A charmingly relatable and wise memoir-in-essays by acclaimed writer and bookseller Mary Laura Philpott, "the modern day reincarnation of...Nora Ephron, Erma Bombeck, Jean Kerr, and Laurie Colwin--all rolled into one" (The Washington Post), about what happened after she checked off all the boxes on a successful life´s to-do list and realized she might need to reinvent the list--and herself.
Mary Laura Philpott thought she´d cracked the code: Always be right, and you´ll always be happy.
But once she´d completed her life´s to-do list (job, spouse, house, babies--check!), she found that instead of feeling content and successful, she felt anxious. Lost. Stuck in a daily grind of overflowing calendars, grueling small talk, and sprawling traffic. She´d done everything "right" but still felt all wrong. What´s the worse failure, she wondered: smiling and staying the course, or blowing it all up and running away? And are those the only options?
Taking on the conflicting pressures of modern adulthood, Philpott provides a "frank and funny look at what happens when, in the midst of a tidy life, there occur impossible-to-ignore tugs toward creativity, meaning, and the possibility of something more" (Southern Living). She offers up her own stories to show that identity crises don´t happen just once or only at midlife and reassures us that small, recurring personal re-inventions are both normal and necessary. Most of all, in this "warm embrace of a life lived imperfectly" (Esquire), Philpott shows that when you stop feeling satisfied with your life, you don´t have to burn it all down. You can call upon your many selves to figure out who you are, who you´re not, and where you belong. Who among us isn´t trying to do that?