method of lizzy

preservations… for posterity

Find Your Strongest Life

lifeTo be honest, I would never have picked up this book on my own accord. The reader will quickly notice that the author, Marcus Buckingham, is a man – yet this is a book for women. On top of that, this looks very much looks like a self-help book – a genre I stopped reading when I was about 17. Despite these two obstacles, I wanted to read this after I read about it on Michael Hyatt’s blog:

Most of us were taught by our parents and teachers that the secret to success is improving our weaknesses. As it turns out, this is completely wrong-headed. You can focus on your weaknesses all you want, but you will likely only make marginal improvements. However, if you will focus on your strengths—those things that you are naturally good at and come easily to you—you can make huge strides. In fact, when you do so, you will be more happy and fulfilled. Not only that, you will make your greatest contribution to the world.

Buckingham starts off with startling statistics relevant to the modern woman: despite a wealth of opportunities, women are less happy than they were forty years ago and less happy relative to men. While an extra hour of free time will double a man’s feelings of relaxation, it will do nothing for a woman. Studies show that having kids only amplifies both of the previous statements. Six major studies of happiness also show that “though women begin their lives more fulfilled than mean, as they age, they gradually become less happy. Men, in contrast, get happier as they get older” (p.19). Continue reading

October 5, 2009 Posted by | books, introspection | Comments Off on Find Your Strongest Life

Mitten Strings for God

mitten stringsYou might be surprised, but a mother of a 9-month old who only works 2 days a week can still qualify as a “mother in a hurry”. Hurried is sometimes just a state of mind. I become stuck in a cycle of counting down the hours until nap time, rushing out to run errand in between nap times, and then using that precious nap time to do something totally mundane (checking Facebook, for instance). At the end of the day, my baby hasn’t received the attention that he needs and I’m exhausted from all the running around.

 

Continue reading

June 8, 2009 Posted by | books, introspection, motherhood | 1 Comment

Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety

This time the bargain bin really panned out. I picked this up on a whim, after the juxtaposition of motherhood and anxiety caught my eye.

I spend more than my fair share of time on the internet, and one of the things that I like to read about is motherhood. I read blogs and message boards like mothering.com. I want to learn about the real deal, the raw and unadulterated account of the realities of motherhood. From my years of very informal research, I’ve learned that one must sacrifice many of the pleasures in life for the sake of the children. Don’t expect any more nice vacations or meals out. Don’t expect time to yourself- not to sleep, read, go to the gym, or simply veg. Certainly don’t expect your husband to help out. The only pleasure you will find in life will be through your children. The woman’s identity fades into the background. Her career, her marriage, her sense of self all suffer when she buys into the culture of sacrificing self for the sake of the children. Continue reading

July 3, 2007 Posted by | alternatives, anxiety, books, culture, introspection, motherhood | 1 Comment

Religion rises from fear of death?

Religion rises inevitably from our apprehension of our own death. To give meaning to meaninglessness is the endless quest of all religion. When death becomes the center of our consciousness, then religion authentically begins.

-Harold Bloom, The Mormons

This is an interesting viewpoint. Death and the afterlife are certainly important doctrines of most religions, but is this really the defining doctrine? My personal view has focused more on meaning while living rather than meaning in death.

May 2, 2007 Posted by | introspection, religion, theology | 7 Comments

Sucky life leads to sadness

One blogger alleges that most people are depressed for a very good reason. The thesis is that it’s normal to be sad when your life sucks. It’s strange to nod my head in agreement while I simultaneously feel a little defensive. Continue reading

April 28, 2007 Posted by | anti-depressants, anxiety, blogging, depression, health, introspection, self, self-actualization | 1 Comment

Anxiety workshop

I’m learning that the approach to anxiety must be twofold. First, you must inspect the root cause. The ultimate focus of this step is healing. Second, you must make changes in your lifestyle to deter anxiety. Both steps are equally important. Both can and should be undertaken simultaneously. Continue reading

March 10, 2007 Posted by | anti-depressants, anxiety, introspection, maslow, self, self-actualization | 2 Comments

Enjoyment vs. Fullfillment

I enjoy my job, but it does not fulfill me. Some days I have a lot of fun as I tackle issues and work with my team. Other days I am tired of bureaucracy and long, unnecessary meetings. Every day I am thankful that I don’t have to work. I am thankful that someday soon I will take a long sabbatical as I pursue family life full-time. I am sure that motherhood will be fulfilling at times in ways I have never experienced, but I’m also sure that a lot of it is unenjoyable. This begs the question: is asking for both enjoyment and fulfillment too much?

March 7, 2007 Posted by | career, introspection, motherhood, self-actualization | 1 Comment

Year End

I am a big fan of all things having to do with the end of one year and the beginning of the next. I enjoy this reflection that the calendar forces upon me.

Last year at this time I found myself newly transplanted back to Atlanta. I had just achieved two major milestones: the completion of grad school and CPA certification. I had left public accounting and I was pursuing other avenues of interest. These were all things that I had desperately wanted, yet my daily life had become crippled by an overwhelming sense of anxiety. My main goal in 2006 was to rid myself of the anxiety. Though I am not completely there yet, I am so much closer now than I was then. On paper it doesn’t appear that I accomplished much else, but that would be very deceiving. I relearned how to relax and how to have fun. David and I spent countless hours in our yard, landscaping and tending the vegetable garden. We went whitewater rafting. We spent a weekend in Philadelphia and New York. I spent a weekend on the waverunner in Tampa. I read many books. It was all good.

The coming year is going to be different from any other. David begins working. We’re going to renovate our kitchen. Starting a family is in our very near future. Life as we know it will change, and I think I am ready for that.

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions anymore. I have a chronic problem of trying to overacheive way beyond my capabilities, and my resolutions were always indicative of this. I could type several pages of resolutions, with categories such as health, books, and spirituality. It was a good intentioned pathway to my own personal hell. One thing that David has taught me is self-acceptance, and it is only through his influence that I no longer make resolutions. But I’m still a Type-A, goal-oriented person through and through. What I’m loosely planning on in 2007:

  • A lot of house renovations
  • A lot more reading (I like the 50 books a year concept)
  • A lot more writing (this is an exercise in patience, which I desperately need)
  • And of course, a lot more going to the gym

Tune in next year to see how it went.

December 30, 2006 Posted by | anxiety, goals, introspection | Comments Off on Year End