Sunday, August 17, 2008

BBBT--Eat, Pray, Love

The latest leg of the Barren Bitches Book Tour was Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilberts. I will admit that I am not quite done with the book but am far enough along to say that if you don't mind autobiographical memoirs where the author is going through personal thought processes that you would probably enjoy this book. There are a lot of interesting queries and experiences that she goes through. But, most of the book is her personal journal about her journey.

On to the questions:
While I don't believe infertility can be cured by positive thinking, do you think the impact it has on out life could be minimized if we learned to control our thoughts like she talks about in chapter 58?

I do think that our thoughts definitely impact our emotional well being and our attitude towards life. While I do not believe that chanting, "I will have a baby" is going to change a person's life, I think that a person should work towards eliminating as many negative thoughts about themselves and the people around them as possible. I think that by changing and controlling where our thoughts lead, we can make a difference in our outlook, which then leads to changes of perspective. Sometimes, if you take a step back things look completely different but if you are drowning in negative thoughts there is generally no way out of your situation.

I was struck by the medicine man's comment on Yoga in Chapter 78 I believe. He is discussing Balinese meditation with the author and he relates that one of the easiest ways to meditate is to sit still and smile. Have you tried it? I can't help but find something positive with a smile plastered on my face.

What is the word that defines your city? workplace? home? yourself? Why?

While I know that all of her words were verbs, I haven't been able to come up with verbs per say for my places. I would say that my city is diverse. Workplace is dynamic. Home is secure. Self... this one I have a hard time with. I want to say Content but that isn't quite accurate. Maybe... perceptive?

City is diverse because our town is full of different ethnicities, experiences, and socio-economic levels. Plus... we are a suburb of a large metropolitan area that can only add to the diversity that I see on a daily basis.

Workplace is dynamic because I don't have just one place I go on a regular basis. My field is changing and my office is making big changes.

Home is where I feel the most stable and protected.

One of the criticisms frequently leveled at this book is that it is "self-absorbed" and that its author is "selfish." Interestingly, these same labels have also been applied to infertiles, particularly those of us who blog about our infertility. Do you think this criticism is warranted in either case (i.e., by the book/author and by infertiles/infertility bloggers)? Do you think being an infertile and a blogger influenced your reaction to the book? In what ways?

I believe that the genre of this book is essentially a personal journal/memoir. To deem it selfish and self absorbed is just stating the obvious and attacking something for the essence of itself. That was the purpose of the journey... to find out about herself. She wouldn't not have been able to do that without being introspective. Blogs are personal journals for many IF'rs. Is an infertile anymore selfish in their writing then a mommyblogger focusing on their family or a foodie who is pronouncing their recipe the best? I don't believe so. The reason I read blogs is to see into people's lives. Blogging about your personal journey is not selfish in my opinion.

Honestly, since I thought this was supposed to be a "pepper" book and because I was trying to read it for it's own merit, I didn't feel that my reaction was fueled at all as an infertile. While I agree that infertility does influence many areas of my life, I am trying really hard not to look at everything from the perspective of an infertile woman. I honestly didn't really connect any of the book to infertility until I received the questions.

The author learns Italian for the pure love of it (no real practical reason). Have you wanted to learn something just for the pure sake of the knowledge? Did you pursue it and how did it make you feel once you had done it?

I would have to say that the last time I tried this was with Finite Math. I took the class with my then boyfriend--now my DH. Not because I needed it, but just because I never had the chance to take it previously. I finished the class and was considering taking calculus just because but then decided I should start taking classes that might help make a career move instead. It was a successful class for me and it reminded me that when I focus on something I can do it even if I don't think so. I miss that state of learning just for learning and hope that I can figure out how to take something else interesting soon.

Hop along to another stop on this blog tour by visiting the main list at Stirrup Queens ( You can also sign up for the next book on this online book club: Baby Trail by Sinead Moriarty (with author participation).


Cassandra said...

I appreciate your comment that IF bloggers are no more selfish than mommybloggers or foodies. It seems like all of them (though maybe to different degrees) are trying to connect with others through sharing about themselves. If they weren't trying to connect, they would just keep a private journal, right?

Kristin said...

"I believe that the genre of this book is essentially a personal journal/memoir. To deem it selfish and self absorbed is just stating the obvious and attacking something for the essence of itself."

I was just saying this EXACT thing.

loribeth said...

Someone else also made the connection about blogging as a "selfish" act, & I totally agree.

I've been trying to think of my "words" & I would say "diverse" applies to my city too. Still trying to think of a personal description, though!

Lori said...

It sounds like where you are, you have a nice balance of excitement and stability.

"I miss that state of learning just for learning."

Me too, sister. Me too!

Lollipop Goldstein said...

I love that the thing you learned for learning's sake was finite math :-)

It's funny; even though I loved the smile in your liver idea, I haven't actually sat down and tried it. You've inspired me.

JuliaS said...

Word for place I live - stable, for myself? Not as easy as it would seem!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!