Being true to oneself can be very difficult, especially for women. We are by nature nurturers, and that need seems to make us feel the need to take care of everything we come in contact with, often at the expense of our health.
I find it interesting that June Cleaver seems to have returned from the dead. So many young women are repeating a history that I’ve long left behind. They work; take care of their homes; and enroll their children in sports, accelerated learning classes, music lessons, and God knows what else so that the little ones can graduate from kindergarten with high honors.
These moms drive their children to and from these numerous events in their big SUVs, while complaining how tired they are (or they spend hours on the phone deciding whose turn it is to carpool). If that’s not enough, add in going to the gym, trying to manage the home front, and being sexy if they can manage to stay awake. As a result many of today’s young women are suffering from anxiety and depression.
Gee, I can’t imagine why!
I spent years believing that no one could do anything without my direction, and whatever needed to be taken care of would be done best by me. Age has not only tempered this mindset, but also for many of my female friends who’ve realized that no one’s going to reminisce about how perfect they were.
Much of life is like a movie or a play and we become the characters with a story line we’ve memorized. It’s often difficult to change the dialogue because the rest of the players are used to you giving them their cues.
It took me a long time to realize that I didn’t want to be known for how perfect I was, because it was really an illusion. My goal now is to be remembered as a wild, zany, eccentric mother and grandmother.
No one is perfect nor should they want to be. It’s a goal that only leads to anxiety and makes the people around you wish you’d be abducted by aliens.
Life is so much more fun when you loosen up and lighten up. The ultimate irony is that when you’re flexible, you’re actually more productive, and your friends and family will feel more relaxed and comfortable.
Loretta LaRoche writes the Get a Life column for the Patriot Ledger.