“Is everything okay?”

This is something I’ve been asked a few times in the last month. How do you interpret that question? My take on it may be different.

As I was going through a late adolescence (say, 40-ish), my mother noted, “You’ve changed, Jane!”

The implication was not positive. I had begun setting boundaries with her which were…unpopular. A friend once described her relationship with her mother as having a door between them with the doorknob on her mother’s side. Ouch! After hearing that description, I started to consciously move the doorknob to my side. I began saying ‘no’ more often, and Mom was not happy about it.

When you stop people-pleasing, people aren’t pleased.

As I move into this exciting chapter of my memoir’s release in late April, I’ve hunkered down in preparation. My life is very full: arranging book signings (Save April 30 for my first one in NYC!), writing essays for pre-publication buzz, booking travel for workshops up and down the east coast, creating a webinar on how to write a memoir, and extreme self-care. I want to be physically and spiritually ready for the excitement ahead. All of this takes an enormous amount of time and focus. I was unavailable for many holiday festivities this year which may or may not have been the sentiment behind, “Are you okay?”

Hearing nothing or ‘no’ may challenge other’s expectations. That’s okay, because I know what I’m up to, and I love where I’m going. How about you?

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