“Are you in charge? Charge ahead. What do you charge? I need a charge. You’re in charge now. Can you charge for that? I thought you were in charge. I charged it. If I were in charge, this wouldn’t have happened. It’ll work, once it gets charged.”
OMG, how much ‘charge’ can we take in a day? Plenty. Furthermore, bring it on. And while you’re bringing it on, start paying me equitably and giving me the appreciation and respect I deserve for what I’ve been in charge of, what I’ve contributed to — making your life easier and better, your company richer and faster, our community more loving and supportive. Okay, now that we’ve clarified that, let’s roll up our sleeves, step up our chutzpah, put on our armor and take charge.
Merriam Webster defines chutzpa as supreme self-confidence. While it may be a Yiddish word, every woman knows its universal application. Chutzpa is turning your pained body over to a team, trusting it to squeeze your first-born child out of you. Walking into a roomful of men who don’t want you in the room, much less to follow your lead. Sitting across from the banker and begging for one last month of mortgage relief. Throwing your humility aside when entering the front doors of a food shelter. Bailing your loved one out of jail. Again. Vomiting your guts out after chemo, willing to return the next week for more.
Telling PhD professionals you know best; you’ll be following your intuition vs. their counsel. Refusing to give up. Running into the emergency room, calming your child while overlooking your own godforsaken fears. Walking into a party room of size 2 spandex look-a-likes in your loose fitting size 14 drapery. Walking out, leaving the crucial paycheck behind, refusing to be treated that way again. Steadfastly supporting your child’s dreams, decision-making, gender identity, whatever, when it’s contrary to mainstream normal. Sleeping on a friend’s couch because you vow never to be hit again. Ever! Successfully completing that challenge you were told is insurmountable. Apologizing first.
Everyday, we put on our big girl expensive underwear; under- wear that’s so well made, we forget we’re wearing it. We don’t wear cheap underwear; chutzpah, resilience and fortitude cost a pretty penny. (All the more reason we should get paid equitably, this armor doesn’t come wholesale; alas, that’s for another story.) We know the value of strong fabric, it gets us through the day, helps us charge toward and through anything.
Seldom do we give ourselves credit for the multitude of ways we take charge daily. Like a good pair of underwear, most days we’re not even aware of our command and control, get ‘er done, take charge and charge through acts of support, completion and contribution we’ve aptly directed.
We take our inherent, feminine ‘charge’ abilities for granted. They often surface during business hours, camouflaged under concepts and terms like emotional intelligence, leadership development, being in flow — fancy terms and complex processes that simply describe what we women do best: charge forward with chutzpah, doing whatever it takes to get the task at hand done. We charge through our WTF moments and come out on the other end. Bruised and battered sometimes, but by God, we come through it. ALLways. Yes, you read that correctly: in ALL ways as well as always.
How do we do it? We have a ‘charge’ toolbox that is bigger than Mount Everest. Reminder: that’s why we wear our big girl underwear; we have tall mountains to summit. Some of us lug God around in our toolbox, praying daily for divine intervention, timing and support. Many of us carry nerves of steel, a few of us have prescription bottles or other numbing methods tucked deep in our toolbox. A box of Kleenex, if not for our selves, for others, sits amongst our volumes of ‘what-if-how-to-survive-self-help’ knowledge.
Most of us carry around a heart full of great friends, one for sure, who throws us a lifeline. Some of us use our sturdy workout bodies to plow ahead, simply forging through whatever obstacles get in our way. There’s usually some healing tool: meditation, yoga, inspirational images and quotes, essential oils, crystals, bowls and chimes or journals that grounds us before we charge forward. Whatever the hell it takes sits smack on top of every woman’s take-charge toolbox.
Today, while sipping your beverage of choice, take a moment and reflect upon all the ways you take charge, command control, charge through the day with chutzpah — supreme self-confidence. Do you have everything you need in your toolbox? Do you use what you actually carry around? Better yet, do you honor all those take charge contributions you’ve made? Yes, those fake-it-till-you-make-it charges count! Don’t let anyone tell you differently. Sit back and relax. Take another sip. You deserve a little respite and rest.
Because we all know what tomorrow brings. Another day of putting our big girl underwear back on, yanking out our chutzpah and charging through and toward our next!