March 8th is International Women's Day — a day to celebrate social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The theme this year is #pushforparity. Since the time of suffragettes there have been massive advances in the world, however, in many places progress remains slow and the gender gap is not predicted to be closing any time soon — currently predicted in 2015 at 2133, and sadly up from the 2014 prediction of 2095. The push is important and key to economic development and business performance as woman's advancement in senior leadership shows increases in profitability, innovation and ROI.
Here are 6 Things that Will Happen before 2133:
There will be two greats before this grandchild's name. I did the math, which if you knew me shows how much I love you, the YMC reader. Assuming you had your first child now and your child and all future female lineage also have their child at around age 30, close to the Canadian average, than your great great grandchild will see established equality among women around the time they are having a child themselves, and although I am happy for her, it is a few too many greats for my liking and way too far from my daughter reality.
In 2025 there will be the first colony on Mars. I met Mars 100 shortlist candidate Karen Cummings, at social media conference Blissdom a couple of years ago. She is passionate about making history and telling this story and she is also very normal. Despite the skeptical voices on living on Mars you can't help but get excited for her. With 50% women represented on the Mars Mission, yep, that's right, Martians will beat earth in the push for parity.
In 2025 we are going to have AI and robots integrated in all aspects of our work and home lives — including chores, no doubt solving many a relationship issue the world over. But are we really going to value C3P0's input above a woman's?
Ten million self driving cars are predicted to be on the road by 2020! Yet somehow women will no doubt still be blamed for bad lane changes!
Bad news for parents: we will all likely be wired to our computers for brain augmentation as soon as 2075! And if you think you can't get your teen off the XBox now, wait until it's attached to their head!
Eating insects, before some have found women in leadership palatable, they will be munching on bugs! Give us 50 years, the population will hit 9 billion and we will be needing to produce almost double our already stretched (think over-fishing, pollution, less and less land, climate change the list goes on...) food production. The experts are saying we will need to join the practice of much of the world and give bugs a chance!
Redheads won't be extinct. It was just a vicious rumour that had them out at 2060. However, there is no reason to believe that such hues will only be available through a box.
So let's push for parity by calling for leadership that has gender balance, modelling respect in our homes and workplaces, and accelerate this protracted time line!
I speak not for myself but for those without voice... those who have fought for their rights... their right to live in peace, their right to be treated with dignity, their right to equality of opportunity, their right to be educated.
Date night... important, enjoyable and so hard to schedule with those ever multiplying demands of work parenting and more. One of the first things to go under the weight of it all is quality time in our primary relationship and we simply hope it will hang on for a less chaotic time in our life.
Connection is important and it often dawns on me, “I miss my husband” and I know he misses me. I think we can all relate. So why are we not digging deeper and making the time? Busyness, distractions, and tiredness, often due to things we don't need to be doing, perfection we don't need to attain, causing guilt that drives us to despondence. What a horrible driver guilt is. You end up keeping the same over scheduled and overwhelmed life and add in some bad feelings about it. So guiltily you plan date night, but after a challenging week with no sleep or a flurry of after school activities you both agree you are too tired. You want to connect in a meaningful way but when you are struggling to keep it all together, you can't help but think, do we really need to go bowling when my pj's are calling?
In Rachel Macy Stafford's book Hands Free Life she addresses how a distracted and pressured life takes us away from a life of significance, opportunities to live in the moment, and the practice of presence. Rachel gently (seriously reading her book is like receiving an encouraging hug) provides habits that can help you let go, chase your passions and focus on your relationships again.
There is a great quote in the Hand's Free Life by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, "Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least". So when the sacrifices and demands are taking their toll on the most in our lives, I wonder if we are putting the cart before the horse. Despite love and connection being there in our relationship, we are lacking the very desire and motivation for time together, for life even and we are being drained by our chase of the least.
If a plan isn't working at your job, meetings are called. If you are making some renovations in the home, designs are started. When you need a change you need to communicate, cast vision, and make a plan. So instead of dragging yourself out to a meal you are too exhausted to enjoy in search of connection, stay in, put the kids to bed, meet at a table with journal, paper or computer in hand, let go of the guilt and start talking.
Here are some talking points:
What do we want for our relationship? Where do we see ourselves in our relationship next month, in a year, in five years? How do we get there?
How can we improve connection during this chaotic time in our lives? What are some areas of strength we can draw from and weaknesses we can improve upon in our relationship? How can we be more in control and what can we improve when we communicate with each other? What do we need to cut out to have more time and energy?
How do we make a plan to put down the distractions, unplug and truly connect, regularly? What can we schedule in date wise that seems workable and not just another item on a never-ending list of things we have to do? Where can we fit in check-ins like this each week?
Once you have gone through some steps to build into your relationship you will start to feel back on track and will appreciate the importance of time together like a fun date night out, prioritizing it as a healthy and happy time for you both. This will also get the family logistics and business items out of the way each week freeing you up to talk about anything during your time together and not using it as your only time to really talk or even bicker.
Why work at this? Because there is always room for love and therefore there is time for each other and it will fill your cup and not have you run on empty. As Rachel so eloquently says "It's time you lay your head on your pillow at night knowing you achieved something of significance—not in terms of societal standards, but in terms of the light in your child's eyes, the curve of your spouse's lip, and the beat of your very own heart... with a Hands Free view, you have the power to rise above the distractions of the world and see a clear path to what matters most." With this established and with a collaborative effort you will be a team that wants more from your relationship that isn't just getting through the parenting years hoping there will be a little something left in the empty nest.