Forget Mad Men, what about Mad Women?
I did something today, I don’t often do. Well, I don’t often do when I’m home in the middle of a work week and am having a very task oriented kind of day. I skipped out of the office at 3:00 to go have a late lunch and cocktail with my beloved, and I’m a little shocked at myself. Which is exactly why I should do this sort of thing every so often. So why does that make me feel a little bit guilty? Sometimes little indulgences are just what the doctor ordered, we’re told. We read how important it is to find life balance. We hear about investing in one’s wellbeing. Note I didn’t say health here, I meant wellbeing. Get out of your rut. Do the unexpected. Etc etc. In short, don’t be such a busy body and rigid in your thinking. Which leads me to wondering what is the root of such regularly scheduled rigidity? Even the word is painful.
As a woman, who owns her own business, and takes pride in how hard she has worked all of her adult life, being rigid in your thinking is exactly what you have to do to get it all done. I’m a regular Get ‘Er Done kind of gal. Raising children and owning a business are both full time jobs. Now squeeze in regular exercise and a healthy lifestyle and your daily 24 are used up. My kids are grown now, and I have found a little more me time. Still, I get up every morning and go into my office each day and put in a day of work, and if I don’t have current client work I find ways to keep myself busy. Clean the office, organize files, etc. What I don’t do is take more me time when I have it. Why do we do this to ourselves?
Perhaps there’s the fear that if you don’t demonstrate constant dedication to whom I don’t know, you may not be taken seriously. This is a fear some of us women professional types dance with. Some of us are better than others, depending on the day, and I suspect depending on your age. How rich it must feel to be so cocksure every day! I aspire to that confidence! And yet, there I was, sitting at a bar at 3:00 having an afternoon Negroni no less! What a wonder. I’m a regular Mad Men type of creative, and I see what the hype is all about. Being naughty is fun. Maybe even makes you feel more creative and more a BOSS. Being naughty is most assuredly a loose term, as I imagine there are many for whom this is a regular event. For me, it felt like I was busting out of something.
I was raised to be career oriented, yet I was surrounded by women who were not. They worked hard, but not at a career. I feel like I’m part of one of the last generations that has toed the line between growing up to be a wife and mom and growing up to kick ass in the work place. I don’t see this as a struggle for many young women today and I wonder if that’s accurate. I see much bravado and confidence with young men, perhaps to their peril. Confidence is great, but you still need experience and only time will give you that. Are young women as confident today? Do they struggle with decisions between the two? I’m certain it’s not as black and white as this, but in general terms where is the collective mindset. From all outward appearances it seems women are on track to truly kicking ass and that makes me very happy, because I know women are truly capable of great things!
In the spirit of all working women who are amazing, I will go to work tomorrow and will jump in to my day as usual, but I will do it with an eye towards the benefits of breaking a cycle and seeing old things in new ways. Try new things. Be bold. Be a little outrageous. Own your world and your career. To be clear, I’m not telling you to drink in the afternoon, I’m simply reminding us all that ruts don’t benefit. They certainly don’t enhance the creative process nor do they make you feel like the bad ass you are. You have nothing to lose by being a better version of you, and pushing yourself in new ways — even when it feels a little naughty.