I couldn’t sleep last night – despite spending the day fairly active and out in the fresh air – I was buzzing and didn’t want to rest…although Mr WLB and my dog were both snoring like crazy. So I got watching some TedTalks instead…and yes, I know that being on my iPad watching these isn’t conducive to sleep!
Those of you who know me well know that I LOVE TedTalks – and I was actually going to lead my very own one last year…but that’s another story!
Anyway, I got to watching one about how to encourage bravery amongst our girls rather than perfection. It was a really interesting discussion from a lady who found her ‘brave’ at 33 years of age – Reshma Saujani. She doesn’t want other girls to wait that long and therefore has set up a tech company encouraging young girls to code – a step on the path towards becoming part of the tech industry in the States. Coding takes many attempts and tries before it comes to life. You need to persevere. You need to learn to accept imperfection. You need to be brave.
Now this all sounds a bit strange…how is bravery linked with the tech industry – and why on earth am I writing about it? I will explain both…
First up, Reshma made some interesting points about the differences between boys and girls and how they are taught. Boys are supposed to be brave – she talked about them swinging from monkey bars and embracing the dangerous elements of play. Whereas girls are taught to be more cautious. She spotted that this continued throughout life – in general terms – and that the boys at university would state that there was a problem with their code, whereas the girls would state that there was a problem with them and their understanding. So by encouraging boys to be brave and girls to be cautious, we are actually breeding a feeling of imperfection in our girls and a tech industry that is filled with boys.
Now, I don’t have children. If I did, I would do whatever I could to make them brave and courageous and to not give a shit about perfection…if you have the bravery and the courage to keep trying then you’ll find your own perfection.
I spent quite a lot of time with my niece and nephew this weekend – I love these guys so much! – and I watch them to see how they behave. They look for reassurance and encouragement and guidance. They want freedom but protection. They want to find their own way in life yet have a great big cuddle at times. They are five and seven and are developing at a million miles an hour.
Yesterday we had gone to visit a place where monkeys roam free and you walk though the woodland with them. It was quite a nice place actually – but just too many people and screaming children for my liking! I was keeping an eye on them – seeing how brave they were, how close they would get to the monkeys, how far ahead they would walk before turning back to check I was there, how they would stand right next to me when the monkeys moved towards us! We then hit the play area – which we had to ourselves for a while – and started on the mini climbing walls. My niece was talking about the time that the two of us went to a climbing wall whilst we were on holiday in the Highlands – it was such good fun! – and could we go again. Then my nephew piped up asking what he could do…as he is a lot more cautious. So we talked about being brave and the ropes and harnesses etc. He might have a go with us…
I was remembering this conversation as I watched the TedTalk last night.
How she is incredibly brave and how he is more cautious. I love fostering the bravery in her. I love encouraging him to be less concerned and helping him to find his bravery. They are amazing little people!
Anyway – my reason for writing about this is that I often wonder about my own imperfections. I have a massive tendency to put my issues in little boxes and leave them there. So I can appear quite ballsy and happy go lucky but actually there is some stuff that I might need to take a look at before I can really move on with my shit. The stuff that is impenetrable! When people try and poke around behind everything that’s going on externally I get a bit freaked out. It’s hard to explain. It’s easy to deal with things in the order that I want to deal with them…work stuff, or my health, or my life in general…but if you try and fuck around with my flow and start opening boxes out of order, then I worry about what that will do. I guess that I am not very brave!
I wonder sometimes what it would be like if we could see our imperfections – the damage inside of us, like a bruised apple that looks okay on the surface. All of the things we have been through in life yet are still going strong. In fact I read a book the other day and one of the lines in it was something about allowing ourselves to be defined by what we are not…by the things we lack – rather than focusing on all that is great about us. There are lots of TedTalks – a couple by Brene Brown that are fabulous – that look at vulnerability…and I think that allowing people to see how vulnerable you are is pretty brave.
I am probably not making sense here, am I?
We spend so much time trying to strive for an idea of perfection. Look at social media for example – the vast majority of users on Facebook are doing the whole Facebook Wanker thing of putting all of the good shit on there. That can then make us feel a little bit shit – like we don’t measure up. You look at magazines and see pictures of perfection – perfection that doesn’t actually look perfect in real-life as Photoshop has dicked around with it. Instagram filters. Clever lighting. Good posing. Make-up. Chicken fillets in your bra…I could go on!
It would be nice to see the vulnerable and imperfect side of people at times. To realise that we are all a little bit bruised inside. That for me is real bravery. Some of the most moving accounts I have heard are from people describing what it’s like to live life as them. People talking about their anxiety, or their panic attacks, or their depression, or their struggles with drugs and alcohol. These people sharing their struggles are brave. These people are showing how perfectly imperfect they are. They are being genuine, and open, and honest…and I love people like that.
These people realise that life isn’t about perfection or bust. They realise that sometimes it’s about scraping through as best as you can and helping others do the same.
So I just want to recap – before I ramble out of control altogether! – the TedTalk I watched was about fostering bravery in our girls. I say, ‘Fuck that! Foster bravery in girls and boys…and foster bravery in yourself!’ It talked about coding taking many attempts and tries before it comes to life. You need to persevere. You need to learn to accept imperfection. You need to be brave. This just about sums up life full-stop for me! It certainly sums up trying to make changes in your health and fitness.
On that note I am going to bugger off. I am going to have a little think about how best to open some of those boxes that I have closed at the moment…it could get interesting!
So the bank holiday has been fun. I had a cool day with my dog on Saturday. The little monster keeps going downhill and I spend all my time worrying about when to head to the vets and do the dreaded deed…and then she perks back up again and keeps going strong. The problem with Staffs is that they are renowned for being stoic and quite tough and I really don’t know what is best to do! I managed to get 4 x 1k rows done, so that was cool. The horses were in fine form and seem to be coping well without my Welsh lad. In fact my big young grey lad has taken over as boss of the field…he will not like it when the real boss gets back and whips him into shape! We then hit the monkey forest and some shops – although my nephew and I ducked out of the shops as we hate them. We found a spot to play iSpy and to do some songs and chilled out together. Today has been fairly sedate. For some reason I feel a bit down today and it took me a lot of effort to get out of the house and go and see the horses…I wanted to stay in bed buried under my duvet! I will plan and prep for work – I have some spreadsheets and reporting to pull together for a meeting tomorrow – and have planned and prepped my food too as it’s a busy day tomorrow.
Todays food looked like this:
Breakfast – Spinach, tenderstem broccoli, mushrooms, bacon, and poached duck eggs.
Lunch – M&S Nutty Super Wholefood salad.
Dinner – Chicken and sunflower seed salad with watermelon, goats cheese, baby plum tomatoes, and a baby leaf and rocket salad.
Oh – this made me chuckle…you know you have issues when an online whisky ‘soul-mate’ quiz – designed to tell you which whisky you’d like – describes you as ‘complicated’…what a fecking understatement!
Thank you – as always – for reading,