Yesterday I started a new book. It’s called Women Food and God and I was inspired to pick it up after seeing an interview with the author, Geneen Roth, on Oprah.
I’m only 40 pages in, but that is enough for me to know it is valid to say: this is a really important book.
At least for me.
Recently, I began to acknowledge that I have an obsession with the tension between employment and unemployment. There is a singular thought that runs at its core which is, “The only way to live a life with verve and eagerness is to not waste too much energy at a job.”
Intellectually, I recognize that this is an extreme vantage point. And I’m starting to see the perversion in my efforts to restrict and deprive myself of the freedom that can come from the benefits of full-time employment. This may sound like a bold parallel, but it feels like an anorexic way to live life. However, since I only work enough to survive and not thrive, it seems a pretty legitimate association.
I read this book and mark up the inside of it. I underline sentences , draw boxes around whole paragraphs, and then expand upon the passages that resonate with me in a journal. It’s a slow way to read a book. But it’s a way that allows me to untangle the mental obstacles that I have encountered in my quest to get a job.
And as I move into my newest phase of job searching, this helps me feel more confident about the possibility of success. For the first time since this season of sustained unemployment began I feel like I have an understanding of the role work should play in my life. The knowledge makes me feel more powerful which gives me promise.
*I should note that the book is about women and their relationship to food, but food could be replaced with anything. For me it’s a mindset around work, so I replace all the food references (to which there are a lot) with job or work ones. Additionally, other than the title the book is not really gender specific and the word “God” does not represent the book’s association with any one religion.