Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Factotum??? You betcha!

Thought I'd share a few more images from the weekend: As with most plans, the one I had for yesterday was largely overcome by events. I met up for coffee with Eva and Stephen and then in the evening the little dude was here for a few hours while Cliff and Eva went out for dinner. Laundry, bill paying and spinning were replaced by blowing bubbles and wrestling in the yard. Not that I'm complaining, mind you; who wouldn't rather play than work, hmmmm? But the fact remains, I've got work to do.....which brings me to New Word Wednesday. Today's word is factotum which is a noun that means 1. a person having many diverse activities or responsibilities 2. a general servant. I don't know about you, but I think a third definition could be mother, woman or homemaker. The word comes from the Latin words facere (to do) and totum (everything). In the 16th century it was often paired with a persons given name as a surname---John Factotum or literally, John Do-Everything. Back then it wasn't always a desirable title, because it also meant meddler or busybody. Now it is used to refer to someone who is adept at many different things or responsible for many different tasks. Back before I was a nurse, and "just" a mother (tongue planted firmly in cheek here), I often was asked "what do you do?" The answer I developed was this: "I am responsible for raising good, kind and responsible citizens of the United States of America. What do you do?" Given enough time I could have said "I'm an accountant, chef, nurse, chauffeur, coach, tutor, personal shopper, banker, housekeeper, nanny, teacher........" You get the idea. No one is just a mother, or just a homemaker. Even now, with my "responsible citizens" living on their own, I find the things I do in a day varied. (Watch out, I'm about to climb on my soapbox here). In many ways, the Women's Liberation Movement has done as much harm as good. The media has taken up the mantra that in order to be fulfilled, a woman must have a powerful job, and a family, be thin and without blemish. Hogwash. What has transpired, in many cases, is that we have unfulfilled women, trying to do it all, exhausted and feeling guilty when they don't meet the standard. We've embraced the "you can have it all" message without stopping to ask ourselves if we really need to have it "all," and what we'll be giving up to get it "all." No matter what we choose, you can bet we are still a factotum, we do a bit of everything. 'Nuff said. With that, I'd better get to it.

6 Comments:

At 6/21/2006 11:30:00 AM, Anonymous Laurie said...

I was stunned at how myopic I got, and how quickly, with the job and caretaking duties put all on me. I cannot fathom how mothers who work, who also have young kids do it. It may go far towards explaining the lack of perspective I see in the moms at work, and how stressed they are. There's NEVER any "you" time, and that is the best way to lose perspective that I can imagine. It did not feel good.

But I love the snarky llama on the far right, and the alpacas slay me, as usual. Head butters...right place right time. Thank you for great shots!

 
At 6/21/2006 01:08:00 PM, Blogger KnitterBunny said...

Seeing as how I most likely never make it to Estes. (Darn Indiana, too far from the good stuff.) I'm oh, so grateful for the pictures. I live vicariously through all of you bloggers that live close enough to go to fiber festivals.

 
At 6/21/2006 07:54:00 PM, Blogger Linda said...

Here, here. Well said.

Loved your post. How do you get all of those pictures to show up like that? I have tons of photos to post sometime after dinner tonight.

 
At 6/21/2006 08:09:00 PM, Blogger Chris said...

Brilliant post, Lisa!! And I love your fiber critters collage.

 
At 6/21/2006 09:29:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi from WA...go on you for all the fab time you and hubby had! Looks like he enjoyed it as much as you! :) See you soon...loved all the pics.

 
At 6/22/2006 02:12:00 PM, Blogger Cathy said...

Well when I was younger and in the WLM - the point we attempted to get across is "wonder woman does NOT live here" and that seems to be missed altogether by the media (like so much). Quite a number of us knew we couldn't have it all and therefore felt free to be ourselves and chose what works for us. My mother, however, as a career woman in the 50s and 60s, did think she had to do it all to make up for her choices. Maybe I learned from her example and chose differently.

 

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