I’ve written before that Eli and Evie do this adorable thing where they argue—based on the opinion writing skills they’ve been learning in school—why I’m cooler than they are. I don’t love the inauthentic self-negging, but I do appreciate the ego boost.
There are always a bunch of reasons, including my work accomplishments. The other day Evie phrased it a new way that struck me, “…And you run a made-up company!”
A made up company?? I assure you young lady, it’s very real, I reacted, cackles up. And then I realized what she meant: It was a compliment. Perhaps the highest compliment from a kid: It was a company that had come from nothing more than my imagination. It had roots in absolutely nothing else. And I had imagined so hard and strong it came into being.
What a beautiful way for a child to understand entrepreneurship.
I’ve spent so long having my work diminished as a woman, I would have never thought of that as a compliment. But it was an amazing homage to both my idea and of my sheer force of will.
A made-up company.
I’ve started to keep a log of a few awesome things I’ve heard people say lately that have struck me. Maybe because I’m so ready to CLING to inspiration, maybe because my human interaction is so rare. I’ve basically got homeschooling, Zoom meetings and Netflix.
Another one came from Evie, who was watching me on my Peloton. She came to my side to inform me that she rode her bike much faster. I pointed to the cadence on the screen which was hovering just under 100. “Mom,” she said to me, eyes wide, with all the solemnity of a hymn. “When I ride my bike I go so fast that I can feel the air rushing around me, like I’m an asteroid.”
She was right. I clearly could be pushing harder.
Another came from Catherine Connors, who ran a Chairman Mom virtual dinner party about health anxiety, based on a weeks-long period when she may have had COVID-19 and was definitely panicked. We talked about how self-isolation within one’s own home went against every instinct we have as mothers.
I hadn’t imagined what a horrible position that might put women in. “You can’t be a nurturer when your nurturing could pass this on,” she said. “There is something deeply inhuman about this. The thing that the virus attacks is that human impulse to be hugged and to give care.”
Wow. It was a whole new lens on the fear and human tragedy of this virus, even when struck with a mild case.
And yet another came from Jonathan Van Ness as I caught up on Queer Eye one night: “You a rebel honey if you choose to love yourself. Let’s all be rebels.”
These four things jotted down in a notebook over a week’s time from disparate sources share a lot in common. A fire and determination to struggle through difficult forces wanting to hold us all down.
I hope you are all finding small sources of inspiration around you these days. We need to cling to whatever we can.
Today’s new questions on Chairman Mom:
- I’m worried I might never see my parents again. How are others handling this?
- Amazon wants me, and I’m morally conflicted