This year’s theme: Balance for Better.
My grandmother was a nurse and midwife in pre-World War II London. She delivered babies in conditions worse than what you see in “Call the Midwife.” She was a nurse in Europe leading up to the war. Smart and fierce and ahead of her time. She married late, for that era, and had & raised her children during the war; largely alone while my grandfather was at sea. She balanced family and community service all her life. She lived to know and influence my girls, one of whom says “she was
terrifying.” Frankly, she would love that.
I can’t begin to list the women who have influenced me because of the choices my grandmother & mother made. My mother emigrated to the US in her 20s, so I’m UK born and US bred – a balance of cultures. I started earning money at a young age: paper routes, baby-sitting, picking strawberries. I was cashier and ran a snack bar. I wrote term papers on an electric typewriter, answered phones at a reception desk, filed invoices in an office. My first “real job” was a technical writer, but I learned a lot from a lot of women before that.
And I learn from family, friends and colleagues every day (you know who you are). Women who balance every day. I hope you all know that if you tip over, I’ll be here to prop you back up.
So I’m raising strong women. Women who finish college, raise strong children,
run marathons, get promoted, and support their friends in turn. They are fierce and funny and take no sh&t. Women who balance and help others keep their balance.
The flywheel has to start somewhere. It started long before my grandmother. On International Women’s Day, encourage women and men alike to keep the wheel turning.