Monday, September 5, 2011

Women who do too much

“Women never have a half-hour in all their lives (except before or after anybody is up in the house) that they can call their own, without fear of offending or of hurting someone.  Why do people [women] sit up so late, or, more rarely, get up so early?  Not because the day is not long enough, but because they have no time in the day themselves.” –Florence Nightingale, as quoted in Anne Wilson Schaef

A few years back, my mother got me a daily calendar For Women Who Do Too Much (Anne Wilson Schaef, again).  It was a page-a-day, and I couldn't believe how well it spoke to me.  Did she design this calendar exclusively for me?  Were there lurkers in the corners of my life--how did she get all the *details* so right?
Chicken Little: is the sky falling, or do I just live my life in crisis mode?

I was lamenting with a couple sewing buddies recently about the endless ToDo list.  I had told of my recent Sweetie-inspired idea to cut every day's list in half, and how that seemed to be working better for me--at least in terms of making my perfectionist expectations more in line with reality.  One woman said, "The problem is that a woman who manages to get herself together half an hour early in the morning will think to herself, 'Wow, look at the time--I could paint the house!'  And feels like this is normal thinking and behavior."  So true...

When relating this story to my roommate, he added that the female-socialized perspective is to put the needs of others first.  A man wouldn't think twice about using that extra half-hour for "me time".  Wouldn't feel the tiniest bit guilty about it.  Ah, there's a lesson here...

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