April 14th, 2011

Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes

Oh so many years ago I would have found my life and current priorities to be a betrayal to the evolution of self and to the independence and intelligence of womankind. I was born in the 50’s, was a child and adolescent of the 60’s and came of age in the 70’s and 80’s – in California yet! Hence, Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinman were my heroes. I never burned my bras because I was poor and thus that seemed to be a pretty dumb choice. But I did believe that women could be super-persons and that the glass ceiling was meant to be broken.

And break it I did. I achieved pretty high levels in my career – President, CFO, Director of pretty good sized companies. I sacrificed a fair amount of personal life for professional achievement and frankly, loved my career.

And then..... love entered my life and I became spouse to my beloved husband, Richard. I found a man who had dreams (a rarity in today’s world of cynical thinking) and discovered that to follow him and his dreams I would have to take a different route – the road less travelled as it were. We joined the Foreign Service life and my role became that of “spouse to an American diplomat”. All of my official documents – passport, local official papers – describe me as spouse/esposa/ whatever foreign term applies to my role as dependent to my beloved. There was a time when this would have generated major fury and indignation – I am not an appendage of anyone! I am me!

But fortunately, age occasionally brings maturity and I mellowed.

Today I find myself enjoying the life of a wife, a retired one at that. I cook, I iron, and I clean – all of the things that I used to hire out. And amazingly, I find it fulfilling. Have I progressed? I hope so. In any case, I am happy.