Friday, March 30, 2007

Life, Reveal Thyself!

My dear friend and former manager, D and I have been having an e-mail conversation lately about being 50-year-old women, 50-year-old career women, and about the process of seeking fulfillment in either -- and both -- of those roles. This morning this was part of that conversation. Can any of you relate?

I've been having this really persistent feeling that something really cool is on the horizon but there's a danger of me not recognizing it -- that it's that simple, and that right... almost like it's so blended into ME that I don't even recognize that I can acknowledge it, and use it, and grow from it.

And make MONEY from it.

But damn -- what is "IT"?!

Does any of this make any sense at all? Weird connection, but I think of Laura Ingalls Wilder in the sense that, at 60-something, she just started writing about her life. Not to make money, but because it was something inside her that needed expression. She hardly had to even acknowledge it; she simply needed to heed her instincts and DO it. Am I not getting something? Am I missing something? Am I ignoring that voice? I know it's not technology-based; I am sure of that. It's much more personal than that.

But shit -- what IS it? I'm afraid that it's beckoning me and I'm just not listening! And I'm afraid it's going to pass me by... like there's a window of opportunity and if I don't nab it, it'll be gone. Almost a game with my own psyche, in a way!

I know what this thing isn't: It isn't signing invoices or initiating contracts. It isn't futzing with a gazillion online apps, marveling at their "coolness." It isn't picking apart the work of others. It isn't program management, though it might be product management. It isn't production management, but it might be production. I think the closet to it that I've come so far is FUEL and CHILL. Can I take that same spirit, that "righteous indignation" and teen passion and spunk and do something else with it? Or maybe it's taking that same spirit and applying it to my peers -- to women who are having these same feelings of "I-am-powerful-but-at-what?!" feelings... and somehow encouraging community. But how? What's the vehicle? And oh yeah -- where's the funding?

Do any of these thoughts nag YOU as you try to go about your day?!

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vailian said...

I think CONSTANTLY about these things, you could call it mid-life crisis but if so, my mid-life has been going on all my life!
Tomorrow will be like today, only different.
For you I am thinking: community service, networking, inspirational speeches, counselling. These can all be done parallel to your day job.

Unknown said...

Carol, I love this post. I think it's what we all struggle with. For me, the real trick has been to find joy in simple moments. To allow myself to fail and therefore to learn and to share the moments with those I love. I think it's recognizing our weaknesses that make us strong and allow us to become empowered.

The real power is learning that it comes from within, from learning about ourselves; from bad behavior; from acts of kindness. When I feel bad about my own lack of accomplishment I look at another woman in my position and see her strength and power and then realize that I am the source of that knowlege and power for someone else.

It may sound a bit Pollyanna-ish, but I believe our power comes from embracing ourselves.

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