The kind of woman I hoped to grow up to be was passionate. She started a movement, or an organization, or was constantly on the move, on the phone, traveling. My (long time gone) energy + my passion + my motivation + my ability to get things done quickly, equaled for, me at least; “I’ll be a somebody”.
With time, I have had a complete metamorphoses into a being that soaks herself in contentment, self care, keeping the focus on myself and my family, small goal oriented missions that together with the slogan, “One day at a time”, eventually do come into fruition. I have learned to respect time, in its brilliant definition of “be patient”. I have come to acknowledge that at the end of the day, my goal is for my family members to put my face on their front cover of family photo albums and not to be on the front cover of anything else.
I recently was reading about Prime Minister Golda Meir; a truly fascinating person with deep emotions under the tough demeanor. She had an interview in 1975 with Oriana Fallaci where for the first time, and perhaps the only time, she discussed her personal life. Her husband, who she did not live with for many many years, but whom she never formally divorced because they indeed did love each other, hadn’t wanted to be married to a politician. Her children, who felt abandoned and neglected by their mothers potential of giving love, never asked for a famous mother. However, her inability to stay at home, cook dinner, be a wife and just be “another” woman in society eventually brought her to the Prime Minister’s desk. Golda Meir went down in history as one of the most brilliant, successful, witty, accomplished women ever. She ignited women leadership decades before Hillary was even acknowledged. (Lihavdil!) Yet, how tragic her personal life was. All soldiers were her children, but sometimes more is less.
I look around at society. Many people I know have similar potential to conquering the world, whether it be in politics, in their own community, in their congregations, work, an organization helping people, their business. Some of them could be real trailblazers in “acts of women pioneering”, no matter where the energy ends up releasing itself. And some of these friends are indeed doing just that. Running around, changing the world, waving their flags, climbing up ladders, and that doesn’t necessarily take away from their ability to run a beautiful home.
I think if I lived in the 60’s, I might have been one of those women on TV who removed her bra (with my shirt still on!), throwing it in a burning garbage can yelling, “I don’t need be restricted to this multi million dollar business that make men (!!!) rich”.
But be it as I am not starting a revolution, or a political party, or a chesed organization (not yet, at least) I feel so grateful for my own organization: my family.
My name isn’t printed places or known, but I am a mover, shaker, doer in my own private organization; my home. I wake up at 6:30, and as the proud single mother as I am, I have myself and two kids dressed and ready to run at 7:20. (And no, I don’t make lunches the night before.) 7:30, kids are dropped off and I’m off to Jerusalem for work. I throw myself in it, until 3pm, and give my job everything I got. At 3 I go home and until 8, it’s a parade of chugim (after school extra curricular clubs), shopping, cleaning, dinner, laundry, interacting with my kids, bath, books, bed. 8pm, deep breath. Then sometimes I work, sometimes I get my house back in order, but many times I recharge by reading and going to bed early. And that my friends is what I call a deeply accomplished person.
But this is not about patting myself on the back, and I certainly do not need you to do that either. This is to create awareness among women, working women, pregnant women, divorced women, mother’s, lovers, daughters, sisters, neighbors… That we are moving mountains. By keeping ourselves and families intact, we are pioneering. The best recognition in the world is a hug from your child with a line like,”I’m so happy you’re my mommy”. The most incredible reward in the world, is looking at your relationships and realizing the effort reaps tremendous benefits. The best audiences are the ones standing at people’s funerals and listening to all the incredible “small” things the person accomplished. True, Shimon Peres got a funeral he deserved, as a man who dedicated his life to his country, but he wasn’t there to enjoy all that attention. Interesting that the time are spoken about and recognized most, is a time we are not there to witness it anyway!
Today, I choose to not need outside attention and to keep my energy inward. Today, I will refuel when I feel depleted. Today, I will let others change the world and get media and outside recognition. And tonight, I will kiss my boys good night and check off another highly successful day.