Mature Women Wanted

Mature Women Wanted
Link posted on Craigslist, Gigs:Talent

So I’ve been wondering how to market myself and there it was on Craigslist: Mature Women Wanted.

Could it be more clear?

There’s a new book out titled Too Big to Fail that documents the bailouts last year that brought our economy back from the precipice. I believe the bailouts did indeed bring us back from the precipice.

But . . .

We, in the form of the powers that be (not even sure who they are at this point), didn’t learn the lesson. Or at least didn’t ask the right question: How did we get to the precipice in what seemed like overnight?

Bailing out a drunk, drug addict, or gambling addict, because they are too big to fail just sets them loose to get drunk, use drugs, or gamble another day and they always end up at the precipice once again – and expect someone else to rescue them.

Oh, and along the way they gobble up the money, so when it comes time to pay for necessities (oh, like health care, food, shelter, education), there isn’t any left.

We need a new economic system. That was Michael Moore’s point in Capitalism, a Love Story.

The fall of the Berlin Wall signaled the failures of communism. Twenty years later, the fall of Wall Street signaled the failures of capitalism.

We might not need to throw out the baby with the bathwater, but, we definitely need to identify the failures of capitalism. I think its biggest failure has been its denial of interdependence.

If you’re too big to fail, than you are dependent on those who are smaller than you to prop you up. Which means you really aren’t that big or productive; you’re just all puffed up. And like George Amberson Minafer, you need to receive your comeuppance in order to mature.

I’ve seen a version of this dysfunction play out with a friend of mine who has been battling the local school district to advocate for her autistic daughter.

The local school district has a one-size-fits-all approach to autism, which seems to be built on the premise that autism is a disease that should be approached much like leprosy was in Biblical times.

The autism class in Livermore comprises thirteen students from the ages of 5 to 9 – kindergarten to third grade. Try putting “normally” functioning children into this situation and you would have problems.

But when you compound that with the different brain wiring of children with autism, you get a train wreck – or to be poetic – a cluster fuck. The special needs of these children, such as sensory needs, are treated as inconvenience for the autism class. If a child’s unique sensory needs are not met, he or she is punished for the resulting behavior.

For you and me, it would be as if someone had locked us in a windowless room for 3 days, turned on a light, cranked up the heaviest metal music they could find, and left the light burning and the music blaring for the entire seventy-two hours –– then accused us of being an animal because we reacted to the lack of sleep and sensory overload.

Frankly, I don’t think any of the students fit the size. But my friend’s daughter definitely doesn’t, and instead of trying to meet her needs, they have labeled her as a wild rabid animal.

I see these two issues – enabling the greediness of the too-big-to-fail – and my local school district’s philosophy about autism – as symptoms of the same thing:

Fear of compassion and failure of imagination.

Compassion means the willingness to bear suffering – to feel what it is to be in the skin of the other who is suffering.

Imagination – well, as John Lennon pointed out, we don’t fly across the country because of the Wright brothers, we fly because for generations humankind imagined what it would be like to fly.

Fierce individualism is an American trait. It has its value. But the truth is we are interdependent. We are born alone and we die alone, but in between we rely on the tribe of humankind and the earth, its inhabitants and the ecosystem to live and thrive.

So we need a new paradigm and with it a new economic system – one that values imagination and compassion and recognizes interdependence.

Mature women definitely needed here.

Bring in the Crone – don’t bother she’s here

No woman should feel ashamed of returning to the world through her work, a portion of its lost heart.”
I think this is attributed to Louise Bogan: would that it were mine.

As a matter of fact I do look 5 days over 60 because, well, that’s what I am. A Crone.

I gave myself a birthday present about a week before my birthday. I hadn’t intended to, but there it was anyway.

It had been a strange day. I was agitated — worried that after 59 years of making myself small so as to not make people feel bad, that I would have no credibility when it came to redefining myself and starting a new career. I mean, how could I receive compensation for my talents that I had for years minimized? What did I have to show as accomplishments?

What I have been relying on for income for over twenty-five years – technical writing – is no longer an option for me. I have been getting no responses to my resume, and, more important, the compensation offered is less than I earned twenty years ago. It was never an occupation that truly recognized the value of good communication, but at least it paid well. Now, it doesn’t pay enough to cover health insurance, let alone compensation for the frustration of an uphill struggle to write well in an unsupportive environment.

I had to find a new career. That was the source of my agitation and, quite frankly, fury.

I found myself feeling as if I had my hands on the plunger of a detonator that would bring down a house – empty, deteriorating, not safe for occupancy.

Metaphor alert: Just to be clear, this was a metaphor for how I felt. I had no detonator in my possession, let alone dynamite.

I succumbed to the feeling and pushed the plunger. It was a powerful boom. The structure unraveled. A cloud of dust engulfed the space that the house had occupied.

A momentary silence, and then the dust cleared, revealing, not an empty space, but a beautiful house surrounded by a lush garden.

My new house. The house of the Crone.

When I turned 50, I did a meditation in which I invited in the Crone. When I asked her how I could help she said, “Let go of youth. She’s no longer your friend.”

And then, “You know what you need to know to be your life. No one else can give you those answers.”

Well, ten years later, I got it, what the Crone was telling me.

And so, the week before my birthday, I received word that I would get what I had asked for: compensation for reading my creative writing. The first response to my request was “Well, that’s not going to happen.” The message being: “We’re doing you a favor by letting you read it.”

Well, I thought, if that’s your decision . . . I guess I won’t be reading my writing at your event.

Much to my surprise, about a week later, my proposal was accepted.

And . . . instead of feeling guilty about honoring the worth of my work, I just felt, “Well, yes, I do know what I’m doing and I know the value of what I am doing.”

It wasn’t so much that I deserved it as that my work has value: I had used the gifts I was given and turned them into the works of my hand:

“ . . . establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.”

And so, I felt what it was like to be me, without guilt, shame, or embarassment for having been given the particular gifts that are my talents. I had the right to live the life I was born into.

That was my birthday present to myself: I have the right to my life.

So here’s to my becoming a Crone – may I return to the world through my work, a portion of its lost heart.