Snowballs on International Women’s Day

Tuesday is International Women’s Day and this Snowball reminds me of my mom. Not because she ate them all the time, but because I know she likes them, but they were a rare treat. Why didn’t she have them more often? Maybe because money was tight or because she would have rather have gotten a treat for the kids. Maybe she was just aware of the lack of nutrition value in them. I hope it wasn’t because she didn’t feel worthy of a treat. (Because she was and is – we all are!)

When I did a search on International Women’s Day, it says the first National Women’s Day was in 1909. I wonder if they thought we’d be in a different place 113 years later. I wonder where things will be 113 more years in the future. Hard to say. I can only hope that there will be more women leaders, that women will lift each other up instead of comparing or judging, they will wonder why there wasn’t equal pay way back then, and women will feel safe going for a jog alone or walking to the car at night.

On International Women’s Day, I’m helping to plan meals for a dear friend who is still hospitalized. (Something I should have done sooner but I didn’t want to be pushy.) She is in rehab still and even when she comes home, she has healing to do and strength to build back. Taking care of a few meals is the least I can do. They switched her to a gluten-free diet and it really helped her digestive issues. So we are pivoting for gluten-free ideas… freezer meals for a busy family. We have a cake place in our small mall – the company used to be at farmers markets with us so I want to support them. They have gluten-free cupcakes on their menu this weekend. We will bring one to our sweet friend (& hope her taste buds are doing well that day!) I’ll also make a gluten-free key lime pie since I know it’s a favorite of theirs.

This prompted a friend to say, “You have such a big heart.” People have said this to me before and I tend to dismiss it as no big deal. The thing is, this is not only my personality type, but also how I was brought up. My mom was and is, a very giving person. She would help out people at church, friends, neighbors, people she hardly knew. She’s not outgoing, she just has a giving heart. I grew up watching that. Then my oldest sister, who is a nurse, and nurturing by nature, modeled the same thing too. She is 9 years older than me so I was only 9 when she went off to college. While she was raising her own kids, I saw her doing the same thing our mom did – looking out for others. My other sister, a teacher, also nurturing, made sure to come to my track meets in high school to cheer me on. I was not a track star, but she made me feel special. She does so much for her grade school kids to make them feel extra special. I know she has the same giving heart too. I’m so thankful for them, and for all of the loving women in my life – aunts, cousins, friends & neighbors who helped to show me how to give to others.

Growing up with great female role models has shaped me into who I am. I don’t have a nurturing profession like my sisters. I’ve had to be firm and organized. I have worked mainly with men, and haven’t always been supported by my female coworkers. I’m not a perfect mom… I mess up, I lose my temper, I have regrets that I can’t undo… but hopefully I was/am the mom my boys need. Hopefully I’ve shown them that it’s ok to ask for help, and that it’s good to be able to help others.

I wish you peace on your journey of enough. I know it’s late on International Women’s Day, but maybe you’ll have a snowball tomorrow. Enjoy it!

International Women’s Day

Yesterday, these flowers arrived on my desk. A random act of kindness from my best friend. While some people may see a beautiful spring bouquet, I see support. I see an invisible bond, unbroken by 112 mile distance. I see a friend who would give me a hug if she was physically here. I see reassurance that I’m not alone. I see acknowledgement that some days, this “Mom” thing can be hard… but together we are stronger.

I didn’t do anything special for International Women’s Day. It was a pretty normal Thursday for me. One difference was that these flowers greeted me this morning… a reminder that I’m in someone else’s thoughts (& actual prayers). What if we supported each other more as women? What if we compared less and complimented more? What if we were accepted just as we are? What if we cheered each other on more? I feel like there is such a struggle to prove ourselves as being enough…. but not too much! Be assertive, but not too bossy. Be kind, but not too soft. Be smart, but not too much of a “know it all.” Be a successful businesswoman, but still a good mom.

I’ve joined a few online groups in the past year- the members are mainly women. While some days I feel like sharing with them, other times I feel not enough. Not because of anything they’ve said – it’s in my head. All of the “what if’s” that are really ridiculous worries – that likely are lies- come flooding into my head. Part of it is breaking out of my introvert shell & letting people in. Do you know what I mean? It’s scary. It’s unfamiliar…. but, it’s possible. Good things can come from this too. I’ve met some amazing people. It will take a while before I randomly send them flowers, but maybe I should. It could likely make their day – or at least make them smile (every time they see them).

Whatever you chose to do on this day, I hope you will remember that YOU ARE ENOUGH. Each and every day. Show up for yourself, be kind to yourself & spread that kind kindness to others. Peace be with you today.