The inseparable twins: Disapproval and Self Control

Eternal Work Ethic.

Women don’t retire; they just quit getting paid

This T-shirt is not about gender war.

The thought floated to the top of my gray cells while I was doing some menial, but necessary task on our acreage one time. I’d already vacated the regular day job to pursue the writing path. Paychecks were rare in those first few years, but in addition to working to get something started for myself I also continued with all of the same tasks, errands, cleaning and other jobs that I’d handled while working full time. My husband traveled extensively with his job and there were many times while our children were still at home that I felt like a single working parent. If something needed to be done, I did it. This is not a whiny bid for sympathy. This is a statement of which I am proud. I’m not much for the helpless female stance. 

I asked a local T-shirt designer to create what you see pictured here, and thought about selling the bit to a slogan or greeting card company, or even producing the product and selling them myself. Crazy ideas can be so much fun (and work). 

It’s entertaining to observe what it is that will get peoples’ shorts in a wad. 

I showed the T-shirt to a number of friends and family—the first being my husband. If anyone might take exception, you would have thought it would be him. He roared when he saw it, thought it clever and funny; felt no offense whatsoever. Which was good because none was intended. 

A number of my friends thought it was a hoot—and found it a sentiment they could relate to. 

But some of the facial expressions I encountered showed disapproval. 

“And just what are you intending to do with this?” one asked. 

“I’m thinking it could be fun to sell them,” I said, which earned me a scoffing no comment tut-tut that said, here endeth this discussion. 

Another took offense. Felt I was degrading women with such a statement. Women don’t have to stop getting paid . . . and so on and so forth. 

I listened to these people as they expressed themselves, and then let it go. They had a right to react as they needed to, and we are still friends. 

What you have to keep in mind is that neither of these people had ever stood in the perspective that I had that brought these words into my mind, so of course their take on my words would come from their different life experiences. 

You don’t have to look, listen or read very far from home to see how this applies to politics, religious views, or another’s approach to work, home, marriage—raising a family—or writing what comes from within yourself and sharing it with the outside world. 

The whole experience was beneficial for me—and I hope beneficial for those who didn’t think much of my little bit of word work. It was good in that I observed, once again, how differently we all process information. I’m hoping they realized this as well. 

In the end I can tell you this: It is imperative to exercise self control, no matter what gets said, or doesn’t, about you and your work. Becoming defensive, angry, or hurt accomplishes nothing. Self control helps you remain right side up. 

I haven’t produced any of these T-shirts as yet, but I love this shirt and the honest sentiment that lies behind it for me. 

I also enjoy wearing it out in public.


5 thoughts on “The inseparable twins: Disapproval and Self Control

  1. Your ‘quote’ made me laugh–been there, done that. Isn’t it amazing how people can interpret something ‘180’ different from what the writer intended? I’ve experienced that with my own writing many times. I must remind myself whenever I share something I’ve written, I’m putting myself ‘out there’ and may be understood differently by other people. My immediate reaction is to try to explain myself, which isn’t always the best choice. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. “In the end I can tell you this: It is imperative to exercise self control, no matter what gets said, or doesn’t, about you and your work. Becoming defensive, angry, or hurt accomplishes nothing. Self control helps you remain right side up.” = I so have to learn this (and get more sleep).
    Best, Sue

    • Hey, Sue….

      You have sooo been on my mind this past week. I’m leaving again early tomorrow, but would love to have a cup of something and visit with you when I return.

      Your load has been too heavy.

      Big strong hug coming your way.

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