Photo of Shonda Rhimes by Disney | ABC Television Group/Flickr, licensed under CC 2.0
It was the middle of the day when my cellphone rang.
My daughter Maya was sobbing like I’ve never heard her sob before—all of my everything went on high alert.
“Moooooooooooom!!!! He’s dead! She killed him!!!!”
OK, it wasn’t her dog (the dog is a girl). Her husband?
“Who?!” I cried, terrified.
“McDreamy! He’s dead!!!” She continued sobbing like the world had ended. “I hate her. I hate Shonda Rhimes. I hate her more than I’ve ever hated anyone in my LIFE!”
OK. Situation under control. I had never heard of Shonda Rhimes but now I knew we were talking about a television show. McDreamy—Grey’s Anatomy. Whew. Everything was fine.
“Who is Shonda Rhimes?” I asked. I am not a TV watcher, in general.
“The writer. I hate her. I’m devastated.”
Months later, I believe Maya forgave Shonda because she sent me her book the Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person. And let’s just say that, while I’ve never seen a single one of Shonda’s shows, I am smitten. I am relieved. I am not alone. I am inspired.
Finally, finally there is a book for women, by a woman, that is real. It’s honest in a way that both makes sense and makes you laugh. And puts the whole damn thing into perspective.
Sure, not everyone can live like Shonda Rhimes. She’s a super-successful television producer, showrunner, and writer. But she’s also a mom with three kids. And in her book, she demystifies what it’s really like to be a truly successful woman—the pitfalls, the insecurities, the hardships, the joy. She inspiringly describes how saying YES for a year changed her life.
Even if you’re not a businesswoman, it’s important to read this book. All women should read this book.
If you haven’t read it yet, do.
And if you have read it, give it to someone else to read.
And now I’m going to go dance it out.
I should note that I have (mostly) forgiven Shonda for the McDreamy thing, mostly because of Year of Yes. That’s how good of a book it was.