Every holiday season, I really do try to be a better person. Sometimes, I'm pretty successful. Other times... not so much.
But this year, I'm pretty proud of myself. And I'm going to share my story--I call it How My Books Got Run Over by a Reindeer--in the hope that it'll help you get in a happy and forgiving holiday spirit as well.
It all started last Tuesday. That's the day my new book launched on Amazon. I'm not even going to tell you the title, because that's not the point. But let's just say that it's the culmination of my life's work as a weight-loss and anti-aging specialist. I've worked all year on it. I've sweat blood, lost sleep, and cried a few tears. I know it's going to spark millions of life-changing transformations, and I'm as proud of it as I can be.
So the big day arrives. My book launches. And it sells out in the first hour.
I'm totally over the moon, right? And then I go to my book's Amazon page, and I see the ominous words:
"Not in Stock."
Whaaaattt? I know for a fact that the next batch of my books came off the presses and got loaded on a truck that should have reached the Amazon warehouse a day ago.
This is where the story starts to sound like the plot for a bad holiday movie. You see, my books got run over by a reindeer--or, more accurately, they got abandoned by a reindeer.
The reindeer, in this case, was the truck driver. It turns out that he decided--no one knows why--that he'd had it. So he pulled over to the side of the road, abandoned the truck (with my books inside it), and took off for parts unknown.
As a result, the books arrived at the Amazon warehouse nearly two days late. Thousands of readers saw the "Out of Stock" message and got discouraged. And my amazing launch turned into a holiday catastrophe.
Luckily, the books are at Amazon now. (Bless you, back-up driver!) My publisher and affiliates are working around the clock to get the word out that we're up and running again. My friends all rallied around to cheer me up. And my agent, gave me a laugh in my darkest moment by sending me this:
'Twas the night before pub date,
when all through the land,
Affiliates were waiting to lend a promotional hand,
The books were all nestled all snug in the truck,
but the truck driver quit and we all said "Oh F$$k!"
So we've all made the best of a big mess. But needless to say, I had a lot of choice words to say about the truck driver who caused this whole mess. And believe me, I said them. Lots of them.
But by Wednesday night, after a stiff shot of potato vodka and a long, hot bath, I came to a decision: I could choose to be angry at this guy, or I could choose not to be. I've always preached about saying "next" and moving on with your life after someone hurts you, rather than holding a grudge. And that goes triple during the holidays.
So I wrapped myself up in a fuzzy robe, made myself a cup of tea, and wrote this:
An Open Letter to the Truck Driver
I'll never know what made you walk away from your job last week. However, I'm guessing that you had a very powerful reason for doing it. And I'm guessing that you were angry, sad, and scared when you took that big step.
It won't surprise you that I was pretty angry at you at first. But once the dust settled, I had time to think about how desperate you must have been to do what you did. And I know how easy it is to do crazy things when you're desperate.
So I'm not mad anymore. Instead, I'm crossing my fingers that you're doing okay. I'm sending you my wishes for a happy holiday and a blessed New Year. And I'm hoping that your decision works out for you in the long run, and leads you to a better path in life.
P.S. Whatever that new path is, it probably shouldn't be in the trucking industry.
I won't say that it was easy to write this letter, but I felt a lot better when I did--and I'm hoping that my story will inspire you to forgive someone who's hurt you. If you let go of at least one grudge and heal at least one broken bond this season, you'll make this holiday a better one for yourself and the people around you. And who knows... maybe Santa will slip an extra present in your stocking (that is, if his reindeer don't quit on him).