So Long Superwoman!
“I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan… and never, never let you forget you’re the man … ‘cause I’m a woman … Enjolie!” That catchy jingle from my middle school years along with Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” form twin refrains that have driven a productive(?) meaning driven life experience. And then there those parental role models ... who even as octogenarians have not slowed down much.
No one is to blame. I am wired that way. Ask my husband. He would love for ‘superwoman’ to die. “We have something every single night.” And it’s true. A band, a church plant, a book business, not to mention family and friends and an active neighborhood association. What is an attention-craving, superwoman wannabe to do?
Oh yes, and the day job.
True confession. I have been this way my whole life. As a kid I was always looking for something to do. I would go next door and “help” the neighbors. At boarding school, the schedule went from 5 a.m. wake up to make the bus all the way through a jam-packed day to after school sports, plus whatever drama or music activity, plus the bus ride home, then homework, wash, rinse and repeat—for a whole school year until miserable summer came—with all too much spare time to fill.
How can one do less? Is that thin spread of activity across the whole loaf of life even productive? What if you (I) focused on just one piece of bread at a time? But how do you quit? What do you step away from? The band is a dream since childhood, and we’ve been together for 8 years now. The book business is the long term play—must keep that going—then there is the church plant—a worthy cause, right? And I hear Jesus say, and my weary husband echo—“MY yoke is easy and MY burden is light.”
JUST SAY NO—I have advised some friends. Easier said than done for the person whose identity is wrapped up in the opinions of others. Lots of true confessions today. Ouch. My weekly prayer group has been praying the pruning prayer. “Lord remove what is busy, and leave only what is beneficial.” I don’t think I’m listening. If you ask me I will say yes almost every time, and feel deeply guilty if I don’t. Frequent over-scheduling and rapid drives across town flitting from one activity to the next exceed good sense—and good manners. “But it’s all important!” Superwoman wails. And Jesus says—to whom? (He has perfect grammar). Superwoman is an illusion. She is my illusion. She needs to fly away. And I need to find one slice of bread. JUST ONE.
Why must Superwoman fly away? Mostly because she is not kind. Especially when she is in a hurry—and Superwoman is most likely to invoke her super powers of stopping you like a speeding freight train, or burning through you with her laser vision, or freezing you with icy breath when she is rushed. Do not get in her way. She’ll leap over you in a single bound, or just plain knock you aside while in pursuit of her holy mission-quest-cause du jour. The long-legged lover is right. She’s got to go. Maybe I can at least keep the fancy red cape…
Next: Free the Yarn!
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