Monday, February 15, 2010

Women's Week: How Do You Define Success?

The Cougar Club: A Novel

One thing that struck me in reading The Cougar Club is that it was about three women who many would consider to be successful, yet none of them seemed happy.  If you consider the mass media to be a reflection of society, in order to be happy we should be young, wealthy, successful, influential, pretty, in good shape, and did I mention young?  Yet, I can honestly say that though I enjoyed my 20's at the time, if given the chance to live a decade of my life again, it would either be my thirties or forties (I haven't hit my fifties yet, so who knows what is ahead?).  By that time I was comfortable in my skin, I knew who I was and what I wanted out of life, and while some would say I didn't set my goals high enough, I had accepted my spot in the pecking order of life so that I no longer felt I had to go out of my way to impress people.  I've enjoyed being Mom to my kids, we aren't worried about how we are going to pay the bills, and my husband and I love each other and are content together.  While I may not wear Prada, drive a Jaguar or take luxury spa vacations, while my latest squeeze has grey hair and is carrying a few extra pounds (and happens to be the only squeeze I've had in over twenty years), while if you see me on TV with my boss, I'm the fuzzy one in the back, hauling the boxes; I consider myself successful because I have everything material that I need, a lot that I want, and most importantly, a family who loves me.  

So ladies and gents, especially those of you of a certain age, how do you define success?  Do you consider  yourself successful?  Leave a substantive answer to those questions, or a substantive comment about what I've had to say, and earn entries to win The Cougar Club: A Novel.  


  1. Thanks for this interesting and in depth look at this book as well as the subject matter. I agree with your entire outlook. Even though I am older than you, I do feel the same way and I see what changes have occurred over the past few decades and they are not for the better. They are not improvements at all. These young women of today are all miserable and do not understand values, principles and the importance of family. Instead they rely upon artificial values which are fleeting. I hope that I am not too harsh but this is what is happening in our society, except for a very few.

  2. I'm not sure what defines success but I am happy. I have been married for over 21 yrs, have 5 wonderful children... I too don't wear Prada, drive a luxury car or go on spa vacations but then I really wouldn't want to even if I could (well maybe I'd like a fancy car when I don't have the kids with me). I am comfortable with who I am.... I don't have a job that society views as successful... oh wait since I have no paycheck I have no job at all... but I am doing what I always wanted to do with my life - I am a wife and mother

  3. I consider myself successful. I have a job I enjoy, that I am very good at, and make enough to support our family since DH lost his job a few years ago. I've deliberately not attempted to move up at work just yet because I don't want to sacrifice family time at this point. My boss and I have had serious conversations about this, since he plans for me to take over when he retires in a few years - and I'm not 100% sure that I'll be ready. I could *do* the job, just not sure I want to.

  4. I'm not sure we're reading the same book - THE COUGAR CLUB by Susan McBride, right? What I read in your blog was not a review of this charming book but a defensive review of your life. I'm all for interjecting personal matters into blogs but not when they run over the subject in the process.

    I have not finished The Cougar Club yet, so I don't feel qualified to review this book yet, and I'm sure not going to write a diatri be about myself. I think I'll finish before I comment further on this engaging story.

  5. Sandi, thanks for your comments. Everyone has a different style, and one think I do try to do is show how a book interacts with my life. What does it make me think of, how does it make me feel, does it move me to change, help my relationships, amuse me, make me cry?

    I'm glad you liked the Cougar Club. As I said in my review, its not a bad book; it is a book whose characters I did not like. Why didn't I like them? Because their focus and priority in life is so different from mine--and they seemed miserable but ready to repeat the same mistakes.


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