By Lisa McDonald
I was forty years old when I found myself plunged into the abyss.
One very specific, life-altering moment within my marriage (although a succession of many cumulative events had led up to this final breaking point) had catapulted me into the throes of a cross-Canada relocation with my two young children, then aged three and eighteen months respectively.
I had been the child of a single parent and knew the hardships from a child’s perspective. Now, here I was—caught in a time warp, it seemed—reliving similar familial circumstances but this time at the other end of the spectrum, not only as a woman ‘winging’ parenthood, but doing it solo.
In spite of the challenges I faced with this new reality, and to my amazement, I never lost sight of the blessing and the privilege it truly was to remain a stay-at-home mom. I will be eternally grateful for the precious gift of time I was afforded and which allowed me to raise my sweet children, albeit on my own.
As my youngest child was a year away from full-time entry into the school system, I knew that the expectation would be that I return to work at that time, at the very least acquiring some part-time job.
I had maintained contact with colleagues since my previous vocation and knew that a position would have been graciously extended to me had I asked. Despite that fact, I fundamentally believed—with every fiber of my being—that returning to crisis management within the social services sector, even as a senior manager, was not a viable option for me.
Every night after I put my children to bed, I would creatively strategize my new game plan as crunch-time crept up closer and closer on the calendar.
How could I financially sustain my children and myself, while remaining accessible to them one hundred percent of the time?
How could I do this while also still honoring myself as a smart and educated woman, one who had invested a plethora of time, energy and money into academia and a career for most of her adult life?
How was I to meet all of these criteria without feeling on any level that I was going backward in areas I had spent a significant portion of my life cultivating?
Undeniably, there were many moments when I found myself immobilized by fear. Worst case scenarios would conjure in my mind—the what ifs, the how-tos plagued my days.
Fortunately for me, my resilience and tenacity that had seen me through so much served me once again!
I am a staunch believer that no matter what the circumstance, the obstacle, or the hurdle, fortitude becomes a choice whether one consciously decides to exercise and implement it in their lives or not.
I choose—and not always easily— to live my life, regardless of fear. I can proudly declare that I live this way and on a daily basis. It’s just non-negotiable for me.
Since my youngest child began her first year of full-time kindergarten, I have written/authored four children’s books. My first two books continue to sell well in various Canadian bookstores and through Toys R Us. I attend biweekly book signings, host my weekly radio show, and collaborate with many well-known people within the industry. I am immensely grateful to those who continue to invite me to speak at their events, and who kindly ask me to appear as their guest on radio shows, in webinar interviews and the like. It is truly an honor and a privilege.
In addition to the two books already published, the third and fourth of my children’s book series are currently being illustrated and will soon be sent off to the printers, at which time I look forward to moving onto the adult material in the transformational/personal development genre.
I have been blessed to find myself paired with a successful and highly respected publicist who continues to enhance my career and work his magic behind the scenes.
The list is endless, and truly…beyond the sky is the limit for me. The clearer I am in my goals and sense of self, the more aligned I become with quality, and the more I have found myself in the company of like-minded, bright lit and passionate souls. The tapestry of my life is more richly embroidered than ever. Every single day I am choosing to take massive action in my life. What is on my ‘To Do List’ today would have been on my ‘Once-upon-a-time List’ a few years ago.
So how did I endeavor to do this? How did I execute my non-negotiable action plan into tangible, results-oriented success? Well, I cannot speak for all authors/writers; however, a vast majority of them will concede that the writing of the book is the easiest part of the journey (if—and only if—you are first clear within yourself).
In MY moment of clarity (assisted by determination and sheer necessity) I pumped out, with relative ease and effortlessness, four children’s books.
You don’t know what you don’t know, and my knowledge of that fact alone allowed to get comfortable with undertaking a vast variety of tasks simultaneously.
I was in need of illustrators; a web designer; ebooks; editors, and printers, just to name a few. Also, I knew I had to get extremely comfortable with putting myself out there in the public eye, and at an entirely elevated level. I had to expand my social media base and my radio base; change my settings from private to public; create a writer’s page so as to garner a wider audience. Had to hit the pavement daily; conduct direct person-to-person sales; approach bookstore managers for shelf space; schedule book-signings, and use social media as a consistent marketing tool and to display my gaining momentum.
Originally posted 2016-05-25 11:50:50.