2009 may well be the year for me to focus less on work and more on my external life (outside of working hours of course) Often in the arts, the two become immeshed. The year has started with a funeral, so I’m now looking forward to the two weddings that must surely follow.
The funeral I attended was chilly but inspiring, the messages from reflections on the 91 years of a woman’s life were about her struggle to live through the twentieth century as a capable and intelligent woman in the face of adversity (war, loss, hardship) balancing the demands of being a wife and mother against her own need to feed her intellect and the high standards she set herself and her family, ensuring that her children and grandchildren, both male and female have grown up to become successful and balanced, empathic people. My feet may have been frozen but my spirit was warmed.
This morning the news is about a French Politician who having given birth to a baby a month ago is featured in the media looking glamourous and well, back at work – does this damage ‘women’s right to equality’ campaigns? Is the message she gives to others who don’t understand what childbirth involves, a negative one? So that they think this is something more people could aspire to – returning to work sooner rather than later? Right now, I can’t imagine why anyone would choose to return to work so soon after childbirth, or what reasons there would be to require someone to do that.
I struggle to excel in both a professional arena and a domestic one, I am often reminded of SHE magazines catchphrase ‘women who juggle their lives’. Writing a report, making a proposal, travelling to a meeting, feeding the dog, picking the children up AND doing the ironing? If I had to choose to let one thing go – it’s the ironing, every time. That’s how I am. It feels, like the rest of my family enjoy ‘ironing/washing up/hoovering’ and the ‘alleged’ therapeutic benefits from these activities but maybe they are simply more dedicated to domesticity than I? I do my bit – “you’ve got to put in to get out” but we’re all different, our personal, moral, ethical standards, our desires, goals, dreams our lives are all joyously individual and we can’t all be super men and wonder women.