Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Some Nerve by Patty Change Anker

I have ambivalent feelings about Some Nerve.  I picked it up blind from a display at the library, but many people would have come to it through Patty's blog titled Facing 40 Upside Down.  It's Patty's memoir of facing her fears as a 40-ish mom of two.  She wants to set a good example for her girls and, also, to join in more with them as they do their activities, rather than watching from the sidelines.  As she progresses, she is definitely also doing it for herself.  She learns a lot about herself, her friends and facing fears along the way.

Each chapter in the book addresses a particular fear:  water related fears, fear of decluttering, driving, death, and fear of heights are all addressed.  I found myself really engaged in some chapters and really not in others.  I'd like to think this isn't simply a reflection of my own fears and interests, although certainly that factors in.  What I think it is, though, is that the Patty's style didn't always work that well for me.  Sometimes I was able to overlook it, though.  I, for example, really loved the chapter on surfing in the winter in Lake Michigan.  Go Patty!

What didn't work so well for me was how many different people were introduced in each chapter.  There were often multiple experts in the field and multiple friends who either gave advice or needed help with the particular topic addressed.  I often found myself saying, "Who is this again?" and flipping back to try to find out only to find out they'd just appeared.  That was sometimes tedious.

What I did love, though, was finding myself laughing out loud at times.  Also, I found some inspiration, although not in the same way as many of the people who've endorsed the book.  Many people are motivated to face their own fear.  I didn't get that so much because, I think, I didn't so much identify with most of the fear addressed.  However, Patty does things like swimming in a pool to prepare for being the ocean.  While I do a decent job of staying active, I often don't do the exact things I should for the activities I want to prepare for.  For example, I've started wind surfing, but only do it during one month a year.  There are things I should do to prepare myself in between.  Spending time on my balance board, for example.  I hadn't gotten it out in a very long time (maybe a few times in the last year at most?), but I got it out after reading Some Nerve on two different occasions already.

All-in-all, I think Some Nerve is worth a read and I think highly of Patty and the journey she's on.

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