I went to the opera the other night for the first time in years. It was La Traviata, which I saw in Italy well over a decade ago. Whenever I go to the theater, first my brain turns on all the backstage goings on – I worked in theater in high school and college. Second, in period pieces like this, I think about the times we live in. Part of me wanted to be like those women, spending their evenings at parties every night in Paris, their days lounging and visiting. Of course, I probably would have ended up on the less financially secure side of things, which was a whole different world. I’d be working in the laundry, or in some kind of servant role. Awesome.
Anyway, my point is that it’s confusing to be a woman these days! I feel overwhelmed often (apparent in this blog) by the expectations I put on myself. I have a great career I’m trying to grow and excel at. I have a wonderful son I want to give enough quality time for. A husband and a relationship to nurture, a house to care for, laundry and shopping and cooking, friendships to maintain. Yes, my husband shares the care of our family and home with me. But for some reason (am I alone here?) I feel like women (or at least I) put way more on ourselves than our counterparts do. Yes, I realize no one is demanding these things of me but ME – but it doesn’t make it any easier. If only my own expectations of self had an off switch.
No wonder I get so stressed. I mean, NO ONE can do it all. Seems pretty basic, and I keep trying to find my happy place where I can just be content with whatever I’m able to do. And yet every time I think I’m getting close, I watch the contentment slide through my fingers only to hover just beyond my grasp. Sigh. My life is certainly no La Traviata. I have a good job and family and health. Poor Violetta is forced to leave her love, getting your him back only in time to die of consumption. OK, she wins. And I guess sometimes, its good to go watch her story so I can get a little healthy perspective into my own. Cheers, girlfriend.