Jan 17, 2010

Whatever you do...

I started reading my January, 1952 Woman's Day magazine tonight. In the very front is a section for letters from readers. The very first one was entitled, "My Forte is Keeping House" by Mrs. Ina Erickson of Bronx, NY who is a professional housekeeper.

Some excerpts from Ina:

During the last seven years, I have earned my living by doing housekeeping and cooking. I tried working in a factory, but could not stand the monotony.

(Monotony? Isn't that the term most give to housework today? Interesting.)

If I could express myself better, I really would like to write an article about this line of work...What gets me is the fact that many of my friends think this work degrading.

(Her friends think that her line of work is degrading...because...)

If a person is a good homemaker in her own home, people admire and praise her. But when she does the same work for someone else, she loses face...

(Did you see that? She's not saying that housework is degrading. She's not saying that keeping a home well is degrading. In fact, a good homemaker receives admiration and praise! Ina struggles with feeling that her job deserves the SAME accolades that the homemakers received.)

Poor Ina. I feel her pain.

But that wasn't what I wanted to emphasize. It's this part:

"If a person is a good homemaker in her own home, people admire and praise her."

What can we take from this sentiment, 58 years later? Here's my take: Other people's choice of what to admire and praise can change. We've come through a time when choosing to be a homemaker has been considered degrading. It's time for the pendulum to quit swinging from one extreme to another. It's time.

WHATEVER you do, do it to your best ability. Take pride in your work. Stand and admire your accomplishments yourself. Do what you do to be a blessing to others and recognize your own success. Make the lives of those around you better: your family, your friends, your boss, your colleagues, the sales clerk, the waiter, everyone.

Thank you, Ina, for your words. You expressed yourself perfectly. We will learn what we can.



4 comments:

Amanda said...

I wish how a home is kept was high up on people's list of accomplishments. I take pride in my home, and I wish people weren't just judged by work they did outside the home. I personally feel much more satisfied by what I accomplish at home than what I do at work :)

Roxanne said...

Amanda--I, too, wish that it had the same respect. At one point (apparently) it did. Then, it was dragged through the mud.

It's time that we determined that what we accomplish at home is as valid (or even more so) and we should hold our heads high and begin to see it as valid ourselves.

It has to start with our own mindsets!

Packrat said...

"WHATEVER you do, do it to your best ability. Take pride in your work."

"I personally feel much more satisfied by what I accomplish at home than what I do at work :)"

Thank you.

Roxanne said...

Packrat--It does help to be reminded, doesn't it?

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