Dependency. Co-dependency. Interdependency. Depends undergarments. What do they all have in common?
All four absorb life’s unexpected leaks, drips and spillovers.
To be dependent on another, you need that person to function. Co-dependent folks lean so deeply into each other’s lives they share biorhythms, menstrual cycles and/or toothbrushes, whatever the case may be.
Interdependence boasts a cooperative interconnectedness, which, in its pure form, requires vats of unencumbered free time only known to gnats, clouds and Tom Arnold.
And of course, Depends undergarments help millions “stay active and vital,” according to their Web site.
But what about us stubborn New Hampshire broads who are still thick enough to think we don’t need nobody, no-how, not now, not evah?
We’re the foolish flailers native to the Do-It-Yourself philosophy. Ironically, we need more help than all the others combined.
We were raised to be proud, determined, willful dames, the daughters of strong women who fought for our rights to own our own lives and decisions. We were told we could do and be anything we want. The sky’s the limit!
Kids, husbands, fulfilling work, passionate sex lives, creative pastimes, advanced degrees, financial security, home fix-it projects … plus mani-pedis, massages and maid service – it was all ours for the having, doing and being.
All we had to do was go for it.
And boy howdy, but a whole lot of us went for it. We got those degrees, nabbed those handsome hubbies, worked our way up employer food chains, popped out da kiddies, put our color-coordinated wrench-and-screwdriver sets to work and even threw some cash into a retirement fund or two.
Whew! Talk about exhausting!
Thing is, through this self-propelled adventure, where doing it all ourselves has become a bragging ritual of the highest order, we’ve forgotten a few important survival skills, tips and tactics.
Skills like how to make face-to-face time for our long-lost friends without feeling guilty.
Tips like how to quench our own soul’s thirst when our spirit’s wells have run dry.
Tactics like, well, “doing it yourself,” when neither man, woman or machine are around to take the edge off, if you pardon the expression.
No wonder we’re out of balance, out of whack and out of our over-ambitious minds.
I remember when I first heard the feminist quote, “You CAN have it all, just not all at the same time.” Whether it was Gloria Steinem, Dorothy Parker or Oprah Winfrey who uttered those words, I can’t be sure. But I’m quite sure I was livid at the suggestion that I couldn’t have it all at the same time.
“I’ll show them!” I said to no one in particular. “I won’t be denied!”
Turns out they were not being confrontational or small-minded, as I thought they undoubtedly were. They were doing me a favor, and passing on hard-won wisdom to whomever they could get to listen.
Today, I pass this same wisdom onto all those current or reforming do-it-yourselfers who will stop long enough to listen:
Pssst! It’s OK to ask for help. It’s OK to “not know,” flub up, check out for a stint, take an unexplained breather, do NOTHING for a week or a year, flounder, falter and discover your way in your own time.
And if you find yourself depending on others (or wearing Depends)?
Stay active and vital by any means necessary, and soak it up while you still can.
Care to chime in? E-mail Lani@TheBroadAppeal.com.