By Molly Payne
Cushing, Okla. — (Please read with an Okie accent.)
My friend and I have been thinking of changing our names to "Karen." Why you may ask, would we want to do that? Well, it seems we are always "Karen" about something. We're "Karen" about what our family members might be doing, or not doing. We're "Karen" about what's going on in the world. We're "Karen" about whether our house is clean enough for company or not. We're "Karen" if our parents are doing okay. We're "Karen" about our kids. We're "Karen" about mistakes we made. We're "Karen" about our jobs and community. Often it seems we are just "Karen" too much. Other times we just get tired of "Karen." We'd like someone else to be "Karen" for the day — or week.
I don't think it is a coincidence the name "Karen" is a female name. Women are usually the caretakers. Not to say men don't care — but it does seem that women are more likely to lose themselves in "Karen." Often we don't find the time to be "Karen" for ourselves like we should. We get so busy "Karen" about others we forget who we really are. Unfortunately, when we do focus on "Karen" about ourselves we get labeled as selfish or ironically, we might even be called "unKaren." In reality, we all need to take a little time out for ourselves. Like vessels, we need to be replenished or at some point we run dry.
When I was still living at home, I remember my mother saying, "I just wish I didn't care so much." At the time, I thought that was an odd thing to say and that it was possibly to instill some guilt. What I didn't know-she was just a member of the "Karen" club.
So to all of you out there that might be "Karen" too much, take a moment and just breathe. Try doing something special for yourself every day. Maybe it's as simple as going for a walk or taking a quick nap. After all, it would be a sad day if all the "Karens" of the world just burned out. For those of you who aren't "Karen" enough — shame on you! Take a day and give the "Karen" in your life a break. I'm sure she would appreciate it.
Molly Payne writes for the Cushing (Okla.) Daily Citizen