Today is International Women's Day. I am writing this letter to honour all the beautiful women in my life.
Every single woman who has entered my life has made an impact on me in some way. Without my women friends I'm sure I would never have made it through some of the tough times in my life. Granted some women in our lives can cause us more grief than glad, but these are often fewer than the ones who make us soar. Whilst their presence may be fraught with angst, they are usually there to teach us something.
I've been blessed to have some wonderful women pass through my life. Some are still with me. Some have passed on :( and others have simply passed through.
I want to thank you all for everything. For the love, the laughs, the shoulders, the hugs, the tears, the wise advice and for just being there when I needed you. We are so lucky. Let's never forget just how lucky we are.
We live in such an amazing era for making friendships. We have networks like nothing we've ever known before. We can connect, feel love and support, laugh and cry without leaving our home. The internet and social media networks have opened up a whole new world for women everywhere. No longer are women stuck at home, alone and with no support. At any moment we have access to hundreds of like minded women all over the world.
Prior to this, women had networks via their employment, social groups such as book clubs, tennis clubs and bridge clubs. They met for coffee, lunch or held luncheons in their homes. Mothers groups and school networks also provided friendships.
Prior to this women had networks, albeit smaller than the ones today, but they still sought out other women at the school, at the shops or through volunteering at hospitals and similar places. Socialising with other women was still an important part of their lives.
Prior to this, women were isolated. Their life was their home and family. They didn't often leave the home, other than to shop or take children to the doctors. Children tended to walk or ride bikes to school, so the mingling with parents at school did not exist. Women didn't have time for "going out for a coffee or a tea". There were too many laborious chores to tend to. Washing wasn't automatic, dishwashers weren't even a thought, vacuum cleaners did not exist either. Families were often larger and the day was spent washing, cleaning, cooking and mending. There wasn't time for anything else, particularly something as frivolous as friendships. Generally a woman's circle of "woman" friends were her mother, grandmother, sisters and daughters. That's it.
We are so very lucky to be alive right now. I know women's rights aren't equal yet, but I also know that we are so far ahead of where things were. For me, personally, I don't want to be equal to a man. Yes ... if I'm doing the exact same job at the exact same level as a man I would expect the same rate of pay. But I still like being a woman and I still like my men to be gentlemen. I like to be looked after and I still enjoy being responsible for some of the domestic chores. I think we could be wired this way? Or this could be just me?
Have a special International Women's Day and know that if you are reading this, you have touched my life. I thank you from the bottom on my heart.
PS: The women in these photos represent but a few of the many women who have shaped my life.