On the work front, women get a lot of jip about being emotional but we really are only emotional about some things, and certain emotions seem to dominate our experience. I think men have equally strong emotions, maybe a different set of emotions, but also express them differently. Perception often governs emotion. This week I have been dealing with a male employee who was getting far more emotional than me. I think it annoyed him on top of whatever it was that he was already annoyed about. I discussed with my other male colleagues whether they thought he might be having difficulty responding to me as his employer because I was a woman. It’s been some time since I have felt this way, but thrust into a male dominated trades’ environment and the fact that some things were just not making sense, I had to ask the question. I don’t feel precious about this role, I would love to step aside. I care very little about transforming this bloke’s respect for my abilities, and don't feel the need to prove myself.
“When you are asked if you can do a job, tell 'em, 'Certainly I can!' Then get busy and find out how to do it.” Theodore Roosevelt. I love his quotes. If I were American, he’d be my favourite ex-president. The thing that irritates me a little about him is his dogged American patriotism which leads to xenophobia and prejudice. But as an American president I think I can let him off on that one. This quote, however, I like. It seems to have been my default life motto. It has served me well, to a point. Without a clear goal, my working life has taken me down various roles in computing, business and financial administration, some of which suits my capabilities, but most that do not. Due to my Rooseveltian inner belief that I can indeed do anything I put my mind to, I have been able to do what is required of me. In fact, on the whole this path has been very good. I have developed a healthy understanding for financial matters that I might otherwise not have done, and it is I believe necessary for having a fairly realistic approach to many of life’s endeavours. But I generally like talking about it rather than doing it and have come to a stand-still in my worklife, where I no longer have the desire to develop and improve, nor feel I have the necessary ability to do so. I have run out of steam. I am done. The funny thing is that I did this 5 years ago, before I got this job, and then 2 years ago when I left this job, only to come back to it. I need to trust that although its good work, although I can do it, I should not be doing it! It surprises me that I keep returning to ‘safe’ but its tiem to change. I have space and ability to follow another path. Just bloody do it. Find your passion, follow that. The world needs passionate people.
On the home front...
My daughter has had her second visit to the Endocrinologist. He is confident that there are no underlying causes of her short stature and that it may take a few extra years but her body structure lends him to think that she will not be teeny forever. Her adult height will be fairly normal, if 5 foot is normal. It’s a relief. He has suggested growth hormone treatment, not necessarily recommended it, and at this point in time we do not want to go down that track. In our eyes she is perfect just the way she is, and we will concentrate on communicating this to her.
We have had many intense discussions with the kids lately. There are a few teens in the wider family driving their parent nuts and vice versa. This extended family is fantastic in creating major problems out of perfectly reasonable issues. Probably due to the emotional women! It has led to many conversations in our house about sex, and boys, and love and mature behaviour.
We have had to talk about dangerous school yard games as the ‘Hangman’ game hit the news. Kids play a game where they hyperventilate and pass out, and occasionally there have been disastrous consequences. The game is not new, it’s been around for decades. A few kids between 10 and 14 have died, but because it’s a sensitive issue we don’t know the full details so it’s been hard to tell whether there are extenuating circumstances and whether we should be concerned or not. I have concentrated on talking to the kids about trusting their instincts, if they feel unsafe walk away from the situation and if they feel a friend is in danger find an adult. Being brave sometimes means doing things they don’t want to do, looking like a nark or a spoil sport.
Along with this, we have been having talks about welcome and unwelcome touch due to a topic they are having at school. So it’s a little heavy on the ‘issues’ front. Teachers and parents are discussing how and what they talk about at home. Obviously some homes are more open than others, and some cast bigger shadows than others. I hope we are balanced enough to equip our kids as best we can. I am sure you can’t prepare kids for every eventuality without completely freaking them out. But I guess you can love them unconditionally so they have the foundational strength to withstand life’s bad events and pray that they can find strength to cope and move through.
I wonder about the boys growing up in a house where the women talk about everything under the sun. Our dinner table conversation can be quite varied. I must say I am impressed with what they choose to discuss with me. Long may that last. I know they may not talk about every detail as the girls do, but I hope that they know that when they need to talk they can.