This weekend, yet another superhero-themed movie hits the theaters. This time, it’s “The Green Hornet,” about a crime-fighting pair who use martial arts to ward off the deeds of evil doers. Taking into account how hyped up my sons were after seeing “The Karate Kid,” we may have to pass on this one. But it got me thinking about how Hollywood consistently feeds us fodder about the virtues of having super powers.
As a hard-working single mom, I can’t lie about the fact that there are certainly times when my daily multiple vitamin is not enough. Without even asking, I can go down the list of my female friends and assume that they too could benefit from being able to transform themselves at will into the kind of women they’d like to be, real or imagined.
It speaks to the fact of how much we attempt to take on – work, practices, rehearsals, homework, science projects, shopping, cooking, cleaning, dating, romance, getting fit and fine … it’s enough to send you spinning right out of that cape! And maybe that’s not a bad thing.
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Most of us who think we can do it all got it from growing up watching our strong mamas, grandmothers and aunties. Many of them worked one or more jobs and took care of things around the house too. Even moms like mine, who had a strong help mate, still seemed to do the work of two or three people.
But another thing it seems that older women had that we lack is the ability to say no when asked to do more than they could do. So many of us today have such pressure to be the perfect mom, wife, employee, lover, etc., we’re almost afraid to admit that there are some things we don’t have the time, money or capability to make things happen.
In make-believe, superheroes possess a myriad of powers, like flying, becoming invisible, super human strength, x-ray vision, and the list goes on and on.
I don’t need all that. I’d rather have the power to know I was always making the best decisions or the power to know when and where a good shoe sale was happening. Oh, and it wouldn’t hurt to have the power to immediately know when men are lying! But seriously, in the real world, most of us would be happy with a little more rest and little less stress, which hardly seems too much to ask.
Recently, I‘ve had to face the reality that karate lessons and basketball for my boys may be too much for one season. I’m sure that until we can figure out how to transform ourselves into more than one person, there are a some activities, responsibilities and goals we’d all be better off shedding in 2011. Instead of piling more onto our plates, let’s practice the same sort of portion control with our commitments that we’re supposed to be practicing at the dinner table.
My busy “Mamas Gone Wild” cohort and I take a yoga class (Yes, we squeezed that in too!) with a very chatty instructor who has more words than are necessary at any place that’s asking you to find your peaceful center. But one piece of wisdom he imparted was this: In our efforts to get stronger and more balanced, we need to concentrate on our own capabilities. He says when you look around and see how others are doing, it throws you off, and you’re tempted out of pride, usually – to do more than you can, and you end up hurting yourself.
Or, as I like to say, we need to bring things back to center.
Most of us are good at a few things, but being super is a whole other thing. If you’ll notice, Batman has Robin; the Green Hornet has Cato; Superman has Jimmy Olson; Wonder Woman has Wonder Girl, and, in the 1967 version, Cat Woman had Pussy Cat (LOL!). My point is even superheroes need a friend to count on, cry with or sometimes tell them when to “pull up!”
When we women get into our superhero mode, we often go on too long pretending like we “got this” when we really aren’t even close. Most of us have good friends and family members who would gladly ease our heavy loads if only we asked. But most of all, we need to become more dependent on our Creator and less on our very human selves to power us through this busy life.
Spiderman is famous for saying, “With great power comes great responsibility!” But in order to truly own our power, we have to remember that one of our biggest responsibilities is to ourselves.
Just for fun, let me know what kind of super power you wish you possessed. And how you would use it?
I’d love to hear from you. But until then …
Great Gotham, Batman!
Wonder Twin powers, activate!
There’s no need to fear; Underdog is here!
Up, up and away!
Nikki Woods is senior producer of “The Tom Joyner Morning Show.” The author of “Easier Said Than Done,” the Dallas-based Woods is currently working on her second and third novels. You can friend her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter: @nikkiwoods.