Trade in your pumps for bunny slippers To the modern professional, few words are more frightening than “You’re fired.” For better or worse, our careers can be like scaffolding, and our identities can be inextricably tangled with what we do for a living. That’s why, when the door of employment slams in our faces, it’s easy to slip into a freefall of depression rather than remembering the old adage that when one door closes, another one — or at least a window — opens.
Dominique Browning, editor of Condé Nast’s House & Garden magazine for more than a decade, experienced all this firsthand. On a Monday morning in the winter of 2007, she showed up for work as usual and marched to the corporate offices for her regular meeting. That’s when she learned she was out of a job and had four days to clean out her office.
Not surprisingly, unemployment turned Browning’s life on its head. The fact that her children were leaving home and her relationship was coming to an end only added insult to injury. She started tumbling down a bumpy chute of panic.
Along the way, though, she discovered a new kind of joy. In Slow Love: How I Lost My Job, Put on My Pajamas & Found Happiness, she uses friendly, funny, humble, and honest prose to reassure us that loss can allow us to move “at a gentler, more loving pace,” learn to appreciate “the beauty of everyday moments,” and “engage with the world in a more meaningful way.”
Browning reads from her book at 6 p.m. Saturday, June 19, at Collected Works Bookstore (202 Galisteo St., 988-4226). No word on whether she’ll wear pajamas, though.
— Laurel Gladden