Chchchchanges

I have that David Bowie song in my head ….Chchchchchchanges….

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
(Turn and face the strange)
Ch-ch-changes
Don’t want to be a richer man
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
(Turn and face the strange)
Ch-ch-changes
Just gonna have to be a different man
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time

 

As much as I hate to admit this, I will always be that girl who is seeking approval from everyone. Whether I get approval or not, I still seek it because I don’t feel like I ever get it.

When I hear people giving me support, I am not all convinced it is genuine. It doesn’t matter who it is from. If its from my mom – she says one thing, I hear another. I assume everyone is comparing me to the better/stronger/smarter/richer person they know. I worked with a man who gave me great advice about 10 years ago, he said “You have to take people at their word, take it at face value.”  Yes but – multiple meanings, undertones, knowing what people have said before in the past all add up and then you hear what they say so it becomes multi-faceted.

It gets tiring. It eats away at me.

I will never be someone else. As much as I want to or desire it because that means I am better/stronger/smarter and lets throw in prettier, that isn’t who I am. I am that same wounded little girl with terrible hair and mean friends, and when I say friends, I mean people who I would play with because I didn’t know anyone else.

I still don’t know what I was waiting for
And my time was running wild
A million dead-end streets
And every time I thought I’d got it made
It seemed the taste was not so sweet
So I turned myself to face me
But I’ve never caught a glimpse
Of how the others must see the faker
I’m much too fast to take that test

Things have changed a bit this week.

I have struggled with change. I have wrote about it before. I told you about a crossroads that I am facing. I need to make some choices if I am going to move forward.

To do this I need to trust what people tell me is true. And quite frankly I just don’t. Lie to me on a regular basis and I am thinking you want me to be better/stronger/smarter/richer/prettier because you hide something from me. I assume it has to do with me ( because I have a huge ego and its always about me – I am rolling my eyes. I am super insecure and overconfident all at the same time) because as Miss Mimi says, “Lies take away people’s dignity.” I clearly am not important enough in your life to trust me with your truths. Therefore I am not better/stronger/smarter/richer/prettier.  I will never be as successful as my sister – not that it matters to me or her, although I do covet her deck and her red appliances. I will never be the top executive of the company I work for because  – who wants the headache? I will never be that gorgeous fit woman because it take time and effort to look like that and I have children, a job and interests that expand my brain, not my muscles. I know it is possible to have both, but then I give up time and my time is valuable to me. My body has never looked like that, so the work involved to get there is more than I am willing to put in.But it feels like I am expected to be that way.  I have to be enough at some point and if I am not I need to move on.

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There is something about me that has people I don’t know very well tell me things about people I care deeply about. I suspect these gossips do this for a couple of reasons. None of which is in my best interest. So I purged my friends list and blocked all of those who say things, truth or not, just to be hurtful. I don’t need that kind of negative stuff in my life, I can create enough of my own drama thank you very much. I finally got rid of the mean fake friends.

I watch the ripples change their size
But never leave the stream
Of warm impermanence and
So the days float through my eyes
But still the days seem the same
And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They’re quite aware of what they’re going through

The changes I made brought me to a strange peaceful centre. I have turned inward and focus on my immediate surroundings. I have slept through the night since I made this decision. That alone tells me I did the right thing. That Precarious Gait said something that resonates with me – [who are we kidding, she always speaks things that resonates with me. I wish she was my neighbour so I could pop into her kitchen and cry my eyes out and she would pour me a coffee and say – I know EXACTLY what you mean.] She said when you talk about something with out crying that means you have finally healed.

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Can I have an Amen?

I have stopped crying when I tell my story.

Strange fascination, fascinating me
Changes are taking the pace
I’m going through

Does that mean I have closed the door on that chapter of my life?

No, but the door has been renovated. It doesn’t have swing hinges on it anymore for easy access. There is a really nice doorbell you have to press. Then please speak clearly into the intercom so I can understand your intent before I let you in. I am much more careful with myself now. I can’t listen to my heart because its really stupid and my brain does not let me down …ever. I am being smart about my choices.

I need to be smart about work, friends, and choices. What I want and what is attainable is very different currently. I can no longer expect something because I want it to be true. I need to do the best with what I have and then maybe one day, it can be what I want. For now it is enough…just like me.

When it stops being enough, its time to move on.

Pretty soon now you’re gonna get older
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time I said that time may change me
But I can’t trace time

Changes have helped me lick my wounds. All the changes I have made in my life up until this moment have expanded my knowledge and have me looking at things with a new perspective. I regret nothing. I look at my daughter and wish I was more like her when I was her age, but I am more like her now that I am my age. She has taught me lots. Although people say the opposite is true.

At any rate, “Ch-ch-changes
Just gonna have to be a different man”

Or embrace the fact that I am Christmas Lights and not Flowers.

#MoreLoveLetters

123-broken-hearts-14300882-564-605Today was one of those days where a trigger happened and I was suddenly thrusted back to a time and place where my heart was broken and oozing all over the place.

I hate it when it happens.

It usually is a song or a smell that will be a trigger for me.  90% of the time I push it out of my mind, but today was hard. I actually cried in the car all the way to work. It’s weird how something that happened years ago still affects me like it happened this morning.

I posted this on Facebook today :

Why is it that broken hearts never really heal?

And this was the response I received from a running teammate and rapidly becoming great friend:

Crumple a piece of paper… open it…
You can flatten it out but it will never be the same.
Forever changed… like the heart… hugs

BAM – she nailed it. I am sure I will never be the same. Not that the same was better. I have grown, gained wisdom and learned a lot from that experience. Yet the pain still lingers just beneath the surface. One false move and the tears can leak at any moment. Not true, it usually is masked or forgotten…until the trigger.

A dear friend asked me if I was ok. I guess so, in the sense that I don’t think I will ever be okay, just different. IT was an incredibly sad day for me. People looked at me and knew something was wrong with me, but were kind enough to let it pass. My Pup has stuck to me like glue.

Then I went to work this afternoon.

All was fine…sort of…I had work to keep me focused. Then it was my dinner break.

I had to head out of the shop and walk several blocks to my car because the lot was full. So I had to walk a different path than I normally do. That was when I discovered this envelope sitting by itself on the ledge of a window saying READ ME.

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I felt a little like Alice in Wonderland having to make a decision. Do I pick it up? Is it for me? Did someone drop it?

My first thought was ‘it might be a secret’ for Post Secret! COOOOOOL!

I decided to pick it up and open it.

Then I read this:

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Could there be a better message intended for me? I think not. It arrived at the very moment I need it. Thanks A!

Tears stopped, smile grew big, and I felt better.

It is amazing what happens with random kindness. Perfect.

#moreloveletters

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Put your boobs away

Feminismradicalnotion-1Why does it seem like self-esteem for humans is at an all time low? Why is the media focus on sex and sexulizing of women and girls? Why are more women around me subservient to their men? What the hell has happened and why am I the only one who is sadden by it? Okay, I know I am not the only one, but for every 1 friend who is outraged, there are 5 more who are showing their boobs off on Facebook, sexting with men who are not their husbands and generally sell sex to be noticed and wanted.

So what I am talking about?

Women’s role in this world… and by role I do not mean subservient.

I am gobsmacked by some of the things around me.

I am watching the Jian Ghomesi circus like a train wreck gone really bad. I cannot keep my eyes off it. Likely more than most women I know, I really understand why women didn’t come forward or tell the police. What’s the point? Unless there video proof…and then there better be a man to corroborate the story, Women/Victims are just not believed. I wasn’t. I told a few people, and I was accused of exaggerating because he was ‘so nice’.

yeah… about that. He wasn’t who he said he was. He LIED. Shocking, but people who are shifty LIE. Good girls keep their mouth shut and smile, don’t do anything that may upset ‘your Man’.  This was advice from my Grandmother, she was a quintessential 50’s house wife. She also was abused but said nothing – her’s wasn’t physical as far as I could tell, just emotional – which I think is worse. Cuts and bruises heal. Emotional trauma doesn’t.

Then I read an article from the Huff on how to have more sex with your wife…. are you ready for this? Clean up Cat Puke and text her.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

If the cat pukes and you walk over it to let me clean it up…you are a dead man.

If you clean it up and text me hoping for sex, I am going to tell you right now

  1. Cat puke is not sexy
  2. Cleaning is not sexy
  3. It’s your house too, so clean up
  4. Expecting sex for a task/job/money is prostitution

There is nothing sexy about being a prostitute. Whoever wrote that article also suggested that Texting your gal that you are going to buy breakfast so sleep in will get you sex…let me explain something to you

  1. You just woke her up to tell her you are going out. You wake me up and you are a dead man
  2. Surprises are not something you let her know in advanced. IT’s not a surprise then.
  3. It’s breakfast… you can’t cook? You can’t make coffee because its usually her job?
  4. Expecting sex for task/job/money is prostitution

Again, there is nothing sexy about being a prostitute. Well…some people role play and that’s a different blog.

Lately there is a trend happening with the whole ‘sexy whore’ thing. Halloween has come and gone and I saw WAY MORE Not-A-Commodity-feminism-23195990-400-600boobs and belly buttons than I care to admit. My niece let me know that an adult female costume could not be found without sexy connotations that go with it. This was true for even for children’s costumes. There is nothing more disgusting than a 5 year old girl in a mini skirt and belly shirt. First off, DON’T BUY IT. Don’t support these insane notions that sexulizing females and female children is appropriate. Why can’t we all just like each other for our interests and smarts and humour and kindness and ideas. Why is it not common to aspire to be smart, innovative or creative. Why must we be looked at as objects?

You want to have more sex? Tell the women you are with how smart she is. Listen to what she has to say. Respect her opinion. Ask her how she feels, ask about her needs, wants and desires.

Then tell her how you feel, what your needs, wants and desires are because THAT is sexy and no tasks/jobs/money exchange hands.

One day the looks wear off and all you are left with is everything underneath. Let’s hope it is support, kindness, interesting and innovative. Sounds a lot like friendship.

Now that is something you were never told to look for in a mate.

If you did, you win.IMG_7998

Is it STILL a Man’s world?

suffragettes-300x227I had the worst time trying to fall asleep last night. The last conversation of my day was with Trusty Steed. I was telling him about my day at work – at my new job (which is awesome!) and how yesterday was particularly tough. I am being tested from a management perspective. The people I supervise are pushing limits to see where my threshold is.  I expected that. That isn’t a problem at all. I have no trouble expressing myself or my expectations. I explained about the issue I had with head office and how I dealt with it.

And Trusty Steed said – I am worried you may be shown the door because that would happen at my office.

WHAAAAAT????????????????

Apparently he works at an ‘old boys’ club where –  the generation gap exists and strong women are not strong but ‘pushy’ or ‘dragons’ and women are ‘just’ in the office typing pool.

WOW.

I thought it was 2013?

I was hired for my organizational skills, my people management skills and to create change. I am doing that. I have handled easy problems and terrible problems. I have protected staff from violent vagrant street people who have threatened them, I have managed issues from clients demanding unreasonable things and resort to name calling of my staff.

I cannot imagine trying to do my job where I need to be subservient. Impossible.

For one – I couldn’t work there. I am not a subservient kind of gal.

And two – what the hell is wrong with a world where women can’t portray themselves? I come from a very long line of strong women. They were strong when it was impossible for men to take them seriously. Yet they did it and changed the world.

I am teaching my daughter to be the same strong woman. Her brother thinks women ARE strong and his choice of companionship proves it.

At Christmas time, my daughter heard her Grand Uncle use a phase that was offensive to her. She asked him to please refrain from using it. He continued. So did she. She did it in a way that require no man to stick up for her. She was clear, concise and polite – some might say bold. I wouldn’t, because if a man said those words he is just expressing himself. She was too. I couldn’t have been more proud. At the age of 15, my daughter is strong. She is the type of person I appreciate and want to spend my time with. So that brings me back to my work place.

I work for men. However, it is not a male dominated work place. It is an equal opportunity one. Changes are happening to better serve the female clients who are the majority. My workplace understands they need a female perspective to better serve these clients. I disagree on that score. If people are treated equally – then there is no gender requirements. We are slowly achieving that perspective and I am happy to be apart of it.

The ‘Man’s World’ is on its way out. Sure there are still pockets of it all over Canada – but the up coming generation brings me great hope. They see a woman or a man in the same light. Someone who is capable because of skill, not gender.

Amen to that.

Beyond Your Limits

I have been thinking a lot about pushing myself to the limit. Be it physical, mental or emotional. There seems to be no greater satisfaction than from those who are able to accomplish this feat.

Emotional limits, both positive and negative expression is not my favorite. I struggle with the pain of ending and heartbreak as do most of the humans I know. It is the hardest one for me to push.

I love pushing my mental limits, but being brain tired is the worst after emotional tired.

Yet there is something so completely satisfying about pushing your physical limits. It makes my mental juices flow and sends me to emotional heights that I am sure only George Clooney could equal.

This past month I have pushed my physical limits past the point I thought was my limit. I ran up Emily Murphy Hill 3 times, for the first time ever. She normally kills me after half way on the first time. Yet I conquered her. I ran in my first 10k race and set a personal time record. I was tired for 2 weeks but I knew it was because I left my guts out there on the road. I have set some pretty tough goals for myself this summer and I know the only way I will get there is by leaving pieces of me on the ground, in my books or on my sleeve. I will either be broken or exhilarated. Either way, pushing myself is my way of celebrating success.

A couple of years ago I never did anything that was hard. I never challenged myself through work, I never challenged myself through intellect, I never did anything physical that could test my limits. If it was hard, I avoided it and said no.

The Edmonton Tourist Project challenged me to say yes and try new things. I look back and don’t recognize that girl in the pictures. She looks different than I do now, but more importantly, her spirit was broken or harnessed by others. I said goodbye to her and the new and improved me is  – as my friend It’s Maevealous says – FIERCE. I love that word.

I am inspired by her intellect. She is knowledgeable in ways that humble me. She is insightful and brilliant, adventurous and fun. All things I wanted to be and now am achieving.

Through facebook I have become part of a running team WDW Radio Running Team for The Dream Team Project. I have met amazing athletes who are in different chapters of their book. I am just past the Introduction, while others are near their climax and some others are in their epilogue. Yet we all chEAR each other on and support through words, laughter and help. One of these athletes just became a 2 time IRONMAN. She is my hero. I am inspired by how she pushes herself to her physical limits and signs up for yet another IRONMAN because a teammate has decided to enter for the first time and so she will be there in full support. She is gracious enough to tell me her story, so look for that coming up soon.

Weeks ago I put my emotional struggles here on this page for all to read. The fat girl running faced bullies and went head to head with them. That blog post went near viral. Women all over the world read it to the tune of 15000 visits and countless shares. Local women came up to me and asked for my autograph. It was weird. But through that post I met a running mom who ran her first half marathon in Vancouver. She has inspired me to join Team in Training and pursue the San Francisco Marathon next year. I will be talking to her soon too about Team in Training and her exciting adventures about running in Vancouver with an injury!

And then there is my one of my dear best friends. She is a new friend but you know how some people just click? We did. Last year she entered a spin-a-thon event and cycled for 90 minutes. She had never pushed herself to do anything like that. Today she is riding 93km from Leduc to Camrose in the MS bike tour. I am so excited for her because I know she will never be the same after she feels what it is like to push yourself beyond limits. I am going to meet her at the finish line today. You don’t get a medal for this event, so I made her a giant chocolate chip cookie medal to hang around her neck – and then eat because I am sure she will be super hungry.

So when people ask me “how are you able to do that?” be it running, university, work, momming or reading a billion books for fun, I tell them because pushing yourself to limits is incredibly satisfying and it makes me

FIERCE

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News Flash! I just saw a picture of the Ex’s Wife and I feel FABULOUS!

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Have you ever creeped on Facebook to look up people from your past and are relieved that they haven’t adjusted their privacy settings so you can take a peek into their lives today? YOU HAVE SO…don’t lie.

I did it today.

I am very glad I did. Especially after Sunday’s incident.

I have struggled with body image issues forever and a day, largely in part to the men of my past. I know – what the hell was I thinking? Apparently I wasn’t.

The problem with memories, is they tend to be locked in time. So as I age – 45 and fabulous thank you very much – I become hyper aware of my skin, hair and body shape. When the ex and I split, a huge part of it had to do with my body image. It wasn’t his ideal and he let me know. I am one of those curvy girls, I will never be the anorexic super models. Today I learned that embracing who I am is as important as embracing what I look like.

I took a good look at the ex’s wife.

She looks like she could be any mom at the high school. She looks like she might be a friend of mine – maybe… I am fussy and only pick awesome friends.

She looks like she is smart – and neglects her appearance because she relies on her brains. Nothing wrong with that- I am a huge fan of brains. When I say she neglects her appearance, I just mean – she doesn’t focus on it. Nondescript dress, frizzy hair, no makeup, in other words plain.

I realized that I had been holding myself up to an imaginary standard. I pictured someone my ex would choose as tiny, petite drop dead gorgeous gal who had the perfect everything.

Then I saw her.

Lightbulb moment.

The guy is not George Clooney. He isn’t fabulously rich, brilliant or even empathetic. Why would he get a gal like that? Stacey Keibler she isn’t. But I bet she is right for him or what he thinks he deserves.

So why did I think lesser of myself because I wasn’t a supermodel? Good question. Why do women do that?

I can tell you he did talk A LOT about my body. I do know weight disgusted him because of the off colour remarks he would make. So obviously his current girl is rail thin. But she doesn’t have the healthy fitness glow I have. Her arms aren’t toned and I bet she can’t run 10k. My skin has WAY LESS wrinkles because good skin care starts from birth. Thank you ladies of my life who taught me how to take good care of my skin. I should BE so lucky to look like my Grandmother when I am in my 80’s. Her skin is fabulous. I am headed down the right track.

Looking at her picture (the ex’s wife) I also can see the wrinkles she does have are not laugh lines. That is sad. I know from other people she is less than enthusiastic about things that don’t involve her so smiling is sparse and when she does smile, it never reaches her eyes.  That makes me sad for her.

Of course this is all speculation and judgement on my part. I am more than my physical image and she is too.

I just wish it didn’t take me so long to figure that out. It makes me want to punch her husband with some good sense.

Life is a sum of all parts. Not just beauty. That fades.

And apparently, some of us get better with age…like a great wine.

I hope she is happy because that is all that really matters.

 

Stupid Choices leads to BAD decisions. Resolve the problem by reading a book with a smart ending and learn from it.

I have a real problem right now. My day started out bad – I mean reaally bad. So bad that I thought about staying in bed with the covers over my head and reading trashy novels bad.

I reached over to the nightstand and picked up a trashy novel that I am suppose to review – and it is bad too. It doesn’t make me feel excited, or caught up in the story…it is bad. An honest to goodness poorly written story that was more boring than Shades of Grey. That’s right, SHADE OF GREY IS A POORLY WRITTEN BOOK AND ITS BORING! You want to read trashy erotica, don’t succumb to media pressure and pay for that book – it truly isn’t worth it. Download it for free somewhere – do not give that author a penny of your money because she may think she has a career in writing.

I am angry. I am so angry I want to spit nails. Why? Why you ask? I WATCHED This:  The Wall Street Journal Video 

Apparently I am not the only one who is outraged that this author has normalized abuse of women and sensationalized it and worse…it is compared with great literature. I read this Times article  and agreed whole heartily. The worst of this is, a WOMAN wrote this book and betrayed us all. We need to rely on each other to stay smart, secure and self-confident.

What is the deal with smart women who buy into this kind of sensationalistic drivel? Why do we (women as a species) do this to ourselves?

I am guilty of not trusting my instincts and getting hurt so badly I am pretty sure you could hear my hear break from New York. Thankfully, that is in the past. I have learned from that mistake and have taken precautions. Where is it in the MAN Book that says it is okay to treat women in this manner, then walk away? Is it the Moms who do not teach respect? Is it the Dads who do not lead by example? Is it the English teacher who failed to teach vocabulary and plot? I am not simply talking about abuse, I think there is a deeper meaning here. One of self worth.

Do you think you are self-worthy of respect and honor? Yes? Then why do you let the media and people in general treat you this way? Why?

I have no idea. Guilty as charged. I close a chapter, and it gets reopened only apparently it is ME who doesn’t understand and I get hurt. Whaaaat? Excuse me, I am very quick on the uptake. I am pretty sure I was following the program as written.

The worst part? We do this to each other. We can’t even provide a united front. How can we expect the world to change if we cannot respect each other?

I have no answer. All I know is I am tired of women making stupid choices. I am one of them. I can’t tell you why I made the choices I did. I have no clue, other than I was dazzled by illusion. Perhaps that is the problem with fairy tales. They dazzle us with illusion and we set ourselves up for a fall. It isn’t enough to be smart, successful, kind, supportive, loving and human. Well, that is a lie. It is enough.Be yourself.

Love yourself.

Throw away your copy of Shades of Grey and go buy The Paperbag Princess by Robert Munsch. It is a story about a princess who rescues her prince. He abuses her so she dumps him and lives happily ever after. They way it should be.

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Needy

Have you thought about the difference between want and need? I did, and it got me thinking… more than usual.

Wants are things that bring me joy.

Needs are things I will die without…literally and figuratively.

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I want to say I need Tiffany’s sparkly things draped over me. But that’s not true, I lived this long without – so far so good.

I want to say I need a regular Disney vacation and a trip to the beach to soak up the sun. Again, I can live without it but those do enhance the joy factor.

I want to say I need a library like Belle in Beauty and the Beast (Disney version) but again, that is a joy enhancement.

Wants are awesome but not life fulfilling.

Needs are. I had a couple of lengthy chats with two different, yet very great friends. Both are male and both feed a different part of my soul. One friend I can talk about fitness, family, writing and life’s ups and downs. His friendship has become a need. I feel energized after talking and I have plenty of brain food to think about.

I need Brain Food.

The other friend I talk to semi-regularly and we talk about business, ethics, values and strategy. More brain food.

I need these types of friends in my life. This is why I enjoy book club. It requires the intellect in me to discuss the books we read with insight and awakening. I enjoy the social content of the evening but the book discussion is the pinnacle for me.

I had told my friend my wish for him. I wish that he would get the things he needs to enhance his life life because we all deserve that. Needs are important. Then he said to me, so what do you need. Wow, I hesitated.

For a very long time I didn’t put my needs anywhere near where I could benefit from them. I know this is a problem for lots of women, moms in particular. Although I have learned that I am not alone, there are men who do the same thing. We are nurturers. We give because we love it, it fills us to a certain extent but then we forget to put in the plug and all kinds of goodness leaks out and the well becomes dry.

So what do I need? It is simple. Without these things I shrivel up and die. Not physically but mentally and that is worse.

1.  I need to mom. I am the mom to 2 amazing kids. I need a life that lets me put their needs ahead of mine while they are still minors. I need them to know how important they are to me and that I would move mountains for them. I need to be the dependable one, the one they know will always be there for them without judgement. The no judgement part is hard. My wish is for them to be high end achievers  but nagging them to death to study is not going to get there. I give them space to fall. I am there with a hand up or a band-aid if they require it. They rarely need a hand anymore, this fills me with pride. I see failure in their future. I want to stop it but this is how we grow, change and mature. We need failure to learn. You rarely learn from doing everything right. It will be more painful for me then it will be for them, but I will do it. I need this. I need them to know I am always in their corner.

I wanted 4 but needed only one. Two was a bonus.

2. I need to run. This means I need the time, the support (don’t nag me that I am gone again – luckily I have support!), the space and the freedom to set goals. I need the challenge of races to shoot for both in short term and long term. I need quiet when I run. Don’t talk to me. This is my meditation. If I invite you to run it is because I want your presence. If I don’t and you ask if you can come with me, the answer is yes. But don’t talk to me. Running is my communion with nature, my release, my thoughts acknowledgement and peace.

-I want to be a gazelle, but only need to move. Gazelle status will be a bonus.

3. I need intellectual stimulus. Mindless, numbing activity is deadly. It makes me create scenarios in my brain. I’d rather live outside of my brain that live in it, but I will do both if I have too. I need to be challenged. I need intellectual conversation. I need the freedom to seek this. I like being smart because the more you learn, the more you realize you know nothing. Therefore learning is a lifelong challenge.

I want to be a professional student and have long lengthy chats with other academics but having friends who challenge me is a bonus.

4. I need chocolate. Not everyday but when I need it, look out – it isn’t pretty.

-I want only great chocolate but any chocolate when I need it is a bonus.

I am lucky, I have my needs met. Now – on to the wants…lets start with that vacation to NYC…

Why is International Women’s Day so Important?

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International Women’s Day (4 of 10) (Photo credit: pdxjmorris)

In case you slept in this morning, let me be the first to share the news: Happy International Women’s Day!

If you are like me, then you must be wondering why we need a day to celebrate women. I gave this some serious thought.

I realize it was only 100 years ago that women (in western cultures) were not considered people under the law.

I realize that in my lifetime women’s professions went from housewife, nurse, teacher – to anything you want to be – ANYTHING.

I realize that equal pay for equal work is still not happening in many parts of North America – not to mention my city.

I realize that many women are still expected (and do) the bulk of the home stuff, cook, clean, raise kids, make the decisions, work full time and in many cases go to school as well. Although this is mostly a generational thing. It takes a long time to change attitudes.

I realize that many women have been prosecuted for their beliefs and strive hard for the opportunity to have what I take for granted.

I realize that women in other countries are still oppressed and do not get the choice of free will because they are still considered property.

I realized all of this last night when my 15 year old daughter came down to my office to talk to me about her days events. She has been visiting different schools around the city trying to make the right choice for her. I am the one who told her to look at the schools with an open mind and evaluate them on a set of criteria that she has created in her mind.

Now that she has visited the short-listed schools, last night was the time to decide.

Her list of must have for a school were the following:

  1. Excellent Music Program
  2. Great-excellent Drama Program
  3. Opportunities to try new things
  4. AP Math
  5. AP English
  6. An atmosphere where you feel welcome and a part of something bigger that can actually make a difference.

The first school she visited during the week actually offended her. She was angry by the time we had left. There were no welcoming gestures from staff or students and she had a sense that she would be alone yet working along side people rather than in a team atmosphere.

The second school had a great drama department and was welcoming but it didn’t feel to her there were the well rounded opportunities she was hoping for. She talked extensively to teachers and other students and thought – maybe. The location was great and many of her friends had decided this was the place for them, but she wasn’t sold.

After last night’s visit to the last school on the list, she sat down at my desk and looked at me like she was very concerned. I asked her to tell me her thoughts. Her first concern was finding the time to do all the things she wanted to at this school. She was quite sure she couldn’t be on the Cheer Squad AND drama and music. There was no time for guitar class if she was taking photography. The opportunity for learning (yet another instrument – she plays keyboard, guitar, percussion and ukulele) was available if she took Jazz Band. She expressed the desire to play the upright Base. That was 3 separate music classes plus all the other classes she wanted to take. Not to mention the AP courses for core classes. Then there was the different sciences she is interest in like forensic, bio and chem. SHe loved the way the students told her the school wasn’t full of cliques and everyone intermingled and was supportive of each other.

I looked at her and thought she has decided which school she is going to. Then I thought about her grandma’s options and realized this is why we celebrate International Woman’s day.

The achievements from past women are significant – not because of lack of intelligence, but because of opportunity. It does not occur to my daughter that she is not capable of doing any of these activities. It does not occur to her that she wouldn’t be permitted on the basis of gender. She becomes indignant when she hears no on the basis that she is a girl and will argue with intelligent information to make her point. She does realize time is a factor and the ability to keep her marks up are important to HER. Her plans for the future are huge and she doesn’t want to limit her options.

She has OPTIONS. She has more options than I had. More importantly, she has more options than I was aware of.

I’d like to take a moment to thank all the women of the past who forged a path so significant, they changed my daughters world. I am eternally grateful and I can only imagine the good things ahead for future generations.