Just Jot it January 13th – Sacrifice

For Linda’s Just Jot it January today, we have been given ‘sacrifice’ for our prompt word. This to me, is quite a weighty word, especially when you consider the original meaning of offering up the life of an animal or person to a God. However, we now tend to use it to mean giving something up that we value for the sake of helping someone else, or doing something else.

In the society that we live in, we are often told that it is possible to ‘have it all.’ Successful careers, well-adjusted children,  a good education, happy marriages, and domestic bliss. Really? I am not sure that we can truly achieve all of those things without some kind of sacrifice.

Looking back at the 1950’s for example, in the era when many women stayed home to look after the children, and men were the main breadwinners working long hours to support their families, it is clear that neither sex had it all. Yes, the children may grow up being lovingly nurtured by their mother, but many hardly saw their fathers who went out to work before they were awake and came home when they were in bed.

The good education that a woman may have received would not be fully utilised, as many gave up work as soon as they married, and did not pursue any of their own interests, some were actually discouraged from doing so!  A happy marriage may well be enjoyed by both, but I would not be surprised if there may have been a bit of resentment from the wife, striving to achieve domestic bliss with homecooked meals and a spotless house, plus always looking her best for when her husband came home.

Fast forward to the present day,  and a whole range of changes. Men and women are no longer expected to conform to stereotypes.  We have moved on considerably, and now women are no longer expected to stay at home keeping house, they can go out to work, get whatever education they like, and still manage to raise a family. This is the same as men have always been able to do (well except for keeping house of course, but now many men choose to do this for various reasons). We also have same-sex couples, some of whom are bringing up children, but the problems remain the same, we all want to be able to ‘have it all.’

Something surely has got to give. Some people employ nannies and housekeepers so that they can work and not have to worry about the house and kids. Some have one partner staying at home whilst the other goes out to work. Some put off having children to establish their career first, others do it the other way around, having children young, then try to forge a career. It sounds to me like quite a few sacrifices are being made in order to ‘have it all.’

Do you agree, have you managed to find a way to have it all?

 

 

 

32 thoughts on “Just Jot it January 13th – Sacrifice

  1. My mother, from the generation of which you speak Judy, always argued that being at home gave her enough of everything to be content. While dad hated his job in the last years mum always said if something bugged her she’d go and do something else that needed doing before returning. The idea that a little bit of all the bits makes up an ‘all’ is one I’ve kept to. Sure there was drudge but there was the garden. Yes there was tedium but there were art projects with we children. Certainly there was boredom but that quilt to sew or that jumper to knit was just around the corner. And mist important of all there were people to engage with. For her it was the people that gave her her ‘all’.

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  2. A wise lady once said to me that every life has a season. I have been through the season of new motherhood and am starting on a new one as I write. You can have it all, just not all at once. There has to be a system in place regarding priorities. xxx

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  3. I hated that women were subjected to expectations in the 50 they were. I swore I would not live to anyone else’s tune.
    Sure we can have it all and die young, not get enough sleep and noose through life, but what kind of life is that? Big house and two cars look good on the street, but do you really enjoy them? o_O

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    1. It is being thankful for what we have got, not trying to do everything all at once. Also some people feel guilty for working, others guilty for not working and raising a family. We should worry less about what others think or expect from us. (I need to practice what I preach too)! 🙂

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  4. Brilliantly thought provoking post. In our modern Western society it seems to me there is no place for sacrifice only choices.
    My Mum, now 87, was from the era of which you speak and she was often bitter and a martyr, I vowed never to follow in those footsteps. Thankfully times have moved on, if not yet far enough.
    Thank you Eddie for instigating a great discussion.

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    1. Yes, it has a lot to do with choices, priorities and knowing when to e grateful for what you have. I think our ancestors had it bad because for many there was no choice. Like you, I was not going to go down that road either!

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  5. Judy, thanks for such a thoughtful and well-presented post. You make excellent points about the reality of ‘having it all.’ Balance and priorities definitely play a role. I think it’s challenging trying to have it all. I believe it’s more important to enjoy what we have. 🙂

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  6. Interesting post, Judy. I guess it’s impossible to have it all, but that depends also on priorities and definitions. I won’t ever own a jet, but do I really want one? Not really. So what is All? A happy home, family, love, food on the table, a shirt on my back, health,friends, and a job that I value. Even with all the flaws, I can check the box. So in that sense, I think it’s possible. 🙂

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    1. I agree. I wasn’t sure where I was going when I started the post, but I think we live in a society where we are always striving for more, wanting everything now, this instant. We think we can have it all, but like you point out, what is all? It is a question of being thankful of what we do have, and not trying to do everything at once.

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  7. I think you can have it all, but you can’t have it all, all at once. A season unto every purpose kinda thing.
    People would do well to simplify, but then, you know I’m biased 😉

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  8. Its a fine like we’re walking with “having it all” and never satisfied. I thing as human its hard for us to be content and we’re always fighting for something more. Bigger house. Newer car. Latest gadget. Extreme vacations. Of course we all want the best for our loved ones but at the same time I think the world would be a better place if we take time to just be content with what we have.

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    1. You have said it in a nutshell. That is exactly what I think. There is no perfect life. So many of us worry about not having what others have, or being judged because of our choices. We should just relax and enjoy what we do have 🙂

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  9. Good points, Judy. I think that we need to know what is most important for us and go for that. In the end it is the whole package we need to look at and to learn to be content with what we have. Perhaps the problem often lies in the thinking that some things are sacrifices and we should rather see it as compromises. Or not even that!

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  10. I believe you cannot have it all, yes. That is somehow true. But I’ve learn from Mitch Albom’s book that the true meaning of life isn’t about having it all. It is about pursuing what makes you happy. 🙂

    And.. related to this, I would like to share this lovely quote:
    “Sometimes when you sacrifice something precious, you’re not really losing it. You’re just passing it on to someone else.”
    – Mitch Albom, The Five People You Meet in Heaven

    Thank you for such a nice post, Judy!

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