Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Street As My Room of One's Own

Whether we're reading the news or talking with friends, one of the most common concerns you hear from (and about) women my age is the conundrum of how to balance work and family and relationships and little kids and domesticity and creative pursuits and social life and whatever all else we've got going on.

And the thing which almost inevitably goes out the window first, we all bemoan, is Time For Ourselves.

 I've been known to make this complaint myself from time to time.

The world still being a sexist place (regardless of what anyone says to the contrary) there's a strong, often unacknowledged, undercurrent of feeling that perhaps it's really wrong and selfish even to want such a thing. 

But from Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own to a picture book I recently bought for Mabel, Baby Penguins Everywhere, literature has cogently presented how very real and essential this need truly is.

And what I realized this morning as I walked to work--contemplating in a kind of thoughtless floating way, as I do each morning, the street and the light and the buildings and the people and the sights--is that I am actually lucky enough to have such a time built in to my day already, if only I were alert enough to realize it. 

I've always loved my morning walk to work, but I never quite thought about it before in terms of a period of time each day when I am alone. And how maybe walking down the city streets is for me the place where I can best think and feel and see and breath all by myself.

What if my room of one's own turns out to be the sidewalk?

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