Friday, February 18, 2011

Eat, Pray, Love

Sounds simple, right? Even inspirational. Not for me, it turns out. I just finished reading Elizabeth Gilbert's "Eat, Pray, Love". I enjoyed it for several reasons. I loved the idea of her "journey" of self-discovery. She was completely unhappy with her life and herself so she made the conscious decision and concerted effort to change all that she saw in herself and found lacking. You gotta admire that, right? That takes a great deal of self-awareness and courage. Then to write about it - well, that's a whole leap of courage I'm not sure I could take. I was equally impressed with her writing style. It is compact, concise, descriptive, beautiful and deeply honest - with herself and her readers. She is very upfront about her struggles and failures. In a few instances, she found herself learning a lesson that was almost a complete departure from her original goal/intention. In the end, what I learned from her experience and reading her novel was that being happy and content with who you are is a continuous, uphill and ever-changing journey and struggle. And, as you can imagine, we are usually our own worst enemy. I know I am. And, let me tell you, I am one harsh critic. Although, there are people out there that come in a close second. Every time I vow to myself not to worry so much about what others think, someone gets into my face and my brain. On Wednesday, I had the painful experience of another mother who felt it was her place to repeatedly criticize my parenting and my child's behavior to my face and behind my back (loudly). Yes, he misbehaved. No, he didn't commit a felony. Yes, I handled it. And, yes, I'm still stewing about it. How can someone be so sure of themselves and their superior parenting that they get a perverse joy out of ruining someone else's (fragile) peace of mind? So, I have spent the last few days analyzing and scrutinizing my kids' every move and my every parenting action/decision and found everyone and everything lacking. Thanks, anonymous lady. I hope you are basking in the joy of your perfect children. Mine are asleep after kissing me, hugging me and singing ME a lullaby. So, I must be doing something halfway right.

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