The Person I Mean to Be


So, today’s blog post was supposed to be on willpower as a follow up to Monday’s post The Call of the Cupcake.

And guess what? I lack the willpower to write it.

Shocking, I know. (There really ought to be an agreed upon sarcasm font…)

So as I sit here, staring at my blank-ish computer screen, my eyes wander over to my bookshelves, and I have the sudden realization that my bookshelves reveal more about me than I care to admit.

(By the way, this is how my brain works.)

But you know how in movies you often see a person sneakily checking out the contents of a person’s medicine cabinet in the hopes of uncovering the deep, dark secret of who the person really is?   Yeah, no worries, I have made that step totally unnecessary: just peak at my bookshelves and you will get a pretty complete picture of who I am…or at least the person I mean to be.

Having moved into a new home about a year and a half ago, the books are actually filed somewhat by topic, making your detective work that much easier.

Your first impression is: wow, she must read an awful lot.

You are correct. Sort of. Yes, I read a decent amount, but what I do even more of is buy books. Thanks to advent of the Kindle, my ability to hide my book hoarding insanity is vastly improved. Nevertheless, there is still a decent window into who I am…well, or who I mean to be.

There is the section of parenting books.   Having my kids all in their teens, the baby, toddler and elementary school books are gone (thank goodness because the alarming number of baby naming books I owned would lead you to believe I named entire villages of children instead of the four whose names I was responsible for choosing), but there are still plenty of to choose from. There is a robust collection on parenting girls, which is makes a good deal of sense as I am parenting four of them. But then there is a series of titles that contradict one another: The Hurried Child is next to Positive Pushing and Raising Your Spirited Child sits near Toughlove.

In a special subset of the parenting section, you will find every standardized test manual ever created, along with various and sundry AP preparation study guides, a bunch of different guides to selecting colleges, writing the best application essays and how to craft your application to be admitted to the Ivy League. Also in this section: Harvard Schmarvard: Getting Beyond the Ivy League to the College That is Best for You and Less Stress, More Success: A New Approach to Guiding Your Teen Through College Admissions and Beyond.

And, another copy of The Hurried Child.

Bottom line: Clearly I am confused about my parenting style.

But that’s okay because I have a very impressive collection of self-help (Or is it personal development? Is there a difference?) books. Here you will find books on weight loss (yeah…), meditation (I tried it a few times—look, a butterfly!), as well as at least six books on creating good habits and (ah-hem) willpower. And I count at least three books on organization (please don’t look in my garage…or hallway closet…or anywhere in my home actually). And several books on personal ambition, finding my north star, deciding the color or my parachute, daring to be great all while embracing that I am imperfect.

To be fair, most of these I actually have read. Applying the information? Well, that is a horse of a different color.

The cookbook section is particularly robust, with about 45 books ranging from the beautiful hard cover book of Tuscan cooking to the quick and dirty books of three, four and five ingredients or less (all separate titles, of course, because cooking with three, four or five ingredients require entirely different approaches to cooking). Finally there is a small but comprehensive collection of books on baking.

I don’t cook. Or bake. At all.

Then there is the business section: lots of books on marketing, leadership and being an entrepreneur—all of which are well marked up and dog eared with a rainbow of post it notes sticking out. And then there are the ones about accounting and finance as well as web design whose spines are barely dented. And by barely, I mean not at all.

Finally, all of the fiction books.

Several copies of the various Harry Potter books, including one written in Italian (You guessed it. I don’t speak or read a word of Italian). Along with several of the great works of literature by Russian novelists (nope, haven’t read a single one though I do recall enjoying the Cliff Notes for Anna Karenina while in high school), The Complete Works of Shakespeare (confession: I want to like Shakespeare, but I don’t understand it) and every book ever written by Jodi Picoult (those I have read, after all, I need some light reading after pretending to read Tolstoy, Dostoevsky and Shakespeare).

So there it is: I am a calm nurturing parent, whose children are not hurried and don’t feel the need to get into Harvard…

…but are admitted since they have perfect test scores and essays, because they were positively pushed while retaining their spirit.

I am fit, serene, organized, disciplined and clearly focused on my life purpose all while pursuing my business using cutting edge philosophies of the latest and greatest business minds…

And, in my free time, I cook gourmet meals, bake interesting desserts, create websites and read great works of literature.

Or at least that is the person I mean to be…

Maybe next week I will follow up on the cupcake blog….Then Again, Maybe I Won’t (yeah, I happen to have a shelf of young adult literature too).