Those of us who grew up in the sixties and seventies remember Superwoman. I’m not talking about the female counterpart to Superman (who was always called “Supergirl” anyway – and that’s a whole other rant). No, I’m talking about the New Woman, the one who had a thriving, high-powered career in which she held her own with the Big Boys and shattered glass ceilings like Rosie the Riveter gone wild. Then she came home to make her 2.1 children delicious, nourishing meals, did the dishes and put the kiddies to bed. After that she slipped into a bit of lace and feathers and made mad, passionate love to her husband. Then she got a few hours of sleep and started all over again.
That, at least, was the myth, and the example to which all women were supposed to aspire. I never knew anyone who actually did it. There are only so many plates any one person can spin.
When I wrote about the Warrior Writer, one of the comments was, “What about time to play?” It made me realize that I’ve neglected playtime. Part of my excuse for that has been that I enjoy my work, but that is, let’s face it, an excuse. One day last week I realized that I was…tired.
Not physically tired, mind you, although that, too, but the not-looking-forward-to-it kind of tired that wears on the spirit. When had I last done anything that didn’t have a purpose, aside from throwing the ball for the dog? It seemed like nothing I do is pointless enjoyment.
I decided to take my next weekend off, in the sense that I wouldn’t do anything for money. No newspaper writing, pitches, articles, no hunting up markets, no chasing down cheques. No thinking about that stuff.
Instead I’ve spent the morning at a Stories in the North meeting, and the afternoon trimming my rosa rugosa. This evening I’m going to watch “Cowboys and Aliens” with my husband, and maybe make a pot of spaghetti sauce for lasagna, because now that I don’t have to cook all the time, cooking is more fun. Tomorrow I want to play with paper, and spin some Koolaid-dyed alpaca, and figure out how we’re going to get the antenna down from beside the house so we can build a chicken coop, and order my chickens from the co-op. Tomorrow night we’re going to watch “Super 8”. We plan to revel in more movies because we finally have a video store in Sault Ste Marie again.
I’m already feeling so much happier that I think I may need to take one weekend a month off. This working two jobs, even if one of them is writing, which I love, can wear a girl down. Superwoman is still an unrealistic goal, even for fantasy writers, and it’s time I admitted that.
Off to have a cup of tea, read something frivolous, or at least not research-related, and maybe slice up veggies for that sauce. See you in three days.