Sandwiched: A Memoir of Holding On and Letting Go
July 8, 2021
4 PM PDT | 5 PM MDT | 6 PM CDT | 7 PM EDT
Unlike many other authors, my desire to write a book didn’t surface until my late forties. Growing up, I didn’t write in a journal, and when my high school teacher gave me a blank page to write a creative story, my mind went blank too.
In many ways, my book not only found me, but it saved me during a period in my life when I was taken down a tumultuous path I didn’t see coming. I was in my mid-forties when my mother suddenly fell ill. The tables quickly turned from her helping me with my teen and pre-teen daughters to my needing to oversee her care, the care of my dad, and hiring caregivers for both of them. Over the next several years, I’d laugh and cry with my friends and my husband about the antics, I suppose with distance I can call what they did antics, that my caregivers were pulling. My friends all encouraged me to start writing down these stories—I couldn’t have made these things up if I’d tried. I called them The Caregiver Chronicles.
It took me several more years to put pen to paper and fingers to a keyboard, but once I did it became a very meditative and healing place for me. The cathartic process of writing my jumbled thoughts not only helped me make sense out of what was happening, it gave me the opportunity to analyze my past choices and through that self-reflection I developed a deeper understanding of how my past had shaped the choices I’d made through most of my life. Two years in, I realized my story was much bigger than The Caregiver Chronicles. It was about being “sandwiched” between caring for my elderly parents, managing unruly caregivers, raising four daughters, while my marriage was crumbling. I was at a pivotal point in my life. In order to be true to myself and write the whole story, I’d need to make a big life change. My empowering decision led me to publishing my book and reinventing myself and I’m so excited to share my journey with you.
We will discuss:
- Where do you begin when you aren’t a writer and have never identified yourself as one?
- How the story you think you want to write may not be the story you need to write.
- How to overcome your inner critic.
- Making your story universal and healing through writing
- The risk of writing about family and people when they are still alive.
Laurie James is mother, caregiver, divorcée turned author and transformational coach. She has successfully launched her four daughters into adulthood and has been the primary caretaker for her elderly parents. Laurie has learned through therapy and other healing programs that she has everything she needs within her to create the life she desires, and she wants to bring that knowledge to other women. She is training to become a Martha Beck certified coach and expects to receive her ICF (International Coach Federation) credential in July 2021. Laurie enjoys coaching women who are searching for happiness and helps them discover what that means to them. An active community volunteer, she co-chairs a youth program for high school students, exposing them to a variety of career paths before they apply to college. She’s also an active member of a collaborative giving circle that pools donation dollars to help Los Angeles-based nonprofits.
Laurie graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a B.S. in business and held a position as a corporate recruiter before she stayed home to raise her children. She lives in Manhattan Beach with her adopted husky, Lu. When she is not walking her dog, volunteering, promoting her book or coaching, she can be found skiing, sailing, hiking, doing yoga, spending time with my girlfriends or planning her next adventure.