Be BETTER Health Goal: Things you are proud of

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proudThings you are proud of. Pat yourself on the back This week's life goal is to look at your life and come up with five things you are doing that you are proud of. Write them down on a slip of paper and post them on your mirror, journal about them, or just name them to yourself repeatedly. Pick five and be proud of them. Give yourself a huge pat on the back for doing them. Acknowledge that you are doing a lot in your life. Ignore any feelings of insufficiency or lack of accomplishment, and notice the things that you do have going on, because they matter.

In the past 60 years, the role of women in America has changed dramatically. We have earned equal rights compared with men, including the right to vote, work in any job we can master and own a business. The American woman is a revolution, a rare bird in history. But is the idea of the “do-it-all” American woman a blessing, or a curse?

The twenty-first-century American woman is beautiful. And she’s not just average in looks; she must be skinny and tall, with no patches of fat or overzealous hips. She is intelligent: She will have attended the most prestigious university possible, be well-versed in current events, as well as be street-smart and knowledgeable about sports. This woman is intellectual. She finds higher meaning to her life. She is kind, compassionate and a continuous volunteer in her community. She is a leader. She is social. She has a strong, successful career. She has children, a husband and a home, and manages everything those things entail. This American woman is superwoman in every way -- at least, that’s what society expects her to be.

The picture I have painted is almost a tragedy. We as women have gone from repressed and unequal (which is not OK) to overworked and pushed too far (which is also not OK). Multiple problems arise from this dilemma. Obviously, it is not ideal to turn back to mid-century limitations, but a new idea and ideal must be adopted if we, as a community, are to continue to prosper through this very important group of citizens.

So what is the solution? Let’s imagine that women are not expected to be all of these things at once. What do we get? We will have women who are healthy, energized and happy. We will have mothers who can give their full attention to their children. We will have business partners who don’t have to sacrifice to make ends meet. That sounds like a contribution to society. We believe that a woman should be able to be a mother, a wife, a career person, and anything else she may aspire to. But she does not have to be all of those things, or any of them. It is up to her. It is up to each woman.

Tomorrow’s American woman is a legend. She is ambitious, beautiful in her own way, and happy. She may be the mother of five, the local librarian or an avid traveler. She might be married, divorced or single. She might own a business. She might run for president. She will do whatever her heart desires. This American woman is amazing because she does not have to do everything -- but she just might do anything.

Notice all of the things you are doing. It is probably not everything, but we are sure it is something!

By Be BETTER Blogger, Kelsey Taylor