Can you even remember life BEFORE the microwave oven? Can you live without it? I resisted for quite a while before owning one. I couldn’t justify spending money to save time by heating food quickly! Today, to “nuke” something is commonplace. In fact, having recently bought a new home, I didn’t realize that a built-in microwave is now considered a standard appliance.. (Sharing this with you reminds me of the stories our parents enjoy telling that frequently begin with “I remember when”.)
So, you’re probably thinking, what’s the point? In examining my behavior I’m wondering if you’re a lot like me. I usually take a “wait and see” attitude when considering whether or not to purchase something that speaks to newer technology. I resisted remote controls because they represented laziness, a food processor when my mixer with three different sized bowls worked just fine, a C D player (what am I going to do with all my tapes?), and a mobile phone. If you relate to this behavior, surely I’m in good company!
Both a recent series of inconveniences and the reality of what is commonly called “information overload” precipitated my once again giving in to another advancement in technology. Because of my ongoing struggle to organize a full schedule and life style, to keep track of names, phone and fax numbers, addresses and appointments, e-mails and reminders I bought a small, hand-held computer commonly called “the palm” or “Palm Pilot”. It’s fascinating that one can actually have all necessary data in one place and quickly accessible without requiring an address book, day-timer, or business card file.
I have to admit I’m really benefiting from this new purchase. Not only has it simplified my life, but now I feel really connected to current technology. When asked if I have a palm, I can reply, “Of course. Doesn’t everyone?”
There is no way to convince me that men and women are equal! I recently reflected on what most women accomplish in a day and measured against men. It’s a fact that women are inherently competent and capable of multi-tasking which theoretically gives us the edge on this issue. The question for us to consider, however, is “Are we happy performing so many roles or can we create more balance in our lives by delegating?” are we willing to “give up control”, and relinquish some of our responsibilities even if the tasks may not be done the way we would do them?
Every day a significant number of women work full time, manage a household, meet carpool commitments, do laundry, grocery shop, prepare meals, help with homework, fill the social calendar, keep up with correspondence, and struggle to find time for exercise, relationships, and personal fulfillment. It’s likely a man would find this day to day scheduling exhausting. Is any man up to the task? What can we do to engage their support or the help of any others in our family? How can we work together to change this continuous treadmill to equalize responsibilities and balance our lives?
The word that comes to mind is “awareness”. Often I find myself operating on automatic pilot. Because we carry out our tasks efficiently and simultaneously, it might not occur to us that someone else could do the job with equal or better results. For the people directly benefiting from our efforts, what reason would they have to interrupt the “status quo” if we are willing “to do it all”? Since the bulk of household management and responsibilities fall in our laps, perhaps it’s also our responsibility to enlighten and engage others to become more aware of imbalances when they exist.
It would be phenomenal if this one narrative could instantaneously change my situation or yours. Realistically, however, recognizing your situation will begin the process of implementing change. Nothings happens over night. Nothing will happen without taking time to assess where in your daily life you are out of balance. Why not transfer center stage to someone else to encourage them to play your roles when appropriate?
The heart of a woman is as big as life. She initiates conversations with strangers in the bathroom. She recommends the perfect place to find the perfect dress to a woman she meets at the beauty salon. She clips coupons to send to her daughter-in-law. She smiles when she would rather scream; cries when she is happy, and often says “yes” when she means “no”.
A woman keeps the refrigerator full just in case someone stops by unexpectedly. A woman fights for what she believes in by supporting community endeavors with both time and money. She listens to friends, helps with homework, and gives unconditional loves.
Women cry over their children’s accomplishments, during a romantic movie, while reading sentimental cards at a card shop or when opening a special present. Women openly express happiness when hearing about the birth of a baby, an engagement, or a marriage. Women share their emotions from their heart.
Women remain strong even when they think they have no strength left. They comfort loved ones in mourning, visit friends and family who are ill, and offer hugs and kisses to soothe broken hearts. Simply put, women connect! They write letters, make phone calls, send e-mails and stay in touch. Women care!
Women are present wherever and whenever they are needed. They intuitively know where to offer their love and support. Women do more than give birth. Where a woman is there exists joy and hope. She brings compassion and companionship. She gives moral support. She acknowledges. She reassures. Women are mothers, daughters, wives, lovers, sisters, aunts, and grandmothers. They give, they guide, and stay grounded. They are amazing not only for what they accomplish, but for the values they impart. Women earn our respect every day not only because of what they do, but because of who they are.
In the 1800′s Walt Whitman was quoted as saying, “Be curious, not judgmental”Â. Unfortunately, most of us see ourselves as the center of the universe. When we are quick to judge others we are really putting a label on them as it relates to our perception. Based on what we consider appropriate, we find fault with someone else’s hair style, way of dressing, how they conduct themselves, the kind of work they do, and so on. Statements like, “I can’t believe she bought that car.” “Did you notice the way he treated his sonÂ?”, or “How could anyone that overweight eat dessert?”Â are indicators that we are judging another’s behavior. What gives us the right to do that?
This is part of the series “Personally Speaking: Volume 1“Â to purchase the entire series click here.