1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Creating a Life (Paperback)
I happened to read this book, thanks to a roommate who had it, when I was 22, in 2002. I was in grad school and totally focused on my career goals. This book opened my eyes. I knew that I had the goals of getting married and having kids, but I had never thought of how those goals needed active pursuit as well as my career goals. Healthy relationships and children are something to work towards and prioritize in order to achieve just like anything else. The fact is you can't ignore your personal life goals while building a career and then all of a sudden at 35 say, "Dammit! I wanted a devoted husband and kids by now!" What I took away from this book was to think about ALL my life goals--personal and professional--and work towards them consistently, pushing each little ball a little bit every day. So yes, I worked on my career, and I dated, and when I found someone I loved, I made sure I spent quality time building my relationship so it was healthy and strong, just like my rising career. It's about balance.
It works the other way too: if you over-prioritize having a marriage and children and don't do anything to build career skills, and then if all of a sudden at 35 you want to have a hot, happening career, too bad. You weren't working towards it and now you have to start at the bottom, and it will be harder for you than all those other people who kept at it consistently over the years.
Hewlett's advice worked for me. I am in a good place in my career, married, with a baby on the way. Sure, I know I am VERY lucky. Even with the best-laid plans and focused priorities, sometimes life doesn't work out this way. I am lucky in that I did manage to find, through dating, the most perfect husband ever. I am lucky in that I conceived without issues at 29 (and yes I have known people who already hit fertility issues at that age). I am lucky that I have a career where having children is not a hindrance to my advancement unless I make it one by "opting out." So yeah, some of it is luck and some of it is taking Sylvia Ann Hewlett's advice to heart and making my personal goals as important as my professional goals.
Thanks, Sylvia Ann Hewlett, for the right advice for me right when I needed to hear it.