Welcome to my stop on Maggie Jaimeson's Name Before The Masses Tour for Healing Notes. Please make sure to leave a comment or question below to let Maggie know you were here. Maggie will award one autographed cover flat to a randomly drawn commenter at each blog stop. In addition, she will award a $25 gift card to either Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner's choice) as a grand prize to one randomly selected commenter on this tour. You can follow her tour stops here, the more often you enter the better your odds of winning.
The Secret to Finding Your Own Happy Ever After by Maggie Jaimeson
The pursuit of happiness is enshrined in our constitution, but there is not a promise that we will actually find it. In a society where we thrive on instant gratification, is it any wonder that so many people are unhappy or constantly searching for one more thing to make them “truly” happy?
I believe that unhappiness begins with the mistaken belief that we can control the universe and bend it to our will. I’m not sure when that became the norm for me. Certainly as a child I didn’t have that belief. I can only assume that as I conquered one challenge after another, I began to believe if I simply worked hard enough, focused on the goal, and acted in good faith in everything I did, that I could actually control what happened to me. Of course, when I couldn’t, my reaction was to also to take the blame. I blamed myself for divorce (if only I had been more xxx). I blamed myself for getting cancer (if only I had done more of xxx). I blamed myself for a friend’s suicide (if I only I had been more attentive). As a child I blamed myself for a sibling’s death (if I only I had prayed harder) What I had to learn is that bad things happen to good people too. Not everything can be controlled.
Rule number one. Know what you can and can’t control. I had to accept that no matter how hard I work or how many good things I do, it doesn’t always work out the way I planned or hoped. But what I can control is how I react to what happens to me. Blaming didn’t work because it didn’t change anything. But learning about what happened, learning about myself, learning about how to move forward, that is what changes things. So I take control of what I can by learning from them.
Rule number two. When life throws you under the bus, take some time to wallow. Really, it’s okay. We all need to do it. But give yourself a check-in timeline. You, not your family or friends, get to choose what that grief timeline is. For the smaller stuff (a rejection from an agent or editor, a boss telling me I screwed up, a minor car accident, a layoff from a job) I give myself 24-48 hours to scream, cry, watch the most tear-jerking movie ever and not talk to anybody—even my husband—if I don’t want. I deserve a good wallow now and then. If it’s something bigger—death in the family, health problem, divorce—I get longer wallowing time. I can’t tell you how long because it’s different for each event. But I can tell you that if the timeline is more than a week, you have to surface once in a while and at least pretend for a few hours or even a whole day that things are normal. Yes, it will be fake at first, but forcing yourself out of the wallow for a bit keeps you moving forward. If you come to your self-assigned check-in time and still can’t face the world, get help. Whether it’s from a crisis line, a counselor, a pastor, a physician, a friend, just reach out and ask for Help. If you don’t, you’ll get sucked down forever and that’s a horrible place to spend every waking moment.
Rule number three. Choose to be happy. Yes, it is a choice. Just like wallowing is a choice. It’s a harder choice to make but, for me, it is what makes me able to get up every morning. It’s not that I’ve forgotten, or forgiven, every bad thing that’s happened to me. I haven’t. Believe me, I can bring them up at a moments notice. The choice when I wake up every morning is “Do I want to be happy?” or “Do I want to be sad?” That choice informs everything I do that day and how I engage with life. Most of the time, I choose to be happy. By choosing to be happy, my window to the world takes on a nicer glow and I’m able to see opportunities when they present themselves. If I choose to be sad, I see nothing but misery. It’s a choice. Make it.
Rule Number four. Don’t get caught up in the details. So, I didn’t get the forever-love in my first marriage, or my second. I didn’t get the 2.5 kids with my shared DNA. I never got the house with the white picket fence. I’m not wealthy. I will never make the amount of money I made in the 1980’s. I’m not slender. I’ve had several careers—some better than others. But those are details that, in the end, were not what was really important. You see, I live in a home that is more than sufficient for all of my needs. Between my husband and I, we make enough money that I don’t have to worry whether there will be food on the table or a roof over our head. Yes, I finally found my true love and married him (third time’s the charm). Because of him, I was gifted with two amazing step-sons who I love very much. The details I imagined are completely different, but the goal is the same. I’m in loving relationships with good people. But even with all the trappings of happiness I’ve mentioned here, it is not truly why I’m happy.
The Prime Rule, even before Rule Number One. Love Yourself. What I discovered in this long journey was my ultimate goal. My ultimate goal was to love myself for who I am. That is what I learned the hard way. Even with my wonderful, loving parents and the many friends and mentors I have been blessed with in my life, I let myself get lost for a time. I got lost in trying to change myself to make everyone else happy—parents, siblings, husbands, bosses, teachers, children. I call it “pleaser syndrome.” It never worked, because it is really true that happiness comes from within. I can’t control someone else’s happiness (back to rule 1). I had to find myself again and discover what was loveable about me, and believe it was enough. Once I did that, it was much easier to help others. Once I loved the real me, I’ve always been able to find my own happy ever after.
HAPPY NEW YEAR! I HOPE YOU FIND HOW AMAZING YOU ARE AS YOUR TRUE SELF AND FIND YOUR OWN HAPPY EVER AFTER.
Sweetwater Canyon, Book 2
by Maggie Jamieson
Publisher: Windtree Press
Release Date: July 26, 2012
Forgiving yourself is the first step, but helping others forgive may be just too hard.
Rachel Cullen grew up in Scotland with a fiddle in her hand from the age of four. She couldn't imagine life as anything but a musician. When her husband brought her to America she was immediately embraced by the Celtic and Bluegrass communities. But after her divorce, Rachel's life is a mess.
A year of trying to prove to herself that she's woman enough for any man, and then a vicious rape while on tour with the band, leaves Rachel reeling. When she meets Noel Kershaw, an English teacher who is poetry in motion, she is definitely attracted. But he has a young child and he's suffering from his own divorce. The last thing Rachel needs in life is more baggage.
First, Rachel must reconcile who she is, what she wants, and how to get there. Maybe then she'll know how to be a part of the family she's always wanted.
After she hung up, Rachel stared out at the river behind the house. She had goose bumps along her arms. She could listen to his voice for a long, long time. Why did this man intrigue her so much? Was it just because he didn’t seem interested? Yes, that must be it. He was safe. He had a kid and he wasn’t interested. That meant they wouldn’t get involved.
All conversation stopped as she entered the room and the women looked at her in anticipation. She had the urge to say nothing just to be difficult.
“Soooooo, who’s Noel?” Kat took the receiver from her. “I liked his voice. Sounded real sexy.”
Rachel took a deep breath and pasted a nonchalant smile on her face. “Remember the little girl at the last concert who wanted my autograph? Noel is her father.”
“I see.” Theresa drew out the word as an invitation for more.
“It’s not what you think. It turns out the little girl wants fiddle lessons. Since she saw us play, she’s gotten it in her mind that she wants to learn. He had no idea who to call, so he thought he’d call the main number for the band to find me. He didn’t even think I gave lessons, just that I could make a recommendation.”
“Uh huh,” Michele said, a note of disbelief in her voice.
“But he is cute, right?” Kat insisted. “And you are interested, and something could be going on, right?”
“Ah, come on, Rachel. How can you not be interested in that voice?”
“It’s just fiddle lessons for the little girl. The girl is sweet. I’m happy to work with her. As for the father, nothing is going to happen. Believe me.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Maggie Jaimeson writes romantic women’s fiction and romantic suspense with a near future twist. She describes herself as a wife, a step-mother, a sister, a daughter, a teacher and an IT administrator. By day she is “geek girl” – helping colleges to keep up with 21st century technology and provide distance learning options for students in rural areas. By night Maggie turns her thoughts to worlds she can control – worlds where bad guys get their comeuppance, women triumph over tragedy, and love can conquer all.
HEALING NOTES is the second book in the Sweetwater Canyon Series of four books. The final two books will be available in 2013.
Don't forget to leave a comment or question below to let Maggie know you were here. Maggie will award one autographed cover flat to a randomly drawn commenter at each blog stop. In addition, she will award a $25 gift card to either Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner's choice) as a grand prize to one randomly selected commenter on this tour. You can follow her tour stops here, the more often you enter the better your odds of winning.