After a long career in fashion and design, a midlife layoff and first marriage found Alyssa grappling with what to do next. A camera from her new husband would be the catalyst for Alyssa to tap into her lifelong passion for photography.
You are a Certified Laughter Yoga Leader and Teacher. Tell us more about Laughter Yoga and its benefits.
Imagine being a wellspring of effervescent rainbow-colored water. Your effervescence gets bigger and bolder until it erupts dancing, swirling, jiggling and giggling. That is one metaphor that describes the incredible release and joy we experience with hearty laughter. Laughter Yoga was birthed basically because we don't breathe deeply enough, nor do we laugh deeply or enough to benefit from either. Laughter Yoga is a unique technique that harnesses the power of our natural abilities to laugh and breathe to create positive physiological and psychological changes in our bodies and minds.
While Francie always enjoyed writing, she never considered it might be a career path and opted for the safety of a law degree instead. However, five years ago, she began to rethink the possibilities as she began to publish her personal essays. This year, at 50, she published her debut novel, Chuckerman Makes a Movie, and is at work on her second book.
An epiphany in midlife convinced Sherry to shake up her life. She embarked on her 52/52 Project: 52 weekly projects outside her comfort zone. And published a book about her adventures!
Rare Bird Books recently published your book, Love in the Time of Chronic Illness: How to Fight the Sickness―Not Each Other. What led you to write this book?
My co-author, Roanne Weisman, and I wrote Love in the Time of Chronic Illness because we were both the ill partners in our relationships, and we were both stunned by how deeply our conditions affected our relationships with our partners and how important that relationship was to our eventual recovery. There were no resources out there to help us understand the impact of illness on our relationship or what we could do to grow stronger, together.
When her husband, at 55, decided he was burned out at work and wanted to go overseas to work for Peace Corps, Joyce chose to join him on his placements abroad as a “trailing spouse.” She recounts her struggle with uprooting her home and career in midlife, not to mention her change in identity, in her new book: Outside My Skin: My Midlife Detour as a Trailing Spouse in Ghana.