In my life, I have felt that a woman’s priority in life does not remain the same at all points of time through her life. She juggles between her personal, family, work/education and community. There are multiple battles to be faced and overcome in every aspect of life and in every role she plays. I have seen my grandmother trying to focus on cooking for a family of 15, four meals a day and maintaining meal time and sleep time as a scheduled activity, giving that generation a better grasp on self care and personal health. I have seen my mother step out of the home to work and support my father, managing upward/downward and peer politics, and still ensuring family and personal life was not impacted. She always had time for us.
We were never a priority that she needed to juggle with I felt. Then comes my generation, where we were able to understand the challenges faced by our previous generations and decided to sacrifice our personal health (really.. what were we thinking) to get the other aspects right. We worked on our family and relationships better, focused on work better and knew how to grow up the ladder at work, and had time to spend on the community as well. Our generation faced a lot of health challenges that our children grew up watching us go through. Now, their priorities in life are shaped by ours.
I notice that what my grandparents were most proud of, our children seem to take an interest in the same topics and the cycle continues. I sat my children down to explain our family tree (both parents) and the key characteristics and interests of all those whom we are aware of! We have a large family on both sides and it took at multiple 5-10 minutes conversations to cover about most of them over a year! When I started sharing this with them, it made me realize how much I had got to learn from every single family member of mine and how that has helped me prioritize and re-evaluate my priorities in life! We were / have been at similar cross roads and our choices sometimes were similar and sometimes were exactly opposite or different.
Try that sometime with your family tree and you will be amazed at what you uncover about yourself and what you need to transition to your next of kin as learnings that they would benefit from at some point of time in life!