Monday, November 05, 2007

Q & A with Kimberly Palmer

I first started reading Kim's blog, Good Girl, after she did a guest post over at Hip Tranquil Chick, quite a while ago now. She has since moved on to Creating Ms Perfect, and, from what I can tell, she's doing a pretty good job. I love reading her blog because she explores what it means to be a woman, in the context of our day-to-day lives; how we relate to our husbands and parents, how we feel about careers, and being happy. To this end, she is delving into the wonderful world of self-help books. We did a Q & A, so you can all get to know her a bit better before visiting her fabulous blog!

Why did you start following women's self-help books?

I first became fascinated with women's advice books about 10 years ago, when I found a marriage manual in my grandmother's closet in Bath, England. It was incredible -- it advised wives to always look good for their husbands and to make sure not to share too much "intimacy" or you might tire each other out. Some parts were so different from the advice we get today, but then others sounded so familiar. Then, when I got married, I realized I could use some old-fashioned advice, not just for figuring out marriage stuff, but also for deciding how I was going to feel like I was contributing to the world, and how to be happy -- so that's how "Creating Ms. Perfect" got started. It is basically my quest to figure out what kind of wife and person I want to be with the help of women's advice books.

What's your favorite advice so far?
The most enlightening thing so far has been realizing that's it's okay to embrace cooking and cleaning. I've always avoided those two things because I was raised to be a feminist, and I am, but I realized it's possible to be both a feminist and a lover of the domestic arts.

Which advice did you hate?
I really do not enjoy most of the beauty advice out there. I am a flats-wearing, make-up-avoiding kind of girl. The idea of getting regular manicures, waxes, and spray-on tans makes me cringe.

What does your husband think of you following the marriage advice?
At first, he hated it. Well, he hated the idea of me blogging about it, and of people possibly thinking he wanted me to be a traditional type wife. But then he realized I was having fun with it. And he doesn't mind the occasional well-cooked dinner.

What about your yoga practice? How does it tie in with the advice you have been reading?
Lately, I've been focusing on books on finding meaning in life and identifying your passion. One of the key messages is that it's essential to have quiet time each day to make sure you're in touch with yourself, and in touch with how you're interacting with the world. This is where yoga comes in for me. I practice almost every day -- on busy days only about 15 minutes, but still, even a few sun salutations or child's poses mixed with other restorative positions (my favorite is legs-up-the-wall pose before bed) help me to quiet my mind. It's not that I have any huge revelations during this time, it's just that it somehow clears my head and let's me feel calm and open to whatever is happening in my life.


christine said...

Thanks for sharing this conversation! Love the blog and your inclusive sensibility about yoga

...and you've been, um, tagged!

Nadine Fawell said...

Thanks Christine!
Would love to respond to the tag - let me know where & how! I don't seem to have a link from your comment...

Caroline said...

When the Women's Movement began, I had just discovered needlework. Both became passions of mine, but both, each in their own way, were secrets. The women's movement was very unpopular with many friends and family, and how could I enjoy embroidery and needlepoint (SO domestic)if I were to become a feminist? Then, there was an article in the brand new MS magazine (another of my secrets) about the upside of such domestic interests. Aaah, what a relief. I could be a strong woman and also enjoy the domestic arts. It's so interesting that such a conflict is still occuring to us.