Tuesday, July 12, 2011

If you could sit down with superwoman and have an honest chat...

If you asked superwoman how her day went or how she was feeling, how do you suppose she would respond?

Let's say for instance that she nearly lost a child falling out of an airplane while she reached to rescue three other adults. As a consequence of trying to juggle the four people, one of the adults broke his foot in the fall.

And instead of hearing all sorts of praise and thank-yous for a job well done, she spent the evening in the hospital apologizing to the family for nearly dropping the child who is now traumatized and visiting the guy whose foot is painfully dangling from a swing, and he is crying out for more morphine.

Then suppose superwoman headed home, late enough, no groceries in the fridge, so she decided to get take-out. Only she lost her wallet in the fall, so she has no money on her. Hungry and tired, she decides to go to sleep, and her next door neighbor is having a huge house party, so she is up most of the night.

Would superwoman tell you about all of this, go into all the details of the last 24-hours?

She might tell you about nearly losing the child, about the man in the hospital with the broken leg and how her heart went out to him. But most likely she wouldn't burden you with the fact that she had no sleep, that she was starving because she lost her wallet - for sure, she wouldn't want to make you feel like you needed to feed her. She might also be a little hesitant to tell you about the rescue, as if it came off as boasting or else even worse, complaining about something that is the very privilege of being 'super' - able to fly and all that.

What if she did tell you that she hasn't slept and is hungry, and that she wishes every once in awhile people would recognize the work that she does, say thank-you, and appreciate that they are still alive, even if a little shook and a bone or two out of place?

Would you still consider her 'super'? I am guessing that you would still consider her 'super' if you weren't directly related to any of the above incidents, and if you were her friend and were genuinely out for her best interest.

Here's an interesting twist - what if we had the ability to observe a conversation between superwoman and her husband, superman. Suppose he too was out saving the world all day, and instead of going to the hospital after saving all those people in the train crash, he took some time to humbly accept their praise. One of the thankful train riders found his wallet. Another one invited him to dinner with the family. Say superman got home a little tipsy from a few pints and with a full belly - this meant that he slept fine through the neighbor's party. 

What sort of conversation do you suppose would be a healthy honest chat between two superheroes?


  1. I love this. I can't quite explain why, but it captures how I'm feeling this week. Maybe it's about whatever you do, it never seems like enough?

  2. Glad you like it.

    I am by no means a superwoman (me in spandex is comedy more than comic book). But it made sense to examine how I was feeling in a fantasy.

    Part of it is just that, no matter how much I do, it feels like I could be doing more.

    But also, I wanted to examine what happens when you spend so much time trying to do more, having little time to keep the basics in check (eating, sleeping, exercise), and the impact that has in feeling gratified in oneself.

  3. I love this one too. it's so nice! it's so real, in spite of the fantasy. it hits the spot. And I am so happy I had a minute, out of my own kind of "superhero" day to sit down and come visit your blog. You've been super productive this month!
    Big love to you.

  4. sorry, not sure why I can never find the right way to sing. None above was me, suzana...