Thoughts on America
Reading all these articles about the modern-day American lifestyle seems particularly apt today — July 3. (I’ve been too time-crunched to give them a proper read til now, which says something, I suppose.)
First I read Tim Kreider (NYTimes), who writes from his secret unplugged hideaway about how busy we all are and how we should prioritize cocktails with friends over work. Then I got around to reading the epic Atlantic piece by Anne-Marie Slaughter, the former State Department official, on women in the workplace and the “myth” of the successful, have-it-all working mom. (I also read a great counterpoint from Gayle Tzemach Lemmon (Atlantic), who seems to be more in the Sheryl Sandberg camp of women aren’t ambitious enough.) And then there’s Alina Tugend, who takes things up one level and argues in the NYTimes that it’s important we spend more time celebrating ordinary life achievements and less hurtling toward the likely out-of-reach extraordinary.
I’m unsure what the solution is to this issue of the broken work/life balance that seems to be distinctly American (or at least the minority way of life among Western nations), but making the connection across these articles is an interesting (albeit anxiety-inducing) study, at least. Doesn’t make me any less patriotic. Just seems there is something that needs fixing. Also - fascinated by the conversation about women, in particular. Cocktails and conversation about that issue, anyone?