I've been having an intense fling with the Express Shelf at the library lately, a shelf of new-ish high demand books where the checkout period is shorter, no renewals. Perusing this shelf has led me to read more pop-culture-ish books than I normally would, including the recent trashy political tell-alls The Politician (about the John Edwards scandal) and Game Change. Reading books about semi-current events makes me feel more culturally literate, and also provides me with feelings of moral superiority because I'm not a power-hungry lunatic. This just in: most politicians are delusional, obnoxious, and lawyers. Coincidence?
The shelf has also led me to crack open the much-hailed book The Happiness Project, which is fascinating albeit a tad superficial. As you may know, author Gretchen Rubin spent a year trying to become happier in concrete ways, and every month tackled a specific goal, e.g., January's goal was to "boost energy" so she did things like exercise more, get more sleep, etc. (Note: a brief click tells me the blog is kind of lame, which is a bummer, bc I'm enjoying the book.) Anyway, she mentions she became happier when she stopped expecting a gold star for stuff. Just do it and enjoy it and ditch your need for someone else's appreciation. That's a big issue for me as a new-ish SAHM because I'm an attention whore (or as a classier friend says, "I require much love."). Basically, I need attention, and when you hang out with two (awesome) kids all day, it is fantastic in many ways but not so much dripping with accolades. So I spend a lot of time wondering if I am doing enough or if there's a rubric I can assess the day with or whatever. Obviously, you don't get a grade or a promotion or compliments from colleagues, and when you naturally need a lot of attention, it's kind of a let down (that is not a nursing reference). So you end up peppering your husband with statements that are acceptable from a six-year-old but bizarre for a grown woman, e.g., "Look! Look! I made dinner! Good job huh! Good job!? Do you like it? I swept. Did you see? I swept! Good job??" He will humor you, but still, yikes. Anyway, I'm not done with the book yet, but bits of it relate directly to my life in funny and thought-provoking ways. I've read about it here and there but if it weren't for the express shelf I would never have actually picked it up! It all comes back to that shelf, really. Will you read the book if you haven't already and then talk to me about it??
Speaking of which, the author read about Ben Franklin's Junto, a group of of 12 friends that met weekly for like forty years to talk about important stuff, and she liked the idea, and got a few friends together to be part of a regular "strategy group." I want one of those. How great does that sound?? A healthy discussion/debate with sharp people is like caffeine to me. Same with lunch dates. Well, and actual caffeine.