Do you read other people's blog and never comment?
I used to be like this.
Until I read Steve Roesler's post, on All Things Workplace.
The title was "Work-Life Balance Isn't."
It had been a very long and hot summer day at home and the house was busy like a hive.
The post was written in a very personal way, referring to Steve's couple, to a young couple they knew and choices we make at essential times in our lives.
I felt an urge to write about my own experience, and wrote quite impulsively a (much too long) very personal comment, resonating with my own story.
Here it is,in a previous post called Demeter or Artemis, you can skip to the end where I make my point!I know I should be writing shorter texts, especially in a blog, but I'm still learning!
What striked me was the distinction between comments coming from men, taking a BIG perspective, speaking concepts, language and generalities; and comments coming from women, sharing their guts, feelings and very personal stories.
Both were as valuable of course…
I'd love to be able to take a step back, reflect and make a wise and brilliant comment.
Like Wally Bock commented, life is made of plenty of "intelligent choices".
I read Wally Bock 's tweets and I am grateful for his generous insights and often challenging advices.
He was the first to tell me to cut my posts and keep them shorter.
Also advised me to "keep away from the device" Twitter , after I wrote about "Twitter Detox".You can read more on his blog Three Star leadership Blog.
My point is that these choices are tougher still for women and I see them more as challenging dilemnas.
We find ourselves raised with the belief that we can (and we should) have it all, that we can be independent, collect PhD's and be the perfect wife, mother and still get the time to have a career, write a book and design wonderful healthy meals daily…
Well, it's not that simple… We need to put it into a life's time perspective and , as a young woman, we hate to think of us when we are our mothers' age…
Two personal family stories.
My mother was a brilliant Doctor, she married my father, a Surgeon and a Professor of Anatomy.
She struggled to keep on working while raising my two sisters, eventually resigned and stayed at home to take care of her third daughter (me) and be " a better wife" (influenced greatly by her own mother and her in-laws)
She never recovered from this "quitting", became very depressed, and always repeated to us, girls, that we had first to make a life of our owns.
My aunt never had children and became an Internationally recognised Professor of French literature and writer at Cambridge. She kept on travelling and lecturing and I envied her professional life very much.
So here are the decisions I took, as a child,from these stories:
Never give up on your dreams
Never live to please others.
Follow your own instinct, search and look for what you want, deep inside your heart.
Only conscious choices made with a clear vision of what we want, of our internal and external limitations, according to our believes and personal values, can build this integrated life.
In a next post, I shall address more specifically the issue of young women, in a post called "Can Generation Y have it all?".