A Woman's Life in Small Town, Defiance, Ohio
As women we have worked our asses of for equality. We want what men have had for years. We want status, respect, and worth. What that has gotten us is super swamped schedules with taking on the corporate world and still balancing the world of being mom, wife, friend, daughter, cleaning lady, chauffeur, cook, home nurse, family counselor and the list goes on and on. I wouldn't trade it for the world, but man, it is exhausting! While I may not be the best at being the cleaning lady or cook, or any of those roles for that matter, I give it my best shot.
I must admit that there are more days than not that there are piles of clothes waiting to be put in the washer, and a few more piles waiting to be folded. And more nights than not, we go to bed with dirty dishes still sitting in the sink waiting to be loaded into the dishwasher. I haven't figured out this perfect balance of taking on all of these roles. Some days I accept that I'm not Wonder Woman and I'm perfectly okay with that. Other days I feel like I'm dragging our sisterhood of professional women down and just can't live up to the standard of the "do it all, get it all done, with style, woman". More days than I can count I fall flat on my face into a muddy puddle of Wonder Woman failure.
A Lesson Learned
Despite my continued falls and failures I have learned that I need to trust myself and follow my dreams. Not everyone will support your dreams and some days YOU might not support your dreams. Some days the people you seek the most approval from are the ones who doubt your ability to succeed. When the day is done, I'm the one who needs to look at my life, look at my priorities, and decide if I'm going to allow myself to be happy with what I accomplished today. When I'm filling my day with busyness just to fit the mold of the "Do It All Woman" I'm usually giving up something that makes me, "Me" and my emotional well being and self-worth are what suffers.
I could go back to a regular 9-5 job somewhere making a little more than minimum wage, that might offer me some half-assed benefits, because it's the "responsible" thing to do. Or I can face the struggles that come along with being an entrepreneur, and find love, peace, and self-worth in my daily activities. My bank account might suffer at times because establishing a business is not an easy task. My house might suffer because in reality I don't work a 9-5 job I really work a 80+ hour work week trying to put EVERYTHING together and take care of all of my mom and wife roles too. I will go to bed each night probably being the only person who knows what I accomplished that day and I'm learning to be okay with that because I'm finding ME. Finding me is some hard ass work! But in the process, I'm finding a lot of joy and self-satisfaction that I'm hoping to pass on to my kids. I would much rather them find satisfaction in life through joys and self-growth, than money in a bank account and an empty kitchen sink. I'm hopeful that someday my daily joys lead to more money in the bank account but for today I'm okay with limited funds, dirty dishes and the sidewalk chalk left in the middle of the drive way.
I've learned that I need to be done worrying about approval from others, and be done worrying about doing what they want me to do with my life. Instead, I need to worry about my own approval and my happiness, which trickles down to the happiness of my husband and kids. I know my husband and kids support my hard work and efforts to do what I love and that is what matters the most to me.
Taking Time for Wine O'Clock
Recently I was approached about doing some photography that was a little nontraditional. Katie was getting together with a bunch of her friends to celebrate one of their birthdays. She had
seen this blog floating around the internet about this photographer who photographed his friends over the course of the evening as they had a few more drinks to see how their body language
changed. Check it out HERE. She thought it would be great to try
the same thing with her friends as they got together to celebrate her friend's birthday.
We had such a blast. But more so, it was such a great experience because it was a reminder to me that despite all the chaos in this life of being Mom and wife and all those other roles, that we still need to take time for ourselves. I watched these women let loose for a few hours and just enjoy their time together. It was a reminder that in order to take care of family and businesses and all that other stuff, we have to take care of ourselves and let loose every once in a while. Something I don't do often enough.
As the ladies would walk in the door you could see a little of the tension from their work day, or life responsibilities, still resting on their shoulders. Of course, they would try to put that aside so I could take a nice picture. But as the evening carried on and they had laughs and conversations with their friends and a few drinks things began to change.
These changes weren't because they had too much to drink. We are talking about a 2 to 2 1/2 hour time frame that I was with these wonderful women. Sure the alcohol may have helped them relax a little bit, but really, the friendships and the fun they were having together, the time to let go and NOT worry about everything at home is what let them relax and let the transformation begin. For a few hours they let themselves just be their own person with no other expectations.
So, the moral of the story is...
When the world gets crazy...because it will...because IT IS, take a look within yourself and live for YOU. Follow your dreams in the midst of the craziness. Don't live for someone else's happiness and satisfaction, live for your own. Because God knows, you will never make everyone else happy. But if you can look at your life and say you have more happy days than bad days and you are proud of your accomplishments and your goals in life, then you are winning! Take time for yourself to be YOU. Cherish the support you do have in your life and LIVE!