Story Weekend: Resilience (and a contest)
I know you thought I disappeared from the blog for good! My deadline had to take precedence, and I’m still not finished with my work-in-progress, but I’ve missed my blog readers so here I am for the weekend! I’ve been dealing with deadlines, all sorts of great promotions for Necessary Lies (which just happens to be #5 on the Irish bestseller list this week! US release is September 3rd), packing to get out of town, and lightning taking out everything we depend on for our work and play (TV, Internet, phone, invisible fence and numerous other things yet to be discovered!). Therefore, this weekend’s topic is Resilience. I bet you all have a story of your own resilience . . . or perhaps someone else’s that’s inspired you. We’d love to hear it! I’ll use a random number generator to pick one of your comments to win an audio version of Necessary Lies on Monday.
If you’re new to Story Weekend, here’s how it works: I pick a theme and you share something from your life that relates to that theme, however you interpret it. Thanks to all of you who’ve been contributing. As always, there are a few “rules”:
▪ The story must be true
▪ Try to keep it under 100 words. Embrace the challenge! That’s about six or seven lines in the comment form. I want others to read your story, and most people tend to skip if it’s too long. I know how tough it is to “write tight” but I hope you’ll accept this as a challenge. Happy writing!
How does one write about resilience without sounding obnoxious, self-congratulatory or pity-seeking?
I’ve survived abuse, a stubbed toe, depression, acne, failure, success, cancer (so far), the common cold, chronic pain/illness, hate, 80s hair, prejudice, a fire, a flood, a dissertation, loss, love, poverty, hunger, crappy bosses, crappier employees, hangnails, braces, corrective shoes, nerdiness, temporary blindness, sunburn, the Bush presidency, blizzards, baldness, a flat tire. Big or small, one time or one thousand, we are all survivors, we are all resilient. We can only be as resilient as the challenges we face. Having more difficulties doesn’t make for more strength, just more opportunity to demonstrate resilience,.
According to the dictionary resilience is ” the capacity of humans to come out of an extreme shock, damage, injury or trauma and get back to normal life”. None of us can avoid these things throughout a lifetime. Sooner or later something is going to occur and throw your normal life out of balance. Some of those things will be bigger than others, some will last longer than others. During those times, it is creating FAITH in an unknown positive outcome OVER the FEAR of losing the comfortable, familiar “normal” that is so difficult but so important. I’m not really liking the last part of that dictionary definition because in my personal experiences you don’t necessarily ‘get back to normal life’ you usually enter into a new kind of normal. It is the adjustment to your “new normal” that others in your life will refer to as your resilience. I totally agree with Amy’s last sentence.
My mother’s only surviving sibling (baby of the family) is 86 years old. She has endured the death of her first-born at 3 yrs. of age, the death of her parents, spouse and a grandchild, sailed through 3 knee replacements, 2 hip replacements and a shoulder replacement. She still continues to eat out at least 3 times a week and plays cards twice weekly. Her arthritic hands prevent her from doing her needlework but she cooks, takes care of her dog, receives shots for her back pain to keep her going and still drives locally. She certainly inspires me and is a wonderful example of resilience.
My resilience story is not awe inspiring, but is small and quiet although life changing for me. These past few months I have made tremendous headway in overcoming anxiety, negative talk, fear, and doubt & have emerged a stronger, happier person for it. I think it is a gradual process that we learn to fear things – by experiencing illness, loss, pain, stress, the struggles of life, but over time that can weigh a person down. For me it lead to constant worrying, panic attacks, and my world getting smaller. But after being inspired by a beautifully written book (The Life List by Lori Nelson Spielman) which lead me to takes steps (including reading another book – Daring Greatly by Brene Brown), I now feel like I used to in my early 20s… more carefree, happier, at peace with my life. It is never too late to change your course in life and to step back and say this is not who I want to be. I had not lost that brave, free spirited self I thought I once was, but rather that free spirit was buried under years of stress, fear, and doubts. Now I am able to enjoy all the little things in life and to live in the moment and I am so grateful for that!
Just over 7 years ago I found out “surprise you are pregnant”. My other kids were older, it was not part of my plan. The chance of me getting pregnant was very tiny, so it was a huge shock. I had a hard time adjusting to the idea of another baby. Then when I was finally excited about it, I lost the baby. I was devastated. My husband and I decided to try again and were lucky enough to conceive soon after my miscarriage. Even though I was pregnant again, I was terrified of losing another baby. It took a long time for me to bounce back and be myself again. I don’t know how long it would have taken without the beautiful daughter I was blessed with. I am forever great-full for her.
Rhona, I’m so glad things worked out as well as they possibly could for you. xo
This was a VERY VERY quiet weekend on Story Weekend, which increased everybody’s chances of winning the audiobook, but out of five comments, the random number generator picked #5, so Rhona, you’re the winner! I’ll be in touch to get your address. Congratulations.
Oh I am so excited! I can’t wait to read it! Thanks!