Thursday, June 30, 2011

Well behaved women rarely make history

Who do you admire? Who inspires you? Why do they inspire you? I have many women in my life who I admire. To start, I admired my mother. She is my daily inspiration. She was an amazing mother and woman. She raised 6 kids. She helped coach Little League, was my Brownie troop leader, President of the Moms Club, member of the church choir, and head of the high school annual fundraiser. While doing all this, she cared for our family, cooked, cleaned, did laundry and helped with homework. She was never content to sit on the sidelines. She dove in and tackled any cause she was interested in. She created family traditions. She made Christmas ornaments, cooked Christmas breakfast and dinner. She cheered at all our Little League games, went skiing with us, taught us all to drive. She taught us how to do laundry and iron. She did all with a smile and a firm hand. She listened. She cared. She was happiest when helping others. Of all the things I learned at my mother's side, I learned that to be happy you need to find what and who you love and make that your priority. She was an amazing example of love, kindness, laughter and patience.

My aunt is also an amazing woman. She has the energy of a toddler hyped on espresso. She is there when you need her. Since my mom died, she is my shoulder to cry on, my sympathetic ear and my cheerleader. She is a surrogate grandmother to my kids. She took care of my grandparents for years without a single complaint. I admire her positive outlook on life no matter what is happening around her. She is one of the most giving and compassionate people I know.

My sister-in-law is a (very hard) working mother. For 16 years, she has managed to get 2 kids and herself dressed, fed and out the door every day. She gets them to their after school events, supervises homework all while taking care of their home and pets as well. She also got her degree while doing all this. She also does it without complaining. If I did half of what of she does daily, I'd be the most exhausted woman on the planet and everyone in a 10 mile radius would hear about it. I watched her kids for a weekend. It took me 3 days to recover. I didn't shower. I barely got the kids dressed. And I left the house a complete mess. I may have even taught them some words they weren't supposed to hear until college. I guess no one is wondering why they never asked me to babysit again.

I have friends with special needs children. They don't whine about how hard their lives are. They love their children and their lives. I have friends who are single moms. They are on duty 24/7/365 and never whine or complain. My friends who are working moms amaze me. They do everything I do as a stay-at-home mom plus commute to work and put in a full day. When they come home after a long day at work, they are in full mommy mode with no chance to sit down and take a moment for themselves. I have friends with disabilities. They accept it and make a wonderful life. They are not defined by their disabilities. It is one aspect of who they are.

They say life is what happens when you are making other plans. I think we need to stop making plans, embrace what life hands us and move forward. I admire women who know who they are. I'm inspired by women who know what they want from life and strive to achieve it. I am inspired by women who are strong, confident and keep a positive outlook no matter what they are facing - job loss, divorce, health issues. Each day they count their blessing and forge ahead. I admire these women. They are my inspiration. I hope to borrow a little of these traits I admire and incorporate them more effectively into my daily life. I need to be more aware of the blessings I have and less focused on the challenges I face. Because, let's face it, my life ain't so bad.

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