Love Letters

E is for Equality…

Today is International Women’s Day. I didn’t pay it too much attention initially, but it crept up on me as the day wore on…

I have a pretty ideal life. I live in a well “developed” nation, I had access to food, shelter and education as a child, I have a secure job and a family that supports me. Why do I need women’s day? But today isn’t about me.

Today is about women, all over the world, having the luxuries of freedom and encouragement to do or say or be whatever their hearts desire…

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I have grown up in an era rich in role models. Audrey Hepburn, who chose family and service over money and fame…

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Maya Angelou who showed the world that a woman could be literate and wise…

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And the endlessly kind Mother Teresa. Selfless, caring – a light for the kind of love that should blanket the world over. Just love.

I grew up thinking, knowing, that I was strong and powerful and that I deserved respect absolutely- first of all from myself. I married a man who lets me be myself, and who even in the roughest moments reminds me that we are on the same team!

I am a woman. It doesn’t make me less, it doesn’t make me more, (although sometimes I joke…) – I am equal and unique. I am me. Being a woman is a gift and responsibility that I take seriously.

Thinking about “womanhood” and what it entails brought to mind an old ad starring the talented Tina Fey:

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I first saw this in a magazine many years ago, and what struck me most about it was the “honesty” in advertising. The house is a mess (mine is), the child is in charge (mine try), and the theoretical perfect day actually “might not be possible”. So true. Real life as a woman (wife, mother, teacher…) even for the talented and famous, is full of trials and tasks which tax our patience and potential!

Mr.Martini and I have often joked that ours is a 1950s marriage. We have different talents and different roles to play in the running of our little world. He fixes the cars, I fix the dinners, we follow the guidelines set out in the implied “Old School Handbook for Stereotypical Living” and we stick to our system, not because I am less or he is more but because we are partners in a busy world where divide and conquer is the only strategy that works!

No system is infallible, though, and this past year turned ours upside down. A workplace injury put my sweetheart on the sofa for months (Folding laundry! He’s good at it!) and left me mowing the lawn, planting trees, pressure washing, house painting, you name it. But we are a team. It doesn’t matter which one of us does which jobs. What matters is that we respect ourselves, that we respect each other, and that we work together. We work as a team for our common purpose- for me that defines equality.

Use your heart as your guide. If you believe in yourself and what you do, others will believe in you too. Live for, work for and model truth, justice and love in all that you do. In this way, we can create a path to equality for those who live without it – for women and girls all over the world who dream of the chance to do the same.

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