Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Year by the Sea ~ Joan Anderson

There are people, places and things that can some how grip your soul.  They somehow reach in and you have one 'a-ha' moment after another.  It helps too if you are open and willing to see yourself and take a chance to move forward.  I was at that time in my life and my journey had just taken a zig instead of a zag and I was so searching... who the heck am I going to be when I grow up? who the heck am I? what am I going to do?

Do you know what I mean?  Joan did!!  And she wrote about it in the book: A Year by the Sea!

I first wrote about her books here.  I guess I needed a refresher!
A Year by the Sea: Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman gradually evolved. I didn’t run away to write a book. I was too brain dead to do that. I ran away to get rid of the clutter in my life and listen to what my heart was trying to tell me. My two sons were out of the nest, my husband was pursuing his dreams, and I needed to ask myself some hard questions without relying on the input of others. So I retreated to our Cape Cod cottage (off season) and gradually-- as I walked the beaches, ran into a fascinating mentor, and took a job in a fish market--came up with some unconventional answers for a new life.

It was when my best friends came to visit me and saw how different I was from the person that left them behind that they wanted me to tell them just what I had done to change. With their encouragement I began to retrace my steps and put my thoughts on paper. Several years later my first book, A Year by the Sea: Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman was published.

After 36 rejects and 10 rewrites the book met with tremendous success. Women write to me from all over the world asking, “How did you know what was in my head?” The connection with these women has been more of a reward than I had ever imagined.

Praise for A Year by the Sea
"In this accessible memoir Anderson shares the joy and self-knowledge she found during her time spent in semi-isolation. Through vivid and meticulous observations about the natural world, Anderson makes clear her strong affinity for the ocean, with its changing tides, subtle colors, and burgeoning life."
—Publishers Weekly

"Curling up with this autobiography will refresh readers’ souls and adjust their attitudes. During her year-long separation from family she was able to reestablish her connection to nature and discover new hope. She swam with seals, ran a mini-marathon, worked in a fish market, and earned extra income clamming—activities that gave her the opportunity to shed her image as a family nurturer and allowed her to grow as an independent woman. Anderson’s story reminds readers not to overlook their personal needs. This is a good choice for discussion and a companion piece to Anne Lindberghs’s classic Gift from the Sea."
—Library Journal

If I had to sum it up, it would be more in line with that of the Library Journal.  I lost my job due to the company's bankruptcy in 2008 and wound up disabled due to a work related injury.  I moved basically because of a choice of no other.  I was wrapped up in NOW WHAT'S like an old blanket that I couldn't get out of.  I took this journey with her uncertainty lifted, so did mine. I could totally relate as I read her story.  I listened, I laughed, I cried and the end of the book left me wanting more.  Luckily, she has written more. 

I am so appreciative of the sign she left in the fork in the road... the journey continues.

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