To have work that we love matters so much.
But we also need balance in our lives.
We all need to know when to work ... and when to stop working.
I grew up with a strong work ethic.
Everybody in our house worked.
Long days at school and even longer nights in the family business.
Sick or tired, everybody worked,
as though taking even one hour off would cause starvation.
There was a driven edge to our working.
Nobody worked because they loved their work.
People worked because they 'had to.'
To work at something you loved was a reward,
not a right.
To work at something you loved was only possible for 'the idle rich'
and not a choice for us 'ordinary working people.'
The thrust of Career Guidance, a new subject introduced during my school days,
Teaching, the bank or nursing were the options given us.
Teaching was considered the best option for us girls.
We would be on holidays when our children were off school.
So even before conception was an option, we were being molded into little mothers.
Plans were being made for our future children,
our unborn children.
Already we were learning that those unborn children of ours mattered more than we did.
By the time I was in my twenties, only two of my friends had even considered the possibility of never having children, of choosing not to have children.
But to say that they were unusual was to entirely underestimate their state.
I remember taking a class in womens' history in my twenties,
and being staggered by the question 'where are the women?'
I had studied history for three years,
I had a degree in history.
Yet I did not know anything about the women,
except as they related to the important men of history.
And that was the norm!
So where am I going with all this?
Today, I am looking at my daughters and thinking about how much I love them.
I am thinking about what I want for them in the future.
I want them to really see who they are.
They are so much more than empty vessels waiting to be filled up with children.
I want them to have choices when it comes to their own healthcare, choices I didn't have.
I want them to do work that they love.
I want them to understand money,
I don't want them to see financial planning as the province of men.
And I want them to know when it is time to rest,
when enough is enough.
I want them to know the sweet satisfaction of a day's work well done.
I want them to enjoy all of their lives,
not some of their lives.
But most of all I want them to have choices, choices about their healthcare,
Choices I never had.
An afternoon among the women poem
Growing up in a white world
When people say genealogy is boring
Anger and Truth
Where do you come from?
The House on an Irish Hillside book review
Mammies for Mariage Equality
Aw go on, say YES
Homeless in Ireland
When wide sky opens poem
I love my work
Celtic New Year
This small house
Rhythm & Rest poem
The Hidden Self
The Lonely Road
Kerry Pride 2013
Letting the Light in after Loss
Letting go is hard
Pick up the phone
Her name was not Magdalene
Do what you love doing!
My small granny
Praise the child and boil the dishcloths
My invisible brother Michael
I don't want to be Irish anymore
Alone on Valentine's Day
I love my country but I am not blind
Truth no. 2
How we tell the Truth
From Clare to here
Mother's Day is bittersweet
I will not be part of that
No Blacks No Dogs No Irish
Thank you for the days
Baby Marion Howe
My Irish Identity
When my Mam was dying
Violence against women
Take back your power
Draw the line
My small granny and other stories