A lot of smart chat came our way this week, not only on our blog, but via Facebook and our Facebook fan page. (Not already a fan? Go here.) To join the conversations, click on the links — or become a fan!
My Facebook fave is from Angela, who reported this conversation with her three-year-old, Sidney:
There was a story on the news this morning for Sea World and there was one of the trainers riding the the killer whale. So I told her that we are going to take her to Sea World later this year.
Sidney: ” Can I ride the whale
Me: “Well no, because the trainers that work there can only ride the whale.”
Sidney: “Can I work there when I get big?”
Me: “Yes, of course, that would be fun!”
Sidney: “Can I still be a mommy?”
Me: “Yes, of course you can” Sidney: “Okay. I will just tell them when I need to go home.”
I thought this was relevant to the topics [on Undecided]. Considering she is 3 years old, she is already thinking about how she is going to juggle work and family. Crazy.
On Learning to Slay the Dragon, Facebook fan Maria writes:
“… laws are merely to EDUCATE people, especially children, teenagers, etc.. that discrimination SHOULD NOT exist … These laws only give an illusion that the society which lives by them is socially advanced. But what truly matters are all the social acts toward those being discriminated [against]...
Leslie also commented on Slaying the Dragon:
Maybe it’s time to just ignore the stinkin’ rules and make work not about slaying dragons but accomplishing something valuable and making a difference? Maybe that will just change the rules. And Tom Coburn needs to get a freakin’ clue…”
She also started a lengthy convo on Nancy Drew:
Even lacking the sporty yellow roadster [ed: hmmm, I always thought it was red], is it time to reconnect with your inner Nancy Drew? I think yes!!!
To which Suzanne replied:
Nancy Drew saved me in my childhood! She gave us great dreams of what life could be like.
Meanwhile, back to the blog: From Damned if you do, damned if you don’t:
Could not have said it better myself. — jenniferlg
This is why more women should go into business for themselves. The only way to change the rules is to play a different game. — Tamara
“… Coburn not only lectured Sotomayor on the “proper role” of judges, but read her the oath of office. This is the tone deafness of someone who truly doesn’t see others as equals. And whenever it happens (race, gender, sexual orientation…) I wonder how “far” we’ve really come. Not very far at all, it seems. — Lotta K.
Some clear-eyed wisdom from a couple of comments to Soulsuck or Soulcraft:
The issue, in part, is that people today tend to see themselves as defined by their profession. I am a lawyer and I consider myself a pretty decent one. But when I leave the office I am a person with outside interests, friends and family. My “lawyer” hat comes off. I am not defined by my career choice and I do not expect (or want) my work to be the most gratifying or interesting part of my life. I would rather be gratified by the personal relationships in my life, the non-work experiences I have (some of which I can only afford because of my day job), and the values I hold dear.
Fifty years ago, most of our parents or grandparents were doing manual labor, blue collar work, or some other non-creative, non-interesting work. They, unlike us, did not believe that they were entitled to some sort of career nirvana. Having a job you love and that fulfills you is a luxury; you are very lucky (and in the minority) if that is your reality. But for most people, it’s not. It’s called “work” for a reason — if you wanted to go work every day, they wouldn’t have to pay you to do it.
I’m not saying that we should stay in careers/positions where we’re miserable — don’t endure torture just for torture’s sake. But set realistic expectations about how good your career can make you feel about yourself and limits on how bad your job can make you feel about yourself. Focus on loving your non-work life and finding your happiness outside of work. — Allison
I really think our generation is in the process of redefining this educational mono-culture that Crawford talks about—which largely prepares us for the “white collar world” of nebulous paper-pushing, ladder-climbing and ultimately indefinable dissatisfying work at a desk. It seems that men and women of younger generations are trying to get back to a “work with your hands” culture. I agree with Alison’s response above, that we must get past this unrealistic notion that our work lives are supposed to somehow define the happiness and success we have in this world. But I also think we need to embrace that contrarian notion that “successful” work doesn’t only exist behind a desk, but can be found at a bakery, in a garden, at a boutique. I still hold that the best job I ever had was working at a bookstore. The work was fun, engaging, never the same and full of varied tasks that broke up the monotony. Its no wonder that “young” vital cities like Portland and Austin, are full of interesting, creative businesses. Younger generations have flocked there to pursue a different kind of American dream—where life is a little more well-rounded, you can own a small business that speaks to your interests—whether that be vinyl records or old letterpresses. — Tamara
Finally, back to Are you Undecided, Too?:
my grandmother lived through the depression. as an adult, she was a fashion model. as a 13 year old, she was shipped off to have a slilenced abortion. she was gorgeous, shamed, intelligent, powerful and ambitions-yet, she always was so controlled. no crying, no complaining. it just wasn’t ladylike. i do not envy that denial. she had her children at a time when women were getting diagnosed with ‘boredom’. no, i do not romanticize that lack of options.
i always wanted to be a journalist, but along the way i fell in love with anthropology-i love those big systems at work moving us and pulling us in every direction. i graduated, got married, was unable to find a job. i was depressed. i tried teaching, hated it. tried being an editorial assistant, and i sucked at answering the phone and fulfilling the magazine’s uber cool image, i tried working for a non profit and was shoved out by the good old boys who ran it. i since had a son who is my life…but now, i am ‘bored’!! so, i have always loved politics and am applying for a graduate degree in public policy. i surely hope it makes me tick! ’cause lord knows i have been waiting… — The Godfather