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Posts Tagged ‘balance’

In my last post (Having it out with having it all) I wrote about Anne-Marie Slaughter’s recent article in The Atlantic, “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All.”  I said that she had some terrific points, but I didn’t elaborate on them.  You should read the whole article, but here is a quick summary of the things I thought were particularly smart:

A suggestion from an assistant of hers: “MAKE SCHOOL SCHEDULES MATCH WORK SCHEDULES.”  How amazingly different would a working parent’s life be if this were the case?

Slaughter’s list of “The Half-Truths We Hold Dear”:

Slaughter writes:

Let’s briefly examine the stories we tell ourselves, the clichés that I and many other women typically fall back on when younger women ask us how we have managed to “have it all.” They are not necessarily lies, but (more…)

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I was at a party this weekend where I only knew one other person.  One-and-a-half people really — I knew my friend’s husband — a little bit — by sight, anyway.  It was a small party and I was late so I had to walk into a room of established relationships (even if some of those relationships had only been established in the past hour).  So I dithered in the kitchen over the food (homemade barbeque (North Carolina style), fresh corn salad, spring onions with rice, roasted vegetables, coleslaw and guacamole — all the more delicious since I didn’t make any of it myself!).  Then I went in and sat down.

After the introductions, extreme self-consciousness set in.  I remembered (too late) how shy I get in groups.  Most of the guests were younger than me and were talking about things that were only peripheral to my life these days — cafes to visit (I only go to those within walking distance — with the twins in their stroller), meals to make (I spend most of my time in the kitchen cutting bananas into slices then quarters for tiny hands and half-toothed mouths), classes to take (I’m lucky to watch something educational on PBS before nodding off), grapes to pickle (see banana slicing above) …

(more…)

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I was at a party this weekend where I only knew one other person.  One-and-a-half people really — I knew my friend’s husband — a little bit — by sight, anyway.  It was a small party and I was late so I had to walk into a room of established relationships (even if some of those relationships had only been established in the past hour).  So I dithered in the kitchen over the food (homemade barbeque (North Carolina style), fresh corn salad, spring onions with rice, roasted vegetables, coleslaw and guacamole — all the more delicious since I didn’t make any of it myself!).  Then I went in and sat down.

After the introductions, extreme self-consciousness set in.  I remembered (too late) how shy I get in groups.  Most of the guests were younger than me and were talking about things that were only peripheral to my life these days — cafes to visit (I only go to those within walking distance — with the twins in their stroller), meals to make (I spend most of my time in the kitchen cutting bananas into slices then quarters for tiny hands and half-toothed mouths), classes to take (I’m lucky to watch something educational on PBS before nodding off), grapes to pickle (see banana slicing above) …

(more…)

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I’ve been back from New York for a few days now but I’m trying to keep that feeling of being … away.

Sometimes I feel like Tantalus — the ancient Greek who was punished for some transgression by being confined to a specific scenario in hell: he is sitting in a pool of water below a branch of fruit, agonized with hunger and thirst — but every time he puts his mouth down to drink or his hand up to reach, the water and fruit elude him.

And I just looked up what Tantalus did to deserve such a fate: while a guest at Zeus’s table he stole ambrosia and was planning on sharing it with mankind, thus revealing the secrets of the gods.  So he overreached and was punished by never being able to grasp what he desired … what he needed.

Ouch.

So my life isn’t that bad — not by any means!  But (more…)

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For Mother’s Day my beloved spouse got me the book Cindy Sherman: The Complete Untitled Film Stills.

In many ways this is a completely normal gift — I’ve always loved Cindy Sherman (well, except maybe her vomit-scapes, but overall: very much).  But in one way it feels odd.  Cindy Sherman — for Mother’s Day.  It’s not that Cindy Sherman was or wasn’t a mother — it’s that she embodies so many different people.

The bulk of Sherman’s work is (more…)

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