Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Have it all. And sacrifice some too. But you can have it all. If you sacrifice some too.

Picture this:
You see her in the grocery store (this is an all natural foods store, she is very nutritionally minded of course) picking out some produce. She has twins in the shopping cart and is on her blackberry. She doesn’t look like she has ever had twins, in fact, she is a registered aerobics/zumba/kickboxing teacher and she can make you cry like a little baby only 15 minutes into her workout. But don’t get your hopes up; you notice this fitness guru’s gym bag has a well worn copy of Flaubert’s Madame Bovary stashed inside. She has a perfect French twist and is rocking a well tailored suit with black heels.

You overhear a bit of her conversation and realize she is going between two conversations, one about her daughter’s school project and the PTA bake sale; the other is about some legal documents that need to be faxed over in time to make a deadline. She is obviously in charge in both conversations.

According to cultural norms in the United States and most other westernized countries, this woman is an ideal image of the woman who “has it all.” She has attained a good education, good job, functioning family, good level of fitness, and material ease. So the question of the day is, does she really exist? And if she doesn’t, why does this ideal resonate so easily? Why can we picture her and label her the ideal without much mental strain?

I read an article this past week in Utah Valley BusinessQ that gave me pause to consider the subconscious and conscious dialogue taking place among women. It is a bit confusing and full of contradictions. Tell me what you can glean about how these women in business view themselves and what broader implications this has for women in general:


The article begins on pg. 34, “Roundtable: Women in Business.”

Friday, December 11, 2009

Charlie Brown: I guess you were right, Linus. I shouldn't have picked this little tree. Everything I do turns into a disaster. I guess I really don't know what Christmas is all about.
[shouting in desperation]
Charlie Brown: Isn't there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?
Linus Van Pelt: Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about.
[moves toward the center of the stage]
Linus Van Pelt: Lights, please.
[a spotlight shines on Linus]
Linus Van Pelt: "And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, 'Fear not: for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.' And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.'"
[Linus picks up his blanket and walks back towards Charlie Brown]
Linus Van Pelt: That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

We're getting to that time of the month where we fear high expectations, low funds and inadequate preparation/time will make for a less than wonderful Christmas. That is why I am grateful that tonight we sat down and watched A Charlie Brown Christmas. It doesn't get given to you much more clearly than that. So tonight I am excited for Christmas because, if nothing else, it can remind me of the greatest gift ever given; one that despite the grandeur and majesty of it, is given to me and the rest of the world.
A very merry Christmas indeed.