I am superwoman!

Oh yes, that is what my perpetually optimistic superwoman brain has historically had me believing when things were going well and I’m firing on all cylinders. The times when I am working on a project that I love, or when I am being challenged to learn something new, and especially when I am juggling multiple opportunities.  During those periods if you suggested that I consider taking a break, slowing things down, setting more realistic expectations, my responses previously were:

  • Time?  I manage it! 
  • Energy?  Got lots of it! 
  • To-Dos?  Crossing them off!
  • Sleep?  Who needs it! 

That is until the mere mortal Superwoman loses her powers and just isn’t that super anymore. 

During one of my power-drained days when I was running on fumes, I decided to look up the story of superwoman. Superwoman was first introduced in 1947. Lois Lane had a dream that she became superwoman after she got a blood transfusion from Superman.  However, her powers were drainable and could only last for 24 hours.

Granted, the blood transfusion concept; not so good.  Yet I couldn’t ignore the symbolism in the story.

  1. The idea of having superhuman strengths and powers were just a dream. 
  2. The powers were not eternally infinite – they were more quickly drained by over-use and within a certain period were gone until adequate recharging.  

That day as I sat on the couch, tired, ineffective and in low spirits, I was reminded that I am not superwoman and no amount of wishing will make it so.  No one has superhuman strengths because we are HUMAN and that includes me.  I am not ‘less’ of a person if I can’t find an extra 5 hours in a day, or if I need to get more than 5 hours of sleep or if I can’t cross off every “to-do,” every day.

And for the days that I do seem to pull off the impossible superwoman feats, I need to remember it is an expectation, not the rule and all energy is finite.  If I keep in the mode of relentless pursuit of trying to do it all, I drain my powers and there are consequences.  

It is funny how I often I’ve thought of Superwoman as a symbol of strength, but maybe I can use her as a reminder of my humanness.  To remind me to accept my limitations and acknowledge them – not to be constrained by them or defined by them, but to have compassion for the fact that I have them.

To know my energy limits is a strength and to restore my energy is a responsibility – that knowledge is my superpower.

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