This week, I was impressed with many women in my life: Coffee with sweet friends at Brew Grit
Pleasant long visit with an artist friend at Sterling Creatives
Tickets from a dear neighbor for Saint Anthony’s spaghetti dinner
Joining the family for a middle-school girls basketball game
An extended visit from my oldest sister
Time with a special cousin and aunt
Attending the “soft” opening at the Old Library Mercantile and Carnegie Coffee Shop
The common denominator for those activities is women, amazing women who contribute talent, compassion, and joy to the fiber of families and community.
We can think we are independent and self-sufficient, but we aren’t, and floating through this life alone is not a productive goal. At my age, I spend a good deal of thought on women who plowed through the brush and laid a firm path to follow. I recently gave a presentation on Rural Women, and that, too, brought up the influence women have had on my life. I am genuinely in awe at females’ strength, endurance, and accomplishments, from my great-niece giving everything to her team on a basketball court to the vision and transformation of the Old Library, to the initiative and tenacity of my relatives and friends.
I’ve never been one to get involved with social injustice issues by marching around with a picket sign, but when it comes to women’s rights, especially rural women’s rights, I could. For example, farms, ranches, and businesses are often still titled only in the husband’s name and are left primarily to sons and not daughters upon the husband’s death. Girls continue to receive more praise for beauty than achievements. Women have the primary and often sole physical and emotional responsibility, often without authority, to care for the young and the aging. Women continue to stand on unequal planes in the arenas of wages and financial security. As the nation’s seniors navigate Medicare Open Enrollment, the disparity is evident in social security benefits. Often, women who work alongside their husbands receive no paycheck and therefore earn no social security. I think the system is flawed.
On the balancing side of my thoughts are the women who still laugh with me and make the best of life’s situations. They don’t let just anything get them down. To use a cliche, they are tough and tender. Remember the old feminist commercial about “I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and never let you forget you’re a man…because I’m a woman, W-O-M-A-N….” That’s not the point. We can try to be superwoman and succeed at times, but for me, what stands above and beyond are women’s extensive and all-inclusive, head and heart contributions. Sometimes we’re too kind and get taken advantage of, but even that doesn’t stop us. We seem to have the ability to bounce with life’s ball and come back fighting and thriving.
Join me as I continue to believe women of all ages are pretty awesome.
Until the next time: Live while you live.
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