This post by Rebecca, the brains behind the fabulous lifestyle blog Florence Finds dropped into my inbox at just the right time. I recommend you bookmark it for when life just gets a little too much. Rebecca asks important questions regarding what we expect of ourselves, about what we value, and challenges us to ask ourselves whether we actually link the two in our lives. In our rush to achieve it all, are we missing out on the important choices? Thank you Rebecca, and over to you:
Hello lovely readers, I’m Rebecca, usually found over at Florence Finds and I’d like to extend a special wave to all the other bloggers participating in today’s International Women’s day here at AOW who I don’t already know, it’s nice to meet you!
I’m quite honoured to have been asked to contribute here, amongst such thoughtful and intelligent company, so much so that it took me quite some time to get over my stage fright about what to write. When you think about choices and relate that back to women, there are so many topics that warrant mention. Women having the vote, abortion rights, the ability to pursue a career, delay a family if we so choose, even having access to decent contraceptive choices, but as I thought them over none seemed quite right for me to discuss today. In fact, what stuck in my mind was the overwhelming number of choices we have and a thought that often crosses my mind; Are we making the right choices?
We are educated women, with opportunities coming at us from every angle. And what is the right thing to do? Well, say yes of course, seize life with both hands and make the most of every single one of them. Except, how are we supposed to enjoy anything when we can’t quite seem to catch our breath and give head space to any single task? We have careers, work long hours often and then many of you do another full time job, being mothers, without breaking stride. As if that isn’t enough, we all have interests. Maybe we’re learning another language, discovering the joys of ‘growing your own’, or pursuing the title of domestic goddess in the kitchen. And don’t forget the ever growing pressure towards physical perfection that demands actual grooming and attention to current trends that sees you keeping up with Miss Jones next door.
It’s a stereotypical spectrum of issues and perhaps you don’t pursue these particular achievements, or even value them. Perhaps this is more about what you really value. Are we making the choices that lead us there or the ones that are expected of us? Perhaps it’s more about what we expect of ourselves.
Image from here
I cram a lot into my life; My job, a blog, my allotment, an excessive interest in fashion, style and cooking. Sometimes I wonder if I’m doing any one of them properly. When I think about what I really value, my relationship, my family and friends, time to enjoy my life and the beautiful things around me that I work so hard to enjoy, they are all packaged into the smallest proportion of my life. I often barely sit in the rooms that I work so hard to decorate for example. In an effort to achieve our goals we’re often found far from home then when the time comes to start a family we’re trapped without child care or just the benefit of experienced parenting advice. If we were creating the ideal world, would we plan to be away from our most valuable support networks at the most difficult times of our lives? Choice is something to be celebrated, but doesn’t mean we need to be superhuman and attempt it all, rather that we are fortunate enough to pick and choose the path we take.
Clearly, I haven’t yet found the right answer, I don’t even really believe there is one. Not only are each of us different, but we change throughout our lives and have different needs during our teens, to when we’re focusing on work or starting a family. I just know that along with supporting other women in their choices, whatever they may be, we really ought to cut ourselves a little slack. With so many choices to make these days, rather than thinking about what society expects, or even what we imagined we would be achieving, we should be thinking about what’s right for us, in the here and now. You have a choice. Use it wisely.