Friday, January 19, 2007

Personal Happiness

Tonight, at a magazine conference, I listened to Chatelaine editor-in-chief (all in small letters according to the masthead) Sara Angel speak about the history of Chatelaine. Really, it was a literary history of women in Canada, everything from war efforts and war brides to mastering the workforce and loving the life of being a single woman. Chatelaine has tried to write about issues that matter to women in Canada. Birth control, before it was acceptable. Abuse at home, when it wasn't spoken about. Breastfeeding sucks, but not speaking literally.

I asked her what she felt would be the one thing that matters most in the next 3-5 years. I kinda like her answer.

Personal Happiness. With all the choices out there for women, it is no longer about fighting for the right to vote, or the right to work, or the right to stay home, or take the pill, or be sexy (or even not sexy). It's about the internal fight of deciding what creates our individual personal happiness, and what the hell we women want to do about it.

I can relate to that. Men think a lot about sex, so I have been told. I think women think equally about what we want to do with our lives. At the same time, I want to be a stay-at-home-mom, a corporate leader, an independent traveller, a writer, a photographer, an exerciser, a thinker, a student, a supportive and sensual wife, a great friend, a philosopher, a poet, a 9-to-5er, an entrepreneur, a SCUBA diver, a nomadic wanderer, a global volunteer, and a community builder.

I want to care, and I want to throw all my cares away. I want to stay, and I want to never come back. I want to produce, and I want to relish in nothingness. I want to build, and I want to break down. Choices, choices, choices.

All I can do is remind myself of what is most important - my family, my community, my contribution as a citizen of this planet. As for the rest, I try to flexibly fit it into my life when I can, when that particular urge rises to the top. I change my choices every day.

For my personal happiness, that is the one right I cling to every day.

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