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A couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of listening to Tell Me More by Kelly Corrigan. In it, Corrigan weaves funny stories, touching moments, and heartbreaking losses into twelve “things we say to people we love, including ourselves, that make things better.” Through both laughter and tears, Tell Me More left me thinking, and feeling very thankful for the time I spent with Kelly Corrigan.
Tell Me More by Kelly Corrigan
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: January 9, 2018
Length: 240 pages (4 hrs. 25 min.)
Kelly Corrigan starts each chapter of Tell Me More with a word or phrase and highlights its meaning through the lessons life has taught her. Though these lessons are not necessarily profound, they are important, and in the rush of life, too often forgotten. A few that resonate most for me include:
TELL ME MORE – Here Kelly discovers the power of simply listening. It’s natural to want to help fix others’ problems, when many times all they’re really needing is a sympathetic ear. “Tell me more” lets others know you’re present and interested, as they work through their own issues.
NO – All women know we need to be better at saying no, but it’s sometimes so hard! Corrigan’s mother is a perfect example of a woman who learned early the power and freedom that comes with “NO.” I loved Mrs. Corrigan!
I WAS WRONG – Being wrong is so easy, so why is admitting it so hard? Corrigan’s chapter on this topic was one of the funniest and most heartfelt. Let’s just say is involved a dog, a toilet, and a completely wrong assumption. She was wrong, just like we all so often are.
NO WORDS AT ALL – Sometimes clunky words just don’t work. Putting feelings into words necessarily takes away from feeling them fully. It’s why after losing a very close friend to a long battle with cancer, Corrigan didn’t want to talk to anyone. Words just weren’t a help. “Despair defies description….the reach of language can be laughable.” It’s good to be reminded that no words at all is okay.
More “Tell Me More” Life Lessons
Corrigan’s life lessons so resonated with me that I began to see others all around me and realized that we ALL have encountered powerful words that lead to both usual and profound life lessons. Since the collective is always greater than the individual, I though it would be wonderful for all of us to share the phrases that most resonate with us today. I’m sharing three.
KNOW YOUR WORTH – While there is nothing new about this idea, it’s one we often forget. I came across the phrase again recently while reading An American Marriage by Tayari Jones and it just jumped off the page. How important this is for women today. Even when you know your own worth, it’s not always easy to claim it, but claim we must!
MEET THEM WHERE THEY ARE – This phrase was central to a professional development training I recently attended having to do with students that have serious behavior issues. It makes perfect sense in that context, but that little phrase can really apply to anyone. It’s really about having the personal grace to realize that we aren’t all on a level playing field every single day. Meeting someone where he/she is at the moment can make life easier for him/her and you.
NEXT TIME, PREPARE A LITTLE BIT – This came to me in an episode of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and actually includes a couple more lines that make its lesson perfectly clear: “Spontaneity works until it doesn’t work. Then you’re stuck!’ As a person who sometimes flies by the seat of my pants, it’s good to remember that in many situations preparation is a very good thing.
Now, TELL ME MORE. What are your favorite life lesson?
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Sarah's Book Shelves says
I love the “know your worth” and Corrigan’s “no,” both of which are frowned upon these days…especially for women, but that I believe are critical to maintaining your sanity!
And, “know your worth” is a big one for the book blogging community. We’ve kind of all set our worth at $0 and it’s a shame.
Another one kind of in the same vein is “ask for the F%&& mug!” from Modern Mrs. Darcy. She noticed some people in her local coffee shop got these nice, big, pretty mugs and then heard you just have to ask for the special cups. Her point was women often just don’t ask for things that, if they simply asked nicely, the answer would be an easy yes.
I love the mug one. I work in a profession dominated by women and it’s not a good thing. For too long teachers have just agreed to do more and more for little increase in pay. It’s frustrating! I think things are slowly changing, but I mean slowly!
I have this book but it’s fallen by the wayside on my netgalley shelf! I think saying NO is often the hardest thing to do for a lot of women, myself included. I agree with Sarah as well about the book blogging community, lately I’ve come to realize that I’m doing alot of work in terms of my blog which of course it’s a hobby, but I’m doing it all for free! I’d love to have a book blogger discussion around knowing our own worth, maybe we’d start an interesting blogger conversation
That would be a great discussion post. I feel frustrated with the amount of work and so little ability to monetize.
I’m definitely planning to listen to this one, Susie! Side note – do you enjoy The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel? I keep forgetting about this and feel like I need to make time to watch it!
I think you’ll like Tell Me More, and yes, I did like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. There are only 8 episodes, but it is a fun show. I mostly watched it while on the elliptical.
Ann Marie says
Love what you said about meeting people where they are and preparing. I’m also a fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants-er. I sometimes try so hard to prepare and so everything just so and it frequently ends up falling apart. I’ve finally started accepting that I work better and am more creative under pressure. It’s probably one of the reasons I became a nurse. I need variety and spontaneity in order to be mentally stimulated but, at the same time, a little more preparation/organization would probably not hurt!
The older I get the more I’m willing to just go with whatever happens. I used to be more of a planner, but now like to keep things a little more spontaneous. Occasionally, it back fires, but that’s life!