June 8, 2009

LEARNING TO LET GO



Or – how to deal with life’s little (and large) hiccups.

An hour ago, this post began in a totally different way. I’m sure it was deep and meaningful. Probably because I was not quite awake yet and let myself think that.

But life, as often happens in my house, interrupted. The car port scheduled to arrive at 8 am showed up at 6:45. Before the livestock had been fed, the dogs let out, or the tractor moved out of the way. Fifteen minutes of chaos (interspersed with my husband’s mutterings about timing) followed, and now all is well AND I’m awake!


How often do we let these little interruptions ruin our day? It’s very easy to take one little hurt, one angry thought, or a sudden inconvenience become a cloud we’re determined to hang on to. True, there are varying degrees of emotion with many hard to get rid of for days, weeks, or a lifetime.

One of the worst things that ever happened to me was calling my father (four thousand miles away), only to have my stepmother tell me she had bad news. He’d passed. Then she hung up on me. True, she didn’t like me, or the rest of his family, no matter how hard we tried. I was in understandable agony for several days, and flew over for the funeral. My aunt could not understand why I was kind to my stepmother, but I’d decided I was not going to let one person affect the rest of my life. Especially as I would probably never see her again. I let go of that pain.

Which, in a really strange and convoluted way, brings me to talk about my debut novel, LEARNING TO LET GO. It’s under contract to White Rose Publishing and I hope it will be released later this year. I can hope! Check my website

for updates.

Blurb:

Pastor’s daughter Emma Chandler canceled her wedding and put her life on hold when she discovered her fiancé’s betrayal. Three years later, she is sure God wants her to befriend the Sullivan family and show His love to the motherless children. Falling for their father would repeat her mistake; his heart will forever belong to someone else. Can she risk living in another woman's shadow?

Busy neurosurgeon Keith Sullivan still holds on to the memories and possessions of his late wife. He realizes his two young children need more than their live-in nanny can provide, but he doesn't know how to help them. It's obvious the beautiful and kind Emma could fill the void in their lives and painfully clear she'd bring joy back to his. Would loving two women be a sin?

I love to throw conflict at my characters and these two are no exception. Just when you think everything is going to work out for them – he calls her by his dead wife’s name. Oops.

When work, life, the weather, loved ones, etc. get me down, I often turn to my iPod. A variety of music helps me to let go of my problems and find a more positive frame of mind.

What do you do?

A huge thanks to Anna Kathryn Lanier for letting me share a little of my life, and my story, with her readers.

Have a wonderful week, everyone!

Elizabeth
http://www.elizabethpina.com/

19 comments:

unwriter said...

My life revolves around music. We cannot change the past but we can learn from it. Anger does no one any good (unless you're yelling at an inanimate object, like this ((&)^(*(^(((*^ computer!).

A very good post and sounds to be an interesting book.

Elizabeth Pina said...

LOL thank you very much. I know what you mean about yelling at inanimate objects. At least they don't yell back!

Thanks for stopping by.

Paty Jager said...

This blog is so true to life. Things always seem to crop up that could if you let them ruin a perfectly good day.

Your blurb and info about your book sounds like a great read.

Anna Kathryn Lanier said...

Oh, other people yell at their computers, too? My husband thinks I'm nuts when I do that. But really, I have trouble understanding why it just doesn't do what I want it to do, like open a website? Yesterday, it decided I no longer at internet access, while I was on the internet...the link-up no longer exsisted. I had to get tech help from India to fix the problem. I yelled at the automated male voice who answered the phone, too.

But great blog, Elizabeth and nice to remind us 'don't sweat the small stuff.'

Thanks for blogging for me today.

Gwynlyn MacKenzie said...

I work hard to avoid giving others power over my emotions, and the ability to keep me angry or stewing is power. Fact is, it took a lot of years to realize if I didn't control my emotions, they would control me, and I can chose not not to hand over that control to others. Not always easy but doable.

Kudos on the way you handled your stepmother. While you made it sound easy, it illustrates your strength--a strength, I'm sure, translates well into your heroines.

Celia Yeary said...

My life recently, as in a couple of months, has been in a state of upheaval--all the circumstances and events involved me, but were not my personal problems. If it's my problem, I can try to solve it, but if the responsibility lies with others, and I'm only sucked in, then I have no control. That's when I truly get down--when I lose control of the situation. Have you ever been in the midst of turmoil, and you want to step in, whistle loudly, and call time-out? Then let ME fix the problem and we'll all be fine. (you people yell at your computers? I just shut it off to teach it a lesson.)Good post, thank you-- Celia

Cate Masters said...

Great post, Elizabeth! I'm a firm believer in letting go, too. Carrying around pain and disappointment only weighs you down, and at some point it's healthier to set it down and walk away.
This past year was the worst ever for me personally, but the upside of it was that I turned back to writing with a fierce determination (and to save my sanity - I *think* it helped!). I know it helped me not concentrate on the bad stuff, and channel my emotions into my writing. I made a conscious choice of joy over despair, and most of the time it worked.
Best,
Cate

Elizabeth Pina said...

Wow all I did was come to work and look at all the great comments I missed!

Thanks, Paty. BTW I have one of your pens on my desk so I did a double-take when I saw your name.

Gwynlyn - I think ten or fifteen years ago my reactions would have been different. Holding on to bitterness was something I did really well in my "youth."

Celia - oh yes. It's hard to fume from the sidelines, isn't it? I do love your idea of computer "time out" as a punishment, LOL.

Kudos, Cate, for wise choices. Writing is wonderful therapy and may your future be all the brighter for it!

Skhye said...

Great post, Elizabeth! I can only hope to attempt to see the cup half full 24-7. Keep up the good work writing! I know if you book is as humorous as you are, it will be a bestseller!

Linda LaRoque said...

I used to get so upset about things, plans for Christmas had to be perfect, etc. Learning to let go of perfection and things I couldn't control made me such a happier person.
Great post, Anna. Good luck with your upcoming release.
Linda
www.lindalaroque.com

Elizabeth Pina said...

Thanks, Skyhe.

Linda - I can sympathize. I once dreaded Christmas and Thanksgiving because it meant 30+ people at my house and three days of cleaning to get it "presentable."

Until last year, when I only did the essentials. They had a good time in spite of the dust, who woulda thunk it?

Mary Ricksen said...

It depends on how much it gets to you, that decides how hard it is to let go. Little stuff is not too hard, but big stuff is harder.

Emma Lai said...

Great post, Elizabeth! When I feel down, I try watching a favorite movie or reading a favorite author. If all else fails, I pick up the phone and call someone I know will perk me up.

Beppie Harrison said...

I could not agree more. Learning to let go is essential for a sane life, to my way of thinking. If you choose to hang onto the downs that life hands all of us, you'll do nothing but make yourself miserable. And alone. Who is willing to spend unlimited time with somebody else who is cherishing misery?

Of course life is hard. I got back from a writer's conference to find that one of my dear friends had died while I was gone. Do I expect his wife to be singing and dancing right now? Of course not. But knowing her, there'll be a quiet time while she absorbs this and then she'll be looking outward, to find some of the good things life still has for her -- her children, her grandchildren, her friends, the blue skies overhead right now, the pleasures of music. All of those are just as true as the fact that Jack is gone. And if none of them will replace him (as none of them will) at least they'll help her learn to live with the gap.

Elizabeth Pina said...

Oh Beppie, I'm so sorry. What a tough end to a wonderful trip.

In January, my company sent me to London. I had two near-and-dear aunts in the UK, but could only see one. I picked the one that was closest - 2 hours on the train rather than 5.

A few weeks after my return, the aunt I didn't see died. I'm over the tormenting guilt, but it is still very hard to think about.

Christie Craig said...

Hi Elizabeth,

Ahh, letting go can be tough. I have found laughing through whatever problem is out there really helps. My family always laughed when stressed. I remember the hardest I ever laughed was at my aunt's funeral.

Great post.

CC

Caffey said...

Elizabeth, its really nice to meet you. I too have conflicts with some close to me but I too have let it not get to me and take all those that I have the joy in my life with and fill that up to the brim! What a beautiful story this will be. Whats the setting of your book (time period, contemp or historical)? Congrats on your debut!

Elizabeth Pina said...

Hi Christie! Well if anyone can laugh about tnything then it is YOU!

Caffey, I appreciate your kind words. My book is a contemporary.

Thanks for stopping by.

Melissa said...

Wonderful post, Elizabeth! I can't wait to get a copy of the book! :) For me, it's all about faith, love and laughter to get me through the tough times. You've got to let go and live! Good luck with this book and the many others to come!!