1/14/11

My Mental Conflict

NYC: Bergdorf Goodman's 2008 Holiday window di...Image by wallyg via FlickrI was going to tell you how much I loved The Cookbook Collector by Allegra Goodman. It is smart, funny, poignant: everything good.

But then I looked at her website and learned that she had her first short story published when she was seventeen. She got her acceptance soon after she started Harvard. She has accomplished parents--professors--who she clearly admires and likes, and she has four children--four! She writes when they are at school, and clearly, she really does because this is, like, her fifth novel and her stories often appear in The New Yorker.

So I think I have to hate her.

But, I am working on this new thing where I don't hate accomplished and talented people that I would like to be like. Instead, I am trying to wish them only well because, truly, suffering befalls all of us and who knows what crazy drama people endure in private. Grab your joy while you can. That's my new motto.

So, now I am conflicted.

How's this: Read the book. It will make you happy, and YOU, I am not conflicted about at all. I only wish you the best. Always.

PS: You're probably thinking: Boxing polar bears? No idea. I just liked it. Maybe it's my conflicted psyche.
Enhanced by Zemanta

25 comments:

Star said...

Loved this post from start to finish, and all that comes in between! I can sooooo identify! Thanks for the smiles!

Joanne said...

I've been looking for a good winter novel to settle in with, I'll give this one a try.

Jess said...

That's why I make it a point to have a love/hate relationship with pretty much everything- that way I have all my bases covered! ;)

Lori Webster said...

I haven't had any time to read in 3 years and I miss it. However, I can understand how you'd be conflicted. I think the bears boxing is a perfect metaphor.

Rois said...

I am with Jess,some people/things need the love/hate option,like the women in the photo from your last posting and potato chips.

Deb @ PaperTurtle said...

Yes, grab your joy while you can. It can be all to fleeting, can't it? Love your new attitude, Margaret. ;o)

claire said...

I love everything about this post, including the boxing bears :-) I thought the book was about receipes until I realized it was a novel. Slow here.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

Your a better bear then I

Jean Spitzer said...

Grab your joy when you can, indeed. Thanks for the recommendation.

Desiree said...

Recommendation:
Outsource your negative emotions.
I'll hate her on your behalf.
I'm kinda generous that way.

Susan Campisi said...

So Allegra Goodman has already arrived, but it's all about the journey, not the destination... isn't it?

"Grab your joy while you can." Words to live by.

JCK said...

We all have those moments. It's hard...the envy thing. But, good to know I'm not alone.

I need to read some fiction. Too much nonfiction parenting angst books at present...

Star said...

Desiree, ha ha ha, 'outsource your negative emotions,' ha ha ha, that one is great! Remembering it will help me let off steam, thanks so much!

Olga said...

I have put this title on my list. It's hard to always be your best self, but I always try really hard not to hate you when you write these brilliant posts.

altadenahiker said...

You know, of the seven deadly sins, envy probably treds most lightly over here. I won't tell you the ones that are hugely disrupting.

Leigh Russell said...

It's hard not to be envious of people who find success easily, but equally can be awkward if success drops into your lap unexpectedly. Unlike the supertalented Allegra Goodman, I didn't start writing until middle age but then (miraculously) was signed up by for 3 books just 2 months after I wrote my first draft (in 6 weeks). Sometimes these things just happen. It's best to appreciate your own good fortune and be encouraged when others strike lucky. It means you could be next!

Margaret said...

Joanne: Be sure to tell me if you like it. A good chunk takes place in your neck of the woods.

Rois: Ah...potato chips.

Dez: You are always looking out for me.

Susan: You are Yoda wise. It is the journey.

Leigh: Well, I'm tempted to envy you. But I wish you only well!

Leigh Russell said...

Thanks, Margaret, and thank you for commenting on my blog and trying to add it to you RSS. Confession time: I'm not sure what RSS means (although I keep seeing it.) Help! I've changed my settings to allow feeds (or something?) so will that help? As you can see, I've really no idea what I'm doing! (Are you still tempted to envy me?!!)

Margaret said...

Leigh: Look for my email. Hopefully, it will explain everything. Good luck!

Cafe Observer said...

Books cause me a mental conflict too. I just have to look at the stacks in my bookcases.

Petrea said...

This is good, Margaret. It's going to work. I started making a living as an actor when I stopped being jealous of actors who were more successful than I was.

Harman said...

nice blog,..
Please visit my blog.

Lyrics Mantra
Real Ghost and Paranormal

Shanna said...

I so totally understand.

WritingNut said...

This books sounds great though... I will check it out! And don't worry... it's okay to feel conflicted :)

Lady Moon said...

What a great thought ~ Grab your joy while you can! I am going to try and keep that in mind this year. After the year I had last year I am going to focus on everything good this year and the bad will be just footnotes.