I was reading Laura Vanderkam’s “I Know How She Does It” when news broke of the racist killing of nine churchgoers in South Carolina. At first, it felt meaningless to be mining the book for time-saving strategies and productivity tips as the nation (or some of it anyway) went into mourning. It felt absurd to read a self-help book when I could be toppling confederate monuments or lobbying for gun control. Yet I kept turning the pages. And I realized that in the face of senseless violence, . . .
“We’re in a society where we have to justify play. But play reminds you of your better self and how happy you can be. In play, there’s a wonderful lightness of being.” --Nadia Stieglitz, founder, Mice At Play Normally, I’m not a big Halloween person, but this year I felt like dressing up--mostly because Zora got a costume box for her birthday that came with a witch’s hat just my size. It’s way too big for her head, but it’s the perfect size to fit over my afro puff. Truth be told, I wear . . .
Are you an elite competitor in the Busyness Games? Do you find new and creative ways to divide your time and attention? If so, then “Overwhelmed” is a must-read. It methodically reveals the tangle of unrealistic personal expectations, social pressure, and workplace inflexibility that conspire to push modern American schedules to the brink. The book documents how, toward the end of the 20th century, busyness took on a kind of alluring high social status, distinct from previous eras. “What . . .
Dear Zora, This is how you learn to love your hair in a world that requires such lessons. First, you remember who gave you that glorious head of curls--your parents, your ancestors, your Creator. Then, you care for it like a treasured inheritance. Loving your hair, like loving your family, your days, your life, requires two things: reverence and effort. To truly love your hair, you must hold it in high regard and you must behave like you do. As you behold it in a mirror or touch its . . .
Sometimes a book just beckons you. It calls you to pluck it from the shelves, even when what lies between the covers isn’t your slice of Brie. Months ago at Barnes & Noble, I glimpsed a pile of Kate Gosselin’s “Love Is in the Mix: Making Meals into Memories with Family-Friendly Recipes, Tips and Traditions.” The glossy hard cover--designed to endure cooking splatters and grubby kids’ hands, I presume--reeled me in. I had to have it. Seeing the reality TV starlet surrounded by her eight . . .
When Emily Elliott’s oldest child Charlie was ready for kindergarten, she followed him to school, literally, taking a job as a fifth-grade teacher at his campus, St. Edward-Epiphany Catholic School. “It was as close to homeschool as you can get without going insane,” she jokes. Taking the job was a way for Elliott to earn needed income and be close to her children. Today, she’s the school’s principal, and still treasures the connection with her kids. I talked with her about leadership and . . .
At 32, Katherine Wintsch hit a maternal wall, a barrier more pronounced and intractable than any glass ceiling. The high-powered marketing executive and mother of two small children was simply too exhausted—mentally and physically—to carry on. “I just could not continue the life that I had anymore and I could not continue the expectations that I had for myself anymore," she says. "I looked around me and I saw all the trappings of success that would cause anybody from the outside . . .
Glennon Doyle Melton has two God-given gifts: storytelling and shamelessness. Or so she declares early in her memoir, “Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed.” “I decided that’s what God wanted me to do,” she writes. “He wanted me to walk around telling people the truth. No mask, no hiding, no pretending. That was going to be my thing. I was going to make people feel better about their insides by showing them mine.” She then spends the rest of the book’s 266 pages putting her . . .
First, a warning: Don’t judge "Wonder Women: Sex, Power and the Quest for Perfection" by its cover. The illustration and the title give the wrong impression. The cover (designed by a man, incidentally) features a glorified stock photo of a white woman in stilettos, button-down shirt and trousers standing on her head while peering at a laptop. Outsized blood-colored boxes imprison white text stamped across the poor woman’s body. Ugh. Written by Debora Spar, a mother of three and the . . .
The Having-It-All Myth strikes again. I stumbled upon this gem in ESSENCE’s round-up of shining moments of 2013: “Mellody Hobson is much more than just the new wife of billionaire filmmaker George Lucas. The Ariel Investments president serves on several boards, including the Starbucks Corp., and is chairwoman of the board of directors for DreamWorks Animation SKG. She’s also a regular on-air financial contributor for outlets like the Tom Joyner Morning Show and CBS. As if that were not . . .