I just spent the weekend watching President Barack Obama’s second inauguration. No more can anyone say electing an African American president was a “fluke”.
But here’s what’s on my mind. Michelle Obama is a rock star in my opinion. She is poised, beautiful, intelligent, refined and truly has it goin’ on. Like her, I’m a mom of 2 daughters and that’s pretty much about it – she is pretty damn perfect and I’m jealous!
I know what you are all thinking – she has lots of help, not a lot of the mundane worries plaguing most working moms today and she is constantly in the public eye – so the reality of her life is something none of us will know until 4 years from now when her biography is written. But I can’t shake the green monster on my shoulder.
Jealousy aside, the truth is I am thrilled to call her my FLOTUS and to see a Presidential family with whom I can far more relate than any other in my lifetime.
But in my most egocentric of times – like right now as I mull over this past weekend of events – I wonder if people think I have my act together. I mean let’s be honest, most days I dress up like a big girl, go to work, interact professionally and have furthered my career at every opportunity. I’ve raised my daughters through infancy and tween-hood so far, I have a roof over my head, I have a cool and kind boyfriend, I make a decent living, and I have amazing friends and family.
But inside – on my most insecure days – I think about how close to the edge I am. I make a good living but it’s barely enough, my daughters are amazing girls but I worry constantly about what I’ve NOT been able to provide them, I have an amazing job but in this economy always fear its end, I dress up most days but I’m no fashion plate and buy most of my clothes on sale, the roof over my head is a beautiful home that I love but don’t own and my boyfriend is wonderful but I worry about whether I can sustain a good and long term partnership when I tried once and failed.
Then I had coffee with a friend with whom I’ve not seen in a long time. She is courageously battling lung cancer with grace, prayer and faith. During our long overdue coffee, after lots of laughs and memories, she told me she would not take back the last year of fighting this disease even if given the opportunity.
She claims to not be an evolved enough person to have ever realized the value of living her life fully and wholly had she not gotten sick. And now, having had this past year’s experiences of excruciating fear, medical uncertainty, and prayerful healing she has a faith and strength that only one having had her experience can have – and she is grateful for that.
In thinking about her, my mind turns to what really matters – being jealous of another working Mom who seemingly has her shit together more than I or inspired by a friend with courage I could only hope to muster in my lifetime. I will take the latter and try to remember every day to thank her for this wisdom and insight.