Dear friends -
Whether you offered up in-depth commentary, or left an encouraging word -- thank you!
Some thoughts on Sarah Palin
Will you do a little bit more research on Sarah Palin? About what she actually has to say about the world and how it should function? She just doesn't seem qualified. Would love to hear your thoughts, even if you disagree with me. Anonymous
Whitney post-script: Initially I discounted my several friends' opinions because not only did we differ politically, but they had gone to Ivy League schools and I had not. But when a friend who shares my political views, and didn't go to an Ivy, and is not involved in politics, indicated that she can answer more questions about world events than can Gov. Palin, my reasons for discounting their views vaporized.
Just hours later, I was negotiating (with a woman I've never met) via e-mail the speaker line-up for an upcoming conference. Though this woman is clearly knowledgeable and her views should be carefully considered, when she began to push for one particular speaker, I found myself thinking "Let's just let her have this."
I didn't think -- She's smart. She knows what she's talking about. Her ideas matter. I respect her.
But rather -- She's being emotional. Let's just pacify her and move on.
Et tu, Whitney?
I still like Governor Palin - and she has governed well by many accounts. But I get it now. I want -- we all want -- women to achieve prominence not because we look the part, but because we are the part, because our ideas matter, because we are respected.
P.S. Have you read the commentary about Tina Fey's hilarious impersonation titled Sarah Palin and her parasite?
When our loved ones ask 'what about me?
I LOVED this. Honestly, I've felt that pull several times in my life and I've been the one resisting at times too...loved this, something to think about and watch for in the future. LL
This is a post I can relate to. Sometimes I wonder if my husband wants to keep me tied down or if it's a perception because we're not communicating. Amy
In a very short time, I will be an empty nester. While it does free up my time and resources, it has been unbelievably heart-wrenching too. I became so skilled and competent and effective at being a stay at home mother. I juggled committees, church responsibilities, some contract work on the side but mostly I listened to the pleas "What about me?" and stopped listening to my own internal music...I admire you younger women you are trying to balance both career and family and though it isn't always easy, you may find that when you arrive at the empty nest stage, you can breathe a sigh of relief because you have other things that you have mastered and achieved along the way. Bonnie White
Copyright by Mallika Sundaramurthy and Whitney Johnson, 2008.
Whitney post-script: Thank you to Bonnie for her kindness (for it was kind to share with us her story) to those of us who don't currently have nests, or the nests are still full. It's a reminder that we need to have 'yes' (connection) and 'no' (protection) in our repertoire. Despite the difficulty of attending to our loved ones AND our selves, it is worth the effort.
As Amy points out, our family may want us to dream. Quite often they will say they do, but won't provide the resources needed for the dream to happen either because they don't know how, or because they are ambivalent. Either way we need to have the discussion.
As for Laura's comment, I suspect many of us are in the position of having others resist the pursuit of our dreams. But, if we look a little further, we'll find that we have probably said 'what about me?' a time or two ourselves. I know I have. Just remember yes and no. Both/and. And why not re-read Psyche's 4th Task?
Which secret garden will we tend?
In most areas of our lives we can find both the disaster AND success. I have just recently lost a baby at 20 weeks. That was a disaster. Still mourning. Where is the success in that? Here it is: my child gained her earthly body. Becky
I did attend my 20th high school reunion this year, but I dreaded it. I didn't want to confront my awkward teen-age self, and I didn't want to see that self reflected in the eyes of people who had known me then. It turned out to be a healing event. EHD
When I am around people that have never grown up, even at the age of 66 I can be wounded all over again. From this experience I have learned distance and forgiveness. The distance comes from moving away from the relationship. The forgiveness comes when I don't ask others to sacrifice their happiness to keep me happy. Kindness, I would like to think, fills the corners of the garden. b
Please weed this conversation out of your Secret Garden, and throw it on your personal "compost heap". By composting such experiences, you recognize that there is "garbage" in life, but that it can be reworked for good; after a significant amount of time and proper decomposition, it may even be used to nourish and fortify your Secret Garden. Nothing beats good fertilizer! Danalee
Whitney's post-script: These comments are heartfelt, insightful, pithy.
For further reading on this topic, my friend Julie recommended the memoir The Glass Castle. It's a little tough to read, but a great case study on making a choice about how to frame our lives, and the importance of our loved ones in making that choice. As you'll read in her dedication, it was Ms. Walls' husband who finally persuaded her to tell her story. In his words, 'everyone who is interesting has a past.'
You may also want to read Sonja Lyubomirsky's post on Psychology Today; she wrote the book The How of Happiness. If you still want more, you can listen to my friend Jane's NPR interview with Ms. Lyubomirksy here.
Planting cherry trees
I re-read FDR's inauguration speech which was linked to the article you suggested. So much of what he said applies to us today. It lifted my spirits for the day and given the market, that is priceless...Stacey
This post ranks in my top 10 favorite Dare to Dream entries...We take care of each other by investing in each other. Throughout my first year of business, friends, family, and acquaintances took care of me by investing in my dream - financially, physically, and emotionally...Thanks for the reminder of the leap of faith that they took on my behalf. Janna
Whitney post-script: As we continue to move through this tough time, I wanted to share these words from Rabbi Irwin Kula. In his book Yearnings, he writes, "Certainty is seductive. Our culture rewards not-knowing a liability; but about the important things in life, the opposite may be true. There isn't a single character in the Bible who understood beforehand the outcome of any journey he or she underwent. What makes these characters so special is not that they are somehow superhuman, wiser or more evolved. It's that they don't scale down their dreams to the size of their fears."
Thank you Rabbi Kula.
Thank you to each of you for sharing a piece of your selves.