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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Cracked Spine: Option B, Sheryl Sandberg

WOOF what a few weeks it has been. I've been going nonstop between coming home from a fantastic cruise and then a work trip to Oklahoma. I know I wrote that this was my "quiet season" for work, but that is an absolute LIE. Internal projects that have been waiting for their time in the sun are piling up faster than you can say flapjacks.

I finally found some time to finish Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant (aka I was delayed four hours in Houston Hobby desperate to just get home). What a book. Sheryl is widely acclaimed for Lean In but as many pointed out- that book was squarely written from the perspective of a woman in a partnered relationship. Option B opens up the realities of a working woman responsible for the wellbeing of her family and self.

While it's written from a place of grieving and has a generally sad tone to the book- there are lots of nuggets of wisdom for all of us. Sheryl & Adam acknowledge that the reader might not find the answer they seek in her book at several points, but I am particularly fond of the quote below:

"We don't pretend that hope will win our over pain every day. It won't. We don't presume to have experienced every possible kind of loss and setback ourselves. We haven't. There is no right or proper way to grieve or face challenges, so we don't have perfect answers. There are no perfect answers." 
                                                                                               -Option B, p. 11

A particularly applicable section of the book was when shared narratives were addressed and how community can help re-write a narrative. I think about this a lot with my work, as I "sell" sorority to women across the country- what can they gain from an organization largely touted as an outdated trope on a campus? A particular thing I love about my role is that I am not only selling the power of the shared experience for women, but the ability to take back that narrative about "sorority girls" and re-write it.

There are lots of similar small nuggets of wisdom throughout the book, and I think that it's one of those types that everyone can walk away from with a lesson learned. I also see the book as timeless- Option B is the type of book that I know I might re-read and learn a new lesson from each time based on my life stages.

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