Last night, I went to a private event at Books, Inc. in Palo Alto, with my fellow Silicon Valley Moms Blog writers, to meet a girl named Maria. Maria who, you ask? Well, if you read her latest book, Just Who Will You Be?: Big Question. Little Book. Answer Within., you will know that her name itself can be a long answer. Maria Shriver. First Lady of California. News Archorwoman. Mom of 4 kids! Wife of Arnold, the Govenator. A member of Kennedy royalty. Oh, it goes on and on. Sort of like her hair. Wow. I mean, wow.
Early on in our talk, Maria made reference to what it took for us all to be there (i.e., a man probably wouldn't think twice about it, but we ladies likely all shuffled many things around, considered not going many times during the day due to other pressures, etc.). Um, yeah. Though I never considered not going (Hello? Getting to hang out with my fellow Silicon Valley Moms writers, meeting Maria Shriver, ice cream?? I'm there!) for me, this event was sandwiched between many, many, many other things in my life (work, kids, Gemini Crickets auction meeting, attempt to go to bed early so I can get up for boot camp this morning...that one didn't happen, American Idol - missed that too). I have to say this was the one hour of the day that was relaxing for me. And I am grateful for that break.
I carpooled up with my Gemini Crickets and fellow Silicon Valley Moms bloggers, Akemi and Linda. (Cheryl was there too, but she drove separately.) On the drive up, we were talking about Maria's book and I was telling my good friends about how yesterday morning, I was driving home at 6:30am (I know....) from boot camp and thinking about the day ahead. This is sort of my train of thought: "So much on my plate today. And everyday. The kids to spend time with and nurture...work for clients to do (due...yesterday!)...Relationships - with my husband, friends, family - to pay attention to... The juggle. And why do I have to be perfect at it all? Whew! Do I stop all day long? No. No. No. Sometimes I wish I could just sit and think. Ponder the world for a while. Maybe I should do just that...." And then I got home and picked up Maria's book - I had read the first third of the book and needed to finish it before the evening. (Not that it is a tough read - it is very easy and fast - just such is my life! Good thing it is easy to pick up and put down and pick up again...) So I got to the part where she let's go of the strive for perfection. So it is not just me that has this issue. Lightbulb. I guess I know this, but to be reminded of it at just this moment was pretty powerful.
When we met, she talked about that as well. How this is not just her story of trying to find herself. All women of all ages and stages of life have these issues - trying to be perfect, trying to be things for people other than
just ourselves (as Maria says, try not to use the word "just" - I'm working on it), rather than trying to find themselves.
I once saw Maria and Arnold on a street in New York. I was there on business, attending PC Expo (I think), when John F. Kennedy, Jr. and Carolyn Bessette Kennedy died. The city was in shock and mourning, and we passed this pretty normal sad looking couple on the street. We didn't say anything (although we did discuss later that Arnold was shorter than we thought he was, and Maria looked fabulous even when sad). Now that I "know" Maria a little better, I think back to that moment on the street and wished I had given her a hug. Anyway, here's one for you now, Maria. And one for myself too. Cause we're all in this one together - each finding our own "one wild and magnificent life".