For those of you who are road-warriors please know I empathize with the trials and tribulations of “working on the road”, especially over the last couple of months. The weather has been brutal, causing cancelled flights, missed meetings, etc. It can be really frustrating… at some point you just have to take a deep breath, sigh, and let the road take you where it’s going to. The up side of being a road-warrior is that sometimes it can be a gift. So let’s focus on finding the positive in what can be a challenging part of our careers. For example, when work travel takes you to cool places and you can piggyback an amazing side trip, it makes it all worthwhile. I recently had that opportunity while working in England last month. In addition to visiting with family and friends, I was able to carve out a little personal time and visit Bath, England for a two day spa retreat. While in Bath, I explored the Roman Baths and visited the Jane Austen Centre, a permanent exhibition which tells the story of one of my favorite authors, English novelist Jane Austen.
Don’t worry, this isn’t a post about my love of “Chick Lit” (by the way, Jane Austen does NOT write “Chick Lit” and yes, I do love her book Pride and Prejudice.) — That said, the takeaway from my visit to the Centre was learning about her commitment to her work and love of writing without ever receiving public credit or recognition…
Her first published book, Sense and Sensibility, only said “written by A Lady”. Can you imagine? Her second book, Pride and Prejudice, only said “written by the author of Sense and Sensibility” and so on. Each book only referenced the author as “the author of the previous book”. Why? Allegedly, it wasn’t appropriate for a middle class woman to be publicly recognized and paid for her work. In addition, she is said to have been quite shy, so for privacy reasons and to protect her reputation, her books were published anonymously. It was only after her death in 1817 that her brother, Henry, had everything republished under her name.
It made me wonder if all the quotes, books, etc. written by Anonymous may have been written by women? What if I had written Small Message, Big Impact in the 1800s! That said, it sure put things into perspective for me when I realized how blessed I am to live in this time when a woman can write under her own name, make a living and travel the world doing her work. Sure makes dealing with a few challenging flights and travel struggles more manageable. So let’s stay focused on the gifts of travel… wishing you safe and sane journeys for the rest of the year!