Sunday, April 20, 2008

Just Who Will You Be? by Maria Shriver

So, I seem to get some type of self-help book at this time of year quite often. This week, while I was in the D.C. airport waiting for my flight home, I saw Maria Shriver's new book JUST WHO WILL YOU BE. After I read the first page, I had to have it:

Not long ago, I was whining to my teenage daughter, "I don't know what I want to be when I grow up!" She took me by the shoulders, looked me dead in the eye, and said, "I hate to break it to you, Mom, but this is it for you. You are all grown up! You're cooked!" I jumped out of my chair. "Not so!" I shot back. "You may think I'm over but I'm not done yet! I'm still a work in progress and I'm writing my next act now." ....When she left, I wondered, "Is she right? Is this really it? Am I cooked? Am I over?"

I bought the book and read it over dinner in the airport. It is a small book--a gift size book, so a very quick read. I always like these little books--the ones that come out of graduation speeches. Sometimes I am in the mood for an inspirational graduation speech--but don't have any graduations to attend. These speeches don't quite say anything new, but they remind me of things I know and often help to reground me. And the fact that Maria Shriver is a mom with brutally honest teenagers is comforting as well.

Maria Shriver, it seems, has always worked to live up to others' expectations of her--something I have been thinking about myself lately. When do we stop building our resume and start making decisions based on what others want from us. Maria hits this as well as many other little things that lots of us, as working 40+moms work through on a daily basis. And it is nice to know that we are not alone in this struggle. It is nice for someone else to remind us what it is that is important and real in life. A nice, quick read from a writer I always enjoy.


  1. Anonymous5:22 PM

    How Funny!! Last night at Kroger, I read the same book. I, too, am always reflecting on myself this time of year as a teacher, as a mother, and as a wife. Always looking to improve on one role or the other. Is it okay to "just be" sometimes? Thanks for writing what we all are experiencing and feeling.

  2. Shelley_Love your thinking about it being okay to "just be" sometimes. Your comment made me feel even better than the book did! Thanks!

  3. Anonymous6:26 AM

    Put me on the list to borrow the book. I was polishing my resume last night and I've decided that children should be in charge of personnel decisions, hirings, and job descriptions for a school district. And while I'm on a rant, they should also write educational legislation.

    When I grow up I want be a cowgirl who works at the health food store during the winter season...but I secretly know that I would miss school, the kids and all of the crazy stuff that makes our teaching lives very interesting.


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