TOO TIRED TO EXERT energy, I pile books on my nightstand, Dr. Seuss style, all teetering and hair raisingly off-balance. For added drama, my cartoon-like towers of books lean defyingly over fragile heirlooms and a trough of melatonin. Surface tension and dust hold it all together; it’s a psychological thriller.
What I need is a robotic arm, like they have in those towering, glass-enclosed wine cellars so popular in hotel bars near the airport. The kind where the arm glides, its hand extracting wine bottles with pinpoint accuracy. I need that. For my books.
There is one framed photo on my nightstand. It is of my husband and me hugging on a windswept beach. It’s a unicorn: I love my curves in this photo. It is a snapshot of simpler times, when our four kids were younger, before fate snagged itself on a barb, unraveling our lives like a run in a $2 pair of pantyhose. Before my husband had the stroke.
Don’t tell my mother, but during lockdown, I penned snarky phrases in elegant script on my grandmother’s fine Haviland teacups. I gave the cups to friends and kept one that reads “everyone’s judging you.” It still cracks me up. The teacup holds unemployed buttons, hair clips missing most teeth, reading light batteries, and my desert island necessities: Rose lip cream by Fresh and Caddis readers (believe the hype).
These days I’ve been repurposing my favorite Deseda silk twiggy scarf, Legends, as a decadent bookmark. Gotta manufacture your own joy, and finding unexpected luxury in my book each night delights me.
I am a life coach and cognitive behavioral practitioner. I help women shift from self-doubt and stuck to efficient, effective, and happy in her parenting, her relationships, her career, and herself.
This year, my daughter, Siobhan, and I launched The Confidence Triangle, soul and sciencebased confidence training for tween and teen girls. With her mom as her greatest ally, our monthly, self-paced, online subscription teaches girls the skills of confidence that she can use throughout a lifetime. Every time a girl doubts herself, the world loses. Confidence can be taught so why in the world aren’t we teaching it to our girls?
Not surprisingly, I have piles of books on confidence, mother/daughter relationships, teens, and mindset. I’m reading Winging It by Emma Isaacs, The Book of Moods by Lauren Martin, Mothering & Daughtering by Sil Reynolds and Eliza Reynolds, and Dial Down the Drama by Colleen O’Grady.
To clear my mind before bed, I like collections of short stories like Homesick for Another World by Ottessa Moshfegh. Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey is gravelly, optimistic, and unexpectedly humble. Jennifer Weiner’s Big Summer isn’t emotionally demanding. I mean, who has the bandwidth for that anymore?
If the circuits in my head are looping fast and furious and I need serenity now, I reach for my heaviest hitter, Country Music Hair by Erin Duvall. It’s everything you’d hope for in a book about country music hair. And, yes, it includes photos. This book is gloriously trite but knowing country music mullets inspired someone to put pen to paper renews my faith in humanity. My soul soothed; Dolly Parton vibes help me drift off to sleep.
Backwards in High Heels by Tania Kindersley and Sarah Vine hasn’t left my nightstand in probably 12 years. It’s the muse for the book I hope to write one day.
For more information or to get in touch, visit T-Ann’s websites: tannpierce. com and theconfidencetriangle.com. You can also follow her on IG @tannpiercecoaching and @the.confidence.triangle. Better yet, just knock on her door. She’ll make tea.