Monday, March 24, 2008

Are you Wonder Woman?

True story.

The kids were playing out in the yard. Summertime haze and heat with moms talking while the sprinklers watered lawns and kids jumped in and out of the spray with shouts of joy. Suddenly there was a squeal of brakes and parents went running out to the street. Time stopped.

A car was parked in the middle of the street with the driver's door standing open. A woman was bent over a little girl who stood defiantly, arms akimbo, staring mulishly up at the strange woman.

Woman: "What did you think you were doing? You don't run out into the street! I could have killed you!"

Girl: "You can't hurt me! I'm Wonder Woman!"

That really happened. It's one thing to believe that you're Wonder Woman when you're four years old. It's another thing to still believe that when you're a twenty-something or even a forty-something.

Women, for whatever reason, tend to believe that they can be everything, do everything without taking time out to care for themselves--and there won't be any consequences. Well, no. Eventually, time catches up.

When I was much younger (and more impressed with myself) I believed that everything would come to a screeching halt if I wasn't there to oversee it. Job, family, church all needed my undivided attention. My day started at four AM and went until midnight. I spent SIX hours everyday in the car. Every day, Monday through Friday. I arrived early at work, stayed late, supervised my grandchild at home, cooked, cleaned, did laundry...

And then a miracle happened. My husband was transferred to another state. I had to leave my job. I had to leave my church responsibilties. My adult children all had to find their own places to live. And do you know? Nothing bad happened. The job went on without me and so did the church. My children all moved on with their own lives.

Of course, I couldn't quite figure out what to do with myself. Then one day my son said to me, "You've always wanted time to write. Now you have it. Why don't you write?"

Quite frankly, I love my life right now. And I have absolutely no interest in ever doing my imitation of Wonder Woman again. I'm happy enough just being Anny Cook.

So, what about you? Are you Wonder Woman?

Anny Cook
www.annycook.com
www.annycook.blogspot.com

10 comments:

  1. Over achievers collapse! I think you just fill the time with more stuff...now instead of taking care of my kids, I take care of DH and my animals (exchanged six kids for four cats, one dog and any number of fish)...instead of working 18 hours a day at my job, I now work eight hours at my job and ten writing...instead of volunteering for church, baseball, theater, I now volunteer for my local school... I'm still Woder Woman...I just don't fit in the costume anymore ~YIKES~ Am I happier... absolutely! ~GRIN~

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  2. Wonder Woman? No Way. I've looked after a home, a husband and raised a son. When I divorced my husband I held down pretty high-powered and responsible job in the Criminal Justice Department of my local Police Divisional HQ.

    My son is married to a great girl and they have two charming and appalling teenage brats, and they all live with me, along with three large dogs and sundry goldfish. I worked out I could just about exist on my work pension and the state pension, and took early retirement.

    Now I travel to visit friends and I write. It is wonderful and fulfilling and I can *finally* do what I have been only managing as a part-time compulsion most of my life.

    No, not Wonder Woman. nI'm a writer. :)

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  3. I can absolutely visualize the four-year-old. Excellent points, as usual.

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  4. Under this definition, yes, I'm WonderWoman. I have to be while the husband is in school. His committments outside the family are heavy which leaves me to pick up the familial pieces. I'm the mom and dad, the house cleaner, the cook, the organizer, secretary, boo boo kisser (I actually put that on a resume once), and all things related to the home front. I have my finger in everything. I like it that way but I also hate it. Some days the pressure is too much for me and then there are the days when I cruise right along doing my thing.
    Ich ben ien WonderWoman. My apologies to the german speakers out there. Never learned that one as one of my nine. Sorry.

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  5. Great blog, Anny! Personally I think trying to be Wonder Woman is highly overrated. Yeah, it'd be great to have the perfect hair, makeup, body, etc all the while doing every other little thing to perfection. Being absolutely perfect is a complete DRAG. Give me freedom any day! Glad you shook off those shackles and started to really live the dream.

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  6. Yep...by that definition, I'm Wonder Woman. I always said I wouldn't turn into my mother who, while bloody awesome, is also over-extended to the extreme...and now POOF! I'm my mom. Seems like everytime I get rid of one thing two more take its place. Must learn how to say no more often.

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  7. Did the wonder woman gig for quite a few years and, out of the blue, my powers burned out. Now I'm being re-created as temporary wonder woman out of necessity and hope to hold out until my duties are fulfilled and life returns to normal. Normal meaning MY schedule, MY time, sleeping until noon if I wish, no more scheduling appointments, chauffering to and from, etc. Just want to live day to day and slow down a bit to enjoy life. But...we do what we need to do. After all, we are women.

    Jane

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  8. Yeah, I think I try to be Wonder Woman. Two of my adult children live at home. Neither drive. I have to take the 24 year old to jury duty before I go to work tomorrow which means I'll be late to work. My oldest son and his family moved back home with us twice since they were married. I work late a lot. I'm taxi to the 17year old bigtime. Obviously, she's not driving yet either - my fault - I don't have the $ to buy her a car yet. I'd love to be able to write every night, all night, after work. I can only imagine how many more stories I'd write.

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  9. Yep I did that family taxi gig for years... Sigh. Glad I don't have to anymore.

    Jane, I hear you, girl. Hang in there.

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