I ever so lovingly scolded my oldest daughter the other day for working too hard as she bustled around my kitchen like the queen bee of a very busy colony. She promptly responded with this remark: Mama, this is a vacation for me! And then she gave me a rundown of a typical workday for her back in Honduras. Up by 6:00; quiet time; yoga workout or strength training depending on the day; straightens up the house; gets baby up, feeds them breakfast and dresses them for the day; makes lunches for her and her hubs; travels to her clinic where she sees patients all day with a 20-minute lunch break; returns home to prepare dinner and straightens up some more (from the ravages of a two-year old whirlwind); cooks supper; bathes baby and puts her down for the night (but not until she gets her story time - I know this from personal observation); finishes up any unfinished business for the day which may or may not include clinic business or the family's laundry. Bathes and falls into bed. I grew extremely and profoundly tired just hearing an account of a ordinary day for her. So the cooking, cleaning and running around she's been doing at my house is indeed like a vacation. I can see that now.
I come from a long line of women who are not afraid of hard work. I like to think (and please don't say if you should disagree) that I am a hard-working woman. Except to indulge in my required 8-9 hours of sleep each night, I am seldom idle. And I do have a TV ritual with my hubby most nights. But usually I am either working on my photography, my own personal websites and those I manage for others, my house, or various other personal duties. I would say I stay pretty busy. My mother raised three children, had assorted jobs over the years, and always devoted her energy to keeping a well-organized home. My maternal grandmother had eleven kids. That's all I need to say about her. My sister and my youngest daughter are also very hard workers. My niece is a stay-at-home mom who home schools all three of her children. So hard work is not something the women in my family are immune to. None of us sit still for long. We do not watch soap operas all day. We keep tidy houses. We cook meals. We have personal endeavors. I surround myself with hard-working women. My best friend has three daughters and five grandsons and pours her life into them; she is an awesome mother and grandmother. I have many friends who hold down jobs and also have family obligations and volunteer as well. If you wanna be my friend, you have to be a hard-worker (not really, but it does seem to be a recurring quality in the friends I choose). We are not afraid to put in a little elbow grease, to hunker down and get it done. It's what we do.
But to see my eldest daughter doing what I consider "working hard" on something she considers to be "hardly working" makes me think that she just might be the hardest-working one of our entire clan. She is so much like her father. They are not only hard workers, but they are slightly driven people I would say. When my body decides it is finished for the day, much like Scarlet O'Hara I just say I'll think about that tomorrow. Not so with Hollie and her dad. They work hard and then they work hard a little bit harder. They stay up into the wee hours of the morning, if they need to, just to get the work done. Then they rise early and do it all over again. They are extremely devoted to their family, their work, and their passions. When I am finally tucked in under my featherdown at night, they could very likely be putting on another pot of coffee to pull an all-nighter. I will say, however, that Hollie does try to get the proper rest now that she has a two-year-old. Two-year-olds take a toll on you. Good thing God made them super cute with bouncy little strawberry curls hanging over their big blue eyes; otherwise, no one would agree to the work involved.
So just like everything in life, we have choices. We can choose to work hard and get things done, or we can choose to be idle and let life pass us by. The average woman doesn't have the means to pay someone to complete all the services she provides in a day. I am very proud of the fact that I am encircled by a great group of women who work hard and don't grumble as they do it. But I am in no way suggesting that we shouldn't have the occasional day that we take to pamper ourselves. I'll be the first one to agree to a mani or a pedi or, heck, let's do both! But when the women of my family get manicures, it's not because it's the weekly or even monthly pampering we feel we are owed, it's because our fingernails are chipped and rough and possibly have two-month old nail polish still trying to hang on for dear life. I mean, I'm just keepin' it real, girls.
Posted by CC
I love to write; you love to read...let's share!