A LOOK AT THE new priorities, new options

January 1 1980

A LOOK AT THE new priorities, new options

January 1 1980

A LOOK AT THE new priorities, new options

ON THESE 12 PAGES, THE THINGS THAT MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR AN AMERICAN WOMAN IN 1980

In any discussion of American women—how they look, how they live, and what's ahead in both categories for the coming decade— you have to talk about options. The reason is simple: women today face more choices, more conflicting and competing demands in every area of their lives. It's a natural outgrowth of the changes that have been happening over the last few decades—quiet, careful, purposeful changes. And, as a result, there's a very different American woman today. Stating that is stating the obvious—but, obvious or not. the starting point is that woman. One who is unique. A woman who has much more freedom, economically and psychologically.

More awareness. A woman who is more active and, in most cases, performs a delicate balancing act—tightroping between a working and an at-home life. A woman who has developed greater self-assurance and a new kind of confidence.

What's also true: the changes have affected all aspects of a woman's life—fashion no less than any of the others. In fact, one of the biggest and most significant changes—the way American women have become their own “style setters.” fashion leaders instead of followers, and the way they have imposed their own values—realistic, down-to-earth—on the way they dress. Today, the idea of fashion as status, as membership in a privileged club—with a small number of “ins” facing a world of “outs” —no longer exists. There is less conformity: few. if any, penalties for difference.

What gives fashion its relevance now: the way it relates to the woman who wears it and meets her expectations. When it's an American woman, there's a unique set of expectations—based not merely on what looks good, but on how well something works in a larger context. Style—if it ever did—no longer separates out from life style. What works best works on many levels—the way a woman lives today.

Which doesn't mean fashion no longer exists to delight, to provide pleasure. It does and it always will. And it doesn't mean women aren't looking better, looking more attractive—they are and will continue to look even better and to take better care of themselves— as they are out in the world and having to present a certain image.

But the approach is different now and yesterday's attitudes play no part. In fashion, definite needs and priorities “have to be recognized: options provided. On the following pages, a look at the clothes that do that best at the start of 1980...and, at the same time, a look at the ways in which the framework itself continues to change...

Marie-Christine Barrault...

THE FRENCH ACTRESS WHOSE EXUBERANT-AND SOMEHOW WHOLESOME - FLING AT ADULTERY IN COUSIN. COUSINE THOROUGHLY CHARMED AMERICAN AUDIENCES OFF SCREEN, SHE'S A WOMAN WHO'S OPTED “TO HAVE BOTH WORLDS-WORK AND MOTHERHOOD WITHOUT REGRET OR GUILT THE ENVIABLE RESULT TWO REALLY HAPPY CHILDREN A THRIVING CAREER HER NEXT ROLE A BIG ONE IN WOODY ALLEN'S YET-UNTITLED NEW MOVIE AND A POSITIVE ATTITUDE ABOUT HERSELF IN THE WOODY ALLEN FILM, SHE PLAYS. A REAL WOMAN WITH HER FEET ON THE GROUND CLEAR, SIMPLE, NATURAL (THROUGHOUT THE MOVIE AND IN THE PHOTOGRAPH, AT RIGHT, SHE WEARS ABSOLUTELY NO MAKEUP). THAT'S WHAT I FEEL ABOUT MYSELF BECAUSE I AM BLOND WITH BLUE EYES PEOPLE ALWAYS SAY I'M ROMANTIC I'M NOT A ROMANTIC I'M A VERY HEALTHY WOMAN” AND A VERY NATURAL BEAUTY

THE PERFECT EXAMPLE OF MODERN VERSATILITY OF MODERN FASHION AT ITS BEST HALSTON S NEW SOFT SILK BLOUSE AND DRAPED FULLER SKIRT. RIGHT TOGETHER A WONDERFUL WAV TO DRESS FOR DINNER. COCKTAILS. A SCREENING. THE THEATER. FOR ANY EVENING SHORT OF THE VERY BIGGEST ANY SEASON AND FOR ALL ITS PRESENCE. YOU NEVER LOSE THE SHIRT-AND-SKIRT EASE. THE RELAXED UNCOMPLICATED STYLE AMERICAN STYLE IN FRAGRANCE HALSTON PERFUME HALSTON ORIGINALS DOUBLE SILK CREPE DE CHINE BLOUSE (ABOUT $400) AND SKIRT (ABOUT $720) ELIZABETH ARDEN SALONS MARTHA PALM BEACH. BAL HARBOUR LILLIE RUBIN-SOUTH & WEST HARZFELD S. SAKOWITZ. ALL HALSTON BOUTIQUES EARRINGS. BELT. AND CLUTCH PURSE. ELSA PERETTI OF TIFFANY OTHER ACCESSORIES. NEXT TO LAST PAGES HAIR. JOHN SAHAG MAKEUP SANDRA LINTER

FASHION: THE NEW OPTIONS

Everything you expect from fashion today is symbolized by the clothes on these pages. The attractiveness. The ease. The modern but un-gimmicky sense of style. And—key to dressing now — the versatility. What s true of all the clothes here: they provide options, they work and keep working... time after time, season after season. Not in a random hit-or-miss way, but by design—giving you look after look, each one finished, polished. In 1980, anything less is simply not enough.

presence —the new signal

CLARITY, DIRECTNESS, A SENSE OF SELF-THE DIFFERENCE:BY JILL ROBINSON

There is a difference in the way we are beginning to feel about ourselves now, something new we really want and really like when we catch the sense of it. I think the quality might be presence. It's a nice, steady authoritative strength—perhaps best defined as the ability to project an air of ease, poise, and self-assurance. Our attitudes come through now, straight across; we no longer approach our goals on the bias.

There's a directness, without impatience, a kind of contemplative dignity, that also comes to mind. Women who have presence seem at once seasoned and ageless—they often have the aura of survivors, of having overcome, but they do not have the vanity of martyrs.

Energy is part of this presence, but nervous energy is not the same thing. I think of my grandmother, who ran a massive catering business. Her energy came out of a deep serenity, goals met daily, and if not met, she had the ability to say “the hell with it, let's relax and have some tea and raspberry jam.” She had a wise, soft, smiling grace; one might say it was womanly; but it was simply human, so very far from submissive, so very far from dependent.

Is it by accident that one of the ways we acclaim presence is by saying “She's a natural!”? Presence does not require adornment—it is almost always understatement. We used to deal with a lack of assurance by compulsive artifice. Presence is understanding that fashion is there to delight, enhance, and amuse, not to disguise. A woman with presence has selectivity; the fundamental personality radiates through an appearance which is grounded in confidence, nervy in its choices. Never fragile or ambivalent. She will not be coerced into a look. She has the daring to be as she really is in the presence of the “other.” She has such a sense of self that she does not need always to be talking about herself for reassurance. She admits mistakes and has no time at all for pretentious trivia or the outmoded modesty of attitude and behavior which used to define femininity.

I think of the young woman in a Jeep truck driving next to my Jeep truck one day last fall. We have something new going for us. I was driving home in my red Cherokee— hers was yellow. She had a baby in a seat strapped in next to her. I noticed her coming up behind me, and for several miles we sped along, passing each other in a competitive kind of dance. When I caught a glimpse of her face, there was this ease to her expression, an amused self-assurance and something else. We were playing a game only men used to play, in these high-riding, tough cars, negotiating our moves with care and confidence. I thought of how I used to look at women riding by in cars and sitting next to their men like the family dog, like the baby in the carseat of the other Jeep, whose driver sort of saluted as she turned off the highway speeding on up north.

In his new book, Heyday (Little, Brown), my father, Dore Schary, describing his time as the head of MGM, talks about “the motor,” his word for “star quality.” I remember sitting in our projection room, watching screen tests: gorgeous, gleaming men and women flashed by, smiling, speaking a line or two, turning, in their brief bits of film. Then, suddenly my father would signal the projectionist to run a test over. The presence was there. It was unmistakable even to a child. Rarely was it flamboyance, which is often a way of covering up for the lack of presence. Stars whose legends persist beyond the flourish of celebrity, beyond performance, have presence. Greta Garbo's presence is somehow felt in the minds of those who may never have seen her in a film. Katharine Hepburn, Simone Signoret have it, and Colleen Dewhurst. I always imagined her as being capable of averting any disaster—in times of crisis, people cluster about the person with calm presence. You move away from the one brandishing the sword, or yelling out orders.

But I remember, too, how precarious star presence was. The assurance on the screen, the command, would be shattered by reality, by fear in the midst of crowds at a premiere. Simplification, and clarity about what you can do, what you can handle, strengthen presence. Stardom often created confusion for young people whose lives careened beyond their own emotional resources. Pressures disproportionate to one's capabilities absolutely sabotage charisma—but not real presence. I remember seeing Marilyn Monroe looking tiny, pale, and craven at one of those huge banquets, buffeted by a platoon of studio people, being told where to walk, rushed past a table of friends she wanted, clearly, to stop and talk to. Her star presence was gone at that moment.

I think the paradox of presence may be that, to gain control of your life, to have selfassurance, you must let go, surrender to an acceptance of the essential values and wisdom you have learned to rely upon, become aware of strengths as well as vulnerabilities, appreciate that it is the negative-positive duality which creates real character and therefore presence.

You can have assurance and be free from defensiveness, the fatigue of anger. On ideal days I feel so comfortable I don't need to get furious. A group I'm involved in was discussing values the other day, and a young man said, “I've gotten over my obsession with having material things, like better cars, fancy clothes, and women.” A couple of years ago I would have snarled angrily, and slammed out of the room. I don't need to be brutal now— to march out and slam doors—now I come right back inside, sit down and talk reasonably about what is going on.

The truth is that most men, too, have changed as we have. They expect and enjoy our independence. It's freeing and invigorating, and, I think, a relief. Women can afford to be supportive—and not just in the hypocritical devious ways we used to whisper to each other about.

People who like to characterize decades say the '80s herald a new romanticism. One would do well then to contemplate presence; for it is inevitable, invariably compelling. A man I know wonders “Do we know anyone with presence whose eyes we do not remember?” But even if we succeed in burying the clinical pop-psych cliché of “relationships” and recharge undying passion, there is a difference: The clarity of one's identity, the strength of individuality, will not be reclassified by marriage or attachment, as it cannot be shaken by variations in status or financial condition. Women with presence take more risks; and it is through risk that we achieve what we want most in life—even if it is simply the exhilaration of taking the risk. The new romanticism will not, please, have us wilting for love or lack of it. These memorable eyes stare right back, unblinking, honest—it's right here, without a fleck of mascara to blur the vision.

A friend of mine is a writer married to another writer. Her parents were both painters; and, when her father wasn't working well, her mother would stop and not go near her studio until her husband was painting well again. My friend the writer goes right on working when her husband is blocked. “I give him,” she says, “the same kind of support and encouragement I get from him and from my other friends when I'm having trouble. But he has made it very clear he would find it patronizing and infuriating if I deferred.” A woman who knows what she is doing really has something to offer to a man. The most durable, flourishing marriages in history have worked like this, and the women have had clear and present identities and responsibilities.

A British writer I admire believes that presence has some link with an ability to communicate in ways we may not even understand, possibly unusual holographs “and influences of a more magical nature.” Perhaps witches were simply women who were burned for having presence, qualities of verve and assurance entirely out of line with their station, qualities then reserved for women of royal birth—and, at that, to be used with discretion. Mary, Queen of Scots, suffered for it; Queen Elizabeth deployed her presence more judiciously.

Although presence is often considered innate, it may be possible to acquire it by doing daily the things one must, by developing gracious ways of telling the truth, by dropping helpless complaining and accepting the responsibility of making loving judgments. It is being gifted in selective honesty—my favorite extension of loving judgment. It does not include playing the old tricks, which only girls who refuse to grow up play (and which boys who will not become men play, too, and always have). Perhaps one finds presence only indirectly, as one finds all good things, by searching for self-respect.

PART OF THE DEMAND YOU PUT ON CLOTHES NOW: TO BE DRESSED” FOR DAY IN A WAY THAT'S FINISHED, BUT STILL EASYGOING. UNCONFINING FROM GEOFFREY BEENE. A NEW WAY TO ANSWER THAT DEMAND A BEAUTIFUL DOUBLE-BREASTED SILK TOP-TOTALLY UNCONSTRUCTED, WEIGHTLESS SEASONLESS. IN HOUNDSTOOTH CLOQUÉOVER SOFTER. SLIGHTLY FULLER PANTS IT DOES EVERYTHING A SUIT DOES. AND IT DOES MORE: THE SAME TOP MOVES OVER ANOTHER PAIR OF PANTS. A SKIRT AND EACH TIME, YOU GET A COMPLETE LOOK, ONE YOU KNOW YOU CAN COUNT ON MAXIMUM VERSATILITY BEENE-S RED FRAGRANCE - IT GOES WITH EVERYTHING TOP AND WOOL GABARDINE PANTS, ABOUT $1240 TO ORDER AT SAKS FIFTH AVENUE ALSO AT NAN DUSKIN, HARZFELD'S: BALLIET'S, FROST BROS: I MAGNIN HERE AND THE NEXT SIX PAGES HAIR. JOHN SAHAG. MAKEUP, ALBERTO FAVA. ACCESSORIES. DETAILS NEXT TO LAST PAGES

TO INCREASE YOUF BLOUSE “SPECIAL” SET UP A SERIES LOOKS WITH MATCHING OR UNMATCHING PIECES. IT BECOMES A BASE FOR DRESSING THE RIGHT KIND OF BLOUSE. FAR LEFT-CALVIN KLEIN'S WINDOWPANE PLAID SILK CREPE DE CHINE WITH CONTRASTING BORDER - COLLARLESS. SOFT. STRONG (ABOUT $190) HERE. WITH COVERT LINEN TROUSERS (ABOUT $150) MACY'S HERALD SQUARE. HUDSON'S. FROST BROS; ROBINSON'S. CALIFORNIA NORDSTROM NOW. A MORE CASUAL APPROACH TO A PULLED-TOGETHER LOOK FOR DAY LEFT PERRY ELLIS' NEW PERIWINKLE LINEN JACKET AND HIP-PLEATED GREY PANTS WITH A SIDE-BUTTONED PINK BLOUSE. KNITTED SWEATER VEST IT'S A WHOLE OTHER TAKE ON A SUIT A WHOLE OTHER STYLE JACKET. ABOUT $160 PANTS. ABOUT $48. BLOUSE. ABOUT $60; VEST. ABOUT $120 HENRI BENDEL; RICH'S, PERKINS SHEARER ACCESSORIES, SEE NEXT TO LAST PAGES

trade-offs - the deals you make with life

SUCCESS-NOW, MORE THAN EVER, ITS A MATTER OF CHOICE:BY BLYTHE BABYAK

As opportunities for women have grown, our attitudes towards ourselves are changing. We demand more. Try hard to be superwomen—first-rate career women, tennis players, hostesses, friends, mothers, and wives. We tend to feel guilty if we don't do it all, and do it all marvelously. Small wonder some women are always in motion without making any sphere really their own, while even some of those who've made it feel frazzled, as if they've been juggling too much for too long.

The “new woman” has become a cliché without ever having found a proper definition. We can get so confused by the proliferation of women's roles and the super woman rhetoric that no amount of accomplishment, care, or service ever seems to be enough.

Too many women have taken their expanding opportunities to mean they're supposed to be best at everything, develop all their potentials to the fullest. But all ambitions aren't compatible. Some can overrun and choke the others. We have to approach them in a special way, applying what we've begun to realize about the limits of growth for the planet to ourselves.

Not that we can't grow more, but that we have to plan for it. It's time for us to be at ease with our aspirations and to focus on just what we want. The flip side of expanding opportunities should be well-ordered priorities. The “new woman” can't be all things; she should be just the ones she chooses. While the ‘sixties and ’seventies were about “keeping your options open” and “going with the flow,” the ‘eighties will be about directing your own energy flow. Seriously debating the pros and cons of each option; making a decision and fully committing yourself to a choice. A few solid relationships and accomplishments are worth a universe of options.

TRADE-OFFS

Life is one long series of trade-offs. We have to pay a price for what we want. Options become realities only through work, time, and the kind of commitment that often precludes exercising other options. Our country can produce more energy if we abandon some environmental controls—but what will that do to the air we breathe? When the economy is inflated, raising the prime rate can cool it down—but that can also trigger unemployment. Budgetary questions are perhaps the clearest example of trade-offs: on the national scene, do we commit our resources to guns or to butter? Even in choosing a wardrobe, do you buy the blouse today or save to buy that suit in a month or two?

Much more important and complex personal issues are also resolved through trade-offs. There are many things worth doing, but we have only so much energy and time. If you're building the foundations of a career, you may have to skimp on some of life's extras: you won't see a rising young executive at the movies three times a week. If you're dead set on an early success, the basics might have to be delayed. A child is priceless; but caring for one requires time, attention, and sacrifice. A good relationship is important, but that takes work too. Even your choice of mate might be a trade-off. More than a few women still look back fondly on the romantic, irresponsible man they turned away for someone more dependable.

We might trade the security of working for a large, established company for the freedom but greater insecurity of working for ourselves. We might pass up a job with a good salary for a lower-paying one that appeals more to our sense of purpose, or drop a string of casual relationships to concentrate on one. We may feel secure enough to take a more balanced view and give less to our careers for a few years to give relations and family space to grow.

WITHIN THE WHOLE CATEGORY OF DRESSING FOR DAY DRESSING TO BE SEEN NOW. THE OPTION OF A DRESS WHEN IT'S A DRESS THAT HAS THE STYLE. THE WEL L-ASSEMBLED QUALITY OF THE ONE. RIGHT.FROM BILL BLASS STRIPED SILK CRÊPE DE CHINE WITH A NEW GENTLE SHAPING A SOFT NECK-TIE. SHORT FULL SLEEVES PLEATED AT THE SHOULDER. AN EASY FRONT WRAP SKIRT. THE TOTAL EFFECT CHARMING. BUT VERY WORKABLE THE SAME IS TRUE OF THE BILL BLASS FRAGRANCE SOFT. SUBTLE DRESS, ABOUT $760 ELIZABETH ARDEN SALONS; BALLIET'S: FROST BROS; FREDERICK & NELSON ACCESSORIES. NEXT TO LAST PAGES

A KEY TO VERSATILITY NOW YOU'RE NOT SIMPLY LOCKED-IN TO CLASSIC” PIECES SOMETHING UNIQUE. TOTALLY UNEXPECTED CAN BE A CONSTANT ELEMENT IN THE WAY YOU DRESS AND NOTHING GETS THAT MESSAGE ACROSS FASTER — BETTER—THAN JEAN MUIR'S SENSATIONAL LEATHER JACKET LEFT A WONDERFUL SHAPE — FULL SLEEVED. WITH A JUMP AT THE SHOULDER. NARROW AT THE WAIST — IN A WONDERFUL. OFFBEAT SHADE OF PURPLE HERE. OVER A WHITE MATTE JERSEY T-SHIRT AND NAVY JERSEY SKIRT JUST AS STRIKING WITH PANTS. WITH DIFFERENT SKIRTS. WITH ANY NUMBER OF THINGS FOR DAY OR DINNER-THE MORE YOU WEAR IT. THE MORE YOU WANT TO WEAR IT' JACKET ABOUT $895: T-SHIRT. ABOUT $310: SKIRT ABOUT $325 HENRI BENDEL: NAN DUSKIN CHUCK JONES & JACK PARKER. PALM BEACH AND BAL HARBOUR: ULTIMO. CHARLES GALLAY. TO ORDER SAKOWITZ THE SOFT MAKEUP FROM HELENA RUBINSTEIN'S SKIN LIFE COLLECTION ACCESSORIES. NEXT TO LAST PAGES

We can take up ballet again or go for the company sales record later.

trade-offs—the deals you make with life

“THE NEW WOMAN CANT BE ALL THINGS; SHE SHOULD BE JUST THE ONES SHE CHOOSES”

It's something of a circle game. We fashion our trade-offs; and they, in turn, shape us. Can you imagine acting independent if you stayed with a domineering man? Or picking up the kids each day after' school if you were playing hardball business?—You could do it, of course; but you would be fighting the tide of your trade-off every day, and that would drain energy.

Our trade-offs are the underlying decisions from which habits flow. Once chosen, whether actively or by default, trade-offs start acting like the servants in Molière's comedies and manage us. Different kinds of careers, relationships, and life styles draw out some traits and submerge others. The academic will tend toward the theoretical and the businessman toward the concrete. Our sense of responsibility and self-assurance grows in certain jobs, as can our sense of helplessness if we stay in relationships that aren't trade-offs but simply traps. We have a lot more control over who we eventually become than some of us might -think.

Our choices deserve our attention. You can't let the decision simply happen: marry the man you're living with, for example, simply because he keeps asking and the lease on your apartment has just expired. Nor should you simply try to feel your way through everything. Being in touch with your feelings is an important part of discovering the trade-offs that are right for you, but only a part of it. What feels right, or at least easiest, now—telling someone off, quitting, leaving—can become a first-rate disaster in no time. Your emotions and impulses have to be submitted to a calm and rational eye.

Intelligent choosing isn't easy. Once you've invested a part of yourself in something, the tendency is to stay—even if the job or relationship is unhappy. Even if you know it's working against you in many ways. Making trade-offs is complicated by the fact you're rarely weighing apples against apples, but trading two apples and three peaches for three pears and an orange. How do you weigh the fulfillment of a relationship against the return of a high-powered job? How do you decide you don't have time for a baby, or whether you'll regret all your life not having had one?

Snap—truly impulsive—life decisions are rare. Decisions that often appear spur-of-the-moment have been building over time. A few people are lucky enough to know what their lives are about from the start and keep on course without too many problems. Others try this, then that, waiting for the right person or situation to come along and make our crucial choices for us.

Such expectations bar the way to serious choices. We have to acknowledge life the way it is, with the less-than-optimum circumstances it often offers. We have to learn to compromise, when to compromise, and when we mustn't. Some of the best decisions are made by people who suddenly wake up, take a hard look, and ask themselves—Is this what I want? Am I on the right path? Do I respect the people around me? Do I like the person I am becoming? If I go on like this, in fifteen or twenty-five years will I feel that I've wasted my life?

TODAY'S TRADE-OFFS

Many of the trade-offs women are making today revolve around work and the increasing importance of independence, of feeling we can cope for ourselves. To many of us, leisure is much less important than the knowledge that we can pay our own way. That we're doing something worthwhile and important.

A bright incisive mind and the ability to give to a job are not sex-linked characteristics. Participating in the working world long enough to have gained some assurance, women are approaching things their own way. Arriving at the right tone and balance. Neither angry and defensive, nor simply aping the men. Not so much “tougher” as surer. Finding we have neither to assert our femininity stridently, nor to deny it. Understanding that we can nurture a book or a company instead of, or in addition to, a child. Using our reason and intuition in personnel decisions ánd corporate strategies, and our talents for co-operation in putting together ad campaigns, news shows, and in creating the networks of professional women to help each other get a start and get ahead. One of the trade-offs we don't have to face is between femininity and success. As women change, society's idea of the sexy woman also changes. Today, sexiness has a lot more to do with vibrancy, humor, and energy than the old smoky languor.

The big trade-offs have to do with time, and where you invest your energy. Relationships with men are still very important, but not all-important. Many high-powered women are single or divorced—often, in part, because of the pulls and conflicts caused, or at least aggravated, by career pressures and lack of time (if he expects you to spend a lot of time on the house and go to the beach with him on weekends, and you expect yourself to make partner and dream of the office when he drags you to the shore, you've got pulls and conflicts).

Other equally pressured couples stay together happily by giving their relationship more thoughtful care to make up for lack of time. Working out the ground rules in advance (you both work every other weekend, perhaps), then genuinely paying attention to each other. Many busy successful women manage to maintain their friendships, also by understanding the ground rules—that neither demands excessive amounts of the other's time. So what do you do about the friend who still doesn't quite understand? Who keeps calling you up and pouring out her heart when you have an exam tomorrow, or they're waiting a meeting for you in the next room? You feel guilty if you keep cutting her off, and desperate if you don't. Do you score one for friendship or one for the colleagues?

Men have been making these sorts of trade-offs for a long time, not always with too much thought. Since society has held that the successful man was the man who succeeded at work, men have had a tendency to let work overwhelm the personal, believing they could always catch up later. But catch-up is a very difficult game indeed. Most women, however busy, still seem to understand that large blocks of life can be kept on hold only at great risk, and have generally taken a more balanced view of the relative importance of work and personal life. We see that a wholehearted acceptance of male patterns just isn't enough.

SUCCESS—YOUR OWN EQUATION

While the proliferation of “women's” roles can be confusing, it has also freed us to create a broader, more humanistic definition of success. Success isn't necessarily being a model wife, mother, film-editor, or $200,000-a-year executive. Success is finding the things you care about and delegating your time and energy accordingly. Your personal equation— the balance of commitments that works best for you—is as personal as your energy level, values, talents, and your sense of self.

An important part of making your life work is moving away from the easy answer. Understanding the trade-offs you're making. Knowing what you really want, how long it's going to take, and what you're willing to give up for it. Not so much settling, as coming to terms with life, your life. Knowing your range, temperament, talents, and opportunities. Accepting the fact that you may not be Picasso, but you are a top-notch illustrator, or that you may not have much money, but are working on a project you love. Deciding how important money is, what work really means to you, and the kind of commitments you're willing to make for love. Setting some time aside to go over your personal equation and play with the mix. Not waking up one morning to find your options have been foreclosed for you. Maturity is knowing you can't have everything; courage, striving for what you can.