We all have some form of wake-up alarm to get us up and moving in the mornings. You may use a ring tone on your SmartPhone, or the TV, a coffee maker, or even an “old fashioned” clock radio. You may have a baby or toddler in the house who cries out when it is time to rise and shine. For me, it is an 85-pound Lab who starts pacing and snorting at 5:30, then a half hour later, my husband’s radio alarm goes off.
We refer to these as wake up calls or alarms. But in reality, for Real Women, it is the starting-line buzzer for our daily race. Ready, set…. GO. Aaaaannnndddd she’s off.
We need to be cognitively functioning at least at 65% capacity by the time we’ve made it to the first curve of the race. We need to get household residents up and moving, pets out and fed, breakfast sorted out, and daily plans put in place all before we’ve completed one lap and can begin to get ourselves personally ready for the day ahead.
By the time we move onto the next phase of the race — our jobs, or our home care responsibilities — we’ve already worked up a bit of a sweat. Rather than slow down, we push ourselves to pick up our speed, using important tools like caffeine and deadlines to spur us on. We spend the day multi-tasking and balancing a myriad of projects and responsibilities as we race around the track. We fit in plenty of extras, as if they are multiple batons being passed to us from other racers, or hurdles placed in our path. Doctor’s appointments, taxi service for our children, errands to run on lunch hour or after work, workouts, kid’s sporting events, volunteer activities…zip, zoom, leap.
Eventually we enter the final leg of the race, which takes its form as evening activities and taking care of house and home. Sports, school functions, our own organizations and club responsibilities, dinner, clean up, homework, bills, yardwork, caring for family members, you name it, we are wedging it in to our final laps.
Is it any wonder why women were created with unbelievable stamina? Like some kind of super wind-up toy, we keep hopping along the race track, quite literally “going the distance” without giving up.
Some days we finish our race feeling great. We’ve had a productive and enjoyable day, our energy has sustained us, the conditions were just right, and we break through that bright yellow tape with a cheer and feeling like we can conquer the world.
Other days we stumble a bit, and we may need to take a break part way around the track, but eventually we pull ourselves along and finish, even if we have to crawl to the end.
And yes, there are some days when we fall, and we need the support and help from others to carry us across that finish line.
But no matter what, we get to taste sweet victory. We climb into our beds, and as we groan and sigh in relief, we know deep down that we are blessed to have such full lives. We are lucky to have the strength and abilities to do all that we do. And we can appreciate the fact that other Real Women everywhere are feeling the same way we do. Exhausted but proud.
Tonight, when you set your buzzer for tomorrow’s race, and you lay your head down on your pillow, close your eyes and listen closely. In the quiet of the night, you’ll hear the crowd of R.W’s cheering each other on, and you can join in on the quiet chanting: “You Rock, Sister.”