I’ve been taking stock of my life lately, and I’m not sure how I fit into this Brave New World I seem to be stuck in.
Everyone is a Superwoman. I mean everyone!
No matter where I look, or where I go, someone is talking or writing about some woman who started with some great idea, and is now changing the world. Or at least her corner of it.
Everyone is taking lemons and making tarts, pies, cakes and Royal Spectacular Lemonade that can eliminate wrinkles and give you back your self esteem. I thought I had hit the big time when I found out that putting lemon peels in the disposal will make it smell better!
I don’t know whether all these women somehow managed to find the secret to self promotion, or if they are all just blessed with super energy, super stamina, super ideas and 47 hours in every day. But I find myself wondering: Where are all the other average women, like me, and are they watching the same Lifetime Movie I am watching?
I have spent most of my life reinventing myself, starting with childhood. I invented myself as a happy person from a normal family. And I tried to make that work for a long time. Then, when I couldn’t make that fly any more, I invented myself as a well-balanced survivor of a really dysfunctional family. Since I wasn’t very well-balanced at the time, that didn’t work very well I am sorry to say.
Not being discouraged, I reinvented myself as a hard working, self sufficient single mother. I did OK at that, except that I was trying so hard and working so hard and mothering so hard that I didn’t bother to address anything other than ‘what’s on my plate today’. Let me tell you all, once you stop running in place, momentum makes all that junk you are carrying around come back and hit you in the backside at about 80 mph. Not fun, and it may leave a mark…
After picking myself up from the train wreck, I reinvented myself as a business woman, contracting to do work for other companies. And I was pretty lucky for a while. I was able to find the information I needed to produce things I didn’t know I could do. But then being a mom with a sick child and other children with needs as well showed me that I only had one brain, in a short person’s body, and I had to use what brain cells I had saved from the 70’s to help my family. After that, I didn’t have the ability to spell CAT right the first time for a few months. Mohammed Ali could have talked rings around me and made more sense than I could after my children finished the Teenage Years.
Once I realized that (a) I was no longer immortal and (b) I was over 50, I reinvented myself again. This time, I just wanted to make things that people liked. And that would be fine, if I didn’t have to also be my own marketing director, purchasing agent, web designer, accountant, and sales organization. I still haven’t figured out how to use the buttonhole attachment on my sewing machine, and I used to know how to do that, 40 years ago. I guess those are some of the brain cells I lost on my way to that Van Halen concert back in the day… or it could have been Lynnrd Skynnrd.