Not Superwoman

11 Mar

I am not Superwoman.  I really can’t have it all, and I certainly can’t do it all. As unsurprising as this admission may be, I need to keep reminding myself of it.

I have only so much time and energy. This I cannot change.  Therefore, I feel the need to spend what time and energy I have to do the most good.  But what is that?

Sure, the superheroes of comic books and movies can save the world.  That’s because they don’t have to stop a moving train and chase after a toddler, at least not at the same time.  Just imagine Superman having to change his clothes and his sidekick’s diaper in that phone booth.  Exactly.  Not to mention, those guys always have some adopted earth-mom or great-aunt who washes their colorful laundry, cooks their hearty meals and no doubt picks their dirty tights and capes off the floor each morning. I say, those women are the real heroes, the ones scrubbing the super-scummy showers and toilets. 

Of course, Wonder Woman changed everything.  In the seventies, she was my generation’s girlhood role model of female power, proving that women could do anything men could and thereby setting the field for the rest of us to prove the same thing in real life. But did Wonder Woman have a family to take care of?  I think not.  Although if she had, I’m sure she would have had really great full-time childcare and bi-weekly maid service.  But even then, she would have lived with the working-mom angst that is different but every bit as painful as the stay-at-home mom angst.  That’s my take anyway, having thrived and despaired on both sides of this proverbial fence.

So what about our artist child?  This metaphor, used repeatedly in Julia Cameron’s books, has more meaning than ever for me.  With the many demanding roles and commitments we take on as women, what time or energy is left for us to “play?”  Yet at the end of the day–even a chaotic, messy, unglamorous day like most of my days–it still comes down to something else.  Ultimately, busyness is just another form of procrastination, a respectable-seeming alibi for not being where your heart is telling you to be.

My family “comes first,” as people often say.  But if I don’t include my artist child as part of my family, then the sailing won’t be smooth forever; a hurricane will inevitably form in the warm waters of my unconscious and hit land hard.  So once again, I am faced with the need to let go.  I must let go of things that are less important if I am to truly grab hold of those things that are most important in my journey as an artist and a spirit here on planet earth.

I am not Superwoman.  I am not Superwoman.  I cannot create art and do everything else I want or need to do, at least not at the same time.  I must choose.  I must prioritize.  I must walk. Because when my artist gets to play, the rest of my life seems happier, too.

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2 Responses to “Not Superwoman”

  1. followingthemuse March 11, 2011 at 4:20 pm #

    Spoken like a true not-so-super superwoman of today. Thanks.

  2. ticklingthemuse March 12, 2011 at 11:11 pm #

    You sound like Superwoman to me! =)

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