Originally Published on 9/3/19
A late review of Daring Greatly. School started and I lost track of time with reading. Please forgive my lapse in the Nerky Book Club – we’re still going strong and we’re understanding when life happens and our reading list suffers! High fives and comforting nods all around!
Friends, I really, really, really wanted to love this book as much as I loved You Are A Badass, because I loved Brené Brown’s Netflix special and TED Talk so much, and she just seems like such a cool person to know.
Don’t get me wrong, this book has a lot of valuable insight and info in it, for sure. The thing is, living with vulnerability as a parent is something I learned I needed to work on and do almost 8 years ago when I had my son. I realized that he needed to know why I was doing what I was doing, what I was feeling when I was doing it and why it all mattered so that he could have the best shot at being a well-rounded adult. Legit, my goal as a mom is to teach him to be a good person, so that means we have open and honest communication about right and wrong, even in the times when I’m wrong.
I realized I needed to be more vulnerable in my relationships a little later when I got together with Jason. Actually, I realized it before that, but I applied it with Jason. Despite our familial chaos and general differences, we were a very strong couple. We built our relationship on a foundation of respect and humor, and we always talked about what a good team we would be in the zombie apocalypse. Rick and Michonne, 100%. But like, Rick circa seasons 1-4ish. And Michonne circa always because she has never not been a bamf. (The Walking Dead, in case you’re hella confused right now. Also, full disclosure I stopped watching when Jason died because it was our thing and I just didn’t care about it anymore without him.)
Anyway, then Jason died and I was forced into vulnerability with everyone. I let go of any control I had and just melted into it. I had built a tough exterior over time and it just completely crumbled. And that was fine. After he died, I changed a lot. I am significantly more empathetic and understanding. I let the bullshit just roll off my shoulders – I don’t have time and will not host negativity in any way or in any place. I’m more patient and kind. I’m more driven to be happy and content in my life, to appreciate the small things and to do the things I want to do and be the person I want to be no matter what anyone thinks. I’ve learned to say No and set boundaries with my time. I’m more compassionate and understanding. I’m less judgey. All of this is just part of growing as a human, but it’s also due to the lesson I learned in his death – the fragility of our life and time here on Earth. Be kind. Focus on what you want to do, not what anyone else is doing. The end. If everyone would do that, how different would the world be?
So having said all of that, this book certainly echoes a lot of those ideals that I already have set in motion and work on every day. Of course I always have something I can improve on, but as a single parent and business owner, I actively have to carve out time to read, and this book, for me, wasn’t worth the time exchange a lot of the time.
For some, making a shift comes from reading a book. For others, their eyes are opened due to a tragedy or significant life event – for me, a lot changed in my brain and soul when I had my son, and then even moreso when Jason died. So for me, this book didn’t call to me in the ways it called to a lot of people. And that’s okay. The lessons and ideas in the book are definitely valuable and worthwhile.
And that’s my respectful-walking-on-eggshells review of Daring Greatly, because I know what a treasure it is for so many people. Please don’t change your mind because of me. I recommend checking the book out, but I just didn’t personally feel it was something I gained a lot from.
September’s book is going to be a repeat of August’s book – The Happiness Diet. I didn’t get a chance to read it because school started and PTA and soccer and karate and all the things, friends. Life happens, I’m not gonna sweat it. Please join me in reading it if you want to – I know it seems like a bit of an odd choice, but our food affects our mood so much, that applying some of the principles in this book can level up our minds just as much as meditation and your daily mantra of HELL YES I AM HERE AND I AM SLAYING KWEEN. Plus, half of the book is filled with literal recipes for happiness. Can’t go wrong there.
If you read it in August, tell me about it in the comments! If you’re mad I chose the same book 2 months in a row because I didn’t have time to read, then come mow my yard so I have some free time!