“How would you feel about categorizing your book as self-help or personal growth?”
I was having a telephone conversation with an editor at a publishing house about my memoir. I had finished the manuscript in August and had been pitching the project to literary agents and publishers, taking online workshops on how to publish a book, and tweaking the pages based on feedback from readers.
I was never sure whether it was a good idea to call my book a memoir. I’m always visiting bookstores to look at what’s on the memoir shelf or the self-help, psychology, or personal growth shelves, so I get why she was asking the question.
It’s my fitness journey, that’s true, but I wouldn’t say fitness defines me.
Do you remember that week in 2010 when a volcano eruption disrupted air travel through much of Europe? I do. My husband, Bob, was on business travel in Amsterdam at the time and got stuck. Poor Bob. For a day or two he contemplated returning to the United States by getting a train to England first and then crossing the Atlantic on board the Queen Mary 2 from Southampton to New York.
That volcanic eruption? It was in Iceland. And if business wasn’t slow enough on that arctic island, that dark cloud didn’t help.
Since then, the fog has lifted for Iceland, and Reykjavik, the capital and largest city in Iceland, is one of the hottest places to visit, even when it’s below freezing much of the year. And for good reason. The tourism industry is incredibly strong - there are more than 600 tour companies operating in Iceland - and the major tourist spots are well run, offering good food and knowledgeable guides.
It's ridiculous that after all these years I'm still fighting with myself at night to wash my face. I look at myself in the mirror as I'm brushing my teeth and think, what's the worst that could happen?
And then I clean my face, removing any makeup around my eyes, exfoliate, use toner, apply products my dermatologist prescribed for me and then serum and nighttime moisturizer on my face and neck. The whole thing takes too long, but there aren't any short cuts. I've tried.
The other night, as I was having this conversation with myself in the mirror, I noticed my skin was looking not bad. I've still got that lived-in look, but the lines in my forehead, in particular, were, without a doubt, less prominent.