Sunday, 17 July 2011

Booksneeze Review - The Waiting Place, by Eileen Burton

Learning to appreciate life's little delays is the subtitle of this book, and the reason why I chose it. I am waiting, waiting for life to slow down, waiting for my girls' health to stabilise, waiting for there to be 30 hours in every day, so that I can take some time for myself as well as scrambling around caring, cleaning, nursing, chauffering, PA-ing, entertaining. Waiting to have time to make plans.

All of which sounds fine, except that I am waiting for all this to stop, getting caught up in the "What I could do if only...?" rather than concentrating on the "What can I do right now?" Dreaming is good; if Martin Luther hadn't had a dream, how would life look now? But where dreaming interferes with living, it's less helpful.

It took me a few chapters to get into this book. Taking trips down someone else's Memory Lane wasn't what I was expecting from an author who claims "The Waiting Place is for people like me who get stuck in their precious, mundane, gorgeous, absurd lives. It is for those who work hard at the 'business of living' only to find that they seem to be caught in one long, boring meeting." But I persevered, taking my own side trip back into my own childhood home (much easier, since it's just around the corner, and my parents still live there), and found some treasures I know I will want to reread.

I can utterly identify with Eileen as she remembers waiting for her son to take another breath. The relief of knowing that there is actually something wrong, that what you are living is not, in fact, normal, and that the doctors are concerned too.

And then this "There are times when we are left only with what feels like the wrong ending. When we listen closely enough, we think we hear the angels cry." Beautiful.

This is a book to dip into rather than necessarily to read as a whole. With essays on childhood, family life, difficult times, and stepping out of the safety zone (and giving your car to a stranger because God told you to), I know that I will be revisiting different chapters at different times.

I'm not a Pastor's wife (or anybody's wife), I've not ever had to queue to qualify for WIC support (not something we have over here), my mother has never tried to buy me a wig. But whilst these experiences are what Eileen uses to demonstrate her points, I'm a woman in a busy and less than perfect world, and I can certainly identify her Waiting Places in my own life.

I received a copy of this book free from BookSneeze in exchange for writing a review. I was not obliged to write a good review.

I review for BookSneeze®

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