Date Completed: 1/27/2017
Originally published in 1955, it’s amazing how much of Lindbergh’s insight still rings true today. Granted, as she discusses in her afterword, women are not cordoned off and zoned into places of being, but are more free to do as they please, and receive more help and support from partners, husbands, and public in general. However, particularly Lindbergh’s discussion around the necessity of taking time alone every day, week, month, year and her discussion about improving relationships rang true for me. I often get caught up in not letting myself have enough time and space to enjoy the present.
I did find her shell metaphors particularly cheesy. I’m not one for self-help books, generally speaking, and I find that the metaphors within such tomes are often as cheesy as all get-out. So it was not surprising that I did not enjoy these beach and shell metaphors. However, her overall messages were refreshing reminders.
I have two main takeaways from Lindbergh’s essays. 1) Remember to take alone time for me! No matter how I find that alone time, make the most of using it for calming space and time to breathe. Lindbergh encourages women to go somewhere quiet and removed for themselves, but she also acknowledges the duality of alone time in that one can have alone time while still being in the midst of things. I translate this in my own life to remembering that when I’m driving 20 minutes to and from work, that’s my alone time, and I make sure not to rush that time to myself. Or, when I’m at work and all is quiet, I take an hour to sit with my thoughts and myself and just enjoy the quiet solitude from those around me. Removing myself and reading is a big part of my life that I enjoy doing. Little things like that can make a huge difference, but then again I believe I have the advantage of being a self-aware introvert and purposely secluding myself often.
2) Relationships are meant to be enjoyed as they are in the moment. While we are busy fretting about what the nature of a relationship might be in 10 minutes, 10 days, 10 months, or 10 years, we are missing out on enjoying and cultivating our relationships in the moment. That goes for all relationships. I have a friend who often worries about her relationships and whether or not people will love her or even want to hang out with her, and I believe this fear, while intrinsic in modern mindsets and particularly so for those with anxiety, is in fact more detrimental than any other. It takes attention from the relationship and draws it to future worries, meaning that you are neither secure in yourself or full understanding of that other person. This is what I believe Lindbergh is getting at in her chapters about relationships (which are all of them).
So if, in fact, you do find yourself worrying about your relationships or feeling burnt out by your relationships, this may be the book for you.
Anne Marrow Lindbergh was, first and foremost, an author and novelist. She was also the wife of Charles Lindbergh. She died in 2001 at the age of 94!! Go her!