Review of “The Pile of Stuff at the Bottom of the Stairs” by Christina Hopkinson

I finished this book last night after I got back from knitting (still not finished one of the sockettes as yet but my MIL’s shawl is coming on a treat!  It’s the only thing I can knit whilst catching up with Mad Men) and well bits of it got me thinking.

Nearly all books have a dedication and this one is dedicated to her husband who she points out was not the inspiration for Joel (the husband in the book).  The story focuses on Mary who is about to turn 36 (same age as me) and feels like her life could be improved (don’t we all?).  She is un-happy working part-time juggling housework, 2 small boys Gabe and Rufufs; and decides that her life could be better without her husband around.  So she decides to give him 6 months to improve and to record his process he is given a reward chart to track the good and the bad that he does.  One thing Joel doesn’t know about it.  Can order lead to contement?  Where does true happiness lie?

The story is good and very funny in places.  It also addresses a lot of issues that women face today.  The fear of failure and the feeling that we are not good enough.  The way we judge our own lives by those around us and coveting what they have, forgetting to be grateful of the blessings that are in our lives.

I’m blessed to have a husband who is not like Joel.  He actually does quite a bit around the house, mostly washing and ironing (he brill at ironing – I iron more creases into a garment than out) but he will also do the vacumming and will cook when asked (like tonight even though it was fish and chips!).  However it was the character Becky  that struck a cord with me regarding the childlessness issue (I also read an interesting article in a magazine about it also today).  It’s made me realise that I should make more of this situation that I am in.  I do have Godchildren and I sponsor 2, I try and do a shoebox for Operation Christmas child and do bits of knitting for charity too. I know I’m blessed to be able to do this and that I have the freedom to do what I want.  It’s the freedom that I’m having issue with – I don’t use it wisely enough, it’s an area that I need to pray about and hopefully God will lead me to do His will and bless others!

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