Smiles

Writing takes time and patience.  For Practice, I accumulated the experience over a three year period.  I began typing last January and worked closely with two editors.  My hours are countless and the editors have a combined 160 hours into this project.  It took me over 50 hours just to select the photos included with each chapter!  The last legs of the process are cover creation (front, back, and spine), interior design, and the file uploads to Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, and LSI.  Each step requires patience and review.  It also costs a small fortune.  Like the cost of a used luxury SUV.   Oh, there is also a marketing plan to be designed and executed.

Due to excess revisions and self induced errors, I ran out of runway.  My good friend (personal and professional) had to give me the unpleasant news that I lost my place in line.  My hopes of launching on October 1 were replaced with uncertainty because my designer had to revise the schedule to accommodate commitments to other clients.  This news did not sit well with me and I began to pout.  I began to lose sleep as this change began to drain my energy.  After five nights of restless sleeping, I finally woke up.

Anytime that I am losing sleep over anything, I use is as an alarm clock to remove emotion and apply objectivity to the sleepless situation.  By removing my ego from the equation, I am usually able to find some type of silver lining or lesson from the situation.   In the grand scheme of things, pushing my launch out by several weeks really does not matter.  It certainly is not worth damaging a friendship with my designer.  A change occurred and I was stuck in resistance.  Another self induced error.

As the Dalai Lama says, “We forget that it’s only a matter of time before there is change–and once again, a shift in perspective.

In the midst of my whining, I realized that smiles were not present on my face.  I made a conscious choice to find things that make me happy.  On the short drive to the gym, I saw an amazing sunrise that added the perfect amount of light to the colorful fall trees.  I began to smile.  I walked into the gym and ran into a friend that shared some very exciting news.  I began to smile.  Towards the end of my workout, a stranger approached me and asked if I was the author of A Million Steps.  When I nodded in the affirmation, he said, “I heard you speak and bought a signed book several years ago.  My nephew was struggling at that time, so I gave it to him.  As we speak, he is about half way to Santiago.”  I am still smiling.

After a great morning, I returned to my home and checked email.  My designer surprised me with an unexpected message that included a first draft of the back cover design.

Smiling.