Saturday, October 24, 2009

My Review: Permission Slips

Permission Slips: Every Woman's Guide to Giving Herself a Break is a breezy chat with a girlfriend who realizes that life isn't over at 40, that we all make mistakes and that it is ok to take care of yourself. Sherri Shepherd, if you are like me, and didn't already know, is a co-host of The View, a TV show that features several other women including Barbara Walters. Born in Chicago in the late 1960's, she was conceived out of wedlock, but her parents soon married. When she was a child, her mother (and at her mother's insistance, her father) became Jehovah's witnesses. After fighting their way through her childhood, Shepard's parents divorced when she was in high school,and her mother moved Sherri and her sisters to California. After high school, Shepard got a job as a legal secretary, and eventually started doing stand-up comedy on the side. Eventually she was able to make show business a full-time job.

This book takes us through the high points in Shepard's life, but uses them to make the point that we need to give ourselves permission to do things that are good for us. One chapter is titled "Permission to Get Better as I Get Older" and talks about her first nightclub trip after her divorce. She talks about not knowing the "language" after 10 years of marriage--was the cable guy trying to hit on her, or not? She tells us about how clothes don't fit the same, and that she finally realized that she couldn't check the 25-35 age range on applications. She notes that she doesn't have the energy the young moms at the playground have. Each vignette is followed by a "permission". The one about the younger moms says "Write yourself a permission slip to slow it down. Redefining forty doesn't mean you have to act thirty.

While I don't believe this book is marketed as "Christian", Shepherd speaks a lot about her faith. As noted above, she was raised as a Jehovah's Witness. She left that church, and God, as a young adult and engaged in a lot of behavior not in keeping with any form of Christianity (or good sense). She found her way back to God and then to a Pentecostal church. She speaks of an ongoing dialogue with God and hearing Him tell her not to do things, or to do others. She also speaks of telling Him "no" and doing it her way.

I enjoyed the book. As women we often spend our lives doing for others, and feeling guilty if we do for ourselves. Our culture says we should be smart, thin, nice, hardworking, available, but we can't always be, and she says we need to accept that, and be ok with it. If this sounds like the book for you, you can enter my giveaway. Click on the link and good luck.

If you'd like to purchase from Amazon:Permission Slips: Every Woman's Guide to Giving Herself a Break

I'd like to thank the folks at Hatchette for providing a complimentary review copy of this book.

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