On realizing the imperfect life is perfect + “The Status of All Things” by Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke


I never really realized what a philosopher Bender was. Bender. The Criminal. The kind of hot guy that good girls like me would never give a second look, except out of the corner of our eye (I’m talking The Breakfast Club).

He was right: I guess that was because Bender had lived a life time before we met him. His home life was less than desirable, and more than I could have imagined. Much like Brian (The Geek), Claire (The Princess), and Andrew (The Jock), I couldn’t believe that those things really went on in a family. I mean, my dad was a jerk, but he never burned me with a cigarette. And we always had great Christmases.

I wonder what Bender would have thought of Facebook and Instagram?

But I digress. Bender knew that life isn’t perfect. That screws fall out, and that things don’t always happen the way in which we envision them.

It took me awhile to realize that no matter how hard we try, life wasn’t going to be perfect. That I couldn’t control every bit and parcel and piece of my (our) life.

And, a moment later, I realized that was okay.

It was when my Katy was born.

She was born very early on a September morning. We saw her before they whisked her away, but didn’t really realize that something was up. We didn’t want to know, weren’t ready to take it all in.

But, later on that morning, after Ted had gone home to shower and I was dozing off and on in my hospital room, a doctor from our pediatrician’s office came in, pulled up a chair, and began talking to me about genetic tests and bilirubin and Trisomy 21. About Down syndrome. About my daughter, my newborn, my second girl, being born with Down syndrome.

I thought about what this meant for us, before I even called my husband. Everything ran through my head. Everything. What was our life going to be like? What was Libby’s life going to be like? How were we going to do this?

And, I’m embarrassed to say, I wondered: How am I going to tell people? What are they going to think? How do I start this off, knowing were not going to be perfect?

But I took a deep breath, called Ted, and told him. And I cried. I called my parents, my family, everyone. And told them. I sent an e-mail to my teacher friends.

By the end of the day, after I visited with Katy, my world began to take shape, and an epiphany  began to take hold. I started to think about kids I taught (at the time, I was a teacher), realizing that pretty much every kid had SOMETHING. Some were messy. Some were unorganized. Some were nonathletic or bad at math. Some were anxiety-riddled. Some were born with dyslexia. Some were born with autism.

And some were born with Down syndrome.

I left that perfect child behind, that perfect life, and realized that my imperfect life was, in its own way, perfect. It was what we’re supposed to be, this is our wonderful, screwy life.

And Katy is perfect, because she is Katy.

She taught me the lesson long before Facebook. There is no perfect, not the way we imagine. But we’re all perfect in our own way, imperfections and all.

I guess she helped me realize that yes, I can get envious of a friend’s wonderful new house or great vacation, but I’m not envious because of their perfect life. Because their is no such thing. Let me say that again: There. Is. No. Such. Thing. And that’s okay.

We can all strive for perfect moments and memories. But if every moment is perfect, then nothing is special.

Perfectly Awesome Girl!!!
Perfectly Awesome Girl!!!

And now, a fun little book that made me think about unachievable perfection: The Status of All Things by Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke.

I got to read an Advanced Copy of this book, which will be released on June 2nd, 2015. It is available for pre-order now in many places, like Amazon.

Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke have been friends since high school, and their writing shows it. This is their second book together (I haven’t read the first), and obviously they work well together. There is something sweet and fun in The Status of All Things.

The Premise

Kate is a smart, educated woman with a great job in advertising. She has a wonderful fiancé and great friends. Her biggest downfall? Social media.

We meet Kate on the eve of her wedding, accompanying her to her rehearsal dinner. The man of her dreams, the wedding of her dreams, all planned down to the moment, each ready for selfies, pics, and status updates.

So, when her perfect fiancé calls the wedding off at the rehearsal dinner, Kate is devastated. Her heart is broken, but, even more than that, she cannot imagine how she will deal with the social media stigma.

As she goes to bed, she posts a wish to re-do the last month as a way to put off announcing the worst. In the morning, she wakes in her wish: she has gone back a month in time.

Will she be able to fix everything? To see the error of her ways? To marry the man of her dreams? Or has she been given the chance to fix even more? Is there a way she can screw up not only her own life, but her friends?

I guess you’ll have to read The Status of All Things to find out.

My Thoughts

The Status of All Things isn’t at all deep, but it is fun and interesting. It is a great summer book, perfect for vacation or days at the pool. I liked it. It didn’t take all my intellect to read it, but it was very worth the read.

The characters were good. Again, not too deep, but I wasn’t expecting deep. The story was fun and funny, if more than slightly predictable.

Surprisingly, for as shallow as this one was, The Status of All Things does make you think. Especially if you, like me, are a little addicted to Facebook.

I give it 3.5 stars for what it is:  fun chick-lit book, light on intellectual thought, heavy on fun.


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