From the January 21st 2008 issue of Suburban Mama

The Column: Cry for Help


Only three weeks into the new year, and I’ve already broken two of my resolutions. Among the usual laundry list, I promised to Eat less, pray more and love a lot. The last one is easy. I have an adorable family that constantly reminds me what it means to love and be loved. But the first two? Fuggedabout it , it is a daily challenge.. And you can ask Liz Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love author) who had to travel around the world to figure all that out. (I have to admit it’s taken me months to finish reading this book. It just wasn’t a page-turner for me but it definitely has its merits, given that I’m in a change your life frame of mind.)


In fact, I an on a quest to (apologies to Oprah) live my best life ever! To guide me on this quest, I’ve turned to self-help books like The Secret.  And guess what I found out? The big secret is nothing I didn’t already know. Visualize what you want. Go for it. You create your destiny. Yada yada -yada. It’s always the same story told in a different way.


Last year, I was in awe of Rich Dad, Poor Dad until my DH and I realized that “getting out of the rat race” as the book suggested involved getting a “rich dad coach”(call this toll-free number now!)  and a monetary investment that would more likely enrich the people behind the book rather than myself. So forgive me if I am wary about practicing this new self-help revelation: (warning spoiler alert for anyone who hasn’t read or watched The Secret yet) the so-called Law of Attraction, you know like attracts like i.e. you are what you eat, you reap what you sow. It tells us to envision money, love, and happiness in order to get it. Of course, in reality, there’s more to it than that. Otherwise, you might as well just wish upon a star.


You have to work hard at what you want. Exercise and eat right to lose that weight. Work hard to make that money. I realize now that no self help book can make things happen to my life. I can make things happen, Sure your self-help book of choice can give you that much needed kick in the rear, that motivation, inspiration to do something. But really, beyond that, it’s all up to you, baby.


Next year, I resolve not to make any new year’s resolutions I cannot keep. I’m not giving up on this year’s trifecta though, I’m getting back on that resolution’s horse and keepin’ at it. Well whaddya know “Eat, Pray, Love ” turned out to be the best non-self-help book that’s actually helped me.  –MT

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