Having It All

I was raised by a feminist mother in the height of the 60’s.  I am not ashamed to declare that I am a feminist as well.  There were many issues that were fought for and won during those years.  These are issues that women take for granted today.  But, I think we were sold a bill of goods when we were told that women could have it all

Maybe we can have it all…but we can’t do it all well.  I was a career woman for almost 40 years.  And, during that time I was also a wife and mother of two.  Initially I worked because I was a single mother.  But, when I remarried, I worked because the family needed both of our incomes.  I also worked because I wasn’t a ‘stay-at-home’ wife and mother by nature.  I would have gone bonkers being a homemaker.  I am creative but not domestic.  And, I truly respect women who spend their days caring for their family.

I also am married to the most amazing man ever!!  In our entire 35 years of marriage, he has done the cooking 99.99% of the time.  It’s not that I’m incapable of cooking, I just don’t have imagination in the kitchen.  He is also a neat freak and doesn’t have any problem cleaning, mopping, doing laundry…you name it!!  So, unlike many women who work outside the home, I wasn’t responsible for maintaining the household alone.  I am totally fortunate that we were partners in that.

But even with a spouse who more than contributed his fair share to maintaining our home, there was no way I could put my career on the front burner.  It couldn’t be my primary focus without my family suffering.  I avoided actively pursuing opportunities for advancement because it meant longer hours, frequent travel, and less time with family.  I chose positions which allowed me the flexibility of attending chapel programs and musical performances, ball games, or simply being close by if a child became sick at school.

And because I worked, I was never a room mother or even the mother than baked goodies for the class or for the PTA bake sale.  If I brought baked goods, you can bet they were something I bought at the local supermarket.  I wasn’t absent…I just didn’t have the time to do those additional things or to be there to assist the teachers during their day.  It was all I could do to get home and see that homework was completed before kids were bathed and put to bed.  I thank God that I didn’t have to prepare dinner on top of it all.

We were told that ‘quality’ was better than ‘quantity’, but who had time for quality time when you were just getting through each day.

Oh, our kids had outside activities…like drama and band.  It seemed like those things took up whatever spare time there was left in the week.  Luckily our children didn’t have lots of additional interests as so many kids seem to have today.  How do people do it?

My point is that while I was able to be a wife, mother, AND career woman, I wasn’t able to devote all my time to any of those roles.  I did an adequate job, but I hardly excelled at anything.  Isn’t that the way it is with most of us?  And, as much as I love Pinterest, how many of us are able to do every idea that we’ve pinned?  Certainly not me?

So, rather than trying to have it all, I would like to encourage you to figure out that one thing that you DO best of all.  And, don’t worry about the rest.

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Being Womanly

I’m been thinking about doing a blog for quite a while now…but wondered at the focus.  I needed to have purpose and intent.  I’m interested in so many things and Pinterest has really fueled those interests.  But, in all things, I realize what I am most passionate about is being an encourager, mentor, and promoter of all things ‘womanly’.

I am recently retired from almost 40 years in Corporate America.  I have watched men encourage and promote men.  But, women don’t traditionally do that in the workplace.  Instead, we often argue amongst ourselves with our ‘stay-at-home’ counterparts.

I’ve been thinking a lot about girlfriends lately. And I realize that I pity men. They don’t get the soul connection that women have with one another. To guys, a buddy is someone with whom to DO something. You know…play golf, go camping, play poker, watch football, build something. With women, a girlfriend is someone to BE with. And, I’m not saying that most men don’t care about their friends as deeply as we women care about ours. I’m just saying that they connect on an entirely different level than we do. They don’t even talk to each other the same way we do.

Women can share everything with each other. And I mean EVERYTHING. (Men hate that about us.)

With women, the connection is emotional, but I also think it is spiritual. Anne Shirley (from Anne of Green Gables) always referred to ‘kindred spirits’. My dearest friends have always been kindred spirits…women with whom I had a definite connection that went beyond common interests. It was an immediate understanding of who we were, how we were made and what we felt. We seemed to know these things instinctively. And these connections are not limited to women my own age. Older women friends have guided me to go beyond my own capabilities. And younger women friends have inspired me with their vision for the future.

There is a sisterhood among women. Some women are fortunate to have been born with sisters…even if they don’t realize it when they are young. Others, like me, have chosen women to be our sisters. To most women…the words sister and friend are almost interchangeable.

When my mother got older, she didn’t have many women friends and I thought it was so odd. I couldn’t imagine not having a best girlfriend to talk to. I remembered her women friends being around when I was a little girl. I realized that most of them had moved away or they had lost touch. It still makes me sad because I think it must have been lonely for her to not have a girlfriend. She had me and I hope that was enough. But sometimes I wonder. As I’ve gotten older myself, I find that I have become my mother.

When I lost my best friend over five years ago, I knew that I had also lost the sister I had chosen. No one knew me as well as she did. There was no one left with whom I could talk to like her. And, our relationship was hardly perfect. But, I would give anything to even go back to the bad times between us. Because even when we got mad at one another, we always forgave each other!

God recently blessed me with a new sister-girlfriend to walk beside me in my golden years.  She is someone I’ve know for quite a long time, but it’s only in recent years that we discovered our special connection.  She has been such a God-send to me recently.  I had thought that I would never have a BFF like that again and I’m so thankful that I do.

Don’t get me wrong…my husband is a wonderful man and a best friend. I love him to the depths of my being and we’ve shared a wonderful life. But, he isn’t a girlfriend. (He isn’t the least bit interested in having a discussion about the wonders of Spanx…go figure…)

So…that is the point to my blog.  I want to encourage women…not girls, not ladies…but WOMEN.  I’m going to have posts about crafts, children, recipes, and organizing.  But, also musings about how we can help each other out.

Being womanly means being kind, gentle, creative, sexy, empowered, loyal, smart, and nurturing.