I’m back after some travel, speaking and promotion. After all the flurry, there is one group of women I met along the way that hasn’t really left me.
It was a group of 20 college students, most of whom were back in school and trying to rebuild their lives after suffering huge setbacks. When I finished, some of them came up to me and told me how much they needed me at that moment. I don’t think they realized how much I needed them.
It was a pivotal moment for me because it put me on eye-level with people who aren’t worried about losing everything, but rather, people who have already lost it. Normally, when I hear people start rambling about their worries, I will say, “How long do you have before you have to live on the street and eat out of a garbage can?” The usual response is, “Well, that will never happen.”
But, when I asked that question of a mid-fifties woman in this group, the response was completely different. She was laid off months ago and still has not found work. Her answer was, “A couple of weeks.” She was not exaggerating.
What can I say to people who face these kinds of challenges? The one thing I tell people who have hope is to find hope by letting their spiritual connection take over. I don’t know if it will result in the seas parting and a job manifesting out of nowhere, but I do know that it is a place to go when there is nowhere else to turn.
The other to remember is that tough times do not last forever. We are all smart enough to rise again. The challenge is having the fortitude to do that after being knocked around hard.
These are such tough times for so many people. My heart is with you if you are struggling. Hang in there. Better days are coming.
Fawn Germer is the best-selling author of five books and a national corporate speaker.
I’ve been on the road touring with my book. I will be speaking at the Florida Conference for Women and will update you all when I get back.
I posted Facebook entries that told the world I was heading down to The Keys with some friends for a long weekend. What I could not possibly convey that I was going to The Keys with six of the most special women I have ever met. I met these women several years ago when I began researching my novel, Mermaid Mambo, which is about a 78-year-0ld former Weeki Wachee mermaid who travels to a mermaid reunion to rediscover her soul.
I became friends with “the formers,” which is a cluster of former mermaids who are between the ages of 57 and 70. They are some of the best friends I have ever had. I share them with you so you can see that aging is nothing to fear. It is something to embrace — because you can travel this road with others who will fill your days with heart and adventure and great love. They are all older than I am, but so much younger. So, they are my teachers.
I hope you have friends like these great women. They all face real challenges in their lives, but the support they have from each other is unflinching and true. When you see the trust and connection that exists between them, you will realize that you can always feel true joy in the moment — no matter what else is going on. Count on your friends they will get you through anything.
It was supposed to rain today, so I skipped my morning walk and stayed in and worked.
The clouds never left, so I stayed at my desk.
I didn’t want to get wet, but the day is now gone and I realize I made a mistake because there was no storm — just one minute of sprinkles. I missed all those dramatic clouds hovering over the shore. I didn’t get any exercise. I cheated myself of my two favorite hours of the day because I didn’t want to get caught in a storm that never came.
How many times do we hold back because we fear a storm that never materializes? And, what if we brave it and we get caught out there? What’s the worst thing that happens?
We get wet. Big deal. Better to be out there living and experiencing all that life has to offer than waiting inside where it is safe and dry.
If you haven’t seen the extraordinary video of Susan Boyle facing the judges of “Britain’s Got Talent,” you must. It’s worth every minute of your time. I’d embed the video here, but there are no codes available for that, so you’ll have to leave me for a few to see it. If this doesn’t bring you to tears, you must be a stone.
Susan was the brightest ray of hope on a dark day filled with thunderstorms and gloom. She’s almost 48, unemployed and never married. Before taking the stage in Britain’s version of American Idol, she admitted she also had never been kissed. Millions are wrapping her with their love now.
Her performance is so heartening because her beauty is so much more powerful than our biases. Sure, her voice is remarkable and she has more singing talent than anybody out there today. But that’s not it. It’s that she never gave up on her dream, and no matter what she looked like — or how impossible the odds were — she still believed in herself.
She shows us that we can keep believing, no matter what. That is true hope, and that is what this woman gave us when we finally allowed her star to shine.
I’m hearing from so many of you who so depleted by the economy and so worried about how you will make it through this year. This is such an obstacle course.
It is hard to stay up when you constantly feel your efforts are being beaten down, but your ability to get up every time you are pushed down is what will get you through this. Keep trying. Don’t wear your suffering on your face.
I have several clients who are truly struggling because they still haven’t found work months after being laid off. We hear so much about the economic crisis, but this is a very human crisis that has forced once-successful professionals into depressions because they keep “losing” at everything they try. Here are some simple suggestions on what to do to keep your mind in the game. It really is much easier than it seems:
1. Circumstances are beating everybody up — not just you. Don’t take things personally, no matter how many times you are passed over, rejected or ignored. There are millions of people in the same boat.
2. Stay optimistic. Do not EVER worry that the troubles you have now will last forever or they will last forever. Tell yourself that you are tough enough to outlast any crisis.
3. When you fall down, get back up. Every time.
4. Don’t give yourself brain damage trying to “force” a fix. Sometimes, things fix themselves if you stop pushing so hard.
5. Don’t sacrifice this year or any other to misery. Find something in your world that makes you happy and make time to enjoy that whenever you can.
6. Don’t show desperation. It doesn’t help anything and people, for some reason, don’t like helping desperate people. Desperation makes people uncomfortable.
7. Count your blessings the first thing in the morning and the last thing in the evening.
Hang in there. You’ll get through this.
When I first started in journalism, I was charmed by so many of the newsroom characters who started in newspapers back when journalism was really all about reporting the news — not making more money. One of the most memorable reporters I ever worked with was Jessie-Lynne Kerr, an institution at The Florida Times-Union. Back then, she was smart, talented, fun and truly an original. She still is.
She’s seen it all and written the stories. Now, she has lung cancer. I did the math and figured out that, when we worked together, she was the age I am now. I can’t believe so much time has gone by. She remains the same courageous, resilient woman she always was. And she is still teaching us so much about life.
It is such an honor to share her with you.
in laws the movie God bless Jessie-Lynn.