Lean In …

… to the beach.

Happy Thorsday, little friday, thankful thursday and end of the week of silence.  I didn’t mean to fall off the face of the earth, but …  I warned you it might happen.   I don’t even know where to start!  Knitting 101 for the League happened last Thursday night.  I’m not nearly as comfortable teaching beginners as socks on circs or moebius or dorset buttons, but it *IS* fun to share a passion, isn’t it?  One League member is a knitting prodigy.  She brought her knitting to book club last night to ask me how to count rows.  I love it!!

I also need to follow up with the lefty in the class.  The popular answer seems to be … teach her to knit continental.  Yes?  I need to know…  another southpaw friend wants to learn, so I need to get this right.

photo.JPGFor those of you here for the canine cuteness, there you go.   DIVA requires not one, but TWO pillows upon which to rest her head.  (Yes, the alert, loyal reader might recognize that as beach house furniture.  We did retreat for a few days!)

It’s also the anniversary of Fred’s birth.  Fred was our first basset, if you’re new around here.  He’s been gone almost six years, but he’s on my mind today.

So… about Lean In.   It was a great inaugural book for the new JLC book club.  We are a diverse group, with virtually every phase of membership represented, and we span almost 20 years in our age range.  Two members are moms, and some members are single.  And we all signed up knowing Lean In would be our first read.

I think most of them liked it more than I did.  Honestly, I skimmed more than I read.  Oh, there were passages I highlighted (worth discussing:  I won’t dog-ear a paper book, much less write in it, but I have no trouble highlighting and tagging pages when reading electronically), sections I re-read, but all in all…  meh. 

I do agree with Ms. Sandberg that young women should lean in and lean in hard, until they have to make decisions.   It’s great advice; don’t get so busy planning your life that you forget to live it.  I don’t know that one can REALLY decide whether she wants to be a stay at home mom or not until she gets there.  I have too many friends who were sure their careers would carry on, until they held that little bundle and knew nothing else was as important as being a full-time, hands-on mom.  Likewise, one of the best moms I know (now a grandmother) quickly realized that she was a better mom, wife, friend… woman when she found great childcare and returned to work.  It’s a HIGHLY personal choice!

photo.JPGWhile reading, I had the feeling Ms. Sandberg was judging me, and wouldn’t think much of my choice to quit blazing trails for female firefighters.  I am sure I am where I am supposed to be right now, even though my career definitely has almost nothing to do with defining me.  I am told I am a good friend, a good leader, and I enjoy being surrounded by brilliant, strong women who are making a difference in our community.  

We’re reading Tough Cookies next.  Why yes, there *IS* a women in leadership theme here.  Awesome, no? 

I’m so thankful for all of the strong women in my life, but this morning, I’m really grateful for this new book club.  I’m not the only goober who actually enjoys reading motivational books.  I’m also thankful that there’s talk of a League “knitting” group or some sort of craft and chat group forming.  Again, I’m not the only one…

What common ground are you thankful for today?


13 comments on “Lean In …

  1. Susan says:

    Knitting takes both hands. There is no real right and left hand knitting, just which hand you are more comfortable throwing with. I am VERY right handed, but throw left handed. So, go figure!!!

    All patterns are written the same way. Lefties want to learn to knit backwards, but there are no patterns to follow…….. Most lefties I have worked with preferred continental, but it can go either way.

    Glad you got a few days away. I see the girls enjoyed it!!!

  2. AlisonH says:

    Thank you for this. I was one of those who couldn’t imagine being a stay-at-home mom, had zero intention, broke up with a guy who was adamant that his future wife was going to be one–who gave you permission to make my choices, dude? And then after marrying a good, supportive man who said it was up to me… One tiny brand new face changed everything.

  3. Katherine says:

    I am a right handed continental knitter but I can see how knitting continental style would be easier for a lefty! I agree with Susan that knitting requires the development of both hands doing equal work, but I have a lefty friend who is a definite/always English throw knitter.

    I have been both stay at home mom and career mom during my life and can’t really say that I prefer one to the other. Whatever a woman does I believe the kids turn out great with plenty of love, discipline, love, direction, love, attention and love!! My mom always said, “With children you have to be present even when you are not around.” Somehow I understood that. Thanks Mom!!

    I’ve love to curl up with those precious pups!

  4. Hallie says:

    Hi!!! I found your blog!! Actually I wasn’t bowled over by the book either. I felt a little like she was just implying overall that women still need to try to be superwoman. I decided I would be healthier and happier if I leaned out for a little while, but I do feel guilty. And I don’t know how I will get back on track once I go back to work. We’ll see. Life is short. Things will work out. My other criticism was that her ideas work if you’re a highly paid executive, but in my field even the long-term economics were not as clear-cut as her example. Anyway. It was a fun and wide-ranging conversation last night.

  5. Nancy says:

    It might be easier for a lefty to learn to knit Continental rather than throwing. I’ve heard a lefty can catch on to knitting by sitting in front of a right-handed knitter rather than beside (kind of a mirror image). I wish I knew how to knit Continental.

  6. kathy b says:

    FUn to read about your week: KNitting , reading and dogs. Fred is with you today!!!!!
    Common ground: others united in the cause of spay and nueter at the shelter this morning,
    I do not have the patience to teach knitting……kudos to yoU!!!!!!

  7. Marjie says:

    I’m glad you got to take a few days off; I was hoping that was why you were absent.

    I hate books of that type. I don’t like anyone telling me I should do this or that, or I shouldn’t do this or that, or women should do this or that (as if men should not, and from what I see of the younger generation, most men need a good swift kick in the ass too). I’m just finishing up one of my book sale books, and Inspector Lynley mystery (on which the Masterpiece Mysteries are based). It’s good, but very dark. Next up I’m reading Duckie’s Blue Mermaid, because I need a spot of sunshine after this book.

    I started to learn to knit once. Of course, I was 11, and then we moved, so I no longer lived next door to the knitting lady, and so….BTW, she was left handed, and she was teaching me to knit left handed. I’m pretty ambidextrous, so it didn’t matter to me. Of course, I’ve forgotten everything I ever knew.

  8. Blond Duck says:

    What does Lean in mean? I’m curious.

  9. gmariesews says:

    I had never heard of this book before and then it was the book club book at work and then your JLC book too. I did not read it nor did I participate in the discussion.

    My TMO is left handed and she knits – email her. She’ll give you advice.

    Glad the beach was good. Hope Fred is light in your heart today. g

  10. Barbara says:

    You don’t have enough to do, you’re teaching a knitting class?? Yikes!
    Haven’t read too many motivational books lately….mostly escapism. Just the opposite. hah!

  11. Sue says:

    I’m with Marjie on this one. I don’t motivational books anymore. I always question who these”experts” are who can tell the rest of us how to live.

    My mom taught several left handers to knot by sitting across form them instead of next to them. They all became accomplished knitters so I guess it worked. I taught one lefty friend to knit. She sat next to me and just did what I did. It didn’t seem left or right handed since both hands are busy.

  12. km says:

    Are you getting away to the beach AGAIN soon? I hope so! I’m sure a few days wasn’t enough.

    I had planned on returning to work when I had my first, but 9/11 happened just 7 weeks before he appeared. That changed everything!

  13. Ruth says:

    Thankful the wind finally died down…thankful my friend got away for a few days at her special place…thankful classes are starting to end, so that soon, homework will end too. I wrote you a great letter some days ago, but the iPad ate it, and I didn’t have it in me to re-write…love the pup pics.

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