The Freshman class of Boomer-working women in the Gloria Steinem era basked in the glow of the potential of Having IT All. Yes…we strove to achieve that mythical HAVE IT ALL status…but the critical element missing from most discussions was and still is what your definition of IT is. (Sorry for quasi-plagiarizing Bill Clinton.) OK…you’re wondering where I’m going with this one? And I admit that this blog isn’t about how I’m feeling or what I’m doing. Instead, it’s a reaction to the the difference in the comments about my retirement from the women I worked with…vs those from the men.
Here’s two comments that speak volumes. After hearing about some of my retirement bucket list plans, one person said: “Susan….You’re Killin’ me”……And the other said “You gotta keep on climbing”. I really appreciated both and both were from good friends, who I believe really care about me. See the difference? And the very divergent implications?
You see…so many of the very successful financial women in my office expressed that they were “envious” or “jealous” or more humorously, “you’re killin me.” Not that any of them wanted to retire now, because I was admittedly the Old Lady in the house…. but the thought of getting off the treadmill and slowing down and experiencing something other than 10 plus hour work days definitely had some appeal. In contrast, there wasn’t a single man who was even a teeny bit jealous of my plans …not in the least. (Or if they were, none said it)
And then..as Carrie Bradshaw would say—“I started to wonder” why did the men look at this decision one way…and why the women the other????