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We Are Women, Hear Us Roar...A Women's History Month Story

March, in case you didn't know, is Women's History Month. And as far as this particular woman is concerned, I don't need a month to celebrate the impact women have made on how the world really turns since the beginning of time. I mean, don't get me wrong, it is amazing to see my social media newsfeeds fill up throughout the month that is still better known for the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament and St. Patrick's Day.

The reality is that I try to celebrate being a woman each and every day of my life.

But if we need a month out of every year to continue to raise awareness about the issues women face then so be it. I do think "we've come a long way baby", however, we've still got quite a ways to go.

Long before it became a month long celebration, there was a single day in New York City in 1908 when women marched through the streets demanding the right to vote among other equal rights which ultimately led to an international conference for women in Copenhagen on on March 8, 1911. And while it was celebrated worldwide every year thereafter, it wasn't until the United Nations began to sponsor an International Women's Day in 1975 that it gained more widespread recognition.

There were still frustrations amongst many leader's in the feminist movement that there wasn't enough information about women's history being taught in schools. So in 1978 a group in Sonoma County turned the day into a week. Two years later President Jimmy Carter signed a proclamation declaring the week of March 8th as National Women's History Week. Say what you want about a peanut farmer from Georgia, he was and remains a champion of women's rights.

"From the first settlers who came to our shores, from the first American Indian families who befriended them, men and women have worked together to build this nation. Too often the women were unsung and sometimes their contributions went unnoticed. But the achievements, leadership, courage, strength and love of the women who built America was as vital as that of the men whose names we know so well." - Jimmy Carter, 1980

Jimmy Carter with Ruth Bader Ginsburg at reception for

women federal judges in 1980.

Then in 1987 Congress actually declared March as National Women's History Month and the rest as they say has been quite the history in the making.

No I am not particularly happy that as women get older men still expect us to do a disproportionate amount of the work in relationships.

Nor is it reasonable for women to still be making about 80 cents for every dollar a man makes.

And don't even get me started about the level of misogyny and abuse that still exists not to mention the fact that there are a lot of men that still think they can control women's bodies.

But I do believe that between the #metoo movement and the recent surge of women, especially younger ones, beating out a lot of the old male guard in state and national political offices the times, Bob Dylan would say, they really are a changing.

I was so fortunate to have amazing female role models growing mother and maternal grandmother. They were each very different in the way they inspired me.. My grandmother was a bull in a china shop in the most action oriented kind of way and a real straight-shooter while my mother was more of a quiet yet GSD (Get Shit Done) force of nature.

I really do wake up every morning thinking about them and hoping they are somehow watching over me making sure, first and foremost, I don't hurt myself as a speed through my days at 100 mph. Yeah, it's a dirty job but someone or something really does need to do it. My friends try, but I definitely lean more towards my grandmother's bull in a china shop energy than my mother's almost stealth like quality so I am not easy to wrangle.

That, though, is the very reason I know I am good at what I do for a living. I bring all of the energy to every client yet still have to try to dial it down for any that might be overwhelmed by how quickly I can take a room that looked like this at 8 am when I arrived yesterday...

And an hour later was transformed to this..

There are always layers of "stuff" you can't see in before and after photos, but, trust me, there were a lot of papers all over the floor and desk and a giant file cabinet in the closet (out of view) that needed to be purged.

And the purging and reorganizing continued in the client's craft and exercise room in the basement...

She has a lot of very bulky fabric that had landed in piles around the room and once myself and a member of #TeamIJS separated the samples out and got the craft and sewing supplies better organized in the antique dresser on the left, the space didn't feel nearly as overwhelming. Some shelves are being installed next week to store all of the fabric in the closet and some wires need to be run along the baseboard so the client can watch TV while working out but otherwise it's now a much more fully functioning multipurpose room...

Oh and I couldn't help myself when it came to organizing all of her thread by colors because, you know, #organizersneverstoporganizing 😉 I know I was channeling my mother who had a sewing room in my childhood home's basement. She had an entire wall with a pegboard system of bobbins and threads. Even though I didn't inherit her sewing skills, I definitely inherited her desire for order.

But I really digressed away from the intent of this's often the case with me but, again #iamwhoiam .

So getting back to Women's History Month, I need to mention how much I enjoy watching my own daughter mature into the young woman she has become knowing there is no doubt the apple didn't fall too far from my maternal side of the family tree. And I actually find myself being inspired by her as she builds her life as a 20 something in NY. She's tried to make lemonade out of the pandemic lemons creating a side gig painting nudes, some interactive game that I didn't really understand but apparently was pretty cool and got some social media cred late last spring and, most recently, has decided that she is going to take up pottery.

Pottery is something I actually was pretty good at when I was growing up spending so much time in the Arts & Crafts center every summer at camp as well as classes I would take during the school year at a local art association. And thanks to my daughter, I am now on a mission to find a place to take classes too. Hey, it's cheaper than therapy, I get to mold a mound of nothing into something and if I don't like the outcome I can just smash it with my fists, a very cathartic release we could all use these days right?

Before I start spinning that particular wheel, though, I decided to get even cheaper therapy today in the form of a hike with some of the amazing women that I am so blessed to be able to call my friends. They have been there for me through thick and thin over the past few years and I can't think of better people to share the last Sunday in February on what was an absolutely gorgeous day here in Colorado. It's the first time I've been on a trail in almost a month and that was about 28 days too long.

March, though, starts tomorrow and I'm not sure it is going to come in like a lion with any significant weather event (this is Colorado after all and the weather changes in the blink of an eye), but I promise I will be "roaring" from the online mountaintops all month attending a lot of the incredible events that many local and national organizations are sponsoring. Check out the website for a plethora of opportunities to celebrate however you choose.

And on that note, I just want to say thanks to Helen Reddy for the iconic anthem that definitely has continued to resonate with women across the world. I will surely be "roaring" it from the mountaintops any chance I get!

I am woman, hear me roar In numbers too big to ignore And I know too much to go back an' pretend 'Cause I've heard it all before And I've been down there on the floor No one's ever gonna keep me down again

Oh yes I am wise But it's wisdom born of pain Yes, I've paid the price But look how much I gained If I have to, I can do anything I am strong (strong) I am invincible (invincible) I am woman

You can bend but never break me 'Cause it only serves to make me More determined to achieve my final goal And I come back even stronger Not a novice any longer 'Cause you've deepened the conviction in my soul

Oh yes I am wise But it's wisdom born of pain Yes, I've paid the price But look how much I gained If I have to, I can do anything I am strong (strong) I am invincible (invincible) I am woman

I am woman watch me grow See me standing toe to toe As I spread my lovin' arms across the land But I'm still an embryo With a long long way to go Until I make my brother understand

Oh yes I am wise But it's wisdom born of pain Yes, I've paid the price But look how much I gained If I have to I can face anything I am strong (strong) I am invincible (invincible) I am woman Oh, I am woman I am invincible I am strong

I am woman I am invincible I am strong I am woman

Songwriters: Ray Burton / Helen Reddy

I Am Woman lyrics © Buggerlugs Music Co., Irving Music, Inc.

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