We interview Lee Gaitan from Atlanta, Georgia about surviving life when it kicks you in the butt. She’s the author of the book, “My Pineapples Went to Houston – finding the humor in my dashed hopes, broken dreams, and plans gone outrageously awry.” She has also written, “Falling Flesh Just Ahead and Other Signs on the Road to Midlife,” as well as chapters in several bestselling books.
Coming to you from the lost luggage department of Burbank Airport.
Lee tells a hilarious story of how she chose the title of her new book. – Listen in by clicking the player above.
Her father had just died and her mother was in a coma when her husband of 22 years dropped a bomb in her lap on Christmas Eve. He told her that he was leaving, he’d lost all their money and was moving in with a former stripper with 5 children.
It was downhill after that.
Within a matter of hours, Lee went from affluent to destitute.
Up until then, she had been happily promoting her book and freelance writing. Her husband, who had been successful in business, had recently quit his job and invested heavily into a new venture. Unbeknownst to Lee, he went deep in credit card debt and even got a loan from Lee’s father for $25,000 on his deathbed. Some of the debts were in Lee’s name. Her daughter called her crying because she couldn’t register for her next semester in college The tuition hadn’t been paid. The power was turned off. Lee and her daughter’s life had crumbled.
They didn’t hear from him for years after that.
Fortunately, both surviving life at it’s worst. Her daughter changed schools, got a full scholarship and is now enjoying a successful life. The ordeal took a toll on her emotionally but she made it through.
For the next 10 years Lee’s life was difficult and for a while, she worked 5 jobs teaching morning through night. She’s proud to say she never declared bankruptcy, never defaulted on anything and paid every penny she owed back. Through the years, she’s had several health scares and lost her health insurance for a while.
Her conclusion on surviving life: You CAN’T lose your sense of humor.
After all that, she revisited the title she had decided on the book she’d planned to write before the shit hit the fan and realized it meant more to her than she ever realized.
Her struggle helped her find herself. She realized she couldn’t let her ex-husband take her spirit away.
“He can take everything from me but can’t take away who I am.”
Tips for Surviving Life When Your Whole World Crashes
- You learn to let go of the big rescue you think is going to come. You start to see your vision, scale it down and be grateful.
- Reach out to friends, inventory your job skills, and find things you can do to survive.
- Women naturally go through crap. Realize this and move forward.
- You’ll find that you are more resilient and a lot stronger than you ever imagined.
- You either splat or bounce back.
- Be willing to receive support from friends, pharmaceuticals, or whatever you need.
- Surviving life is no guarantee of anything. Shit still finds you. But, whatever happens, you will have learned to overcome it.
- The broken pieces of your life are like a mosaic. The good thing is: you get to put them back together the way YOU want to.
- Sometimes perfection is a closed cage. (even if your life is going well) The cage is what you built when you were 25 and didn’t really know yourself.
- Have the mindset of the immediate and the long-term. The immediate is to survive but don’t lose sight of the long-term because it will allow you to thrive. It’s a delicate balance.
- Become a caretaker for yourself. Do for yourself what you would do for a friend. Eat well, exercise, sleep well, ask for help and let people help you. Take every little bit that’s handed to you.
- Don’t think you’re the only one whose world is crashing down. Shit happens to A LOT of women.
- Keep things to yourself if you need to.
- Give yourself some latitude.
- Don’t be ashamed to scream, cry, eat ice cream all day and throw things every once in a while.
- Surround yourself with people who truly do love you and who will remind you that you are wonderful.
Visit Lee’s website www.leegaitan.com
Purchase her book “My Pineapples Went to Houston – finding the humor in my dashed hopes, broken dreams, and plans gone outrageously awry,” by clicking here. (there may be a special in store for you if you act now.