Friday, April 10, 2009

Women's Work

I'm going through my own internal recession, I think; I've recognized that my personal resources (time, energy, happiness) are limited and am cutting back, reviewing what's necessary, laying off what's not.

I have finally accepted that I can't do everything. My limit seems to be two jobs, although I actually hold 4 permanent ones: housekeeper, mom, project assistant (this is the one that pays), cook.

This means that I constantly have to choose which two are going to get the focus. This week cook and housekeeper stepped back so that I could motor though my lengthy to-do list at work and navigate Daughter's schedule. But that means I only made dinner once, and it was from the freezer, and the dishes are taking over the counter.

I'm ok with that.

I could also probably also add to the "unpaid" or category:
  • chauffeur
  • laundress
  • nutritionist
  • child psychologist
  • nursing assistant
  • researcher
  • freelance writer
  • publicist
  • gardener
  • pet care specialist
(Hmm... is there a job for people who update their facebook statuses a lot? I'd have that one too.)

But my mental health seriously depends on being able to have reasonable expectations of what I can do. Jobs I have recently discarded:
  • extreme environmentalist
  • gourmet chef
  • best.mom.ever
  • literary genius

It's a relief to trim down my internal resume. I have always tended to be an overachiever (thanks, alcoholic parent!), and put pressure on myself to be the best at everything... which led to me not enjoying anything.

Being healthier has led to changes in my life that are far more radical than any of the politics in the days when I was marching in demonstrations every week. Liking myself, for example. Having a strong relationship with my kid. Enjoying being alive.

It's totally worth it, even with an internal pay cut.

2 comments:

Sarah P-H said...

It is when you write things like this that I remember how brilliant you are! I mean, I always think you're pretty darn smart, but this post is a true gem.

Dawn on MDI said...

hear! hear! Listen to what Sarah says! All aces on this post, hon, and great art to go with it!

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