Thursday, 25 September 2008

Having it all, doing it all.....

I grew up in an era of militant feminism - the 70's. We were raised to believe that we could indeed have it all - except a bra, which we were expected to burn... (thankfully, by the time I had one to burn, the mighty bra-fires were a thing of the past).
This week I have been preparing for my input to our quarterly Enrichment Meeting in Relief Society (the women's organisation at church). It is our "Springclean for Body and Soul" meeting and it is going to be great! As women we are so often in charge of caring for and nurturing others, but running on empty ourselves. We can't serve from a void, and so this activity is all about how to take care of ourselves. The mythical Superwoman looms. In believing that we can have it all, we are often trying to do it all.... in one go. I'm on that particular hamster-wheel often. But, having said that, the reality of attaining Superwoman status for me is different to the ideals of my teenage years as I find my priorities changing with the changing seasons of my life. Career took a backseat to my children, although I still work part-time. My paid work was replaced by voluntary work in the form of church and school responsibilities. My days and evenings can be very full, indeed!

In a moment of immaculate timing as I was thinking about Saturday's activity, I heard the first interview with our new Governor-General, Quentin Bryce. This woman has a resume that makes me exhausted just to read it. She is amazingly accomplished - First woman to teach law at the Univ of QLD, first director of QLD Women's information service, QLD director Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission, Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Governor of QLD and now the first female Governor-General of Australia. Somewhere in all of this she is also a wife, a mother of five and grandmother to five.

As I was listening, I was impressed with her, but my ears really pricked up when she talked about the importance of women putting themselves at the top of the family agenda (and also later how she came to learn that the hard way).

"I've been saying to young women, you can have it all but not all at the same time, and how important it is to take very good care of yourself, of your mental and physical and spiritual wellbeing,"
"It's hard to do. It's easier to be a workaholic than to have a truly balanced life. It's very tough for a lot of women teetering on that tightrope of balancing too many responsibilities."
Some responsibilities come with the territory of family and work. But then there are the responsibilities we add along the way. I think it's necessary to review the responsibilities according to our priorities and (to go along with my last post) put first things first. And then we need to get over the feeling that putting our needs first sometimes is selfish!
"When a mother is well, the family is well". I might just write that inside the cover of my journal as a reminder to take a little time out for myself.... and I am starting with Saturday!!

1 comment:

  1. I hope you share those quotes (and a few of your own!) on Sat.


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