Not too long ago, I stumbled over Kendra Adachi's website, The Lazy Genius Collaborative, and I was hooked. Kendra has a podcast which is weekly, I believe, but she also blogs occasionally. I'm not a big podcast listener but if the subject is something that I am interested in, I will download the transcript, if one is provided, or carve out the time to listen.
Kendra wrote a book, The Lazy Genius Way which was released on Tuesday. When I first heard that the book was available for pre-order, I quickly did so - which meant that Amazon should have shipped the book to arrive on Tuesday. That did not happen. In fact, Amazon gave me whiplash on Tuesday. I received an email informing me that this delivery had been delayed. No explanation, just delayed. I was justifiably disappointed but two minutes later I received another email from Amazon telling me that the book had shipped. So I didn't receive the book on Tuesday but I DID receive it yesterday. And I'm here to give you a book review...we haven't had one of those in long time, have we?
And, in what is a first around here, this book is the FIRST non-fiction review I have ever done.
*Mini Blogger rant. I have built this site using chewing gum and twine to hold everything together since I can't code or whatever. This means that when I want to update the list of books I love enough to tell you about; I used to have the option of clicking a little menu that would let me jump back in time in one click to find that post and add a link. Do you know how long I've been blogging? I can't remember. But that little menu? It's gone. That means in order to update that page I need to now scroll through 1063 posts before I can find that page!* Okay, rant over. Surely, there's a way around this.
I loved the book. I received it right before lunch yesterday and finished it today right after lunch. It's not a large book, in my opinion. It clocks in at 212 pages - not counting the forward, the table of contents and the acknowledgments, etc.
In this book, Kendra lays out a different thought process for tackling various issues in life. As well as throwing in precious nuggets to remind you to be kind to yourself and give yourself grace. She reminds you how important connections are. And shows you a new way of creating a way to tackle issues that matter to YOU - she is not telling you to use her systems.
Kendra (yes, I am referring to her like I know her - because I feel like I do. Even more so after reading this book) is in a different season of life than I am. So, her examples of Lazy Geniusing (it's a word!) life issues with small people are of no use to me (I really wish I had this book in my arsenal when I WAS raising a small person!). The examples of Meal Planning do not apply to me; as my husband is the cook in this house - and rightly so. He enjoys it, he's good at it and I KNOW he probably won't accidentally poison me.
Here is my main takeaway from this book. You know how sometimes you run into a problem and you aren't quite sure how to tackle it? This book gives you a way to re-frame how you look at the problem.
Or you have that mile long list and you don't know how to get started? Again, this book will help you figure it out in a different way.
Kendra's mind works vastly different from mine. I would never have looked at any of the things in this way. In just the few hours since closing the book after the first reading (I know I will be referring back to this book often) it has already fixed one nagging issue in this house.
Her whole mantra is "What Matters To You." We have had an ongoing issue of too many plastic bags in this house - a result of The Husband's insane love affair with going to the grocery store (WHO does that?!). For whatever reason, he refuses to just put them in his car and return them - which makes/made me crazy back in the normal times - since he would go to the grocery store EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.
Yes, I agree that we do need a small amount of the bags around the house for various uses but we do not need 7,000 of them. We will NEVER need 7,000 of them.
So, we were in stand off. I refused to take them on principle because I DON'T go to the grocery store every day (back when we could do that kind of thing). He only took them when I made a huge stink about it.
This afternoon I DID need to go to the grocery store. We generally store these bags in the garage next to my car. As I walked to the car, I looked at those hated bags and realized...this is something that DOES matter to ME. So I gathered up a bunch of them, tossed them in the car, drove to the store and recycled them. Problem solved. Without any nagging or harassment or resentment.
Another thing I loved about this book? Kendra was so open and honest about her life - I liked her before I read this book. After I read this book - I want her to live in the house next door - right between me and my friend two doors down. I want her in our circle.
We are alike in one way though - we both love an aside to a story. It didn't happen on every page but there are plenty of times where she spreads an asterisk around and you look down to the bottom of the page and see something along the lines of
"*My coffee snob - I mean aficionado - brother-in-law will be so sad that I'm not grinding them right before I brew. At least I'm not drinking Folgers, Luke. Cut me some slack."
I laughed out loud - for real.
The last couple of lines of the book left me with tears in my eyes for some reason. In a good way.
I wouldn't call it a "self-help" book. It's more of a "let's re-frame the way you look at, and tackle, different areas/issues of your life" kind of book.
If you have it all together and everything in your life is perfect and you aren't exhausted from it all - then this book is not for you.
If you are like the rest of us - get this book. You may not be in Kendra's season of life right now but this is a reference manual for every season. But, my friend two doors down IS in that season...and I think she deserves her own copy - which will soon (hopefully) be winging it's way to her front door (which should tell you how much I value this book).
And Kendra? If you are reading this, I'll let you know when the house next door goes on the market.