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by Lisa Belkin
Touchstone, 2002
Review by Barbara Wright on Dec 4th 2003

Life's Work

We are told, "You can have it all!" Then when we have difficulties trying to have it all, we are then told, "yes, but you must have balance". Lisa Belkin tells us that you really can't have it all – at least not all at the same time. Life is made up of choices. If you choose one thing, you generally must give up or postpone another. Also, we definitely CAN'T be perfect, so let's stop trying to be and ease up on ourselves a bit. Maybe, just maybe, it is better to enjoy life, our children and our mates rather than having everything in our lives at least appear to be perfect.

I am on the older end of the age spectrum and I had already figured out what Belkin so wonderfully describes in her book. I have already lived most of what she discusses. But this book would be a fantastic enlightenment to those women who still believe the myth and are still trying to live it. But worse, they continue to beat themselves up because it doesn't work all of the time.

Belkin uses humor and she uses her own life situation, as well as that of many of her readers in providing examples of how we expect too much and get ourselves into trouble. This book is a joy to read. Even though she is transferring some very important wisdom, she does it in such a way that you laugh and cry as the "light goes on" in your understanding.

So many of us have been enamored with the "work ethic". I know I have always prided myself on giving much more than the job requires. Before we have families, intense commitment and devotion to work fit well with our lives and schedules. However, after marriage and children we no longer have the same amount of time to devote to work. Although we still have a passion for our work and love what we do, we also have a passion for and love our families. So what is the answer? The author shows us that there is not one single answer to the question, but many.

This book is well written and the presentation is delightful. How often are we fortunate enough to have a really good time while learning some extremely important lessons? I highly recommend this book to everyone. It is enjoyable to read and I know you will find yourself and your situation somewhere in the pages. More important, you may learn to enjoy the life you have been given.

 

2003 Barbara Wright

Barbara Wright is a former Director of Human Resources with Master's Degrees in Human Resource Planning and in Organizational Behavior.  The last 15 years of experience have been in the Telecommunications Industry.  She has a wide variety of reading interests and is a member of Reviews International Organization (RIO).