Book Reports

Yes Please!

Since I was just on vacation, I gave myself permission to stretch the rules on my school and non-school book rules (I know, I know…I just got started and I’m already bending the rules). For my non-school book, I just finished reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (I think it’s possible I may have been the last person in the country to read it). Because I don’t have aspirations of being a murderer or framing anyone else for murder, I don’t know that I had a lot of personal takeaways from this story. I will say I liked that I wasn’t sure who to believe and the story kept me reading because I very much wanted to know what happened next. That, and I firmly believe in reading the book before seeing the movie (confession: I don’t actually see a lot of movies, so I guess I may just firmly believe in reading the book). But in case I find myself on a plane where they’re showing the movie or I decide to download it to take with me, I want to be prepared and have read the book so I know what’s going on in the movie.

My school book was Amy Poehler’s Yes Please. And before you chastise me and say this is a non-school book, hear me out. I love Amy Poehler and believe she has a lot to teach me. She is smart, funny, thoughtful and willing to share her true self with the world, and I admire all that. And obviously I can say these things because I know her – we totally hang out (confession: this is a lie, but maybe if I say it enough, it will become true). She has three parts to her book: Say Whatever You Want, Do Whatever You Like and Be Whoever You Are. And while some might argue that sounds selfish, it’s just not. Saying what you want, doing what you want and being who you are the only ways we can be our authentic selves. And our authentic selves are the only thing worth being and sharing with the world – anything else is just not worth the time and is too exhausting to keep up. I’ll probably have more to say about this book as we go on, but for now, I want to hear what you say and do that allows you to be whoever you are.

Book Reports

Home and Away

I recently did a lot of traveling in a short time and realized I read a lot when I’m on the road. And I also realized I spend very little time reading when I’m at home. I’ve always liked reading, and it made me sad that I read less when I’m at home, so I’ve set out to change that. I’m committing to myself and you to always be reading at least two books at a time – one school book and one non-school book at a time (but not per week – let’s not go crazy. And a special shout if you now want to go watch Clueless.).

I want to share what I’m reading with you, not because I think I have amazing insights, but for two reasons. One, it will keep me honest and on top of things. It’s not going to be impressive when I’ve been reading the same book for 37 weeks. Two, I’m about as true an extrovert as you can get and I’m simply incapable of processing anything internally. So thanks for letting me process with you – my husband will appreciate a break from my stream of consciousness. [Note: Lest I cast him as a cartoon version of our relationship, with me constantly babbling and him sighing and rolling his eyes at me, he’s a VERY patient conversational partner and usually only rolls his eyes at me if I have it coming. I’m just saying.]

Inside My Head


There’s something magical about flying at night. Not the battle with TSA, screaming-kids-and-lost-luggage type of flying, but rather, the actual act of being up in a plane at night. It’s quiet since lots of folks are sleeping, the cabin is dark and all you can see are hundreds of thousands of lights below you when you pass over a city. This is my favorite time. Without necessarily making a conscious decision, I usually find myself with my headphones plugged in and letting my mind wander. Sure, I have my book, my laptop or a movie ready to go, but I almost always find myself putting all that down and just being. This is my time to just be in my own world. It saddens me that planes now come equipped with wifi. Flying time is (was?) the last space it’s okay for you to be disconnected. With so many things to do and to distract me from just being, I’m not very good at unplugging and taking time to let my mind wander. This is one of the places where it seems to come naturally, and the soothing darkness and white noise seem to be a perfect combination for me to reconnect with myself. Where are you when you can just be?


Batter Up

I spend more time thinking about at-bat songs than the average person (who probably spends no time, so no great shock here). While I don’t particularly like baseball, I find myself talking about the music players choose as their at-bat song on a regular basis. And I’m pretty sure no one else ever brings it up, so that means I’m the instigator. Though in my own defense, the conversation usually gets interesting, so I don’t feel too bad (or I just have really nice friends who humor me).

Several years ago at a baseball game, one of the players walked up to bat to Phil Collins, and I was horrified. I love me some Phil and Genesis, but there is not an intimidating song from that entire collection. I was horrified someone let that nice man do that to himself and immediately decided I needed to be an at-bat song consultant. I remain convinced that would be a badass job.

At this moment, I’m using Nicki Minaj’s “I’m the Best” as my at-bat song. I can easily listen to this on repeat for an embarrassingly long time and sing it at the top of my lungs on the way into work. (I drive, for those of you who were afraid I may take the Metro.) Music is incredibly important to me, and I don’t claim to be any sort of critic worth anything other than does the music make me happy and want to start a dance party. Music is amazingly powerful. And personal. So with that, I challenge you to find your at-bat music — what speaks to you and makes you want to take on the haters? On the treadmill, on the way to work, or when you need just a little lift.


Loving What You Do

Several months ago, I was getting a massage with a new person and she was terrific. I told her so, and her response blew me away. She simply said “Thank you. I really enjoy what I do, and it’s nice to know that comes across.” That simple interaction has changed the way I view what I do. Not all of us are lucky enough to love what we do, so that in and of itself was notable. Though as a fortunate soul who has had a number of jobs I’ve really liked, I’ve always struggled with compliments on my work. I’m quick to give all the credit to others, dismiss my accomplishments as no big deal or quickly turn focus back to my conversation partner. However, since this reaction earlier on this year, I have totally stolen my massage therapist’s response and have been using it ever since. I thought hers was such a beautiful way to accept the compliment while at the same time, acknowledging that the customer allows us the opportunity to do something we love. Since that conversation, I am now more conscious of being grateful for the people who allow me to do the work I love – my clients. Being invited into someone’s life – however long the interaction may be – is a true gift. Who allows you to do what you love? And does your joy for what you do show? At least most of the time (let’s be honest – we all have those days)?