The other day, Dr. Peggy Drexler posted over at the Huffington Post about the notable absence of female role models in popular culture. Drexler writes that "strong, confident, accomplished women are out there by the legions. But they are going about building lives beyond the peripheral vision of popular culture."
I happen to know a lot of amazing women. Some of them work outside the home. Some of them are stay at home moms. Some of them are accomplished writers. Some of them do all of these things at once. Few of them are traditional business successes (because that's simply not the circle I travel in). But when we get together to talk, seldom do we seem to talk about our success. More often, we tell each other stories of crisis, stories about things that don't go well. I remember reading a blog post by Kathy Caprino, a career and life coach, a while back also on the Huffington Post, about this particular phenomenon, and I remember thinking to myself, why is that?
I wonder if it's the nature of our connections with one another. Do women connect better around crisis, because it invites sympathy and empathy? Are success stories too individual, and therefore not the kind of stories that build relationships? Do they seem boastful, and women are less given to braggadocio than men?
I think about the blogs I read. Though I haven't done a scientific study, most of their writers (all women) are most prolific when there's something going on that bothers us (I'm including myself here). Something that's worrisome. When writing can be a cathartic release. And while it's true that we gather our tribe when we're in turmoil, why does it seem to be that we don't do so when have worked hard to deserve our laurels?
My yoga teacher talked tonight about strength, and about how in asana our consciousness usually goes right to the place of most sensation, and that we should try, sometimes, to bring our consciousness to a place in our bodies that might not be experiencing as much sensation. Instead of the hamstring, notice our foot. Our toes. In life, she said, we are often consumed by pain, or distress, or crisis, because those things make the most "noise," when we could shift our perspective if only we decided to draw our attention--even temporarily--to the smaller, quieter things, like joy. I wonder if it's the same for failure and success ... that we pay more attention to failure, because it's louder?
If any of this is true, that women don't talk about their successes as often as they do their failures, is it any wonder that popular culture fills the vacuum with celebrities, as Caprino suggests?
It's interesting ... I talk a lot about my kitchen successes here. Every once in a while, I write about failure. But I can't bring myself to publish recipes that I think are absolute flops, and sometimes I publish recipes that someone in my family didn't like, because taste is such an individual thing, that it's worth trying a recipe if someone thinks it's good. Nor can I bring myself to take pictures of kitchen disasters. And yet, when I'm not in the kitchen, I'm just as guilty as the next person of talking about the things that go wrong.
What do you think? Is this just my perception, or have you experienced something similar?
I wouldn't count these cookies as disasters at all. In fact, I
thought they were pretty good, and they did the trick of using up the
quinoa to which my husband discovered he is now allergic. However, they do taste like "healthy cookies," as my husband calls them. Which means you might give yourself permission to eat more than you'd intended. Consider yourself warned.
1/2 c. coconut oil (solid)
1/2 c. date or coconut palm sugar
3 T. honey
2 large eggs
1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
1 t. vanilla
3/4 t. almond extract (or more vanilla)
1 c. cooked and cooled quinoa
2 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. rolled oats (not quick)
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t.baking soda
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. ground ginger
1 t. salt
1 c. dried tart cherries or dried apricots
1 c. whole almonds or walnuts, coarsely chopped
Preheat the oven to 375F degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Beat the butter with the sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Beat in the honey and the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the applesauce and extracts. Gently mix in the quinoa until well incorporated.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the batter, mixing on low speed until just combined. Remove the mixing bowl from the stand and stir in the dried cherries and almonds.
Drop the dough in generous 2-tablespoon portions 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets. Flatten slightly and bake until the cookies are golden around the edges and on the bottoms, 12-15 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool on the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.