Book Review: Year of Yes

Shonda Rhimes is the creator and writer of the TV I watch. I spend a reasonable amount of time reading, and when I’m ready to turn my brain off her shows: Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder are my go-to viewing. That’s why I haven’t read a lot of women’s fiction or romance. I watch Shonda’s shows instead. So, I’m a fan, and until I read this, I hadn’t even realized that she’s from suburban Illinois. What I do know is that her storytelling inspires my own. Shonda’s characters don’t all get happy endings, they aren’t all good people, but they are real, and that’s what keeps me coming back for more. I don’t even like medical shows- I spend the entire time with my hand over my eyes, but I watch it anyway.

I grabbed this on Audible months ago (maybe on sale?) just on the strength of her name. I started listening to it with a slip of my finger while I took one of my new fast walks that are not quite running yet. I meant to turn on the lecture I started in the car and instead downloaded and began this book- and then didn’t stop until the end.

I read some reviews that said it’s just her bragging, that nothing profound happened, that this book is more of an autobiography- huh. I didn’t see it that way.

I found her to be delightfully honest and at about the one hour mark I started taking notes. My takeaways:

I don’t have the same problems that a mega show runner has, yet as women, mothers, trying to balance work and home we did have much in common.

Know your healthy boundaries. They won’t be the same as mine or Shonda’s. Saying yes doesn’t mean saying yes to everyone. It means saying yes to you and your personal self.

In the past when I’ve said yes (outside my comfort zone) it hasn’t worked out. I made some poor choices that cost time, money, too much emotional work, or all of the above to both my family and me. Hearing about Shonda’s year of yes made me realize what areas saying yes it would work for me.

When I can I try to listen to autobiographies if the author reads them as I feel it adds so much to hear the tone of their voice. This one is no different. I hear more than a bit of Olivia Pope in Shonda’s voice, and that was what I wanted to hear. She is confident,, and sassy. All the things I value in my friends. Listening to this was like sitting down with a friend and discussing life over the beverage of your choice.

Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes

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