This past week I’ve been reading a book by Shonda Rhimes called “Year of Yes”. When I first saw this book on Amazon, I didn’t know if I should get it or not. Part of it was because I thought it was one of those cliche books that I’ve read enough of. I, then decided to get it because I love Shonda and the way she writes and tells stories. I’m one of her biggest fans. I love all of her Thursday night shows, although I stopped watching Scandal because it lost its essence that it had in the beginning for me. TGIT is lit! LOL. Anyways, I love Shonda so I decided to give the book a try, and it was amazing, super amazing. I couldn’t stop reading it. She hit everything on the nail and she talked about reality and the world she lived in. I was saying YES, YES and YES the whole way through the book, and obviously that was the whole point of the book. It was titled “Year of Yes” for a reason.
After reading this book, I came to the conclusion that Shonda speaks the truth about many aspects of life. She specifically talks about balancing motherhood and work. One of my favorite lines from the book is when she says motherhood is not a job. She said that she would have quit her job if it equates to being a mother. The emotions and feelings that are involved with being a mother doesn’t equate to having a job, and rightfully so, even if I’m not a mother, I can agree with her sentiments. I can see that motherhood is the one of the most challenging, yet rewarding facets for women, and definitely harder than having any regular 9-5 job.
Another aspect I love about her book is when she says women who are mothers and who also have successful jobs do not “do it all”. I repeat DO NOT DO IT ALL. Seriously, there is this false perception that women who are successful in the homes and at their jobs are like superwomen, and they do it all. She is actually tired of the question she gets asked a lot which is “Shonda, how do you do it all?” and her answer to that is “I don’t”.
I agree with her sentiments because as she describes it, when she is writing and filming one of her scripts at Shondaland, she is missing her daughter’s recital. When she is at one her daughter’s recital, she’s missing an important event at work. I love the fact that she breaks down this perception and tells her readers that she gets help when it comes to raising her three daughters, help from her family members and most importantly help from her nanny. She even dedicates one whole chapter of her book to her nanny because she says without her, she doesn’t think it would be possible to be a successful mother and raise her children. She also points out that she doesn’t need to be married in order to raise her children and marriage isn’t quite frankly one of those important aspects that needs to take a lot of space in her life.
She was also surprised by the attention she got when she had a guy that was interested in marrying her and they were dating. She said many people’s reaction to her anticipated marriage was shocking. People made it seem like the marriage that was about to happen was more important than her children, Shondaland and her accomplishments thus far.
Another aspect that I love about the book is the fact that Shonda points out that it’s important to have difficult conversations with people. I used to be one of those people who is scared to get into anything controversial and I live by the rule if anything is uncomfortable, I won’t do it. I used to be one of those people who seek comfort all of the time. Don’t get me wrong being comfortable is a great thing, but sometimes we have to explore those areas that make us uncomfortable. We have to have those difficult conversations we’ve been avoiding with those that are important to us. We have to go that extra mile in order to make sense of our lives.
All in all, this book was fantastic. It was a book that explored one’s true journey, especially of being a woman and living a successful and happy life. The book started out with Shonda saying “yes” to everything since she was always saying no and missing out on events/ opportunities and felt she had to overcompensate for working too much, but towards the end of the book, she made the “yes” to mean not saying yes to necessarily everything everyone asked of you, but saying yes to the things that fulfilled you and were good for you. People can easily take advantage of those they can manipulate, so don’t be manipulated, but live an easy going life doing what you can to help yourself and others around you. As always, live your best life.
Peace and Love,