What's next for political junkies?
And, I am exhausted. I feel like I have an emotional hangover, both from the thrill of victory and the fact that I have been a political junkie throughout this very long election season. For people like me, who have become accustomed to obsessively refreshing our screens on fivethirtyeight.com, CNN.com and The Huffington Post, there is a hole in our lives--and perhaps the empty nature of our media obsession has been revealed. It's one thing to keep up with the news of the day, but I admit that checking those sites every hour to see whether something has changed was not necessarily productive. I ended up feeling like a lab rat obsessively pressing a lever to get a periodic reward. (NPR had a good segment about "election addicts going cold turkey" today on Morning Edition.)
The good news is that there is an opportunity to fill up this space with something truly meaningful. I have added many new book recommendations to the new edition Mojo Mom and three are particularly relevant to this situation:
The Lifelong Activist: How to Change the World Without Losing Your Way by Hillary Rettig
I love finding books that aren't directly about motherhood, yet speak to Mojo Moms. The Lifelong Activist is one of my favorites because the challenges of motherhood are similar to the demanding, often unrewarded efforts of activists. Hillary Rettig's book addresses the issues of avoiding burnout and building a sustainable life--themes that resonate at the core of my work as well.
The Lifelong Activist has an amazing annotated reference list, something I truly admire (and consider a worthy obsession). Rettig's book led me to my next recommended resource.
The Soft Addiction Solution: Break Free of the Seemingly Harmless Habits That Keep You from the Life You Want by Judith Wright.
This book is spot-on for media junkies who realize they are truly addicted. Wright helps people identify and replace time-wasting habits such as television watching, shopping and online browsing. She uses a great forumula, "the math of MORE," to add more life, more meaning, more focus on your true priorities to help end the "soft addictions." Her approach does not feel like deprivation, it feels like growth and reward. I am in the process of re-reading and implementing her suggestions because now that my new book is almost done, and the election is over, I want to fully take advantages of the opportunity to keep moving forward with my life, rather than letting bad habits chip away at my time.
The One-Life Solution: Reclaim Your Personal Life While Achieving Greater Professional Success by Dr. Henry Cloud
This is a business success book that realizes that each of us has one life, so a holistic approach is needed. I really like this book because Cloud talks about how setting up sensible boundaries in our lives actually gives us more freedom by keeping us on track with what we need to be doing. Cloud's book is very readable and inspired a lot of A-HA moments on my part. It's refreshing to read a work-life balance book written by a man for a change.
Finally, one more book I have recommended for a long time: The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron.
I believe that being a Mom is being an artist--no matter what other job titles you hold. Julia Cameron's classic program for "blocked creatives" can help you get your mojo fired up again.