Tuesday, September 25, 2007

She Wanted Fame, Fortune and Flowers too

I completed this painting sometime last year. Recently the Greenwich Workshop did a limited addition reproduction of it. As it has come back to my attention, I've reexamined it's meaning to me personally. The text that accompanied the print in the catalogue reads:

“You can’t have it all,” they told her. “It’s just not realistic.” But she took a different path and persevered, and after a while she found that her hard work and belief had brought the things that mattered within her reach. The brave and lovely bride rests now, enjoying the fruits of her dreams."

My currents thoughts on this subject are probably not new to most mothers who choose to work, and really do want it all.

When is there time to rest? It's an ongoing process life is constantly in motion.Breaking down the title, I'm thinking Fame and Fortune are relative. I'm not talking about billboards, spotlights and gobs of money. I'm more aiming at recognition for what I do. The financial gain acknowledges the worth of what I am putting my sweat and soul into. Those two things do have a way of fueling my fire, motivating me to work harder. At the same time, I want the simple things in life, Flowers too. I want to be a mom and a wife. I want to take out the garbage, dust my living room, put fresh flowers on my table, do little girl's hairdos, make crepes, volunteer to teach art lessons to the first graders, read, felt, sew, hike, climb on the roof to trim tree branches, dance, take kids to the dentist...and the list goes on and on.

Realistically however, there are only 24 hours in a day, not matter how early I drag myself out of bed. There is also only so much energy a little gal can possibly expend in a day. So... choices have to be made. Having it all is relative. Life is not a fairy tale. In fact, Disney movies of dreams come true have started to bother me, really bother me. They are filling little girls full of unrealistic expectations. Come on, real life is indeed beautiful, but not because there are castles. Actually it might not be the castles that bother me, it's that it you want something, you work for it and most of the time, in my experience, you'll get it. If you don't get what you originally were seeking, you might even get something better, or in the least, learn something along the way. What I'm trying to say is that I am the master of my destiny, I decide what to put my energy into. The white horse and castle are not the solutions to any woman's happiness. Fulfillment doesn't come from outside sources (a white horse and a castle) it comes from inside and hard work. I do admittedly have a hot prince...lucky me.

Wow! I'm glad I got that out but I really wanted to write about how hard it is to choose where to put my limited time and energy when I want everything.

Last night, by 8:45 I was so tired I could hardly get to my own bed after reading to my middle kitten and falling asleep next to her. My day had consisted of an early workout, getting kids to school, tidying up really fast...in fact I found myself literally running (like honestly jogging) from chore to chore so that I can get into the studio, painting for six hours, ordering frames, a dozen phone calls, fixing a warm after school snack, running kids back and forth to lessons, kid homework, reading recipes, concocting a fabulous dinner of pork chops, potatoes and salad, more kid homework, cleaning up again, lassoing the family back in for a family night lesson on love at home, baking some crazy pastry that I invented,bathing kids, reading with kids and then...I was supposed to have some time with my darling partner who'd been teaching all day but...I crashed. I didn't want to crash, I had more I wanted to do....lots more.

So I'm feeling a little spent but in the above paragraph there isn't a single thing that I want to give up. Admittedly, I didn't used to cook or work in the yard, my partner did,and I used to pay someone else to clean my house. But I enjoy those things so much. That's the flowers too part for me. I want to cook and care for my home. I want all of it.

So having it all, is it unrealistic? What does that even mean? Can a person ever have everything they want? Do I want too much? Sitt'n pretty, surrounded by flowers...is that this?

Note: There is no one demanding home cooked meals in this house or that I care for the yard myself, in fact, all of my experimental cooking has left my family a little weary and I've pulled out more of Dan's herbs in my ambitious gardening than I care to admit. These are things I want to do and my partner is patiently watching me spin, hoping that I don't hit my head on the wall or trip over furniture and brake something.

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pamo said...

no it's not unrealistic. it's all about hard work, and then patience with what God has in mind for you. If you work hard, you'll get the life that is right for you.

Laura A said...

You know, the Disney Princess movies have totally annoyed me, too. At least in terms of how they affect my children. I shelved them about 5 years ago for two reasons.

First, my 3 and 4 year old daughters were pulling the shoulders of their shirts down, swinging their hips, and with saucy inflection saying, "I'm Jasmine".

Yeah, so Alladin went away.

Second, all of their playtime was spent in pursuit of a prince and getting married. They were too. freaking. young. for all of that.

I love the idea of true love, romance, and not being able to live without each other. But little girls need to be little girls. The boy craziness comes soon enough. (I was consumed by it as a young girl myself, and I regret that).

So Nate stepped in with his super hero influence. My girls play with action figures instead of barbies, and spend their playtime beating up "bad guys".

Why is this better? I don't really know. But it is. Empowerment, maybe?

As for filling your days... there's NEVER enough time. So I guess that as long as nothing crucial is neglected, and as long as everything in your day is truly how you would want to spend your time if you could do it over.... there's nothing lacking.

I know this is a wicked long comment. Sorry. You don't have to approve it and put it on your page. :-).

cassandra said...

Patience...everybody says that. I don't even know what that means. I do think with hard work, you can't go too wrong. Re: hip swinging, I thought it was instinctual, primal.
I do like Mulan and Kiki but so many of those movies make me puke. I do want empowered whoopass girls who will conquer the world someday.
I just want more hours.
Cheers and...it's a beautiful day isn't it?

sstar said...

To be perfectly honest, I crave the urge to do everything, to do anything. I cannot imagine being at the end of my day, collapsing against my will. I have none of your drive to do the hard work you do and the longing for those specific passions almost overcomes me somedays. But still I cannot find them.

batty said...

I have to say, I love princess movies but how fake can we be? I do want my girls to meet their handsome prince but I don't want them to think that their lives are going to be a la-di-da fairy tale. S--t happens, it all depends on how we deal with it. We need to teach our girls how important it is to love and to be loved completely - and how to recognize that love. My babies are getting older and have way too many questions about the future and life. I feel so inept telling them what to do, when I still don't know what I am doing!

You are painting, cooking, cleaning, reading, dancing, blogging, weeding, crafting....all in one day - I'd say you're a GREAT success! And on top of that you have one of the happiest families around. What fun it is to know you guys:)

cassandra said...

I'm thinking, mostly I just don't want my girls to feel like there are certain elements that one has to have/accomplish in order to be happy. There are plenty of women without princes who lead fabulous lives. I believe we are happy if we choose to be, if we have gratitude for what we have...and what most of us have...is a lot.
Sstar, enjoy your state of being. There is beauty in a quiet soul as well.
Respect, C

batty said...

You're right - you don't need a prince to be happy - mine just happens to make me laugh and smile and I do wish everyone had someone to love them. It feels like too many people dwell on what they don't have when what surrounds them is fabulous. I just want everyone to be happy.


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