Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Self worth

High-flying career? Tick.

Baby? Tick.

World travel? Tick?

But crazy benchmarks and checklists won't make us happy

It starts early.

You have a part-time job in the university holidays, but some of your friends are travelling and working, or signed up as film extras.

Then you get a full-time job, but a few of your contemporaries have set up businesses, moved in with boyfriends and started writing on the side.

You get a promotion; they get a promotion and they get pregnant.

Meanwhile, they get a half share in a weekend cottage by the sea and a film deal.

You are 35 and you feel the low hum of anxiety, because you still have six significant achievement boxes to tick before you hit 40.

There’s a lot of talk about women’s ticking clocks, but the biological one is just the tip of the iceberg.

We have hundreds, all timed to go off in groups, starting with a small section alarmed for our twenties and more for the ensuing decades.

There are a few labelled “Where I should have got to in my career by now”

One named, Owning a place of my own

And lots of little individual clocks called things like

Earning enough to live like a grown-up

Having own office

Serious travel and

Doing something charitable, possibly abroad.

After 40, we relax a bit and are less obsessed with notching up the credits, but we never get over that feeling that everything we do is only worth something if you get there on, or before, the deadline, and ahead of (or at least not far behind) the women we most admire.

This is why so many women are dissatisfied, despite seeming to have it all — because they can’t see how much they have achieved, only the missed deadlines and other women’s superior capability.

If you compliment a woman who has just cooked you a three-course dinner, complete with handmade chocolates, she might say: “But I only work four days a week.”

The dinner doesn’t count, because she had time to do it.

If you congratulate the publisher and mother of three on her latest chart-topping bestseller, her reaction will probably be: “But I’m such a mess — your life is so organised!

Your flat is so lovely!

It sounds like a meaningless social reflex, the equivalent of air-kissing, but the truth is that most women are genuinely panicked by how they rate on the lifetime-achievement chart, including the ones who seem to fit more into a week than you fit into a year.

When a woman says, “I’m useless, you’re the extraordinary one”, it’s because that’s exactly how she feels.

And she feels it more than ever now because anything and everything seems possible.

Why do women feel useless?

Sunday Times

Could it be that measuring themselves against others they are missing the point?

Somewhere along the way many humans discover that vertical or spiritual evolution is what life is truly about

Has been for millennium

Written about in all the great books, handed down from generation to generation

Apparently the women described above never found peace of mind

How could they chasing illusions?

Never found out about non material non competitive values

Such a narrow life

They never "got it" have you?

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