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This is Not The Life I Ordered
50 Ways to Keep Your Head Above Water When Life Keeps Dragging You Down
Deborah Collins Stephens, Michealene Cristini Risley, Jackie Speier, Jan Yanehiro
ISBN: 9781573243056
Book (Hardcover)
Conari Press
5 1/2 x 8 1/2
224 pages
November 4, 2006


"I wish I had this book thirty years ago. What a welcome source of inspiration and insight."
--Linda Ellerbee, journalist, award-winning television producer, best-selling author, breast cancer survivor, and mom.

"Inspiration to survive the worst luck and... climb into a new life with unexpected happiness." -Amy Tan

"These women inspire us to go for the gold in our lives. They all deserve 10s!" -Kristi Yamaguchi
This Is Not the Life I Ordered is for anyone who has ever felt overworked, overwhelmed, or just plain unlucky (and, who hasn't?!). Through this collection of stories, wisdom, and practical advice, readers will meet four ordinary women who have faced extraordinary life challenges. Together, they have a history of six marriages, ten children, four stepchildren, six dogs, two miscarriages, two cats, a failed adoption, and foster parenthood. One of them was shot and left for dead on a tarmac in South America and two have lived through the death of their spouses.

This book started simply with four friends getting together for "kitchen table coaching sessions" to talk about their lives. Week by week and story by story, they realized their great advice to each other could help other women struggling with life's myriad issues of work, family, and love, as well as the big questions of life and death. For over a decade, the power and strength of their collective friendship enabled these women not only to survive but to thrive.

Each section of the book concludes with suggested action plans and exercises that the authors refer to as the WIT (Women in Transition) Kit. They realize women are busy, running from the moment their feet hit the bedroom floor, but what they have found is that by taking the time to follow up on the recommendations in the Wit Kit has made a world of difference in the quality of their lives, and that of their loved ones.

Whether trying to recover from overwhelming hardship or to celebrate a triumph, readers will find four amazing women to share hope and inspiration with through the true stories in This Is Not the Life I Ordered. This is a book for women of all ages.

Deborah Collins Stephens is the co-founder and managing partner of the Center for Innovative Leadership.
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Michealene Cristini Risley is an entrepreneur who has created some of the largest deals in the consumer products and entertainment industries.
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Jackie Speier was sworn in into the United States Congress in April of 2008. She represents California's 12th Congressional District.
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Jan Yanehiro is the executive producer of Pacific Fusion TV syndicated in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

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