A revised, updated, and expanded edition of the best-selling self-help book that encourages women to overcome adversity, embrace change, and discover their power.
This Is Not the Life I Ordered is the culmination of weekly “kitchen table coaching” sessions that took place for more than a decade and were designed to support four extraordinary women through life’s ups and downs. These women realized that their support of one another 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. The power and strength of their collective friendship has enabled them to not only survive but to thrive, and the remarkable results are in this collection of lessons and stories and wisdom, which can help women turn any unfortunate event into a joy-filled opportunity.
Twenty-five percent of the material in this edition is completely new: 2 of the stories have been updated, many new interviews have been included, and there are 2 new chapters—one about the Me Too Movement and one focusing on the experience of loss for adult children.
About the Author
Deborah Collins Stephens has written 6 books, 3 of which have been bestsellers, including One Size Fits One. She lives and works in Bloomington, IN. Michealene Cristini Risley is a human rights activist and filmmaker. She lives in Woodside, CA. Jan Yanehiro is the executive producer of Pacific Fusion TV syndicated in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Jackie Speier was sworn into Congress in April of 2008. She represents California's 12th District.
“This book is an object lesson in the power of friendship—and the power of perseverance. The four fearless women who wrote it share their remarkable stories—featuring incredible highs and heartbreaking lows—and in the process show us how to overcome the fears that limit us. It’s funny, inspiring, and practical—often all at the same time. Put the most entertaining episode of The View in a blender with Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, and you’d get This Is Not the Life I Ordered. It’s a book you’ll want to order a stack of, so you can share it with your girlfriends and your daughters.” —Arianna Huffington, author of On Becoming Fearless
— Arriana Huffington
“I wish I had this book thirty years ago. What a welcome source of inspiration and insight.” --Linda Ellerbee, journalist, award-winning television producer, bestselling author, breast cancer survivor, and mom
— Linda Ellerbee
“Even before you hear their stories, you feel their strength. When these four women came into my office, I knew I wanted to be a part of their mission. Readers will find themselves engulfed (in a good way) by their spirit.” —Gerry Laybourne, founder of Oxygen Media
— Gerry Laybourne
“Kudos to the amazing strength of these women! This book is the needed inspiration to survive the worst luck and circumstances that catch women unexpectedly. Stories of almost unimaginable pain and tragedy: the death of loved ones, being witness to mass murder, the loss of an esteemed job after years of loyalty, and reversal of fortunes. But more importantly, these are stories of individual strength to transform shock, despair, and paralysis into . . . unexpected happiness.” —Amy Tan, bestselling author of The Joy Luck Club
— Amy Tan
“…a must-read for all women and the men who love them…” –Rita Moreno, actress and winner of an Oscar, Emmy, Grammy, Tony, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom
— Rita Moreno
“This book captures real-life moments—from overwhelming hardships to triumphant outcomes. It echoes hope on every page and gives insightful inspiration to get us through life’s daily challenges. I love this book and all the threads of wisdom intricately sewn through each page. Best of all it is done with girlfriends—who have been my greatest support system. After you read it, you will realize that so much of your potential is just waiting to be released.” —Debbi Fields, founder of Mrs. Fields Cookies
— Debbi Fields
“This is the book you need when it is 2:00 a.m., and you can’t sleep because things in your life are not the way you hoped they would be. It is filled with the support and wisdom you would get from your friends, and more. It contains inspiring and true stories as well as the tools to help you move to the other side of whatever obstacles might confront you. It will comfort you and give you courage.” —Anne Robinson, cofounder of Windham Hill Records
— Anne Robinson
“These women inspire us to go for the gold in our lives. They all deserve 10s!” --Kristi Yamaguchi, gold medalist figure skater
— Kristi Yamaguchi
“A moving book, full of hope and encouragement. I laughed and cried but always felt uplifted!” —Jessica McClintock, founder and CEO of Jessica McClintock, Inc.
— Jessica McClintock
“You’ll want to buy a copy of this book for yourself and every woman you care about. The inspiring real-life stories prove that you can overcome anything life throws at you, if you put your mind to it. These refreshingly honest stories will buoy your spirits and give you the clarity and courage to make your life what you want it to be now, not someday. Read it and reap.” —Sam Horn, bestselling author of Tongue Fu!
— Sam Horn