My dear friend Kate and I had a good little heart-to-heart last week. We were talking about the vast quanities of things we are working on (e.g., crafting, reading, gaming, volunteering, working, diet, exercise, etc) and the complete and total lack of energy and umph to get up and do them. Even when I do manage to do things, my To Do list never seems to get any smaller. There is always more, and more, and more to be done.
Kate looked me in the eye, and asked "Do you think it's because we are older and we just can't do all we did when we were 20?" Well, she could have knocked me over with a feather right then. Being older can't be it. I still have trouble coming to terms with the fact that I'm an adult. I can't be old enough to be slowing down.
As I continued to muse on this over the weekend, something occurred to me. I am of the age where I grew up being told that I could be anything. I could have it all: the career, the family, the house, the kids, the white picket fence - the whole middle-class enchilada. (Do they still teach little girls that? I don't know.) Of course, they neglected to tell me that in order to do it all I'd also have to be a Type-A, OCD, crazy woman who never slept and was on the fast track to an early grave.
And I realized, as much as I understand that it's not realistic to try to "have it all," deep inside of me is a core that still believes that I can. The ugly part that comes with this belief is if I can't have it all, it's not because the standard is unreasonable. It's because I'm not trying hard enough, not smart enough, not thin enough, not something enough, oh god there must be something wrong with me. *sigh*
Somehow I really don't think that all our foremothers who marched on Washington, fought for the ERA, and burned their bras wanted their daughters to end up feeling inferior and unworthy when they couldn't meet an unrealistic ideal.