All Things at Once…

Posted by on Mar 5, 2010 in book review | 0 comments

I recently read Mika Brzenzinski’s memoir, All Things at Once, which chronicles her journey to finding the balance between career, marriage, and family. Honestly, I was more than a little skeptical about her perspective after hearing an interview about her book on the Today show. But I spotted it on the Express rack at the library, and I was sufficiently intrigued enough to find out “the rest of the story”.

Once I got into the book, I had a hard time putting it down. Her story was painfully honest about the challenges of having a career in television media, brutally realistic about the impact it had on her family, and surprisingly refreshing to see the lessons she learned along the way. It was not a book just about being a working mother, or a book just about the ups and downs of her career, but about how all the parts of her life progressed together…hence the title of the book.

There is a passage in the book that details a conversation she had with her mother about balance. It struck me tremendously…

“Be honest,” I said, when we’d reached a point of pause in our discussion. “Do you see yourself first as a mother, a wife, or an artist?”

“Oh,” my mother said, with her wonderful strong European accent. “That is impossible to answer, because I am all those things at once.” (9)

“What I took away from this public exchange with my mother was that it’s right and good and necessary to carry all these different pictures in our minds as we move on in the world, but it’s also right and good and necessary to step back every once in a while and bring just one of those pictures into focus. To see everything you believe yourself to be, even if you can’t be all those things all the time…Yes, we can be all things at once, my mother told me. In fact, we must. But we must also accept that we can’t do everything all at once. It’s about mapping out, navigating, and constantly renegotiating your career, marriage, and family plans. All equally important – and all, ultimately, at once.” (10-11)

Great perspective…

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