’ve run a marathon, and
trust me, I’m in no shape to run the typical 26 miles of such an
event. But, I did run my own kind of marathon.
June 1, I announced at a meeting of fellow personal historians that by
June 29 I intended to complete my book, have copies printed for
individual sales as well as distribution at four Borders stores,
create a celebration/birth announcement to send out to everyone I know,
learn how to set up PayPal in order to have credit card capability, and
plan and execute a celebration party.
of my personal historian colleagues, Marla, was incredulous, “You’re
going to do all that in the next four weeks?”
my intention,” I said matter-of-factly.
the next four weeks, I diligently worked on changes provided by my
editors. It seemed every time I opened the book something new needed to
be fixed. As my self-imposed deadline for going to print
approached, I finally received permission to quote from the last
straggling source. Just under the wire.
went to the printer with electronic files on a disk, praying that all
was in order. I hoped that there would be no problems. In only a few
days, they had a proof ready, but the time of waiting was nerve-wracking.
I wondered if I’d caught all the
errors. How would the cover turn out? Would the colors be the same as I
had created in my own laboratory—my home office? Would they be able to
align the different colored spine? Would it have all its fingers and
toes—pages, graphics, and cover as I envisioned them? The anticipation of the unknown created a tension in my body
that I was unaware of until days later when I realized my body ached.
course, I went home to review the proof, and oh my gosh, there were
things that had to be changed—now. Then there was the added stress of making more
changes and still meeting the deadline. But the printer assured me he could still make it. I made the final changes and decided not to look
again. It all had to stop at some point. I had to trust that I’d done
the best I could.
while the printer did his job with the final details, I created the
celebration announcement. Learning PayPal took me an inordinate amount
of time even though the website says it’s so easy. But, finally I
released the birth announcement and began to get responses. Because I
know people throughout the United States and even Europe, I expected
that many would not be able to make the party. Many sent good wishes,
about 60-70, and a small group began to grow who would join me in celebrating what I
believe is the greatest accomplishment of my life—the birth of Write
from the Inside: Dig for Treasures, Discover Yourself, Leave a Legacy.
the way, I booked signings at four Denver area Borders stores:
Broomfield, Longmont, Northglenn, and Lakewood.
The books were ready in record time and on the day of the
celebration I delivered ten copies to each of three of the four stores. Then I
finished the party preparations: picked up some helium balloons (red and
purple mylar stars), picked up the cake, delivered them to the
restaurant, gathered the rest of the book display items, got dressed,
and arrived at Ting’s Place to set up before my guests arrived.
somewhat challenging planning and preparing a celebration in which you
are the guest of honor, but once my guests began to arrive my
subsided and I found I was among friends. Yes, of course, I knew that,
but my perfectionism kicks in sometimes and I forget.
opened the evening sharing my thought that “control freak is not a four-letter word.”
My guests laughed, I relaxed. We enjoyed the most delicious Chinese
food in town. Our emcee, Joe Sabah, began the evening by asking my
guests to share how they met me and talk a bit about our friendships. It
was quite humbling to hear so many nice sentiments from those I’d
shared experiences with over the years. For their kindness, I am so grateful. Although
everyone had wonderful things to say, there are a
couple sharings that stood out. My son, Phillip, said what he learned
from me was patience and perseverance—that I could have given up long
before reaching the goal, but didn’t. He takes that lesson with him
and applies it to his pottery work as well as his life. My friend, Maureen, talked about a
day long ago, five years I’m guessing, when I asked her to be my
guinea pig for a book binding class. She came to my house to be my
student and I helped her create an address book. She still carries that address book
with her. I'm amazed! Several spoke of what a good friend I had been to
them. I was humbled. I owe my sanity to my friends. They listened when I
doubted. They supported me when I took big steps. They laughed with me,
they cried with me. They walked the path with me. They came to celebrate
with me. I was touched and we had a great celebration I will remember
McCutcheon, a fellow personal historian, told stories about her great
grandmother, Lillian, and her father, as well as the value of
documenting life stories. She did a wonderful job of connecting with the
audience and pointing out the value of my book to the work we do.
wrapped up the evening with this highlight: I am still a bit in shock that I’ve brought a new book into
this world. I am reminded of Steve Urkel from Family Matters, saying in
his nasal voice, “Did I do thaaaat?” Of course, my primary objective
is to help people realize that writing their stories is as easy as
telling their stories. If you can tell it, you can write it. In addition, I
feel the lessons I’ve learned in life are universal and can
help others. This is my ultimate wish—to
help others recognize their own lessons and find significance in their
was a magnificent party—an
event I will remember for the rest of my days! Thank you to all who
helped me make this happen ... it wouldn’t
have happened without you!
that I’ve accomplished all those goals I talked about on June 1,
I’ve needed a few days to rest ... and some days it’s true ... rest
SIGNINGS & APPEARANCES
15, 2006: Borders in Northglenn, Colorado (2pm-5pm)
19, 2006: Channel 9 Colorado—Colorado
20, 2006: Sertoma Club, Lakewood, Colorado
22, 2006: Borders in Broomfield, Colorado at Flatirons Mall
29, 2006: Borders in Longmont, Colorado (2pm-5pm)
5, 2006: Borders in Lakewood, Colorado (1pm-4pm)
12, 2006: Borders in Englewood, Colorado (2pm-5pm)
18, 2006: Borders in Mesa, AZ--Superstition Springs (7-10pm)
19, 2006: Borders in Tempe, AZ (2-5pm)
20, 2006: Borders in Scottsdale, AZ--The Waterfront (2-5pm)