Thank You Gloria Steinem – by Catherine Dubay

This one’s for the girls.

Thank you Gloria Steinem, Ms. Magazine, my mom and all those powerful ladies of the 1970s who made it possible for women to have equal access to education, careers, sports and pretty much anything else that seemed out of reach to females 40 years ago.

gloria-steinem

I knew we had come a long way when my kids (18 and 15-year-old females) didn’t think anything of Hillary Clinton possibly being our first female president. The fact she is a woman candidate for president is not a big deal to their generation. That’s how far we have come.

This is all good, right? We can have it all. A career, a family, a sport, a clean tidy house, well planned meals, perfectly crafted dinner parties and themed birthday parties for our kids. How is this working out for all of you? Do you wake up and thank women’s liberation every single day for allowing you to live a life of opportunity and endless options?

I do not mean to be ungrateful for the work of these ladies. I am so thrilled my children think nothing of gender when they think of Hillary as president. I know my success as a runner is owned in many ways to title IX which allowed females equal options for sports in school. There are so many reasons women’s rights are important. What I struggle with is the rat race I see so many women living trying to manage all these opportunities.

Just because we CAN have it all does not mean that we should have it all. We are told to find balance and let’s face it ladies, balance is for scales and not living life. There is no such thing. Balance is defined “as a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions.” Ha! That’s funny. I run and I run well. Therefore, I do not cook well. Nor do I work well in my yard. There is no balance between my sport and my domestic skills.

I work full time therefore I do not volunteer in the classroom or boardroom or anywhere for that matter. I used to volunteer and sit on a couple of boards. But I couldn’t do it all. I will again someday. I never did do crafty birthday parties or handmade invitations or cupcakes from scratch. But I did dress up as a fortune teller at the birthday party and read the futures of 10-year-old girls. That is not balance. My scale tips over to one side all the time and this is to the side of things that matter the most to me. Is that wrong?

To my female running friends; let’s make a pact. We shall run and while we run not feel bad that we are missing our kid’s sporting event. We shall watch our kid’s sporting events and not feel bad that we are not running. We will enjoy alone time with our spouses/partners and not feel guilty that we are not watching our kids sporting events or running.

Thanks to the generation before us for opening up so many opportunities for women. It is our responsibility to figure out how to enjoy those opportunities and not allow them to become burdens.

Run on my friends and enjoy every moment.

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