The one question to ask to turn life's bummers around...

I just received some news this morning via email that has thrown me off my game. I am bummed out. In the pits. Disheartened. Discouraged. Clouded.

I have been working on my book for a few years. It has taken a few years for many different reasons, but it was ready to be published in October, a mere 7 weeks away. Like the good girl and hard worker I am, I have met every deadline that my publisher has asked me to meet and have even met some earlier than requested. I’m a really hard worker.

This morning, I just found out we have to push out the publication date because the ‘permission to use’ quotes I use will take a bit longer to get the permission to use and won’t get a few of these before October.

Question Mark Sign by Colin Kinner Question Mark Sign by Colin Kinner

We are now talking about pushing publication out until January!

One thing you must know about publishing a book and having it take a few years like mine did is that you nurse your little baby (the book) with love and it grows, and grows and grows and to be perfectly frank, after all this time, it now feels like it is 45 years old and still living at home. I want it to move on and get a life of its own!

I have also planned a significant number of key projects and events around the October publish date that included participating in a four day National Publicity Summit in New York City close to the publish date to pitch the book.

When I got this news, I, of course, felt the tears well up, but couldn’t do an all out bawl as I had to pull it together for the client appointments I had in the morning. I took care of those and just sat at my desk and gave myself a gift of some reflective time and kept asking myself, “What do I need now?”

Usually, when I get disappointing news I head to the food, but this time I asked myself “What do I need now?” My head kept screaming, "Find something to not feel."

I somehow knew this wasn’t my answer.

Here was my process:

  • “What do I need now?” Food

  • “What do I need now?” OK, not food. I need to cry.

  • “What do I need now?” OK, cry. The tears did not come. I felt that moment was gone.

  • “What do I need now?” I need to just talk to someone about how disappointed I am.

  • “What do I need now?” I need to tell someone how pissed I am, because I am.

  • “What do I need now?” Text two of my friends to see if they could talk. They could, but a bit later in the day.

  • “What do I need now?” I need to do a bit of meditation to find some calm. I did. I used the 6 Phase Guided Meditation by Vishen Lakhiani, which I love because it helps me remember all I have to be grateful for.

  • “What do I need now?” I need to acknowledge I’m mad.

  • “What do I need now?” I need to move my body. I did. I took a 10 minute walk and breathed deeply.

  • “What do I need now?” I talked to one of my friends. Not looking for any solutions. Too early for me in the process. I just needed to do a stream of consciousness and hear my own voice.

  • “What do I need now?” I need to write about this.

And this is where I am.

Now, I absolutely know bummer things don’t always go this quickly, but if you ask this question of yourself, “What do I need now?” it may go a little bit quicker.

This was my process to get through this without acting on my first ‘normal’ reaction of “Feed the Problem.”

I’m quite proud of myself for walking through this, in this way.

Moral: Keep asking yourself (and more importantly, listen for the answer) of “What do I need now?”

6 comments

Cecily Victor

Carry on being who you are!
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Michele Ward

Pat - I am so very sorry to hear your book is being delayed. Thank you for sharing how you dealt with not wanting to eat your feelings. I have fought that same battle most of my life! Sending you love and hugs, Michele
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Pat Obuchowski

Thanks! Let's both carry on being who we are!
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Pat Obuchowski

Thanks Michele...not easy, but boy do we learn who we are and how resilient we have become! It will be published in January! New year, new book!
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Carmen Stefanescu

I really understand what you were passing through, Pat. Why? Because it happened to me, too. Three weeks ago. Something similar, only that the reason for no longer releasing the book I signed the contract for, 2years ago, was that the publisher is closing starting with Januray2017! And I have another book with them. It was released in 2012. I think my issue is tougher. I have to brace up and start the tiresome endeavor of finding another publisher. It's not an easy blow for you or for me. But we have to get, as you say, GUTSY, and move on. Best regards from Dracula's country! Carmen
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Pat Obuchowski

Thanks Carmen for understanding. Something about having another human being understand makes the experience a bit easier. Wow, having our publisher shut down is a tough one. I hope that they are helping you connect with another publisher and/or compensating you in some way for this. Nope, not an easy blow to take. I still find myself asking that one questions and walking through some pretty crappy situations. "What do I need now?" Take good care of yourself during this time.
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