I am a childless working woman in her 50's and I think I can honestly say that I am pretty content (there, I said it out loud!). Like most people I have ups and downs in my life and this year has been no exception, but as always I throw myself into my work and extra-curricular activities with gusto and enjoy it all as much as I can - because life is very fragile and the recent sudden passing of my father only serves to accentuate that. I am lucky, depending on your view, because my work allows me to focus on the very thing that took my father from me...... Cancer. I know that there will never be a silver bullet to stop Cancer in its tracks, but every day the work my colleagues at the John van Geest Cancer Research Centre in Nottingham and many other similar institutions worldwide are doing is helping us to get closer to understanding this complex disease.
Some of those colleagues are women with young children and several of them have other interests besides the work, so fitting it all in is a challenge whilst trying to juggle work and home pressures. This ability to have multiple passions is not peculiar to women, we all know the clichés about men not being able to multi-task, but I do think it is much harder, if not impossible for a woman to really 'have it all'. There are only so many hours in the day and we only have one pair of hands..... I feel evolution should have helped us out more with that!! Over the last couple of decades, there have been a few well touted names of women who appeared to have it all but did they? I imagine there was an efficient nanny lurking in the background; a cleaner or even a housekeeper; a driver; a personal assistant - or even all five. These are the necessities for a modern working woman who wants to continue with her other passions, whereas most successful men just need a wife!
There are plenty of multi-passionate women out there, like me, who have busy jobs and lots of other calls on their time; even without kids and I am sure that there are many who wish they could find strategies for managing it all without something suffering, like their health! Wouldn't it be great if we lived in a world where women were encouraged to embrace their multiple passions and to be told that they could still be successful, even though , shockingly they wanted to do more than one thing. Most women don't want to hear that to be successful in whatever aspect of their lives, but particularly in business, they may have to face years of retraining; sacrifice some aspects of family life; stop painting or singing, because of course a successful business owner just wouldn't have time for those things....would they?
I am taking myself off to a new event about this very subject at the end of the month and if there are any multi-passionate ladies reading this blog and my words resonate with you, you will find me at this special conference - www.mpwc2014.com.