A Woman is Like a Tea Bag – Eleanor Roosevelt

National Blog Posting Month – January 2014 – Pressure

Prompt – Eleanor Roosevelt said: “A woman is like a tea bag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” Tell us about a time you felt your strength.


This is an interesting quote. It rings true to me. I know I’ve been in situations that I’d rather not be in. There have been times when I wished someone else would just do the thing that needed to be done. I’ve had to face the reality that I was the one that had to do the thing, whatever it was.

Sometimes, it would involve some tears. I really don’t want to have to do this.

Sometimes, it takes getting a little angry.

What’s interesting is that I can’t really come up with specific examples. Perhaps some of that is because such situations arise a lot for me. You see, I deal daily with anxiety. Almost every day something comes up that I have do deal with that requires me to move past my comfort level.

Every. Single. Day.

My car broke down just Saturday. I shut off while I was driving it. I was 80 miles from home. I had to deal with it.

And I did. Just fine. I was impressed with me.

Two Saturdays ago, I walked into the laboratory to discover that the filament had burned out on the mass spectrometer. I’m the only person on campus that knows how to fix such a thing. The fixing involves meddling with tiny and expensive pieces on a $350,000 instrument, that if done wrong can have some pretty catastrophic repercussions. It’s a terrifying prospect. I took a deep breath and changed the filament. I did it. It was just fine. I surprised myself.

Parenting comes filled with such moments. (All the parents out there, holla!) Yeah, just try to hurt my kid.

There’s just this place where I go when things have to be done and there’s no one doing them. I take charge, despite my anxieties. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more willing to jump in when stressful situations arise, since I’ve learned that they usually do work out just fine.

Yet still I am always just a little surprised at my own strength.

1 Comment

  1. Melissa says:

    The quote is a great one, and it is very true that you don’t really know someone until you see how they function under pressure. Until I had my little boy, I thought I was exceptionally good at working under pressure. Now I’m finding there are a few cracks in that armor, at least where my son is concerned. Work-related crisis? Not a problem. 🙂

    Happy blogging!


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