Read It: Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle

I picked up this book after reading Carry On, Warrior at the start of the year. While I found her first book to be heavily rooted in Christianity, something I was admittedly not crazy about, I was drawn to Glennon’s voice.

I actually met Glennon Doyle at Blissdom Canada 2013 in Toronto. She was on a panel that was discussing Social Etiquette and online bullying with Glen Canning the father of Rehtaeh Parsons. I remember the session being powerful and very raw. I don’t remember specifics of what was discussed, but I remember being very moved by it.

Afterwards, Glennon was signing copies of Carry On, Warrior. I met her and spoke with her briefly. I didn’t know much about her book, so I did not get a copy. In retrospect, I wish I had purchased a signed copy of the book.

It was interesting reading Love Warrior, because I met her during the time that many of the things she wrote about in this book were happening. I met her while she was in the process of finding herself. Yet, she never seemed anything but confident and comfortable in her own skin.

When I started reading this book I thought it was about saving her marriage, which admittedly seemed strange, because I knew she was now divorced and remarried. I thought it was going to be a religious book about how to save a messed up marriage. I thought it was going to be a love story, as the title suggests.

This book is about feminism, equality and strength. It is about courage and confidence and honesty. My favorite passage from the book is this one, in which Glennon is explaining what sexy means to her two daughters.

“I think sexy is a grown-up word to describe a person who is confident that she is already exactly who she was made to be. A sexy woman knows herself and likes the way she looks, thinks and feels. She doesn’t try to change to match anybody else. She’s a good friend to herself – kind and patient. And she knows how to use her words to tell people she trusts about what’s going on inside of her – her fears and anger, love, dreams, mistakes and needs. When she is angry, she expresses her anger in healthy ways. When she’s joyful, she does the same thing. She doesn’t hide her true self because she is not ashamed. She knows she’s just human…”

It was a love story, but not about marriage. Her marriage is what threads the story together, but the book is about the author learning to love herself. It is about finding out who she is and what she stands for. It is about saving herself and becoming comfortable in her own skin. It is about slaying her demons, and learning to be present in the moment.

It is a book about self-love.

 

The Big Four-Oh

Forty. Two times twenty. The big four-oh.

It came as expected, and I was surprisingly okay with it. I had expected some apprehension, because it is a BIG round number. But when the day came, I was completely okay with it. Even proud to be forty.

The amazing ladies I work with decorated my office. It was awesome, and even a little bit over the top. There was – and still is – glitter everywhere. They even had a beautiful and delicious cake, that was too pretty to not take pictures of.

On Saturday, I was reminded of the incredible people and friends I have in my life. I was surprised with a celebration at State and Main with my closest friends, my Mom and sister. Most of them came from out of town to celebrate with me.

When asked if I felt forty, I responded with “What does 40 feel like?”.

Saturday night, in downtown Guelph I got my answer. While at the Albion, 40 felt very young. It seemed to be an older crowd in the bar around 10pm when I was there. After a couple drinks, we dragged our tired asses down the street and settled for a patio table at McCabe’s in the open night air.

This was when I realized what it felt like to be forty.

In the hour we sat there, there was a steady stream of young girls walking by in crazy, barely there bodysuits. Each one seem to be more revealing than the one before it. The amount of side-boob I witnessed in a short hour was unbelievable. Hundreds of girls in bodysuits. They were paired with short tight skirts, or cut off shorts so short they might as well not be wearing them.

At 11pm we called it a night. Not sure if it was the sign of a busy day, or age. Or maybe it was because none us of could take watching the twenty-somethings walk by and not be able to cover them up.

So far, 40 is wonderful. I have great friends. REALLY great friends. I’m happy and healthy. I know what I want from life. I may not know exactly how to get it all yet, but I know I am moving in the right direction. I am okay with not being twenty, although stumbling on a bodysuit with friends for shits and giggles could be a lot fun.

Today, Owen helped me take some self portraits to celebrate my birthday. The last time I did this was when I turned 35. I have changed a lot in 5 years.

I cannot wait to see what things are like another five years from now.

Read It: Wildflower by Drew Barrymore

I have just finished reading Wildflower by Drew Barrymore.

I will confess, I was really excited about this book. I have always been intrigued by Barrymore. I grew up watching her life through tabloids, and her career on the big screen. Her life has always seemed like an unlikely comeback story after her fall from Hollywood grace.

Much like its author, there is something very likeable about this book.

It is written in short essays, on different topics, that bounce randomly through different times in Barrymore’s life. She writes about everyone with honesty and grace, including both her parents with whom she had troubled relationships with. It is not hard to feel for her, and some of what she has gone through.

She writes with candor about growing up, motherhood and the death of her father. She discusses good times, and bad times yet always seems to find a silver lining.

While it touches on her “wild child” days, the book missed out on some of the more salacious details of Barrymore’s life, including her failed marriages. I suppose these details are best left for tabloid fodder though.

All in all, this was a very good read. I found very relatable, and it made me like Drew Barrymore just a little bit more than I already did.

24 – Lies Hurt Everyone

 

I don’t tell lies.

I don’t stretch the truth.

I don’t withhold information.

There was a time I did tell some lies, and I stretched the truth, and I withheld some information. I didn’t think it was a big deal. These lies were about me and I was telling them for me.

If no one knew, and I kept it to myself, what was the harm right?

WRONG!

The truth is, eventually all lies get found out, and someone always gets hurt. It doesn’t matter if you were trying to protect them or not. They are going to get hurt.

In my case, I hurt my family. The effects rippled over to my kids, and they suffered as a result of my lies, that had nothing to do with them. I was lying to protect them, and I ended up hurting them more than I would have if I had been honest.

Mostly though, I hurt myself.

My own lies, and dishonesty hurt me deeply. I didn’t think I would get hurt. When you are lying and getting away with it, you feel a little bit more invincible.

I don’t lie about anything anymore. My experience, has changed me for the better.

I am counting down the days until my 40th birthday with 40 Things.

25 – Trust Your Gut

While I don’t always want to trust my gut, the truth is that it is almost never wrong. Even when I really don’t want it to be right.

I have learned the hard way that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

This comes from years of trusting people I should have never trusted in the first place. It comes from getting offers dangled in front of me like golden carrots only to have them snatched away. It is from believing in fairy tales that had no chance of ever happening.

When I look back, I probably could have prevented getting a lesson in being naive nine out of ten times. I just had to trust my gut. My intuition.

If you feel like something isn’t right, or something is a little bit off, you are probably right. Trust the way you feel.

I am counting down the days until my 40th birthday with 40 Things.