Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed
By Glennon Doyle Melton
Scribner April 2013
From my shelves
Glennon Melton is a woman with a difficult past. She struggled with alcoholism and bulimia and was arrested several times. After she became a wife and a mother, she felt that she had to hide her true feelings about life and the secrets of her past. One day she realized that if she was always hiding, everyone else was hiding too. She decided to start being honest and discovered that everyone is living a life that is brutiful - half beautiful and half brutal. Glennon founded a website called Momastery and began writing about the wild joy and terrifying sorrow of this life we all share. Carry On, Warrior is a collection of some of these essays.
Glennon is not afraid to delve into the difficult parts of life. She writes candidly about her time in a mental hospital, her diagnosis of Lyme disease, and the difficulties she has faced in her marriage. She writes to free herself and to allow others the freedom to share their stories because she believes that sharing the real stuff of life brings us closer together. When she shares about her dark places, the reader feels less alone in their own struggles.
That's not to say that this book is a downer. This was one of the few books that actually made me laugh out loud - and often. The woman who wrote this book is heartfelt and committed, but she is also intensely clumsy and extremely hopeless at almost anything considered domestic. She confesses that she often sets her kitchen on fire, sent her husband to work with a PB and J sandwich and goldfish for lunch, and used to have her daughter run her doll carriage over the rug so that it looked like she had vacuumed. I got a good chuckle out of her confessions about laundry:
"I learned two very important things that day, and I'd like to share them with you, just in case you are in the Laundry and Wife Remedial Classes, like I am.
#1 This is, apparently, how laundry works: say your laundry day is Wednesday. You cannot put the laundry in the washer on one Wednesday and then wait to put it in the dryer until the following Wednesday. You must finish it all on the SAME Wednesday. It's unfair but true. If you don't, your family will smell like dead mice.
#2 You must be sweeter to your husband so he is not afraid to tell you that your entire family reeks.
Housekeeping and marriage are complicated."
I tore through this book in one day, promising myself that I would read just one more essay before I finally accomplished a few things. Needless to say, not much work got accomplished that day. This is a book I will go back to time and again, to fly through in awe of Glennon's candor and effortless writing and then to savor each essay one by one and ruminate on what she says about marriage, motherhood, and living a brave life in a scary world.