Friday, May 23, 2008

On saving pandas, or polar bears, or taking a nap

I subscribe to More magazine. It is targeted, written for and generally embracing of women, aHEM, over the age of 40. There are articles about sex, cooking, weightloss, fashion, the stuff you would expect. But they also like to throw in articles about reinventing oneself or inspirational stories about women who have "made a difference" with their lives. This is where things get funny for me. Do I find these stories, these women, inspirational? Well, I find them remarkable certainly. To say they inspire me is maybe pushing it. They often inspire me to take a nap.

In the last few months I have read the following articles: There is this woman who had her children, triplets no less, later in life like moi, but shortly after bringing them into the world, like 8 weeks later or some ridiculously short period of time, she left them for a month to go on an expidition across Antarctica. On a dog sled. Sleeping in tents. In the COLD. And she does it regularly now.

Or there is this woman who had been a major player in the software industry, was one of the top dogs at Sun Microsystems, who decides she needs a change. So, because she has enough money socked away she decides she will leave with no plan in mind. She can afford to live without working for three years at the most, but she planned to have a plan by the end of year one for what she would do with the rest of her life. She became an award winning novelist two years after quitting her job.

Cooper is 18 months old, and is ONE kid nevermind three, and yet I find sometimes just getting out the door and to the mall, where I manage to buy the thing I went there for to be a major accomplishment. And between day care and child support for the step sons from Bob's marriage #1, we couldn't survive for three months without a paycheck much less three years. And that makes me crazy, since almost every time I turn on the TV, assuming we are not watching endless episodes of Barenstein Bears or the Hoobs, I see that Suzi Ormond or whatever her name is, chick, on TV telling me how much money I should be saving for my future and how much to have for those emergencies. ACK. And since the only writing I do is either in the form of email or this blog, I don't imagine I will be winning any awards.

I like that there is a magazine geared toward woman over the age of 24. And that it gives consideration to all sorts of issues, not just the fluffy stuff about how we look or whether our sex lives are up to snuff, but they focus on real women achieving major things, at an age when most of society thinks we have taken up knitting or shuffle board. Not that there is anything wrong with either of those activities. Every so often though, I find the stories intimidating. I would like a few stories about women who balance having the kids with a job I can actually identify with. I don't have the luxury of quitting my job to take classes to reinvent my life, again. I think having Cooper actually was major overhaul of my life. Talk about reinvention. I am not sure I can do justice to being his mom if I were to try to focus on some momentous, world saving agenda. I think I will be happy being me, being a good wife and mom, whose house is not spotless (we have a beagle after all) and trust that that makes a difference in the long run even if I am not saving pandas while living in a hut in China.

1 comment:

Oz said...

I've had similar thoughts. I do believe that it's the small, personal things that we do for one another on a daily basis that can add up to a better world. Very, very cheesy, I know. Maybe I'll be able to focus on saving the world when I'm a grandmother.