My daughter said something to me the other day that stopped me dead in my tracks. “Do you know how many of my friends can’t believe how fearlessly you dive into business ventures without any real experience or degree in business?” I had a million feelings coming rushing through my head. Proud, that my dreams were ones that made others feel good. Disappointed, because of bad habits I dismissed as unimportant without thinking that they are sending a real message. Happy, so very happy that they thought that going for it was a great thing to do, vowing to do better with this chance to help these girls raise and surpass their dreams for a fulfilled life.
Young women are watching and older women too. I will never forget when I opened Jay’s Coffee, Teas and Treats, my grandmother in tears as she sat there with a latte I made her. She talked about days of old and how limited choices were for women. Opening a cafe wouldn’t have been in the cards for women with children in her time. She worked outside the home and although it was a fancy job that was thought of as an acceptable job for a woman, the mere fact that she did was considered a slight to her husband and his ability to be a provider. Grandma was very smart and had a work ethic that kept her up Monday nights because no one could do the weekly household ironing as well as she could. BTW, I iron as well as she did and I also think it is completely therapeutic. Bess was a fabulous cook and in the summer sold pies with my great Aunt Lorraine to people going to Fire Island at a premium. She would have made a better entrepreneur than I am as she truly was ahead of her time with what people want and how to give them that at an even higher level than they could imagine. I was living her dream and she was taking it all in.
Today is International Women’s Day and there are women all over this earth being the best they can be and raising us to a higher level. Elizabeth is running for President, Greta is making us face reality and Simone is showing us how to push our bodies to be the best us we can be. Let’s not forget the queen of “the best you can be”, Oprah. I feel like I need to list a hundred women here but let’s just leave it with the chills that run down me when I think of RBG and what she has done for us. As I contemplated how unconsciously and without fanfare we do this it astounded me. I love reading and listening to all things that lift me yet I am not doing enough to spread their stories. Suffragettes were nothing if not organized in their intent and unity to help females attain a basic right. They did this without technology and while they were expected to do three days work in one day as was the standard of the day. We have tools now, we can use for the good of spreading and sharing these stories to lift us all. The internet helps us spread this when we use it wisely but sitting down with another woman or a group of women and pragmatically pushing each other to lift ourselves, that lifts us all.
In honor of this day I am going to remember that anything international starts with one. I will be better at setting my example. It’s not about not stumbling, it’s about getting up moving forward. I will be better at calling out those doing the same. I will pay more attention to the women before me who I admire and how lucky I am to have the dynamic younger ones that I am in awe of. Mostly I will strive to help us lift up each other. Everyone reads a different meaning into these proclaimed days. I look at them with the request to reflect on things that sometimes get lost in the mayhem of getting to soccer practice, completing a work project and serving a meal with some nutrition in it, all at one time. I am going to do that today and I hope you do too.