I Miss You When I Blink is basically a couple of dozen hilarious and insightful anecdotes about ‘relatively ordinary life’ all strung together in roughly chronological order.
Mary Laura Philpott is your typical high-achieving Type A personality who grew up in the U.S. expecting that if she followed all the rules she would win at life. She got top marks at school, got a well-paid job as a consultant, got married, popped out two kids and quit her job to freelance from home while she did the mom/wife/charity thing.
She’d ticked all the boxes. But she wasn’t happy. In fact, she was clinically depressed.
This is a fabulous memoir for those of us who know we’re incredibly fortunate compared to most of the rest of the world but still have a niggling feeling of ‘Is this it? Is this all there is?’
I Miss You When I Blink is not a self-help book. Philpott is not going to try to convince you to set up an orphanage in Africa or run off to join a hot yoga retreat or build a SIX-FIGURE BUSINESS FROM YOUR HOME.
Reading this book might just make you feel a little less alone and reassure you, ‘Oh, it’s not just me, then?’. It’s also a lot of fun, like catching up with an entertaining friend for coffee and settling in to listen to them regale you with funny stories about life.
My favourite bits
I suffer from an overwhelming need for purpose. I’m hopeless at relaxing for relaxation’s sake. It’s part of the reason I started Story Addict – why just read books when I can read books and track them in Google sheets and tick them off as I go after writing a review and sharing it online? A much better use of time! I found a kindred spirit in Philpott who described her vacation time thus:
Luckily, one of my responsibilities at the bookstore is reading manuscripts of forthcoming books. That means that on vacation I can imitate relaxing while I’m actually working. All I have to do is lean back in my beach lounger and point to my stack of books and say, “Behold this leisurely reading I’m doing while casually wearing a sarong, free of all cares and work-related thoughts,” when in fact I’m thinking, Four books in three days. Yessss.
And next time someone rolls their eyes and scoffs, “First World Problems” (which they really only do to minimise your pain so they don’t have to actually deal with it), I’m going to beat them around the head with this quote:
Bad things are still bad things, though, even if there are worse things. When you hear reports about the suffering people on our planet are going through – epidemics, drought, melting ice, corrupt elections, oppression – you might feel a little guilty for stewing over a disagreement with a family member or a roadblock at the office. But our personal concerns don’t go away just because the world is going up in flames on a global scale. That’s not how it works.
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Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher for the purpose of review. This post contains affiliate links.