You are not your job, your kids, your husband. You should not be defined by any of those things. Any woman who identifies herself as a mother, wife, or lawyer puts herself in a position to be unhappy because she is not living for herself. I’m not saying women should lead utterly self-centered lives. I am saying that we should define ourselves as more than the things we do that involve other people.
It occurs to me that while women dwell on this issue more than men, and Maureen Dowd seemingly more than anyone, the same basic premise is applicable on my side of the aisle. It seems to torment us less, though, and I attribute this to the ease with which we pigeonhole every aspect of our being: this goes here, that goes there, and none of it is quite big enough to jar us out of our cheerful complacency. (Well, sometimes it is, but we can’t stand that. At all.)