THIS IS NOT THE LIFE I ORDERED

50 Ways to Keep Your Head Above Water When Life Keeps Dragging You Down

Deborah Collins Stephens, Michealene Cristini Risley, Jackie Speier & Jan Yanehiro

They were four women whom destiny threw together over a decade ago. Collectively, they experienced the extreme joys and deep sorrows that life offers up. From mundane moments to the dramatic and surreal, the authors have a history of six marriages, ten children, four stepchildren, six dogs, two miscarriages, two cats, a failed adoption, widowhood, and foster parenthood. They have built companies, lost companies, and sold companies. One of them was shot and left for dead on a tarmac in South America, and two lived through the deaths of spouses. Raising babies and teenagers together, they have known celebrity and success along with loneliness and self-doubt.

more …

They were four women whom destiny threw together over a decade ago. Collectively, they experienced the extreme joys and deep sorrows that life offers up. From mundane moments to the dramatic and surreal, the authors have a history of six marriages, ten children, four stepchildren, six dogs, two miscarriages, two cats, a failed adoption, widowhood, and foster parenthood. They have built companies, lost companies, and sold companies. One of them was shot and left for dead on a tarmac in South America, and two lived through the deaths of spouses. Raising babies and teenagers together, they have known celebrity and success along with loneliness and self-doubt. Meeting monthly for over a decade, they shared their lives with one another and encouraged one another. The remarkable results are this collection of lessons and stories and wisdom.

less …
  • Conari Press
  • Hardcover
  • March 2007
  • 224 Pages
  • 9781573243056

Buy the Book

$19.95

indies Bookstore indies Bookstore

About Deborah Collins Stephens, Michealene Cristini Risley, Jackie Speier & Jan Yanehiro

Deborah Collins Stephens is the cofounder and managing partner of the Center for Innovative Leadership and the author of six books, three of which have been best-sellers: Maslow on Management, One Size Fits One, and Revisiting the Human Side of Enterprise. Jackie Speiers has devoted her life to public service, most recently as a California State Senator. Jan Yanehiro is a ground-breaking, Emmy-winning journalist. Michealene Cristini Risley is an entrepreneur and documentary filmmaker.

Praise

“This book is the needed inspiration to survive the worst luck and circumstances that catch women unexpectedly.” —Amy Tan, best-selling author of The Joy Luck Club

“I wish I had this book thirty years ago. What a welcome source of inspiration and insight.”
—Linda Ellerbee, journalist, award-winning television producer, best-selling author, breast cancer survivor, and mom

“A must read for all women and men who love them.” —Rita Moreno, actor and winner of an Oscar, Emmy, Grammy, Tony and the Presidential Medal of Freedom

“These women inspire us to go for the gold in our lives. They all deserve 10s!” —Kristi Yamaguchi, gold medalist figure skater

Discussion Questions

The book opens with the personal stories of each of the authors who were juggling only slightly less-than worst-case scenario events. Do they all feel like the female version of the book of Job? Or, are they pretty normal women going through pretty normal circumstances?

If you were Jackie Speier, would you have devoted your life to public service after being shot five times and left for dead on a tarmac in South America at the start of your career?

How about Michealene Cristini Risley confronting her father about a dirty family secret on his death bed? Would you have had the courage to face demons similar to those she faced?

After 10 years of living with a husband who was to have perished long ago from a rare lung disease, what has helped Deborah Collins Stephens to persevere?

How did Jan Yanehiro come back from widowhood and near bankruptcy to win a series of Emmys for her work?

How have these women and others in the book taught you to make courage an everyday companion?

If a change has happened unexpectedly in your life – loss of a job, loss of a loved one – and you’ve had to face questions from co-workers, friends and others, like “well, what are you going to do now?” what are some of the more creative answers you’ve used to deal with these dreaded questions?

Have there been times when you have felt you simply could not do it all, but were ashamed to ask for help? What would you do differently next time?

Can you identify the energy vampires in your life who leave you feeling mentally and physically exhausted after you’ve spent time with them? Discuss ways of either ditching or dealing with these “takers.”

If you were to create a “to don’t list” what 10 items would be on your list?

On the opposite spectrum from energy vampires is “dream catchers.” Can you identify the dream catchers in your life? Deborah’s was the blue-haired lady.