Nora McInerny Purmort never expected to be a widow at 31 years old – nor did she expect to have to read a eulogy at her father’s wake 6 weeks before that. She was thrown into a situation that she did not ask for, and faced changes that she never could have anticipated. There are the changes that we seek out in our life, and then there are the changes that happen to us, and we have to learn how to adapt and gracefully (or not!) allow the space to learn from them as a way to reimagine how we want to be in the world.
I had the opportunity to meet Nora when she was in Denver for her book tour for It’s Okay to Laugh: Crying is Cool To, which she wrote as a way to document and process the losses of her husband and father, as well as a miscarriage that she had during that time. She partnered her book reading with an event for her non-profit, Still Kickin’ – a yoga class with CorePower yoga where the proceeds go to “an awesome person who finds him/herself going through something awful.” The idea for the non-profit was birthed with her husband, Aaron, from the “Still Kickin'” t-shirt that he was wearing when he had a seizure on Halloween 2011 that resulted in his cancer diagnosis.
Both Nora’s book and the non-profit stress the fact that we are not defined by the horrible things that happen to us. That Aaron was so much more then his brain tumor, and that each of us might face horrible things in our lives that help us learn and grow, but these events are not who we are…just a part.
In the podcast episode we talk about how Nora navigated a change that she never wanted, how the experiences of her worst fear happening allowed her to take the leap into a new career, and how she makes sure to leave the space for her own self care…all with a lot of humor and laughter. Listen below to learn more about Nora’s Chapter Be story…
CHAPTER BE QUESTIONNAIRE…
Whatever you say you are.
What’s your favorite quote, story or fact?
I have the word ‘now’ tattooed on my wrist, and it’s the best reminder to just CTFD and focus on what’s actually happening currently.
Worst work experience?
I had a boss who told me not to be myself. That was pretty neat.
What is your definition of success?
A full, happy heart, a bathtub that I can fit in, and a closet of Eileen Fisher clothing.
How do you tap into your creative energies – especially when you are feeling drained?
Running, meditation, MORE SLEEP. Therapy.
What does “to be” mean to you?
WHAT?! Oh my god I’m not deep enough for your podcast.
How do you spend your time when you are procrastinating?
Just like everyone else on the planet: scrolling mindlessly through the Internet as my brain turns to mush.
Ideal READING LIST – books, websites, blogs, podcasts, magazines, etc. that you would want on your Swiss Family Robinson deserted island?
- Anything by Chelsea Handler and Nora Ephron because we need to laugh.
- Swiss Family Robinson because we will need a guidebook for survival, and that seems like a good one to use.
- This American Life because it will remind us what it’s like to be human and a part of real society.
- And no internet except Twitter.
Favorite song with “be” in the title?
I bet everyone says Let It Be, right? Well, that’s my answer, too, because can you listen to it without sobbing? NOPE.
LINKS & RESOURCES…
- Still Kickin’
- It’s Okay to Laugh: (Crying Is Cool Too)
- Nora’s website – Noraborealis
- Nora’s Blog – My Husband’s Tumor
- Denver Beer Company
- CorePower Yoga
- Aaron’s Obituary
- Cotton Bureau
Images via Chapter Be