Monday, November 17, 2014

Overwhelmed: work, love, and play when no one has the time By Brigid Schulte

I am really glad I decided to purchase this book and not take it out from the library (I know, I know bad librarian) *but* my copy is now littered with margin notes and underlines and exclamation points.  There was just so much to take in, so many annotated references that I now have a list of must reads a mile long.  I really thought she was writing about my life...driving one to one activity, hauling the other one to something else, a daily list of must dos longer than my arm...ya know your basic mom's life.  And while there is no major answers to these life problems, good suggestions yes, but nothing earth shattering, it brings a necessary awareness to the daily life/work struggle.

Just *one* of my favorites:

"Park the helicopter.  You don't have to be everything on your own and better than everyone else...'Love your kids.  Keep them safe.  Accept them as they are.  Then get out of their way.'"
PG. 283

From Booklist

Journalist Schulte manages to take a fairly pedestrian topic, the value of leisure in modern American society, and turn it into a compelling narrative on work, play, and personal achievement. Liberally peppered with her own experiences as a wife, mother, and Washington Post reporter, this artful blend of memoir and cultural exploration asks hard questions about how to create a well-lived life. Is leisure a waste of time, or the only time to “live fully present”? Are we more concerned about a purpose-driven experience, or bogged down in “banal busyness”? Schulte, juggling the demands of children and work while facing conflicts with her spouse over familial responsibilities, realizes that she is mired in busyness. Her discussions with a wide range of experts clarify her concerns and open her mind to the manufactured madness of a competitive culture and the false promise of the ruthlessly dedicated “ideal worker.” Schulte follows every lead to uncover why Americans are so determined to exhaust themselves for work and what has been lost in the process. For Lean In (2013) fans, and everyone who feels overwhelmed. --Colleen Mondor

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