MBA Mommy

Part MBA, Part MRS, Part MOM…..All ME

My life, the book

Posted by mbamommy on May 21, 2009

You know how everyone talks about how their life sometimes feels like a sit-com?  Well, I can’t say that happens to me very frequently.  But, I can say that recently, I feel like every book I read is either written for or by me. 

For example: The Middle Place, by Kelly Corrigan, is about a mother of 2 young children who finds out she has breast cancer.  Granted, I don’t have breast cancer (although, as I was reading the other night, I decided to do an impromptu self-exam) but, I am in what she calls “The Middle Place”, where you’re a Mom and Child all rolled into one.  She talks about being a Venn Diagram where you’re the only player.  I was laughing out loud when she described it because it’s EXACTLY where I am right now.  I have 2 little ones who I love to brag about to their grandparents.  And, in the same conversation, I’m bragging about a recent run or job interview I rocked.  I never quite thought about it in that way before but it’s true.  Thank goodness my parents are still around…..and thank goodness I’m a parent myself.  One other comment about Ms. Corrigan’s book: I am completely in love with her father – what a character!

Another example: The Last Lecture, by Jeffrey Zaslow & Randy Pausch.  If you haven’t read this book, do it.  Seriously.  The world lost an amazing teacher when Mr. Pausch passed away and my heart goes out to his family.  I guess the only silver lining about his tragic death is that now everyone can learn from him.  So, why do I feel like this book was written for me?  Well, I’m currently looking for a job (as I’ve mentioned before) and I’ve been getting enormously discouraged by the lack of response I (haven’t) been getting.  It’s so tough out there and companies who are actually hiring really have the pick of the litter.  Not that I think I’m a runt but I find myself needing to be extremely aggressive in pushing my way through the bigger puppies to get some attention. 

But, I digress.  Mr. Pausch repeatedly talks about going after your dreams, going above and beyond to make yourself visible and not taking no for an answer.  I was reading the book in bed the other night, completely discouraged with my job search…..and realized I wasn’t doing all of that.  The next morning I had a new found energy and determination to really push for that dream job I applied for.  Now, I haven’t gotten the job yet, BUT, I did finally get someone on the phone who let me know that my initial application had never been received and suggested I re-apply.  If I hadn’t been so determined, I would’ve never known that and just assumed they didn’t see the fit the way I do.  The end result is TBD but at least I can say I’ve done everything I can.  At least I can take some of the power back.

Finally, I also recently read Unaccustomed Earth, by Jhumpa Lahiri.  It’s a collection of short stories with a recurring theme of Indian-American families living (mostly) in the Boston area and the impact living in a different country and culture has on their families – both positive and negative.  Now, I’m not Bengali but I don’t think that’s important.  Each story has bittersweet characters and you can really feel their heartaches and triumphs.  The story in particular that affected me was the title and first story.  It’s about a young mother, pregnant with #2 who loses her Mother, quits her job and moves to a new city to follow her husband’s career.  Again, not all of that’s the same as me, thankfully, my mother is still alive.  BUT, the way Ms. Lahiri describes the isolation this young mother feels, the challenges she faces in her relationship with her husband, her need for family to be there when they’re not and her mixed emotions about being a working Mom vs a SAHM all rang true for me.  Another story, A Choice of Accommodations, talks about a couple with 2 young children who go away for a romantic weekend only to have the weekend fall on its face due to the reality of being a long-term married couple with kids (ie, they’d rather sleep than anything else).

Looking back on that last paragraph, you’re probably thinking “That book is depressing…..and MBA Mommy’s got some issues.”  But, that’s not the case.  In the first story I mentioned, it ends with the young mother rekindling a strained relationship with her father and the beginnings of a beautiful relationship between grandfather and grandson.  In the second story, the couple re-connects in a most unusual location, but realize they both still love each other.  As I said before, the book was bittersweet and I loved that none of the stories ever really finished – it was like you saw a snippet of these people’s lives and then had to wonder what happens next.  I’m guessing that each character goes on with their lives, struggles when they have to, celebrates when they can and lives to the best of their ability.

So…, I don’t have breast cancer…, I don’t have pancreatic cancer….and no, I’m not Bengalese.  But, I did see myself in these stories.  I guess that’s the sign of a good read.  And, that no matter who you are or what you’re experiencing, you’re not alone.

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