If you read my blog at all, you know about my obsession with memoirs. I love reading true stories by people who have wisdom to share. Anna Quindlen talks about life, love and loss in Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake. Quindlen wrote an opinion column for the New York Times for years, has three adult children and lost her mother to Cancer when she was just 19 years old.
"It’s odd when I think of the arc of my life, from child to young woman to aging adult. First I was who I was. Then I didn’t know who I was. Then I invented someone, and became her. Then I began to like what I’d invented. And finally I was what I was again."
This is definitely a book for women of all ages. I think she writes it for women who are 50s/60s but I learned so much about what I need to be doing in my 30s to have a fulfilling, happy life. A few take-aways (for me):
1. She absolutely loves being a mother.
2. She has simplified her wardrobe and look and encourages other women to do the same.
3. Alone time later in life is fabulous.
4. Having and nurturing friendships with great girlfriends is even more important than I thought.
5. You are never too old to have the best day of your life.
6. She started working out with a trainer in her 50s and wishes she would have begun the program earlier in life.
7. Younger women should not discount older women and older women should not look down on younger women.
8. Ordinary things matter: family dinners, fair fights, phone calls.
9. The tragedies we suffer will not break us but make us stronger. This seems cliche but she gives specific examples that hit home for me.