Ursula K. Le Guin
Women’s work. We hear those two words put together often. My husband Jim and I joke about it. He teasingly tells me that women’s hands were simply made smaller than men’s hands so they can properly wash glasses in the kitchen sink…and he jokes that the reason I practice yoga is so I can get down on my knees and scrub the floors. All in jest, of course.
But I ponder the meaning of women’s work. What is OUR work? The work of the feminine…the work of this gender… the meaning to the activities of our lives, day in and day out.
And this quote from Ursula LeGuin got me thinking about it.
My mind runs to the measuring of my life by the quality of relationships; family, children, friends, coworkers. But these would simply be the by-product of an even deeper work, a work that is constant and continual and has been there my entire life. From the moment that I get out of bed, throughout my days, into my evenings; over holidays, Saturdays, Sundays; in times of joy, in times of strife, in times of quiet reflection or chaos; that deeper work is the discovery, re-discovery and re-birth of me along the way.
My work is to be a woman on my own terms and of my own definition. My work is to understand that the woman I was at 19, at 32, at 45, at 55 and on and on will be ever-growing, continually developing, always learning and re-defining the meaning of me. And it’s my work to persevere in it.
And so, my work, is to understand, accept, support, educate and the know, really know, the person who is me. To question, seek answers, feel the energy of the world and claim what I want from it, and, in turn encourage other women to come along with me. And, as I travel on this life journey of defining and knowing myself, of being a part of and doing the job of living, I know that my work is to bring other women along with me and share what I’ve learned so they, too, will do the same.