- Paperback: 291 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (January 1, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1582380406
- ISBN-13: 978-1582380407
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 17 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #546,251 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Grow Up!: How Taking Responsibility Can Make You A Happy Adult Paperback – July 30, 1999
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“Pittman is straightforward and witty in his guide to what it really takes to become a responsible adult.” ―Library Journal
“In Grow Up!, film critic and psychiatrist Dr. Frank Pittman tells us the secrets of happy adult lives. He uses his own life, his years of practice as a therapist, and his prodigious reading and movie viewing to analyze our culture. He is opinionated, brilliant and incisive, never dull of mealymouthed. Plus, he is one of those rare psychiatrists who likes mothers.” ―Mary Phipher, Ph.D, author of Reviving Ophelia
“A wise, funny, in-your-face prescription for being a responsible and happy adult. Frank Pittman is Jeremiah, Solzhenitsyn, and Bill Cosby rolled into one extraordinary writer with somethin to say that we need to hear.” ―Dr. William J. Doherty, director of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program and president-elect of the National Council on Family Relations
From the Publisher
"In Grow UP!, film critic and psychiatrist Dr. Frank Pittman tells us the secrets of happy, adult lives. He uses his own life, his years of practice as a therapist, and his prodigious reading and movie viewing to analyze our culture. He is opinionated, brilliant, and incisive, never dull or mealy- mouthed. Plus, he is one of those rare psychiatrists who likes mothers." --Mary Pipher, Ph.D., author of Reviving Ophelia
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I think Frank (Pittman sounds a little formal for an author who shares this many personal anecdotes and writes so informally) is right on target about our need to grow up. To rephrase that, we need to do what we can do with the hand we have been dealt and the day that we have, e.g., today. Blaming others, trying to get others back, or even competing with others is not likely to lead to much long term satisfaction, whether those we target are spouses, kids, bosses, coworkers, friends, or even in-laws.
In fact, the literature tells us that self-sacrifice in the pursuit of purpose is one of the key factors in personal happiness, though in the short term drugs and sex work pretty well, too. As you might guess, this book argues for a long term perspective. And when it comes to long term perspectives, working with the mate we have for the success of one's grandchildren, nephews, nieces, and kids while caring for those who went before us is about as long-term as it gets.
Along the way, Frank doesn't hesitate to give a lot of personal advice. Now this is great, especially if you happen to be short on good advice, and there are a lot of people who are, either because life didn't deal them Frank's hand in cards, or because tragedy or poor choices intervened along the way. Of course, that's the problem, too. If you have dealt with a difficult life or trauma and tragedy along the way, you may not have such a sunny and optimistic view of how to get ahead as Frank does. In fact, you might even get a little angry or jealous as you think about a healthy, highly educated, prosperous man with an intact family and successful children telling you how to have a good life. (Tip from the book: Don't waste too much time on this, it won't do much to help make you a happy adult.) Tip from the reviewer: Don't read this book if you want to hear stories about an author who has overcome adversity and accepted vanity as one's lot in life.
Still, even the author who said, "Vanity of vanities. All is meaningless," also concluded that the best course of action is to live life with gratefulness, accepting it as a good gift and enjoying it. Of course, reputedly that author was also very rich, wise, healthy, and so forth.
So read the book, pick out a few movies you haven't seen if you're into watching movies, and pick one or two things you can do with your current partner, child, boss, or friend to "grow into," and reap a small (or maybe bigger) harvest of joy and peace.
Spoiler note to Christians: Frank is big on post-patriarchal marriages and families, his label for being feminist-friendly, but still big on loving, involved couple and family life, even to the third generation.