Today is International Women’s Day, now a UN sanctioned multicultural event blended into many cultures, yet started as a socialist political statement. There will be events honoring women in science, history, government, and various other professions. There will be joyous celebrations to simply bring women together, and serious discussions about the plight of women worldwide. In spite of this annual celebration of women, women still struggle throughout the world for equality in the workplace, basic human rights, and often for their lives. Women are exploited everywhere. It is a bittersweet day if you look closely.
However, I pondered this morning about the women in my life, a long list covering a broad range of ages, social-economic backgrounds, political leanings, religious beliefs, education and professions, moms and non-moms. To be honest, it takes my breath away when I think of the women I know. If they were in a room together it would be a room of power, energy, healing, multidimensional experience, love and compassion. Most of all of laughter!
Having not had my own children, I’ve been privileged to know many remarkable young women as friends, including my nieces. I have an ‘official’ goddaughter, but there are other young women I consider ‘goddaughters’ in that they are a blessing in my life. This group of women beam with energy and light, have creativity that is boundless, are full of hopes and dreams. I stand back and marvel!
There is a cadre of women in my life a bit younger than me; I guess they might be considered in ‘mid life,’ who balance lives of motherhood, entrepreneurship, professional jobs, etc. I am astonished at the vitality and intelligence of these women.
Then there are the women I have ‘grown older’ with or met at this time of life, women with a depth and richness to their very beings that comes with experience, hardships, joys and disappointments, heart aches and hearts that are full. I notice many of them growing more open, more honest, with themselves and others. They are my peers on this journey but they are also my mentors.
Sadly, my list of ‘elders’ grows shorter each year, and includes my mom, who, even with her changing mind, still exhibits a resiliency and strength that is awe-inspiring. There are a handful of elderly women I am blessed to know. They teach through example that in acceptance there is peace and strength.
Most the women I know will not be reading this, but those who do, (and I know who you are!) you should take this personal and know that I find you beyond remarkable, you are my role model, my inspiration, you play your part on whatever stage of life you are on with grace and aplomb I find awesome! You have a story I would be honored to write, a story that would inspire anyone who reads it.
(Footnote: A few years ago I wrote a short bio for my friend Marsha, who needed a bio for her web site and press releases about her art. I have interviewed and written about people for articles I’ve written, but the process of a focused interview with a friend, was something we both enjoyed. I really would like to write your story, let me know if you are open to it, I would like to start a collection of short bios on the women I know. You can read Marsha’s bio on her web site: The Art of Marsha Hollingsworth)