Writing at the intersection of motherhood, feminism and my Latinidad

22 January 2012

2012 Blog for Choice Day

I know I'm supposed to be talking about 2012 elections today, but today I am in Mexico on the first full day of the Nobel Women's Initiative's delegation. And yes, I wrote this before I left...But I must reflect on my thoughts about being in Mexico on Roe v. Wade Day.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, the number of unsafe abortions around the world are on the rise. Abortions are unsafe when performed by unskilled people and/or under unsanitary conditions. Here in the USA, I am sure we still have back alley abortions. But I think we consider them last resort or hope they are mostly a relic of the past, stories we hear about during abortion speak-outs. A few years ago, I was the emcee at a speak-out and heard Dr. Quentin Young talk about the days before Roe at Cook County Hospital. I'll never forget the look on his face as he described how many women came in bleeding, desperate for assistance.

But as you read this, I'm in a city, Mexico City, where abortion is legal. Just outside the city limits, "thirteen* of Mexico’s 31 states have ...amended their constitutions to protect the fetus from the moment of conception, which may set the stage for greater restrictions in these states’ abortion laws." "According to one analysis, the factors that made this reform possible were the presence of a liberal political party governing at the state level, favorable public opinion and pressure from nongovernmental women’s organizations that promote reproductive rights"[PDF citation] OK, so many I will touch on voting in pro-choice people.

Soon I'll be in Guatemala. There we find, as of 2003, 49% of unsafe abortions are performed by traditional providers. "In Guatemala, poor rural women are three times as likely as nonpoor urban women to have an abortion induced by a traditional birth attendant (60% vs. 18%), and they are far less likely than nonpoor urban women to obtain the services of a doctor (4% vs. 55%). " [PDF citation]

And in Honduras, abortion is prohibited altogether or has no explicit legal exception to save the life of a woman.

Don't fret, I'm not trying to make those of us in the USA feel bad for fighting for our lives. I'm just trying to bring an international perceptive to today's conversation. I will wrap this up by reminding us that the USA does impact women around the world. Our freedom is linked with theirs, theirs with ours. We can't truly celebrate victory in this country until our sisters around the world are also celebrating.

So get out there and register as many pro-choice folks as you can! And get them to the polls in November. 

And to see what we're up to in Mexico, head over to the Nobel Women's Initiative's delegation blog. See you back here in February!

20 January 2012

Andele Feministas!


I'm off to Mexico tomorrow!

I'll return home on January 31st. Until then, you can find me at the Nobel Women's Initiative's delegation blog, Twitter feed, Facebook page and perhaps even their Flickr site.

I am a torn feminista. I am so excited that I'm sick to my stomach about meeting the wonderful women I'll be traveling with, the courageous women we will meet and seeing the beautiful countries we will visit. I am weighed down with the burden that I know this trip will leave me with. This is a fact-finding mission. Meaning we will be doing a lot of listening to women who have lived through some very violent things. It is our job to listen to them, carry their stories and help amplify them for the world to hear. I am packing extra tissues, not for my every-runny-allergy-nose, but for the tears I know I will cry.

But I am equally sad to be leaving my family for 10 days, or as I keep trying to rationalize, 8, since Day 1 I wake up at home and Day 10 I fall asleep at home. The kid is heartbroken. My husband is too, but also worried as hell. I know some of you are as well. Thanks for your concern, but I plan to be home before you even have time to miss me. The sickness I feel when I think of the kid & my husband is seriously going to make me puke. Hopefully that's the only thing that makes me want to puke during the next ten days.

Check back in February when I hope to post reflections about the trip.

Until then,

Peace, Love & Feminism!

17 January 2012

According to Honda, your life ends with marriage & the baby carriage

Have you seen Honda's new ad campaign?

It's called "The Leap List" and I guess the reason I didn't get a pitch about it is that I'm an old married mother. Far past the apparent target audience for "The Leap List."

It's a rip off from the old idea of having a bucket list, but instead of making a list of things to do before you die, it's asking pepole to make a list of awesome things to do before making a big leap in life. Two leaps that Honda thinks you should make lists about? Babies and marriage. Take a look:





So what do we learn here? That men will be restricted from doing awesome things because a baby weighs him down and women can't make movies after they get married.

Oh, that Honda cars aren't for us old married parent types. I'll certainly keep that in mind when it's time *knockonwooditisyearsfromnow* for my husband and I to buy a new car.

Because heaven knows that a Honda can't take the boredom that goes along with fathers and married women.

16 January 2012

CFP: Stay at Home Mothers: An International Perspective


CALL FOR PAPERS
Demeter Press is seeking submissions for an edited collection
Stay at Home Mothers: An International Perspective
Editors: Elizabeth Reid Boyd and Gayle Letherby 
DEADLINE FOR ABSTRACTS: June 1, 2012!  
Stay at home mothers and the 'mommy wars' are a continuing phenomenon worldwide. This book will be the first international edited collection exploring debates and issues surrounding mothers returning to/staying at home from a variety of countries and perspectives.

Stay-at home mothering remains a significant social and gender trend. Over the last decades, there have been many books exploring questions, issues and policies surrounding working mothers. This volume explores the flip side to enable a new discussion: Why are mothers still staying at home? Which mothers? In which countries? Under what conditions? What kind of rhetoric is invoked - personal choice or political push? Which national policies benefit them? Which don't? What debates - and emotions - do they provoke?

Chapters can be written from a national perspective and can include both empirical data on mothers staying at home, including statistical trends, as well as conceptual discussion and analysis. This will enable comparison; it will also provide scope for contrasting views. The book will not be for or against stay at home mothers, though it will include debates around the topic, and, indeed, is likely to provoke them.

Topics can also include (but are not limited to):     
Debates about the 'worthiness' of different mothers staying at home such as government funded teen mothers versus wealthy, older 'yummy mummies'; the 'mommy wars' between working moms and stay at home moms; maternal versus paid child care; the persistence of mothering at home and what it means; the take up of maternal (and paternal) leave; maternity payments and childcare policy; state enabling of mothers staying at home; the 'new Victorians'/the domestic goddess and the increasing idealisation of mothers at home; the leisured mother at home assisted by a (foreign worker) maid; stay at home mothers and the media; the history of mothers staying at home; generational change and visions for the future. Different viewpoints, from academics to lobby groups, are welcomed.
Submission Guidelines
Abstracts: 250 words. Please include a 50-word biography (with citizenship information.)
Deadline for abstracts is June 1, 2012
Please send submissions and inquiries directly to:
Elizabeth Reid Boyd e.boyd@ecu.edu.au

Accepted papers of 4000-5000 words (15-20 pages) will be due between April to June 2013, and should conform to American Anthropological Association style.

Disclosure: I am getting a complementary membership to MIRCI and subscription to the journal in return for posting these updates. It is, however, something I would have agreed to do for free because I think their work is so wonderful.

13 January 2012

GIVEAWAY: Witches, Wizards, Spells and Elves: The Magic of Shakespeare


Witches, Wizards, Spells and Elves:
The Magic of Shakespeare
 by Bruce Adolphe
featuring performers from The Chicago Chamber Musicians and CST
in Chicago Shakespeare’s Courtyard Theater
January 21 and 22, 2012 at 10:00 and 11:30 a.m.
Viva la Feminista is happy to offer one lucky reader  four (4) tickets to next weekend's Witches, Wizards, Spells and Elves: The Magic of Shakespeare.
Theatrical magic and musical masters blend to draw young audiences into the performing arts in an hour-long family concert. Chicago Shakespeare actors and The Chicago Chamber Musicians bring together theater and classical music to create an interactive concert, giving children the opportunity to discover, up-close, the excitement of live performance. At 11:00 a.m. on both days, performers are available for autographs and pictures in the lobby, while young musicians demonstrate and answer questions about the featured instruments.

Approximate Running Time: 1 hour

Recommended for children ages 5 and up.
I'm making this easy...Just leave a comment with your email address. I'll pick a random winner after Sunday, January 15th at 5 pm. 

Make this your luckiest Friday the 13th!

****************
UPDATED: Sunday, January 15th

The lucky winner is commenter #2! Which is my friend Catherine. Click on the above graphic to see that random.org selected #2.

Disclaimer: This giveaway is courtesy of the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. I got nada for this giveaway.

12 January 2012

¡Acábalo Ya! Working Together to End Cervical Cancer


January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month and Viva la Feminista is joining in on the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health's blog carnival! VIVA!

Si, viva! Because I want my Latinas hermanas to live long and healthy lives.NLIRH is asking bloggers to consider the following question:

“What will it take to end cervical cancer?”

NLIRH states that "every year in the United States alone, more than 12,000 women are diagnosed and more than 4,000 women die of cervical cancer, a disease that is 100% preventable. A disproportionate number of those who suffer from this deadly disease are Latinas." A big reason why Latinas are disproportionately impacted is our lack of access to healthcare.

We may have trouble getting to a doctor for a pap smear because we lack health insurance. We may lack health insurance because we are in a lot of low-paying jobs. We may lack health insurance because we work in sectors like service (restaurants, hotels, etc) where even if we bring home enough money to live on, health insurance isn't offered. And of course, we may not be documented and thus not in a position to obtain health insurance. Not having health insurance may then bump us into having to rely on public health services, which in some parts of the country (ahem, Arizona) may mean risking revealing our lack of documentation.

In a world where cervical cancer should be preventable via the HPV vaccine or detected at an early stage via Pap smears, the fact that so many women, Latinas or not, die from it is unjust.

But I think it's more than just lack of access.

Cervical cancer is linked to sexual activity. And that puts a lot of cases in the STD pile and we all know what that means...STIGMA! BLAME! SHAME! We need to come to grips with the fact that women, even younger women, teenagers, are sexual beings. Shame should never kill anyone. That's why I so detested the decision to ignore the FDA on teens' access to the morning after pill. Yes, I know it was a political decision, but I think it was one made easier because teens + sex = squirmy public.

So that's what I think? What about you?

11 January 2012

Book Review: Intimate Wars by Merle Hoffman


Intimate Wars: The Life and Times of the Woman Who Brought Abortion from the Back Alley to the Board Room by Merle Hoffman is a must read memoir by a no-holds-barred feminist activist trailblazer.

Her tale is one like no other I have read. She attacks her life story just as she would anything in life - without fear. It is hard to summarize the life of Merle Hoffman. She seems to be a pretty typical example of people with a lot of intellect and potential, as she floated through the first part of her life. She had high standards and life just never seemed to rise to them. Apparently, it was just waiting for the right moment to strike Merle with her life's purpose.

Merle opened one of the first abortion clinics in New York in pre-Roe days. She did most of her early abortion work without political consciousness. But she soon grows into her warrior life.

Merle's story of how she came to love abortion work is moving and one that should be heard by more people. She simply grew to love helping women through, as she put it in our interview, the "most powerful and vulnerable point" of their lives. She saw the connections between mothers and daughters who came in together, between race and class, especially post-Hyde Amendment and most of all she saw how disconnected some women were with their bodies and the political process. Merle quickly transformed her clinic from a mere health center to a radical place. The waiting room was inviting and filled with current information on abortion and reproductive justice issues.

This isn't an easy memoir to read though. Merle challenges feminists to consider the bifurcation in the woman-versus-fetus debate. She cedes ground and agrees that "abortion stops a beating heart." Because for Merle, an abortion is a sacrifice and we must acknowledge that in order to be a stronger movement. Merle also is not ashamed to acknowledge that she makes money from abortions. Although the price for a first trimester abortion hasn't changed in 25 years. Some will be taken aback by her personal life. She must be honest because reading through her affair-to-marriage story will make you wince.

Merle adopts a daughter late in life and this concluding chapter is poignant and still wrapped in Merle's ability to see everything through a reproductive justice lens. Which, of course I loved.  

Intimate Wars is a great peek back at the early days of the 1970s feminist movement, including their missteps that my generation (third wave/Gen X) often chide them over. Merle doesn't seem to hold back on her criticism of anyone, including herself. This memoir may be difficult to read, but it is also refreshing. Get your copy at Powells or IndieBound.

Disclaimer:  I was offered this book for review by a publicist, who also facilitated access to Merle for the interview previously posted. 

* Book links are affiliate links. If you buy your book here I could make a very small amount of money that goes towards this blog by helping me purchase books for school. Thanks! 

10 January 2012

Interview with Merle Hoffman

Merle Hoffman is the publisher/editor-in-chief of On The Issues Magazine and one of the most outspoken advocates for progressive and feminist issues.
Merle established Choices Women's Medical Center to provide abortion services shortly after New York State legalized abortion in 1971. Today, Choices has grown to become one of the most comprehensive and nationally well respected providers of a full range of gynecological services for women, including abortion to 24 weeks of pregnancy, birth control and pre-natal care.
In 1983 Merle began On the Issues Magazine as a newsletter of Choices Women's Medical Center to communicate with other health care providers, pro-choice activists and the reproductive health care community generally. Within a few years it had developed into On the Issues, the Progressive Woman's Quarterly, gaining accolades as a motivating, challenging and controversial magazine of ideas and action. After ceasing publication in 1999, On the Issues Magazine was reborn as an online publication in Spring 2008 and publishes all-new, themed editions quarterly with new articles added weekly.
~ Biography from MerleHoffman.com

Loretta Ross (l) and Merle Hoffman (r)
I was privileged to grab 10 minutes of Merle's time at the 2011 National Women's Studies Association Conference. Her memoir, Intimate Wars: The Life and Times of the Woman Who Brought Abortion from the Back Alley to the Board Room, is out now. You can get a copy directly from Feminist Press, Powells or IndieBound.




VLF: Why now? What made you write this book now? 

MH: well it's the 40th anniversary of Choices. I thought it was time for me to look back and reflect on the whirlwind that was my life. I wanted to create a narrative for myself. I have also lost an lot of people recently and that put me in a place that was very self-reflective. It was very therapeutic. The other part is that I have a 10-year-old daughter and I wanted to leave her this testimony. I'm sure she'll read things about me when I am gone, so i want her to have my side. After all these years, this issue is front and center with more virulent attacks against abortion rights than ever before. Sometimes I feel like I'm that movie "Groundhog Day." I just woke up and it's 40 years later and it's still the 1970s. It is still just as difficult to have abortion without apology as it was all those years ago.

VLF: What has been your most memorable moment? 

MH: You mean from my life on the front lines? Going to Russia. That was amazing. I was going to save Russian women and being rushed by thousands of people because I had some condoms.The whole opening up of the consciousnesses. My civil disobedience action in front of St. Patrick's cathedral which was the first time pro-choice forces were ever arrested. It was a very powerful action. The first patent whose hand  I held [as she underwent an abortion]. That really was the most memorable because that's what catalyzed my involvement into the movement. I don't her name or her face, but basically it was her hand and that intimate personal connection. You know Euripides wrote that woman is woman's natural ally. And it was that connection at what I would say was her most powerful and vulnerable point of her life that actually was the catalyst to get so deeply, deeply involved.

VLF: Let's talk about the growing movement of abortion doulas, or rather the growing awareness of abortion doulas. 

MH: Choices has abortion doulas, we always have. Our doulas work with both our pre-natal and our abortion patients. And the patients love them, of course they would because they focus on the reactive part of the procedure, the emotional and psychological issues. We also have counselors, but the doulas are more specialized because they with the women in the recovery room, as they are waiting to be called in, they are there to ease the anxiety that comes up.

VLF: It's hard to reconcile that abortion is one of the most common outpatient procedures for women to go through, but it also the most isolating procedures for women to go through. They go through it alone.

MH. Absolutely. And they go through it alone, but once they lay themselves down on that table, they become by that act, an integral part of the sisterhood of what that reproductive choice connects them to. It is the challenge of the movement, the leadership, the activists, the scholars to help politicize the understanding that just by having an abortion women have done a political act. And to help them not distance themselves immediately afterwards. They want to deny, put it behind them. It's a very common reaction.

VLF: Do you have any personal regrets? 

MH: None. Every choice in my life has led me to point I am at now. Whether at that point of time they were difficult, the challenges I welcomed because they strengthen you, they give you courage and I made some very difficult ones. It was been a very singular life. But I see it as a privilege that I use my energy, my talents in this cause, in this movement.

VLF: Any critiques about the movement? What you wish it had done? 

MH: I wish they had come out thousands and thousands strong when Henry Hyde cut off Medicaid funding.  There is this bifurcation between providers and academics/activists. Abortion can be a dirty business, you get your hands dirty in the trenches with the women. One of the things that I've always wanted is for the activists to come to the clinics and see the women. Then the racial and class bifurcations that have gone on. That was very clear when Hyde cut off funding. Nobody marched because it was just the poor and the minorities and the young.

VLF: What does your daughter know of what you do? 

MH: She's ten. She knows the word abortion. She knows "My mommy fights for women's rights." She works at Choices and does some filing. She's learning about it. So yes, she knows.

VLF: Do you think she'll be proud of you?

MH: Oh, she's proud of me now.

VLF: When I read Dr. Wicklund's memoir she said a lot about her daughter. There are sacrifices we make to do the work we do. Sometimes our daughters pay a price. 

MH: Of course. It is very difficult. She was in my bed the night before I left and I explained to her that I have this work. I call and text the woman who is staying with her. I just got a photo from the soccer game. Being a mom is struggle. Every day, every day. Bring them into the movement, like my friend Jen Baumgardner. She's got her little ones running around her. Let them see. It's better than bringing them shopping.

* This is a summary of our conversation, not a complete transcript.

* *Powells and IndieBound book links are affiliate links. If you buy your book from them I could make a very small amount of money that goes towards this blog by helping me purchase books for school. Thanks! 

03 January 2012

Giving up Annie

Sunday I thought this post was going to be entitled, "Giving up on Annie." Instead we gave her up.

Monday we packed up the car and drove two hours to meet up with the couple who helped connect us with our dachshund, Annie. Tony handed Annie back to this loving couple. We were surrendering her to their care.

New Year's Day brought us nothing but heartache. We woke up late and as usual, Tony took the girls, Annie & Piper, outside to do their doggie business. But this time Annie could not scamper up the stairs. Tony carried her inside, put her down on the floor and it was evident that something was wrong.

We eventually realized that something was very wrong and took her to the animal ER room. Which, by the way, is one of the most depressing places I have ever been in. I felt like half of us were crying.

The vet took a few minutes to look over Annie and determined that yes, it looks like she had a ruptured disc.

Now, we knew going into all of this, when we adopted Annie, that doxies were prone to back problems, but we had fooled ourselves into thinking that if we exercised Annie enough, kept her weight down and carried her down the stairs, that she'd be ok until she was a little old lady doxie. But we were so wrong. Everyone always commented on how well Annie was physically. Perfect weight, sleek, the picture perfect doxie. It makes no sense what happened.

After hearing all the details of the surgery option, the cart option and the putting her to sleep option, we took her home with enough medication to keep her comfortable until we could figure out what to do.

A very long story short and without the gory details, we ended up contacting Lois, who is our contact with the doxie rescue we got Annie and Piper from. I also knew it was in our contract to notify her if we couldn't take care of either of them anymore. And well, we had come to the conclusion that we couldn't take care of Annie anymore.

This picture is of our girls together, one last time. Annie still has a lot of spunk left in her and returning her to the doxie rescue was the best decision for all of us. Lois cares for many doxies who are in need of extra care, special care and round the clock care. If anyone can help Annie heal, it would be Lois.

We are all heartbroken in la Casa de Roni. Piper too.

I was feeling (and honestly still am) totally guilty about us realizing that we just could not take care of Annie anymore when one of my besties, Amy, texted me and said, "Our dogs are a part of our family, but we have to make the best decision for our human family." And sadly that's what it came down to.

I know some people will think I am awful for letting Annie go, but I know we gave her the best chance for recovery. Sometimes loving is about letting go and we had to let her go.

If you want to do anything, send the DRNA some money because they do this sort of work all the time. Otherwise just send the kid some hugs and Annie strength to get through what could be months of recovery.

02 January 2012

CFP: Mothers, Education, Maternal Pedagogies and Motherhood Studies


CALL FOR PAPERS

The editorial board is seeking submissions for Vol. 4.1 of the Journal of the Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement (JMI) to be published in spring/summer 2013.

Mothering, Education, Maternal Pedagogies and Motherhood Studies

The journal will explore the topic of Mothering, Education, Maternal Pedagogies and Motherhood Studies from a variety of perspectives and disciplines. We welcome submissions from scholars, students, activists, government agencies and workers, artists, mothers, and others who work or research in this area. Cross- cultural, historical and comparative work is encouraged. We also welcome creative reflections such as poetry, short stories, and artwork on the subject.


Topics can include (but are not limited to):

Normative & disruptive discourses about motherhood and education; pedagogical othermothering & midwifery; mothering in the academy; teaching & learning from mothers at the margins (mothers of color, teen mothers, First Nation/aboriginal/Native American mothers, low-income mothers; adoptive mothers, queer and transgendered mothers...); maternal pedagogies; empowered mothering & teaching; mothering, education, & disability; education & infertility; men, mothering, & education; mothering & homeschooling; mothering, education, & activism; education & the public/private split; mothers' historical experiences of education; teaching one's actual or surrogate children; navigating cultural expressions of "good" and "bad" mother/ing; second/third shift responsibilities & education; transmitting maternal knowledges; motherhood & online teaching; problematizing the motherly teacher; literary/artistic/pop cultural representations of motherhood & education; teaching and/or learning parenting skills; educating public policy makers about mothering/motherhood; challenges to patriarchal and/or imperialist educational ideologies and practices; motherhood, education,& health; feminist motherlines & education; teaching/learning about mothering/motherhood through new media ; Is a distinct scholarly discipline of Motherhood Studies needed or necessary? What are the benefits and risks of creating a distinct discipline? How do we determine what is Motherhood Studies and what is not? Is such determined by the content and or perspective of the scholarship? Are there methodologies and or pedagogies distinct to Motherhood Studies; what are they? What topics have been well-researched? What areas require further study and research? What are the strengths of Canadian Motherhood Studies? What is the hertory of Motherhood Studies in Canada? Have some regions and universities been more prominent (and why)? What is the relationship of Motherhood Studies to Women's Studies, Childhood Studies, and Feminist Studies? Is Motherhood Studies feminist in its perspective and content? Does it have to be? How does Motherhood Studies relate to the burgeoning studies of fatherhood/parenthood? How do we study motherhood without falling prey to the scholarly limitations of 'identity politics' and essentialism? How do we best develop and disseminate Canadian motherhood studies?


SUBMISSION GUIDELINES:

Articles should be 15-18 pages (3750 words) including references. All should be in MLA style, WordPerfect or Word and IBM compatible. Please see our style guide for complete details: http://www.motherhoodinitiative.org/journalsubmission.html

SUBMISSIONS MUST BE RECEIVED BY NOVEMBER 1, 2012! ** TO SUBMIT WORK ONE MUST BE A MEMBER OF MIRCI

http://www.motherhoodinitiative.org/membership.html


Please direct your submissions to: Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement (MIRCI) 140 Holland St. West, PO Box 13022 Bradford, ON, L3Z 2Y5 (905) 775-9089 http://www.motherhoodinitiative.org info@motherhoodinitiative.org

Disclosure: I am getting a complementary membership to MIRCI and subscription to the journal in return for posting these updates. It is, however, something I would have agreed to do for free because I think their work is so wonderful.

01 January 2012

Book Review: The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown

This is my New Year's gift to you.

GET THIS BOOK.

You don't have to make a list of resolutions, you don't have to throw out the one you already made either. But I highly recommend that you get this book and read it with care.

A Twitter friend sent me this book, along with another Brown book that still needs to be read, with a card expressing her support of my work and goal to earn a PhD. She works at a domestic violence crisis center, so she gets how heavy our work can weigh on our souls. She's also Latina and gets how our culture's kick ass work ethic can be a double-edged sword. She's become a bit like the big sister I always needed, but never wanted.

So the book...

Brené Brown wrote this book after having a breakdown of some kind. Brown is a researcher who suddenly found herself reflected in her work on shame and acceptance:
How much we know and understand ourselves is critically important, but there is something that is even more essential to living a Wholehearted life: loving ourselves.
Before I get further, let me say that while this book looks like a "girl book," I truly believe that all the men in my life would appreciate this book. Because while women have more inclination towards perfectionism, men also have their own version of perfectionism...I think we call it "being a man."

Brown explores what is behind our need to be perfect, our fear of being authentic and our fear of pursuing our dreams because "what if we fail?" There is so much in this book that it is hard for me to do it justice. Perhaps because this book hits me in places that are so personal that I can't share here. There were times when I was reading the book and I had to put it down and stifle a cry. Of course by the time I was done with the book, I realized I should just let myself cry.

Being in a doctoral program pretty much makes one a perfectionist. I am very much prone perfectionism, so this book came at a wonderful time for me. I wish I had had this book in high school or at least at the beginning of college. I'm not sure if I would had gotten as much out of it. Sometimes you have to screw up your life before you realize why people warn you about certain things.

So start 2012 with this book [P | IB]. It won't make you thinner, it won't make your house cleaner, but I do think it'll help you get to that better place we all need to be so we can truly work on being healthier and all around even more awesome.

* Book links are affiliate links. If you buy your book here I could make a very small amount of money that goes towards this blog by helping me purchase books for school. Thanks!