In case you hadn’t heard, today is International Women’s Day. What is the purpose of International Women’s Day, I hear you ask? International Women’s Day (8 March) is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future.
Today I wanted to write a blog from my heart. There are two very special women in my life, and their achievements, which may be thought of as small by some, are more important to me than they will ever know.
First, my darling mum Christine. Coming from a farming community, girls were expected to receive a basic education before they devoted their lives to raising a family and helping their husband. I am sure I recall my mum standing over my cradle whispering ‘You will go to university….’, ‘You will go to university….’ as I stared up at her as a small baby! She has devoted her life to raising a family and to helping her husband – my dad -. I don’t know if she realises what a massive role she has played, and continues to play, in my life beyond this early hypnosis, however, and that her devotion to her family is going strong 4 decades in. Going to university meant holding back the tears as her only daughter left home for a city 3 hours away. Sending whatever support she could meant her going without. Encouraging me constantly, despite my frequent doubts about my abilities and my capacity to leave the world a better place, meant throwing her own life into chaos to help make mine as smooth as possible. Babysitting our house and pets whilst I travelled with my husband and children to present at a conference, and accidentally locking herself out of our house on day 1 of our 10-day trek, meant wiggling in through a window. Luckily the neighbours never saw her! Through all of this she has been the cheerleader, the supportive ear, the motivator, the regulator (to take a day off!), the sound board, and the scrap-booker as she gathers a collection of clippings. Through all of this she has struggled with her own health issues, and despite being confined to a wheelchair more than any of us would like, she is unwavering in her fabulousness! She is the best woman I know, and if I turn out even half as good as she, I couldn’t ask for more from my time on this planet.
Now, to my darling daughter Imogen. As a talented child with a passion for music, we soon discovered that traditional school did not suit her. Distance education provided the flexible hours, teacher support, friendship network, and performance and competition opportunities she needed to blossom into the wonderful 16-year-old young woman she is today. She was by my side through undergraduate, post-graduate and doctoral studies, holding up a “10” on a sign (very reminiscent of the Olympics Gymnastics judging) after one my university presentations and working on her own schoolwork in lecture halls as I tried to make sense of my own studies. She has clocked up 101 minutes (9 kilometres) in her learner driver logbook in the past two days, and now she is a second year Bachelor of Music student who is well on her way to forging her own identity as a fabulous woman. She learns, she teaches, and she strives to be better each day. What else can we ask of her? She is the best young woman I know, and I am honoured to be her mum every single day.
So, today and every day, celebrate the fabulous women in your life!
Me, Mum and Imi : )