In his book,Socrates Cafe, Christopher Phillips writes, “Whenever I first philosophize with a group of kids, I bring a glass half filled with water. And I ask the kids, ‘Is the glass half empty or half full?’ The last time I did this with a group of kids ... they argued among themselves that the glass has to be one or the other, either empty or full. They never considered other possibilities.”
Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? I mean, what other possibilities are there?
I remember receiving my first evite (since before the pandemic) to an in person event. Having not been vaccinated yet, declining was a pretty easy decision for me to make.
But by the time of the invitation, most everyone was getting back to pre-pandemic life; COVID was no longer an acceptable reason to decline. I was surprised when I felt some amount of anxiety over my decision. I don’t think I’d ever experienced this kind of anxiety before.
As a woman now without a man, I must figure out how to navigate the gender line if I wish to be heard.
My first real opportunity to experience what it's like to live as a single woman in a man's world was through an interaction I had with a contractor. I took the opportunity to use my voice and to exercise control over things I actually had control over, and I experienced first-hand the consequences of living into those two things.
As a little girl growing up in the 1960s, my role in life was pretty much set for me. Sure, there was room for some variation, but the cultural norms dictated that I would graduate high school, go to college, get married, have kids, and live happily ever after.
I followed the script and it suited me well; I loved being Wife. Wife was how I interfaced with my world and everyone in it. It was how I knew who I was; it defined my responsibilities in the home, my place in the world, and my purpose in life.
Borrowing a phrase form The Grinch, Christmas became as foreign to me as the Whobilation was to him.
All my growing up, Christmas Day was very full. It gathered food, presents, and people like a snowball gathers snow. And coming from a large family, Rod’s Christmas Day celebration was similar to mine - only he gathered a bigger snowball by the end of the day.