An Open Letter To My Daughters (and your working daughters too!)

March 13, 2009

I admit it, I am one of those sentimental fools with letters to my kids in the safety deposit box (please remind my husband in case he forgets). They would be a bit mortifying if published, even in this anonymous blogging world, right?

However, there are a few things I could pass on not only to my daughters, but maybe to yours as well.  Since I am sure your daughters are as unlikely to listen to you as mine to me, perhaps we could trade and share our stories with them! 

So here goes: Girls…..

1)Fearlessly search for a sustainable passion. If you love it, you will keep yourself involved one way or another over your lifetime. Many of us were encouraged to follow the “serious” career path-the one that our mothers were discouraged from following. Nothing wrong with serious-but it should connect with you. I truly feel this is what made it easier for many of us to “drop out”. There was no gut connection to our career even on our best days. So in the end it didn’t really matter if it was high paying-once you’ve left and it’s “no paying”, that point is moot! Even if you completely change direction later on, you will have had a taste of passion and won’t settle for anything less.

2)Embrace the love of making money for its own sake. This might go against #1, but I have noticed that many of us girls never took pride in the pleasure of just making the cash. Why is this? It certainly tides the boys over the rough patch or two that are bound to come up even in the most passionate pursuits. Maybe it’s just my age, but it all seemed a bit beneath us to be working for the money. Now I see it’s the ticket to true financial and emotional freedom. As Gordon Gekko said, “Greed is GOOD!” 

3) Feel free to take the time you need for detours. I still believe this can be done while heeding the lessons of “The Feminine Mistake”. Just keep vigilant during the detour just as you would if you were taking any unknown road. Don’t lose track of what’s going on with the road you jumped off-you never know when you will want to get back on.

And if  you leave the line,  be sure to visit from time to time with yummy snacks so they save you a spot somewhere!

What about you, wise friends? What else can we share with our daughters?

letter

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4 Responses to “An Open Letter To My Daughters (and your working daughters too!)”


  1. Reminds me of how lucky I have been to have fearlessly searched, found, and worked most of my career in my passion.

    I still need to work on #2. It may be a “female thing” but once you love your work, the money does become second. I’m still trying to figure out the balance in pursuit of my next job.

    I think I’m in the middle of #3. Maybe I need to go visit with yummy snacks, just in case…

    • IGrewUp Says:

      Miss EC-The really “lucky” thing is you know that passion and work can be a natural combo, so you seek it even in future endeavors. Am glad to hear an echo on the money issue-I feel like I will shout “show me the money” this time around. And as a bit of your elder sister, glad to hear you are at least humoring me on the snacks for the line!


  2. Oh my goodness. You have so perfectly articulated the things I have tried to convey to my own daughters! I’m a few years older than you are, so my advice is more colored by Donna Reed-isms, e.g., staying at home when your kids are young and establishing yourself as their go-to caretaker. Hence, I’m always telling them to be sure they’ve gotten a foothold in a career they’re passionate about before they have kids. They need to get the taste of success and the stature of having “made a mark” to facilitate the return trip later.

    • IGrewUp Says:

      Most shocking to me is the swift passage of time during my “time out”. As I have said I lost track a bit. I find it is important not to be lulled into thinking everyone is waiting for you-keep your spot in line very warm or you might be in for a BIG surprise when you least need one! Thanks so much for your comment….


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