Monday, May 13, 2013

Lean Back

I'm tired of feeling guilty for being unambitious.

You know what, Sheryl Sandberg? You're a freak. Even Penelope Trunk admits it, and she's usually my go-to source for feeling lame in my career.

The truth is, if you want to make $845 million a year, you have to be exactly like Sheryl: very smart, able to work 18-20 hours a day until your mid-30s, and absolutely obsessed with success. You also need to get access to plenty of rich, successful, MALE mentors who will guide you on your way as the token woman. And you need to cultivate relationships as if you're constantly living on LinkedIn, rather than living an actual life.

I do agree with some of what Sandberg says - spend less time on work, and less time on childcare. Of course, since you don't have her disposable income, you need to do this by cutting back on your ambitions, rather than delegating. It's ok to turn off your cell phone and your computer at 5:00 and go the hell home. Or at 3:00, if you can swing it. It's also ok to let the kids play video games and run around in the backyard unsupervised.

If you adjust your expectations, there is very little difference between sitting with your bare feet in the sandbox drinking a home-made margarita with your S.O. while your kid plays and sitting on some exotic beach doing the same, except one is much, much cheaper.

Here's what I do want:

A good, strong relationship with my family and friends. I want them to know that I will drop whatever I'm doing to help them when they really need me, and that I still love them even if I don't want to drop what I'm doing to tend to their every petty issue.

A comfortable home with lots of natural light, and functioning heat and A/C. Pretty much everything else is negotiable. Non-leaking roof would be nice, but you can always buy another bucket.

Time to do what I love best: reading, gardening, cooking, drawing hanging out with friends and family, critiquing stupid bestsellers on the Internet.

The opportunity to do meaningful important work that benefits actual people, and doesn't just make rich people richer.

That's pretty much it.

I don't want a size 0 body. I don't want a jet. I don't want a $2 million salary, or even a $200,000 salary, not if it means trading in what's most important to me.

Although every once in a while, I would like a new pair of shoes.


Blogger Samantha Wilde said...

Brilliant. Right on. Perfect. Love and am borrowing for myself!!

5/13/2013 2:38 PM  
Blogger The back of the hill said...

Sounds like a good set of values.

5/14/2013 2:50 PM  
Blogger The back of the hill said...


10/07/2013 1:53 PM  
Blogger The back of the hill said...

Long silence.



11/19/2013 12:25 PM  
Blogger The back of the hill said...

ScrantonI keep visiting, hoping that things have changed....

12/19/2013 5:14 PM  
Blogger The back of the hill said...

Note: the inclusion of "Scranton" in the previous comment was inadvertent.

I was trying to prove that I was not a robot.

12/19/2013 5:15 PM  

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