The Happy Healthy Nonprofit

I should disclose a couple of things before I talk about The Happy Healthy Nonprofit so here goes:

1) I’m not really a believer in the whole work/life balance thing. It feels like just another way to tell women they’re doing it wrong or they’ll never be good enough. I have a similar feeling about “burnout.” (Though of course, I do understand the real science behind stress, work and health issues. Those are a thing — absolutely, I’m just not 100% sold on the issues as we talk about them NOW… it’s complicated.) This means that I’m probably bringing that baggage into how I feel about this book.
2) Beth Kanter is an old friend and BlogHer buddy and I love her — which means I’m probably bringing how I feel about Beth into how I feel about her book.

Having said that, I knew I wanted to read Beth’s book even before it was released. Because Beth, clearly. Must read. Also, Aliza Sherman, good grief. Could there be two smarter women? Nope. So after I watched Beth’s KICKASS Happy Healthy Nonprofit presentation at Cause Camp a few weeks ago, I decided it was definitely time to read the entire book. So I did.

Overall, I felt pretty good about the book. What I found myself agreeing to is that you can feel X way at work and at home, as a result of … things. In my experience, it’s not so much about over-work (and not taking down time) as it is about falling out of love with my job, my coworkers, my organization/company. It can also happen when I feel under-appreciated, under-respected, and when I’m not given an opportunity to grow or contribute in a meaningful way.

The tips and ideas in this book can help you with those issues. In fact, it includes many of things I’ve done in the past, when I was really unhappy with my job. Making changes about how I worked, how long I worked, when I worked and what I did when I wasn’t working made me so much happier than if I’d just kept grinding away.

I also believe that we’re all different, an environment where I thrive may be one where you struggle. Recognizing what works for me, is important for me (and for my team.) Recognizing what doesn’t work for others is just as important for me (and for my team.) Reading The Healthy, Happy Nonprofit can give you some framework for thinking about this and help you begin to make changes for yourself and support others.

If you are struggling with work/life balance, if you’re feeling burnt out, if you’re not burnt out but are just plain ole unhappy with your job or work environment — then I absolutely guarantee you that Beth and Aliza’s advice will help you.

Besides tips for the individual, there are tips and ideas that you can bring to your coworkers and your company/organization to help improve workplace culture. I enjoyed reading about what other organizations are doing and reflecting on the stuff my org is doing.

I’m still not completely on the work/life balance, take a real vacation, keep your phone out of your bedroom (impossible for ME!) wagon … but I’m definitely glad I read the book. I circled stuff (in PEN.) I’ll be referring back to it again in the future. (And, I really do need to get more exercise. Really.)

#Readathon Books Five, Six & Seven: All Non-Fiction

First, the cookbook My Two Souths that Sassymonkey told me about. I liked it. TW was not as impressed with it, which is troubling since we thought she’d really like it. I really want the tomato pie/tart. That would be yummy right about now.

Next, Gardens of South Florida was fine. An over-sized book full of fancy gardens. If you like fancy tropical gardens, this is your book.

Last, but not least, The Art Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained. To be honest, I’ve been reading this book for awhile. I just leave it open on the breakfast bar and read a couple of pages while I eat dinner or lunch or whatever. And then I finished off my readathon by reading the rest straight through. It’s a great book and I’m interested in the other books in the series. I’ll probably get some of those in the future. I might even like to own a few.

And that’s a wrap… seven books, mostly non-fiction, 17 hours of reading and a $50 donation to the #readathon charity. No great snacks and I have a messy kitchen and I didn’t take part in a single mini-challenge (except the opening survey), which was weird. I just wasn’t feeling it. BUT, I very much enjoyed my #readathon and am looking forward to the fall event. (I hope it’s not GHC/birthday weekend… gah.)

#Readathon Book Three: Fire!! The Zora Neale Hurston Story

I bought Fire!! when I was in DC in February and saved it specially for #readathon. It was very good but it felt … rushed, maybe? I mean it’s hard to tell someone’s life story in the span of one relatively short graphic novel, I get that. But Hurston’s story is so… interesting. I almost felt let down. Almost. It’s still a great graphic novel and I highly recommend it. I just wanted MORE.

#Readathon Book Two: I Hate Everyone, Except You

I had to read I Hate Everyone, Except You because how could I not, with a title like that. Also, Clinton Kelly (WNTW), right?

And, it totally amused me. The first chapter horrified me and amused me, both at the same time. Many of the chapters horrified and amused me. It was awesome. lol

Also, do you think you can you outrun a raccoon?

#Readathon Book One: The Doodle Revolution

I didn’t plan to read The Doodle Revolution front to back in one sitting but I got involved and ended up not wanting to put it down. It was excellent. I wish she’d talked about color with more depth, that was really the only disappointing part of this book. (And that was really disappointing.)

I didn’t do any of the doodle games or exercises, but I’ll go back and do some of them before this has to go back to the library. (I might update this post after I actually do some exercises. Maybe.)

PS. I’m categorizing this as “art” for the purpose of organizing my blog posts but DOODLING IS NOT ART. Just making sure y’all know that (and everyone knows that I know that.)

Hidden Figures

Oops. I finished Hidden Figures awhile back and thought I already wrote about it. Apparently not.

Anyway.

Totally enjoyed it. Really enjoyed seeing how the movie combined bits and pieces of womens’ stories and tweaked the timeline a little and the ages of characters and the relationships of characters. That was pretty interesting to think about, in terms of book to movie stuff.

I also really enjoyed learning more about the work these women did. And loved how much time was spent on Dorothy Vaughan’s story. She’s my favorite. The only complaint I have is that there wasn’t quite enough about Christine Darden.

Make Your Own Ideabook with Arne & Carlos

I had no idea who Arne and Carlos were when I picked up their Make Your Own Ideabook at the library. I still had no idea who they were after about 10 pages but I had the impression that they were… knitters?

So I stopped and looked them up and ended up watching some Youtube video of them doing a Q&A. Yep, knitters and totally adorable. But anyway, this book… It was pretty terrific.

There wasn’t anything I didn’t know in there, but the photos were fabulous and getting a look at some of the pages of their ideabooks was fabulous. I’m really glad I checked this one out. Also, they’re really cute. lol.

Two Non-Fiction

It’s planting season in Florida and TW has the “bug” — and ever since I read a bunch of edible landscaping books last year and the year before, I’ve been dreaming of rosehips, kiwi fruit and blueberry hedges. But, I couldn’t remember exactly which book(s) I’d read that had inspired that little day dream. So, I looked back over my Goodreads history and found the one that I THOUGHT was the right one, Foodscaping: Practical and Innovative Ways to Create an Edible Landscape and reserved it at the library. Just in case, I reserved another. They both came in at the same time — I was right about which one I’d been thinking of and I bought the darn thing because I really like it.

I think TW probably like the other one, Edible Landscaping with a Permaculture Twist better. And I did like one of the projects a lot — and I’m pretty sure we’ll be building a spiral herb garden some day. (I’m not sure we’re going to build an outdoor clay oven though. Sorry TW, sorry JMP.)

Two Non-Fiction

I picked up P.S. You’re Invited because why not? I’ve read the blog a few times and I’m always looking for fun DIY books. This wasn’t fun. At least not for me. It was just boring.

What wasn’t boring was 100 Weekend Projects Anyone Can Do. I’m not sure anyone can do them but I sure would like someone to do a bunch of them around here.

Jane Austen: Cover to Cover

On our last trip to the library, they had a big display of Austen (and Austen related) books. I glanced at it but didn’t see anything I hadn’t read or anything I hadn’t read that looked interesting… until I spotted a bright and shiny looks like it has never been checked out book called Jane Austen: Cover to Cover.

I’m no Janeite so I almost didn’t check it out. But I’ve always found it hard to resist a bright and shiny never been checked out looking library book before, so I grabbed it. Gosh, I’m glad I did. It was a lot of fun to read on a lazy Monday holiday.

As expected, my favorite covers were all of the most recent Penguin specialty editions and also as expected, there have been some truly awful Austen covers over the last zillion years. It made me kind of want to collect them, hahaha.

Get this book. It’s fun. Seriously.