Today was International Women’s Day and, while I didn’t do anything in particular to celebrate, I did spend some time thinking about the women who are important to me and what it means to me to be a woman.
I have had the great privilege of being the daughter of an unquestionably amazing woman. My mother is a true humanitarian and has always had a heart for the poor, the needy, and the underdog. The love and compassion she shows to others is uncommon and has been a real lesson for me. She is also a tireless worker and loves interacting with others – qualities that I continue to work on. I am eager to see what project she will tackle, as she begins her retirement this summer.
My grandmother is also a remarkable woman. She is fit, active and involved in her community. She has always kept an immaculate home and shared the produce from her gigantic garden. She will be 90 years old in June, she lives in her own home, and she regularly drives the over 600 kilometres to visit her family. I admire her independence and strive to be half the homemaker and gardener that she is.
How I define “woman” has changed dramatically in the last year. While I don’t believe you need to be a mother to be a whole woman, I think having a child alters your understanding of the passage of time and what it means. I am glad that I have been able to experience the fullness of being young, single, married, divorced, childless, a career girl, a student, happily remarried and now a mother. Each new phase of my life has offered me some tremendous highs and valuable learning opportunities.
I am thankful for my wonderful friends, my strong mother and grandmother, and this crazy life. I am thankful for being a woman: we’ve come a long way but we have a long way to go.