She chose something other than riding a bike

I read an opinion piece on the Fox News site called “How I stopped being busy…and got a real life”. My motives for reading that sort of article are simple. Think rubbernecking a big accident on the interstate. Westerners love repackaged platitudes.

But you already knew that.

It was a single sentence in the piece that grabbed my attention because of how it illustrates more of what my last post was about.

The writer waxes about how she stripped busy making from her schedule and chose to focus more on her family and friends. Mostly boiler plate stuff, until half way through she wrote this:

The more I chose my heart, and not what mattered to the rest of the world, the more I chose what mattered to me.

Is that not exactly backwards of what has really been defining the woman’s schedule? Is it not the heart that creates martyr complex and myriad other reasons women give for being a moms taxi driver, and PTA, and band booster, and this and that committee? She admits as much earlier in the article:

We say yes to committees and other commitments

[  ] because we mistakenly believe it will bring us acceptance or prestige. Busyness has become a badge of honor.

No new information here. Nothing deeply insightful. Just more words mixed together in an article with empathy evocation as prime directive rather than paying attention to what the words mean.


6 thoughts on “She chose something other than riding a bike

  1. Used to be that being a wife, mother, homemaker was a full time job but then came washers and dryers, disposable diapers, prepackaged food, the list of time and labor saving devices in the home is almost endless but I see any woman who’s managed to rope in a husband that makes enough money for her to stay home still as “busy as ever. The time required to perform the drudge-some tasks of w,m,h has shrunk to a tiny fraction of what it used to be yet these women haven’t taken advantage of their free time to become better wives and mothers or better anything. They just consume more and more. Some homeschool (Yaay for them!) but I so many engaged in the above mentioned raising dust or busyness. The root of this is them increasing the size of the task until it takes up the time allotted to it. Exquisitely and needlessly overdecorated houses are the result of this unfilled time. (The list of time wasters could also be endless) I weep for these women who are squandering a very rare and unique opportunity to do something more than be high maintenance low brow house frau’s. The suffragettes were so right. A country cannot rise above the level of it’s women and Western women have largely shown what they are made of by squandering the time and resources at their disposal on comfort and things that make them feel good for a minute.

  2. When you read the scrawlings of the feminists, especially early on when they were talking primarily to housewives, you read of the “problem with no name,” the feeling of ennui these women supposedly felt. Apparently working was supposed to fix that feeling somehow.

    I always wondered — if you feel so unfulfilled, why not take some of your time to read great literature? Learn to paint? Take up a hobby like knitting or embroidery?

    But as is so often the case, the problem (if it was even real) wasn’t discussed in order to look for a solution, but to justify doing whatever they otherwise wanted to do, and feel like martyrs for doing so.

    What you mentioned here is a great racket — you can write articles about how satisfying it is to be more involved and do more things; then later you can write articles about how sometimes you just need to dial back and take more time for yourself (as though all that time spent doing all those things she signed up for wasn’t spent on herself).

    And who cares what happens to the readers; they only read the article to feel empathy anyway. Nobody really thinks these articles will make a difference to anyone, and I’m not sure they even want them to. They just seem like a way of monetizing a diary.

  3. The more I chose my heart, and not what mattered to the rest of the world, the more I chose what mattered to me.

    Just now, it struck me that you had quoted this bit of Christianese from a Fox News article, and not one from Family Life. Yep. I see in her tagline she has a book published by Zondervan, and a blog!

    From her About Me page:

    I am humbled (and touched) when someone tells me they have saved every note that I have ever written them.

    So humbled she told us that her self-described writing gift leads others to save every note she’s ever written. That was the funniest sentence, but it all reads like that.

    As you said: “Just more words mixed together in an article with empathy evocation as prime directive rather than paying attention to what the words mean.”

    It baffles me that she gets paid to write.

  4. I also gasped as I read how she can share her gift of writing. Heck I just open a box and type in it to share mine, It takes little time, or rather I invest little time.

    Pay me if you want me to proof these posts.

  5. ”It baffles me that she gets paid to write.

    I would have shared this sentiment three decades ago, but I’m now long past being surprised by such things. A cursory glance at any Establishment publication reveals this sort of self-congratulatory verbal vomitus to be mainstream. Standards went out the window long, long ago because they were insufficiently egalitarian.

  6. If you are married yet pay someone else to help you achieve empathogasm are you cheating?

    If you accept pay for helping others achieve empathogasm, what are you?

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