A Crazy Couple of Months

The past two months have been a whirlwind of activity as my book, As A Woman, What I Learned About Power, Sex, and the Patriarchy was published. The activity began with a slightly weird interview with LitHub, followed by a probing one with People Magazine. All told, there were about 35 interviews in 50 days. The most recent was a talk and Q&A at the Longmont Public Library.  It was very enjoyable, with lots of thoughtful questions. There are a few more events scattered from August through November, but the daily media push is pretty much over.

Many of the interviews were stimulating.  KK Ottesen’s conversation and photo session for the Washington Post showed why she is one of the best. Jenn White at 1A was another favorite, as were Kate Archer Kent at Wisconsin Public Radio, Kerri Miller at Minnesota Public Radio, and my favorite, Ryan Warner with Colorado Matters on Colorado Public Radio. Several other conversations were notable, including my time with Lisa Kennedy for Kirkus Reviews, and Mary Elizabeth Williams for Salon.

Writing the memoir was a raw, gut-wrenching experience. It is understandable that after 45 days of interviews, I am having a vulnerability hangover. This was a lot. Throughout my adult life I have suffered from occasional bouts of benign positional vertigo. (And yes, I know about the Epley Maneuver, and yes, it works.) I haven’t had a bout in six years, but a spell of vertigo arrived with the release of the book.  It is understandable. We are psychosomatic creatures, and this has been emotionally and physically dizzying.

Neither has it been an easy time for my family and close friends. They played a significant part in my story, but in the interviews about the book, I was the only one doing the telling. Every line in the book had been approved by family and close friends, but they had to trust I would be fair and accurate and protect their privacy in the interviews.  There were a few tense days, but we all survived.

After the biggest rush of interviews and appearances had been completed, Jonathan and his family arrived for their annual summer visit. That brought all three of our children and their families together. As is the case most summers, I had all five granddaughters for the better part of three weeks, which was delightful. My grandchildren could care less that I was in People Magazine or on Good Morning America. Now, if I had been a TikTok sensation, that would have gotten their attention.  I took about 10 pictures of my granddaughters on the couch the last day they were here. The one above is the only one in which multiple children were not making funny faces.

I am ready for life to get back to normal, or what passes for normal in my busy life. I am ready to return to my speaking engagements, counseling clients, and pastoring with Left Hand Church. The church has been my grounding throughout the writing and publishing process. For that I am grateful. Kristie, Nicole, and John, my co-pastors, have been wonderfully accommodating, tolerating my tardiness on projects and the occasional need to shift meeting schedules.

While the past two months were taxing, they were also important. I want to make a difference in the world. I want to make the path easier for those on a journey similar to mine. I want to lessen suffering in the world, and sow seeds of understanding, love, and tolerance.

I also want to continue playing hide and seek with my granddaughters, and taking them tubing on the river, and going to multiple ice cream shops on the same evening, just to satisfy their varying tastes. It is their affection that brings me alive. It is the respect of my children, the love of my close friends, and the satisfaction of good work that keep me moving forward.

I want to live with gratitude and continue bringing offerings into the world. I want my story to play a small part in enhancing the journey of others. I am humbled by the abundance of opportunities that have come my way. I want to be worthy of having been given such a platform.

It makes me happy that my place of gladness has been able to touch the world’s deep hunger. It has not been easy, but it has been good.

11 thoughts on “A Crazy Couple of Months

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your story, Paula. It helped me to better understand my own daughter’s journey, but also opened my eyes to gender equality and made me more aware of my “special” treatment (as a woman) over the years!

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  2. Hi Paula ♥ I, too, have had positional vertigo. In my quest to prevent it, I purchased a wedge pillow. So far, so good. It’s been a year since I’ve had any bouts with it. It’s so frightening (to me, at least), even though it’s benign. The exercises have also made me nauseous, so it’s not something I want to do even though I know it corrects it. Not sure if you’re a side sleeper, but I am and that can be a contributing factor, especially if the pillow is too flat. I had that problem. I’m not someone who likes to sleep on an elevated surface, like the wedge pillow. It takes some getting used to. During the night I’ll wake up and discover I have migrated to the very end of it and have to put myself back on it properly. Being a back sleep can also help but it’s not comfortable for me. One other thing, I also have TMJ and grind my teeth at night– and I’ve always suspected that has brought on the BPV. I know what I need to do in that regard and that is some relaxation techniques. Do I do it? Not enough. LOL Anyway, enough about that…just hope you’re feeling better.

    Your grandchildren are beautiful! You live a very enriched life with them and with the things you do. I had a wonderful grandmother…..but she sure didn’t take me tubing. I’d venture to say not many grandmothers do. Your grandchildren are very blessed to have you in their lives and to have such an active grandmother. And rest assured that you already are making a difference in this world. ♥

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  3. Hi Paula,
    Thank you so much for sharing so much of you. Your Book was so good, and as many others have said I can relate to everything. You are an inspiration to me as a Transgender woman. I can only hope I have the oppertunity to meet you and thank you in person. I am planning to start attending your church services via the live stream. I only wish I lived in the Longmont area so I could attend in person. I have finally found a church that will meet my needs.

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