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Simply Solo Spotlight: My Self-Help Shelf Is Full

January 31, 2012

Today’s Simply Solo Spotlight is written by R from Single Mom’s Ramble. R says she spent five years after her divorce waiting for something amazing to happen and finally decided she needed to get off her butt and make it happen (something we can all learn from!). I hope you enjoy today’s guest post and please head over to R’s blog for more of her story.

Quick shameless plug: Do you have a story to tell? Advice to offer? Did you just have literally the worst date of your life and you must write about it? I’d love to have you as the next Simply Solo Spotlight! Contact me at:

My Self-Help Shelf is Full

My “self-help shelf” is full! As I squeezed “Calling in “’The One’” into the last inch of space I had left on my “self-help shelf,” I glanced across the titles: “The Happiness Project,” “365 Tao,” “He’s Just Not That Into You,” “Finding Your Way Home,” and “Eat, Pray, Love.” Yes, yes, I WANT to do all that. Eat, Pray and Love someone after finding my way home from the man who’s just not that into me, and into the arms of “the one” who knows the four sacred contracts and also has been studying how to give your mate the best back massage ever. (I’ll have to look and see if they sell that one?!) Where is he and how can the shelf be full? My quest began with the first few that would help me heal my broken heart; the next couple would explain the mystery that is MEN. Then I realized that in order to catch the perfect mate, I needed to understand who I was, so I bought a few more … well you get the idea. I was really hoping to be done with this self-help journey, and on to busying myself reading Bride Magazine or “Blending Families” way before the shelf was full.

self help book, advice book, dating book, book shelf

Actual photo of R's book shelf

My “self-help shelf” is full! You would think after reading all this sage information that I, Rambling Single Mom, should be a happy, successful, religiously enlightened person. I would be someone who understands my deepest wants and needs as well as those of my divinely amazing “soul mate” who came to me when I wasn’t looking! Did I do something wrong; what step did I miss along the way?

My “self-help shelf” is full (did I already tell you that?). I have read every word of those books. I have poured over the deep and meaningful content. I’ve laughed and cried as I’ve seen myself on so many of the pages. I’ve followed the courses: 12 months to happiness, seven weeks to calling in “the one.” I’ve dealt my archetype cards, closed my eyes and opened Richard Bach’s “Messiah’s Handbook” to see what deep message there is for me, and yet … here I am, still single.

My “self-help shelf” is full. For this last book, I actually went to the book store instead of ordering online. Wow! The place is crawling with men, who knew? They didn’t say anything in any of those books about hanging out at the book store! There I was sitting at home on my couch, reading about how to change my life, when I could have been running into “the one” in the self-help aisle, or better yet, the travel section.

My “self-help shelf” is full, and if I really analyze my life, I am happier! Happier than I was when I started this journey; maybe I should give the books some credit? I’m over the heartbreak from “the last one;” I am more aware of my thoughts on religion; I’ve discovered how to listen to my inner intuition “gut;” and I do feel that I have a better understanding of men, what they think, and what I should do to keep them coming back for more! Ok … that’s a lie, I still have no idea! But in the end, I’m happy, my kids are happy, I’m actively seeking my destiny, and the only thing missing is my man. For now that will have to be OK.

My life is full: of work, of kids, of music and of Internet maybes. My fortune cookie said tonight, “We live at the edge of the miraculous.” I am standing on the precipice. I think there’s room for the fortune on the shelf, and then maybe there is another trip to the bookstore in my future? This time however, I think I’ll just find one of those comfy chairs and read the next book there; after all … my “self-help shelf” is full.

Copyright 2012. Simply Solo blog by Catherine Gryp. All Rights Reserved.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. January 31, 2012 9:51 am

    Perfect timing for this spotlight! I have been recently browsing through my own self help shelf and thinking it was time to beef it up some. It has been years – literally – since I have bought a self help book. I used to spend a couple hours in the bookstore browsing titles, finding the next great thing to enlighten me. Apparently, somewhere along the way, I thought I was “fixed” and stopped reading them. Lately, I am thinking I am not so “fixed” anymore… or maybe I am just slightly off path. Either way, I think it is time to hit up that bookstore again and see what I stumble upon.

    • January 31, 2012 11:37 am

      I see we are rambling buddies!!!
      I think we are never “fixed” life is always about the journey and there always seems to be a new book out there. The book stores have nice coffee shops and comfy chairs these days so enjoy a nice Sat. afternoon browsing. 🙂

  2. ringfingertanline permalink
    January 31, 2012 10:18 am

    Reading “He’s Just Not That Into You” now. Totally devouring it.

    Also, don’t feel bad… my self help shelf is way more embarrassing. “Your Sexually Addicted Spouse”… “Redemptive Divorce”…. yeah. Those aren’t embarrassing at all when people come over… haha

    • January 31, 2012 11:39 am

      I keep my shelf in my bedroom, which may become a problem if anyone other than myself were to ever “spend time” in there!!!

  3. January 31, 2012 10:21 am

    Ringfinger – Hahaha! That actually made me laugh out loud. I know what you mean though. I have removed from the shelf that is visible to my guests the “getting over an affair” books…

  4. Zak permalink
    January 31, 2012 10:53 am

    I think the broader goal is not how many, or which, self-help books you read – but how you get to the place you need to be. My best friend always said I needed to love myself before someone else could love me. And as much as I knew he was right, it took a while to really understand what that meant. I think Catherine, myself and others are good examples of using blogging as a means to this end. It sounds like R, and others, use self-help books, which is great, too.

    Again, I thin the broader goal is to find “happiness,” whatever that is for an individual.

  5. January 31, 2012 2:11 pm

    Great post! I have been looking and my self-help shelf, which includes all of those books!- and wondering what’s next for me! I guess it’s time for all of us to go out and use this knowledge, and maybe write our own books down the road on life post-self-help-addiction! =)

    • January 31, 2012 4:51 pm

      Wouldn’t it be cool to do a compilation – a book of everyone’s best advice? Guys and girls, because I’m always interested in what the men think too. I do feel like I could write one myself, but not until I’m actually successful! I haven’t gotten there yet, obviously 😉

      • Zak permalink
        February 1, 2012 2:38 pm

        On one hand, if you were an expert in relationships, it would also mean you were bad at relationships. You’d have to have a bunch of breakups and dating of new people to know good things to suggest to others.

        On the other, if you were in a solid relationship that had lasted a long time, you might think you have advice for people to emulate, but you also wouldn’t know what it’s like to fail constantly.

        So, no matter what the self-help books say – or people on blogs, myself included – what matters is what you take away from those books, blogs, friends, etc, and how you decide to use it.


  1. Guest Blogger… | Single Mom's Ramble

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