March the 8th celebrates International Women’s day. I didn’t know this until I started working with Women’s Aid over 15 years ago. There’s always a debate as why there should be this day for women, if you’re not sure then read the fabulous article by Annie Lennox this week in the Guardian. I’m not writing today about inequality of women in the world but I was thinking this morning what does being a woman mean?
The first thing that comes to my mind is strength, I realise this isn’t specific to the gender of women but I believe we have an innate strength that continues to grow through the generations.
I often think about where my resilience has come from. I had a formidable grandmother, a woman who cast a warming light over us grandchildren. There was a comfort in having her as a Nanna because I knew, I absolutely knew if I needed her she would’ve been there for me. Family came first. Full stop. That sense of grand love over family is forever in me. Some qualities we are given and some we learn over time and through experience.
We can’t always be strong. This week has been a dire, black, shit to be honest week. It landed, the cloud of doom. You know the cloud where everything is just terrible. It starts with something small and it builds to where nothing or nobody makes you happy and nobody knows how to make you happy because nothing will. The worst thing about the grief cloud is that I haven’t seen the cloud. I don’t see that it’s arrived temporarily and it’ll soon be on its way. This is how I think it is.
That voice of negativity starts to run amock. I’m too unfit to run, I’m too boring to socialise, I just make everyone sad, I’m hopeless at my job, I’m a terrible mum etc etc etc.
Then, sometimes it’s a few hours, sometimes a few days, the strength kicks back in. This is what I think women have. The ones who are battling a personal journey, the mums juggling multiple kids, the new mums who haven’t slept for more than twenty minutes in one go, the carers, the women who’ve lost their jobs, the women running business’s, the ones who’ve made brave and difficult decisions to be themselves, the women who have lost, the women who felt there was no hope. They’re all women I know and they all get up again…and they’re all bloody amazing!!
So here to you whatever your journey and whatever steps you’ve taken forward (because you have!) . Happy International Women’s Day x