Posts Tagged ‘ nora ephron ’

Delia Ephron Says You Can Have It All

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

We all have moments in our day when we have peace and calm, right?  Mine usually comes after I pop my Lexapro in the morning or sip my wine at night. Okay, I’m kidding. Those who read my post know I’m neither a drug addict nor an alcoholic, though I sometimes aspire to be–especially when Emmett pulls Fia’s hair, coming away with fistfuls. She in turn clubs him over the head with Big Bird. Cue the wails and tears. It’s not fun. A lot of parenting isn’t fun. And yet, yet, it feels like the greatest thing I’ve done with my life.

I was a world traveler before. I was a TV host. I was a reporter. I never wanted kids. I never wanted to be tied down to anything or anyone other than my husband who was equally anti-kid. Then we reversed course and had a baby. Then another. For me, I define my life as the person I was before I had kids and the person I became after. It is a line in the sand and even though my memories and experiences pre-kids made me who I am, the line post-kids is by far my favorite. This time is like no other. Sometimes I want to just bottle it so on a gloomy day I can open up my bottle and breathe these moments back.

My friend Delia Ephron recently wrote an article in which she talks about how you CAN have it all. In moments. No, you can’t have it all, all the time. Unless you are on drugs. Then you think you are having it all until you end up in the psych ward or on Skid Row.

For her, finding that perfect moment in the day is walking into a bakery. I believe she has walked into every bakery in New York City at least 17 times. The other night she emailed me about her stress level. The reason I knew she was stressed? She said she was on her 8th chocolate chip cookie. But I know that within her stress she had some perfect moments when she crunched down on the chocolate or sank into the doughy part.

Anyway, her article really touched a nerve in me since I constantly struggle with my mom guilt. Am I doing it right? Am I spending enough time with my kids? If I only get a sitter while they nap does that make me a better parent because then I’m with them during their waking hours? If I put Emmett in preschool for a few hours when he is 2, am I selfish? The spinning in my head can drive me mad. Just this week I posted something about my brain turning to mush, but still vowing to practice more gratitude. 

But my struggles aren’t unique or rare. As Delia says in her article it’s, “depressingly American.”

She has a new book coming out that I know all my readers will love. I may be biased, but it’s not just me. It got a glowing review by The New York Times. No easy feat. The book is a humorous and heartfelt memoir, but unlike traditional memoirs, it is broken up into short chapters that you can read in snippets at the end of your day or while waiting for a doctor appointment.

I told her it was the perfect “tired mom” book because I would get in bed and read one chapter each night. It touches on all sorts of aspects so there really is something for everyone: from losing her famous sister Nora, to her alcoholic mother (one of the reasons I think we are such kindred spirits), to her love of bakeries (the article above was adapted from the book), and much more.

Between her article and book, I began to look for my own moments of grace. I realized they are everywhere. When Emmett first wakes up and just burrows into me, his warm body tucked into mine; when Fia wraps her small arms tightly around me and says, “You’re my best Mama,” and at night, when they are sleeping–I tiptoe into their rooms. I touch Emmett’s soft curls. They frame his face like a cherub. I lay my hand on Fia’s heart and feel it beating. These are nightly rituals where I know I have it all. Then I crawl into my own bed and open up a book. Last week it was Delia’s. As I settled in, the house was safe and still.

She wrote: “Having it all are moments in life when you suspend judgment. It’s when I attain that elusive thing called peace of mind. Not particularly American, unquantifiable, unidentifiable, different for everyone, but you know it when you have it.”

I’m lucky I have so many moments. And that I have friends like her to remind me of them.

Her book is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Independent Bookstores. I will also say it makes a great gift for your best mom friend!

From the New York Times Book Review:

“The book builds in gravity and heft to finish gorgeously…“Sister Mother Husband Dog” is a valentine, sometimes frilly but more memorably about love, loss and all that is irreplaceabe.”

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How Delia Ephron Made My Day…

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

This is how my bad day turned good:

I ran into the grocery store in the midst of a sh-t storm I was dealing with on the homefront. You know, one of those awful, horrible days. My friend Delia Ephron had told me she had written an article in MORE Magazine this month (the May 2013 issue) and had mentioned me. She said it had to do with being fearless.

Naturally curious, and wanting to support her, I grabbed a copy in the check out line. Back in the car I had 4.33 minutes to get home for my sitter. I quickly opened up the magazine. The “Jill” she is referring to is ME! I read her article and burst into tears. You know when you just really need to know someone believes in you?

So here is to being fearless. Or at least trying!

The Art of Fearlessness, by Delia Ephron 

boot snakePublished in MORE Magazine

 

I DON’T DO THERAPY.

I used to do therapy. I had a psychotherapist in my twenties when I was unhappily married. I don’t even remember the shrink’s name, although I do remember the names of all my bad boyfriends. How ironic is that? ow that I am veering out of middle age, I don’t have time for a talking cure. I’d be in a nursing home by the time I solved the problem.

Instead, I work from the outside in. In the lifelong battle of empowerment versus insecurity, calm versus anxiety, positive versus negative, I swear by these tricks:


BOOTS.
 When my sister Nora and I wrote a play, Love, Loss, and What I Wore, we asked our friends to tell us about their favorite clothes. Tales of boots poured in. Boots matter, I realized. They make a woman feel brave, strong and grounded and, I almost forgot, hot. I invested in a pair, blue-gray suede, kick-ass. I want to tell you that when I wear these boots, I feel fearless, like Carrie in Homeland, but she is out of her mind, or assured, like Alicia Florrick in The Good Wife, but she has given up sex with Will Gardner, so who wants to be her? Nevertheless.


A BLOW-DRY.
 Nothing gives a girl more confidence. Woody Allen has written that he would never have wanted to live in a time before antibiotics were invented. For me it’s the blow-dry. Without one, I look like a woolly lamb.


SILVER HOOP EARRINGS.
 Recently I was booked on Morning Joe. No pressure, just three minutes to say something wonderful that would make viewers rush to read my book. “Do I look OK?” I asked the makeup woman. She considered my face and hair and said, “Silver hoop earrings.” Then she said, “Power,” as if that were the definition of silver hoop earrings. She took off hers and lent them to me. I don’t know whether it was her kindness-the sisterhood of that-or if she’s right, that silver hoops have power, but those earrings gave me an extra charge. A few days later, I bought a pair of my own.


JILL.
 We all have a girlfriend more daring than we are. Mine is Jill. She climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. She trekked through Mali and slept on roofs. Until I met Jill, my idea of a hike was the one block uphill from the subway to my doctor’s office. So last year, when I had to travel to several cities to give talk , I decided to be Jill. I would arrive at the airport pumped, as if embarking on a great adventure. I would make eye contact with seatmates on airplanes. I would be O-P-E-N.
I got on a plane to Nashville and found myself talking to a woman named Laura Heatherly, who runs a music-industry charity. Would I like to come to a benefit? I was Jill, so I said yes.

But you never know when your timid old self will resurface. In my hotel room, I was seized with a desire to dive into bed and order up a Law & Order marathon. Instead, I called Jill.

“Go for 15 minutes,” she said. “If it’s awful, leave.”

I did go and it wasn’t. Culinary legend Lidia Bastianich did the food. I sat at a table with Steve Cropper, who cowrote “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay,” not that we spoke, but hey. And my hosts, Laura and her husband, Bob, epitomized Southern hospitality.

On the way home, my flight was delayed. I was Jill, so I chilled.*

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