Wilmette, Community

Georgia Garvey’s popular columns — focusing on parenting, COVID-era stresses — unite in new book

Newsroom budget cuts are nothing to celebrate, but one local side effect may have worked to the public’s benefit during the pandemic.

When Georgia Garvey’s newsroom had to stop paying for columns, the editor stepped up. And her commentary — primarily about family life amid COVID-19 — quickly earned readers’ attention.

“I wrote about what was going on in my life. Weird and normal stuff that happens to parents,” she said. “People really liked it and I just kept going.”

She added, “I kind of approached my column as therapy during a really weird time in the pandemic. I just use it as a way to talk about being a modern parent.”

Garvey stepped down as editor of the Pioneer Press, a suburban product of the Chicago Tribune, in 2021, but she kept writing a column for publisher Creators Syndicate that appeared in publications nationwide. And now, many of those columns have been released in a book called “Everything is Going to be OK (Until It’s Not)”

About 80 of Garvey’s pieces are included in the collection, which Garvey said she curated.

“I am thrilled,” Garvey said of the final product before backpedaling. “I think I picked a weird title. I’m a little worried people don’t get it, but it was really exciting to see in print.”

The title was inspired by a conversation Garvey had with her therapist. When Garvey was explaining her current harbinger of stress, the therapist gave her a version of that line: “Everything is going to be OK until it isn’t.” She explained that the therapist was saying that while everyone is headed for the same outcome, it is worthwhile to enjoy as much of your current state as possible.

I kind of approached my column as therapy during a really weird time in the pandemic. I just use it as a way to talk about being a modern parent.”
Georgia Garvey, local journalist on the inspiration for her column

That self-actualizing tenor is behind much of Garvey’s writing, which combine humor with an abrupt honesty to distill relatable themes, from camping and waiting tables to COVID-era kindness and parenting through the years.

“I write about parenting a lot, probably more than any other topic,” she said. “Sort of a theme in all the columns I write is trying to make sure I am living in the moment and I am appreciating and enjoying what life is offering me in this instant — no matter what.”

Now in Wilmette, Garvey has called many places home, first Greece and then North Carolina, Louisiana and Missouri. She then went back to Greece for a year of college.

When she returned stateside, Garvey stayed with a friend at Northwestern University and “never moved away,” she said.

With a journalism degree from Columbia College, Garvey reported for the Daily Herald before becoming an editor with the Chicago Tribune and its suburban titles.

Now she writes her column and does editing work out of her home, where she lives with her husband and two children, 7 and 5 years old.

Garvey is proud of her book and excited for family and friends to read it. She also hopes readers will enjoy rereading her old columns or consuming ones they missed.

“Everything is Going To Be OK (Until It’s Not)” is available on Amazon and other retailers. Garvey will greet readers and talk about her book on Jan. 18 at The Book Stall, 811 Elm St., in Winnetka.

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joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

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