And Data didn’t know what a housewife is.

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I remember a Star Trek second generation scene when the android Data can’t understand what a housewife is. In the scene, he asks Deanna Troi if housewives build houses as a kind of comic relief for the episode. In the future, it seems, housewives won’t exist anymore, being outdated like pyramids builders are nowadays.

 

So, if I would be in Deanna’s place, what would I answer Data? That the work of a housewife is boring, unending and most the same every day? And that society sees it as no ‘real’ work because it doesn’t get paid and a lot of people consider it obvious and perhaps even nonexistent?

 

When I meet other women in parties they now and then ask me what I do with my time because I am ‘only’ a stay-at-home mother, so I must have loads of available time with nothing to do at all. I just look at them and wonder if they are living in the same reality I live or if they just pretend to belong to another where housework and child raising doesn’t fill up so many hours of the day. I could tell them this but I don’t want to be seen as a lazy whiner and be the target of their despise, so I tell them that I write too. (Which on second thought isn’t much better at impressing them because writing is often also not considered a ‘real’ job that gets ‘really’ paid in their minds.)

 

So when I manage I write. I’m not writing though to have what to say at my next party, I kind of gave up on impressing people long ago. I’m conscious though that this is my second job and that most of us have two or more jobs, even if all unpaid work is dismissed as not ‘real’ work on the way how our system seems to be now.

 

I hope that one day an Android like Data will understand how many times work was done by invisible (to recorded history) human beings that helped humankind evolve enough to create beings who looked like them. Human beings that could have been doing work they would be perhaps more remembered for, even if not necessarily more important than others, and not work that would later be forgotten, dismissed and be considered an extinct occupation.
And then my mind goes further and I think of this strong network of humans that keeps the world moving the way it does. I think that a lot has to be changed on how we think about work, value, and money. On how people work to keep a system functioning, but unfortunately, the answers elude me so far. Perhaps we’ll indeed one day have this utopic Star Trek-like society where things are so well adjusted that everybody can become either a scientist or a soldier and travel to where they have never been the day before. And I wonder how we will look back to our past. With understanding? With nostalgic feelings? With despise?

 

So if one day AI becomes similar to humans and a fictitious character like Data really exists, I would answer its question this way:

 

Housewives don’t build houses. They take care of homes, they help to raise humans so they grow better than they would without their love and care. Their job is like any other occupation, where a person can make all the difference by being there and doing their best when no one else was there.

And perhaps it won’t matter how much money was gained at the end.

 

The day we go to the stars.

Five things I learned while packing

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One of the most, in a good way, thought-provoking thing a person can do is packing for traveling. At least for me, that involves a rethinking of your lifestyle. You must pick only your most needed items, bam! It’s a philosophical and minimalistic experience, especially for people who never think too much about what they wear.

 

So this is what I learned while I happily packed:

 

1.Those dresses you loved to wear last summer now look exactly like that.
They look sadly worn out. Time to search for new favorites.

 

2. Cheap clothes and crime don’t pay.
I was happy to buy those pieces in the supermarket without trying. But then at home, I see that they don’t really fit.
Note to self: Think twice before going for dirty cheap.

 

3. I’ll never manage to pack as light as my husband
A woman needs enough pieces so she doesn’t have to wear orange with purple, or two pieces of unmatched muster. And she must have the freedom to choose, always. So I’ll never just pick five items of each type as my hubby so easily does.

 

4. People think I’m thinner than I feel comfortable with. 
I often get skin tight clothes as presents. But I rarely use them. I go for comfort because life is tight enough.

 

5. On the other hand, getting out of your comfort zone is important too.
It’s important to try pieces you left forgotten and lonely on your locker because you have the everyday favorites you always pick when you dress in five minutes. The virtually unused piece becomes a comfortable favorite soon enough, and you’ll get a fresh new look for your vacations.

 

I started writing long ago…

Watching my two-year-old running away with my favorite pen and using it to express his art everywhere; the sofa, floor, walls and table included, makes me laugh and reminds me of the child I was. My dream as a child was to be a painter and when I learned to write, to be a writer. I started doing it when I was eleven years old, writing a short story about a lonely owl. With thirteen, I won an oil painting box in a short story contest. My story talked about a future where children behaved like small adults and the ones who remained children were put paralyzed in a living statues museum. Quite dystopian for a teenager. Perhaps one day I rewrite that story. At the time I had a literature teacher who encouraged me a lot, but she warned me that traditional publishing was a difficult goal. She told me that a friend of hers had only managed to publish her books when she was forty years old. At the time I considered this an extremely long time. Nowadays I’m forty-two and I smile every time I remember that.
As a teenager, I fell in love with poetry and still have many unpublished poems of that emotional time. Later I went on writing short stories about star-crossed lovers in my homeland Brazil. One day I plan to make an anthology when I have enough short stories, but this, together with a children’s story book, is still a project for the far away future.
So far I have had success in publishing four of my science-fiction short stories in the Far Horizons digital magazine. These stories are also part of another future project, a science-fiction, and fantasy anthology. Apart from that, I’m also learning to cross the bridge between a short story and a novel turning a four thousand words dark fantasy story into a sixty thousand word science fantasy novel. As I rewrite I see that there is a lot missing and my novel is getting longer every day.
I also reserve some time every week to study writing craft, since you can always get better at writing. The fact that I don’t have a deadline to finish writing my novel allows me to have time to think and make it better for as long as I find that necessary. As a painter I never exhibited a painting with a quality I wasn’t satisfied with, and as a writer, I’ll follow the same principles. In the end, I’m doing what I like to do and this makes not only the adult but also my inner child happy.