It’s 5 in the morning and I am up! This is nothing new; since the birth of “The Buddy Man” (our nickname for our 20 month-old-son) I have been up at 5 AM often. The difference this time is that he’s not currently in this room, this building, or even this city! I am traveling for work and he is having a ball at his grandma’s. The point is, I am still up at 5 AM! What the frick and frack?!?!?
My husband and I didn’t plan on having children but 10 years into our marriage, Buddy showed up and threw me into a tailspin. I gotta tell ya, I questioned everything. But books helped keep me sane(ish), And books are what I want to talk to you about today. I read a lot. I have always been a reader, a bookworm, a nerd, whatever. And even after the Buddy, I continue to make time to read. Sometimes at five in the morning!
One of the books that I read recently was the Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes; a book about her year-long commitment to saying Yes to things to which she normally would have said No. Let me preface my statements by saying first, I am NOT a Shonda Rhimes fan. I do not watch TGIT. I don’t post OMGs on my social media accounts after every episode of Scandal. I just see all of my friends’ posts and wonder what happened. And then, one of those very friends wanted to read Year of Yes for book club. The cover flap describes the book as “profound, impassioned, and laugh-out-loud funny” and “inspires readers everywhere to change their own lives with one little word: Yes”. Call me incredulous. But I decided to say Yes to Year of Yes, unenthusiastically.
It’s Easy to Read
The book is small. Ok, amend that, it is a small book to me. But it is very easy to read because the print isn’t packed together on the page, one of the reasons I was unenthusiastic. It’s a perfect gift book; I mean there’s gold foil on the cover. Definitely not a book for a voracious reader like myself. But since it is small, easy to read, and since the chapters are on the shorter side, it’s a great book to pick up when you can find the time; perfect for busy parents. And surprisingly, I totally enjoyed it. No, I absolutely LOVED it.
The cover-flap was right. I laughed out loud so many times my hubby stopped asking what was so funny. Shonda is an excellent writer and her style is conversational. She could be sitting right next to you talking to you. You would think that conversation would be one-sided but not really, because she responds to your thoughts as you’re reading the book. At least she did for me. And did I mention that she’s hilarious?
She discusses a lot of things including being a mom (which I am), being overweight (which I am), being afraid (which I always am), and being a successful woman (which I would like to be one day), and her honesty while describing her experiences and viewpoints was so refreshing. Even if I didn’t always agree with her, it was still great to hear.
For example, her notion that being a mother “is not a job” made me want to “throw things” at her. But I continued reading:
It’s who someone is.
It’s who I am.
You can quit a job. I can’t quit being a mother. I’m a mother forever. Mothers are never off the clock; mothers are never on vacation. Being a mother redefines us, reinvents us, destroys us and rebuilds us. Being a mother brings us face-to-face with ourselves as children, with our mothers as human beings, with our darkest fears of who we really are. Being a mother requires us to get it together or risk messing up another person forever…
If all of that happened at work, I’d have quit fifty times already. Because there is not enough money in the world…To the naysayers, I growl, do not diminish it by calling it a job.
You should check it out. Year of Yes is a great book for moms and honestly, all women in general. Because, as Shonda confessed, often we are “never more sure of [our]selves about a topic than when [we] have absolutely no experience with it.” Let me know what you think.
And I must confess that since reading YoY, I have started watching Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix. OMG! Did you know that Christina Yang and Owen Hunt…
Don’t forget to join us for our online book club as we discuss the Year of Yes on August 4th – all RCM Readers welcome!
Shannan Moore Malone squeezes in the time to write while taking care of the Buddy Man. As you already know, she loves books but she also loves great movies, running, and is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, a foodie. Though generally more on the quiet side, you can get her talking by mentioning living authentically, the importance of clarity and organization, and enjoying life, which she occasionally writes about on her blog her blog and posts about on Instagram @shannanenjoyslife.