This morning I happened upon a paraphrase of an Eleanor Roosevelt quote--"No one can take advantage of you without your permission." As I made my way through an upside down kind of a day, I thought a lot about the quotation. While I do a lot each day to shape how my life and work will turn out, there are absolutely times when I feel blown along with the circumstances, taken advantage of at every turn. What am I doing on a given day? I'm not sure--someone else is deciding. Will I make progress? I don't know--that's in someone else's hands. While it may be true that certain things are beyond our control, this quotation was a reminder to me that "beyond our control" doesn't have to mean beyond our comfort level. While we may not be able to make every decision about how our days, and our lives, will turn out, we can take some control of how we are treated. We can speak up, both for what we believe in and for what we are worth. We can say "no" when we need to and "yes" when we want to. We can be at least somewhat in charge of the flow of our days, even if we can't always control how they end.
Both freelancing and parenthood require a lot of adaptability and daily
readjustment. There's nothing wrong with having to roll with change--on
the contrary, it may be one of the most important life skills we can
have. The key is to re-adjust without giving up, to adapt without losing
who we really are and what we really want. To give a little permission
to the world, but to hold on to the advantage for ourselves. Because that is something that no one should be able to take.