We can do hard things

April 12, 2020
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We can do hard things

We can do hard things

“There is always something to overcome and to figure out. This was supposed to be the first weekend of book signings and promotional events for my first book, ‘A Time to Serve,’ but everything was canceled because of the Coronavirus.

I have learned life is about rising up. My husband, Josh, and I lost the life we spent many years building. He lost his job. I almost died twice with massive infections and hospitalizations. I was once told I have eight hours left, so make the most of it. How did I want my kids to remember my last eight hours? Everything fell away. The next day, I was still alive. Josh turned on Netflix, but I was bored by the show that I liked the day before. Coming home and watching TV had become my life. In the following days, I realized I have lived here my whole life and never kayaked the Delta. My priorities changed. We just did a family kayak at sunset and it was amazing.

I was diagnosed with arthritis at ten years old. They told me it was a lifetime condition and to avoid sports. Before the diagnosis, I ran in a fun run and liked it so much that I wanted to do more when I got older. The doctors told me I could never be an athlete, and I believed them for 27 years. I started writing this book and listening to Navy Seals. They say, ‘the only easy day was yesterday’ and ‘the only thing that limits you is yourself.’ Yesterday is easy because it is over.

Writing the book became art imitating life and it changed how I respond to hardships. I was done with the limitations. I participated in Navy Seals training programs and wanted to do harder things. I started running, swimming, and biking. The arthritis pain will always be there, so why not train? The stronger I get, the fewer injuries I suffer. I am teaching these lessons to my kids.

Writing had never been my dream. I didn’t realize I was dyslexic in school and reading and writing overwhelmed me. I was barely a reader when I started writing this book. I had to turn off my inner critic and retrain my brain.

I had the whole vision for the book and knew how the cover should look. I am working with a publishing company but had to pay $10,000 for publishing and printing costs to keep control. I started this zero capital and we were coming out of 14 months without income. We sold everything we could to keep going. I couldn’t let go of this dream and started serving at a pizza restaurant to earn the book money. My cash went into a box that said ‘Beautiful girl, you can do hard things.’ There was $100 here, sometimes $30 there on a bad day. There were times I dipped into the box to pay a bill, followed by four more shifts to make it up. But little by little, we made it work.

I hit approve for print, spending $4,000. Thirty minutes later, the President came on TV and said we are shutting down the airports. But I stuck to the plan. The books were delivered as we were going into quarantine. I was so happy when the UPS driver brought the books to my door, that I opened a box immediately to hold a copy. He was in the Coast Guard and bought one from me.

‘A Time to Serve’ is a military fiction romance told from a Navy Seals’ perspective. The characters took on a life on their own with their own opinions. I hear them in my head and they drive me to push harder and do more. I have started working on book two. I missed the characters and the writing.

Reading is a walk through someone else’s life and can create a paradigm shift. A friend lost her child, and I had a hard time watching her grieve. I wanted to fix this for her and to get my old friend back. Instead, I had to let go of who she used to be and who I used to be with her so I could enter into that painful place with her. I explored helping someone grieve with empathy in the book. You can ask someone about the loss of their child and learn from them as a parent.

I grew as a person capable of pushing myself and turning the negative what-ifs around. There is so much anxiety in crafting something and releasing it to the world. I found Thom Shea’s Unbreakable lessons and started working with him in unraveling my fears and grow in strength by learning to swim, bike, and run. As I broke down the physical limitations, the anxiety stopped. Take something small you can do every day. That leads to big changes. Just keep pushing.

I finished my first 5K and took a moment to walk away from the crowd to look at the track and take it in. It took 27 years to overcome the bad advice, the pain, and the thinking that I couldn’t. But I learned that I could, and I should, and I did. What is the next level? Learning to stay consistent is so important. I now push 100 yards or 2/10ths of a mile more. Little by little you get there.

This has become a lifestyle change for my family. We are doing more hiking, running, and pushing ourselves. The view is worth getting strong enough to go on the adventure.”

(If you want to buy the book: https://www.atimetoservenovel.com/?fbclid=IwAR0H2gIgMCGXCAu7xRjuTPE6iQ2czcTnMJr17WIfMPqB9tdYLcOx5p1r34w)

(I am now doing Soul-cial distancing interviews by phone. If know someone I should interview, send me an message or email. lynn@oursouthernsouls.com)

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