Camouflage, transition & summer plans

I hope you all enjoyed a breezy Memorial Day weekend.  We caught our neighboring town’s Memorial Day celebration.   The gentleman who spoke was from the Navy;  pressed whites, well spoken, a selectman.  On Memorial Day he challenged us not to mourn but to live.  He recounted that our fallen heroes had sacrificed it all to give us that chance.   Live.

So, in a quick quiet moment on Memorial Day I started “Glass Ceilings & 100 Hour Couples: What the Opt-out Phenomenon Can Teach Us About Work and Family.” A NovoFemina reader, Maria K, suggested this  wonderful book to me.   The book made an interesting reference to “camouflage” that stuck with me more than just the coincidence of Memorial Day.

You see – I had never given it a name while I was working.  “Camouflage” in the book referred to a women’s approach to avoiding maternal bias in the workplace.    So when I had to schedule a 10:30 am meeting because of an “earlier” conflict I was using camouflage because I really had to take my son to an 8:00 am doctor’s appointment.   The bias avoidance came when I used a “meeting conflict” versus the honest answer in describing the situation.

When I reflect on “camo” I used it extensively and instinctively to support two divergent interests: the growing needs of two small children; and my sprawling career.   I wonder what would have happened if I hadn’t thought of “earlier conflicts.”  Have you ever relied on camo?   Are you surprised by it?

The book and its quirky reference also inspired me to adopt my NovoFemina summer project:  to review books about transition for our readers.  As you all may know, there are lots of books on transition.  Some worthwhile, others not.   I plan to read a book a week from now through Labor Day.  I’ll post my reviews on NovoFemina…hopefully it will save you from a lousy book purchase prior to heading off for vacation.

By the way “Mr. Memorial Day Speaker/Navy Man” I transitioned because I finally figured out that my life was living me.  I wasn’t living my life.
I ran, breathless at times, from responsibility, to responsibility, to event and back to responsibility.   I was living my schedule and missing so much of my life.

Maybe I’ll find us a great transition “recipe” in a book this summer.  If so, you’ll be the first to know.   By the way, I’m very Phil Jackson in my approach to this project.  It doesn’t have to have the words “women” and “transition” in the title to make it onto the review roster.   Please let me  know if you have book suggestion for me.  I look forward to sharing what I learn….

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4 responses to “Camouflage, transition & summer plans

  1. I have to confess that I too have been guilty of using ‘camo’ every so often.

    And thanks, I look forward to your reports from summer reading list.

  2. I use camo all the time, although never articulated it like this. I stopped feeling guilty when I heard men say they had a “conflict” or “somewhere else that they had to be” at the time I needed to schedule a meeting. I found out later the previous engagement was a non business tee off time.

  3. Ask Hope about the transitions blog that her friend has started. I know you will find it amazing!! XOX, Sandy

  4. Pingback: Boylston St: Silencing or Raising Voices? | NovoFemina

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