rest p2: for women.
Today, we talk about rest.
We talk specifically about resting as women.
I talk to my sister, Fulbright Scholar and soon to be graduate of Harvard Law School, about rest all the time. Why we feel SO GUILTY for resting.
Rest is something that Americans in general do not know how to do well, and approach with caution, lest we be considered lazy. In a workaholic nation, burnout and depression hit us hard and often, with only quick-fix solutions offered to us by our ever growing capitalist market. "Treat yourself to a massage, to a pedicure, to a weekend getaway (if you dare), and then jump back in the race!"
For women, this culture produces unique challenges.
We live in a complicated day and age where women are given more public sphere access and opportunity than ever, but at a cost. Success in our careers is not only offered to us, it is expected. However, our responsibilities at home have not decreased. Women are now working overtime at their jobs, and also running home to take care of their families. Slowly, men are beginning to shift into taking responsibility in the home, but for the majority of families, the burden of childcare still falls on women. Also in the majority of families, one income is not enough to get by, so women are now paying the bills and also sustaining the home life.
As someone who does not yet have a family of her own, I am still daunted by my own tasks as a single young woman in the music industry. In many industries, the music industry included, the work place is still saturated with men in the top positions, and women have to work twice, three, five times as hard to be recognized and paid equally to our male counterparts for the same work. We are harassed, passed over for promotions and new hires, talked down to, talked over, and shut out of important meetings and opportunities. There has been progress, but not enough.
We feel the pressure to succeed, to work overtime, to do it all, not only for ourselves, but for the sisters coming after us. As women in the music industry, we are expected to sing, write, produce, play instruments, network, manage ourselves, have a fierce gym regimen, and maintain multiple social media accounts documenting our progress and ONLY our progress.
It is wonderful that more and more opportunities are opening up for women, and that we have the chance to make the road easier for generations to come. But these expectations require pure greatness and superhumanness that is just not sustainable over a lifetime.
We. Must. Rest.
Consistently. Honestly. With intention.
This means something different for every woman, but in resting, in putting ourselves first instead of everyone else, as we so often have the tendency to do, we actually become better workers, creatives, mothers, partners, friends, citizens of this world.
We cannot pour from empty cups.
We cannot continue to give what we do not have.
And the only solution is to rest. The burnout may be glamorized by those social media accounts of the women seemingly doing it all, but do not be fooled: those women have a team of people helping them. It truly takes a village to be a woman in this day and age.
Which brings me to my second point: ask for help. From your partner, from your peers, from your friends. You cannot do it all. You do not HAVE to do it all. It would be better to focus on the things you do excellently, and to bring people onto your team who do the other things you need excellently. Instead of running a one woman show, be at the helm of a passionate and committed crew.
Progress is found in community, in people working together to achieve the same goals. Inspiration is found in rest. The answers are found in the silence. Give to yourself, so you can give to others.
All my love,