Last week I spent some time reading posts written about women over the past year and a half. It occurs to me that 2011 and most of 2012 were when women wrote and talked ad nauseum about balance. Yet we live in the day of having 27 hours worth of items on our to-do list. Until someone figures out how to make more hours in a day, we will share the common bond of trying to juggle personal responsibilities with our work related responsibilities.
And so we have finally acknowledged once and for all that the notion of balance is nonsense.
Hopefully we have also agreed to once-and-for-all stop judging each others’ choices, whether it is breastfeeding, co-sleeping or running Yahoo! with a newborn baby. Our choices are defined by our own values and no one person’s values are better or more “right” than those of anyone else; no matter how much one might like to think so.
Looking at posts from the past few months, however, it seems to me that things have begun to change. There is a shift in the way that women are writing, a new optimism. The focus is where it should be; on fulfillment and personal growth. Perhaps it comes from the excitement of the clean slate which arrives with each new year. Perhaps it comes from being tired of the immaturity that goes with knocking each other down rather than lifting each other up. Who knows? Perhaps we are just waking up.
We are writing, learning and working towards being the best possible versions of ourselves. We are defining our own success, creating our own self-worth. We are taking time to appreciate what we have and we are living life with purpose. We are learning to politely say no. We are setting our own boundaries and breaking our own barriers. We are learning to out of our own way. We are connecting. We are discovering how much we can accomplish when we lift each other up.
We are redefining body image and self-esteem. We are not letting anyone put us in a corner, or keep us in a binder. We are making history and showing the world what we have to offer. Yet we are also acknowledging how much work has yet to be done on behalf of women and girls both here in this country and around the world. We are standing up for ourselves and inspiring one another.
Let us continue on this path. Let us continue to strive for fulfillment rather than balance. Let us work together, motivate one another and support each other’s choices, even if they differ from own. Let us define our own version of beauty, both inside and out.
And since there is still work to be done, let us applaud those who stand and fight for others. Better yet, let us all stand up in whatever way we can and do our part to continue on this path of growth both personally and on behalf of women around the world.