Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Slow Love: How I Lost My Job, Put on my Pajamas, and Found Happiness
Dominique Browning’s memoir, Slow Love, recounts the year that she lost her job as editor-in-chief of House and Garden magazine and takes charge, with some pitfalls along the way, of what was to be the next chapter of her life.
Charming and witty, Browning’s narrative is tightly structured [must be the editor in her] by each season [like Henry David Thoreau’s Walden] and moves with Browning through these seasons as she navigates, submerges, drowns, recovers, and eventually surfaces to claim ownership of her life, post work.
I love reading books about how “real” people meet challenges and overcome them. Fortuitously, for Browning, she came from a lucrative job, and even though she lost her job on a downturn in the economy, she had been savvy enough to save and invest money so that she didn’t have to sling burgers at the local truck stop to live. Instead, she had a year to recover, gain her bearings, and then submerge herself into new writing projects which will bring her new income. All of us, of course, are not that lucky.
Browning's not the first person to understand and write about the pleasure of slowing down, but her succinct style and observations about herself and situations around her are quite enjoyable:
“Baseball is the most interesting game of all, because as in life, anything is possible at any moment, but unlike life, baseball isn’t played against time.”
“Nothing to do is its own state of grace, difficult to find deliberately, nearly impossible to recognize.”
“Slow living sets a gentle healing pace.”
And I love this comment about how so many of our jobs keep us contained inside buildings: “There is something unsavory about being cut off from the natural world.”
Good book. Browning has a blog if you’d like to check it out.