I wanted to celebrate the women who raised me and who were my role models and my heroines.
So this is a picture of 4 generations of the women in my family.
I’m the chubby baby in my mums arms with the Mohawk hairdo…. don’t judge me, It was the 70’s!
Then there’s my mums mum, and my nan’s mum. They were all strong, independent women who had unremarkable yet remarkable lives.
My great nan, ‘Nannie Price’ was your typical housewife of the day raising 9 babies in a tiny house while her husband worked all the hours God sent down the factory.
She couldn’t attend her eldest sons wedding because she was in labour with the youngest. She told me that story so many times.
She died when I was about 9 but I have some lovely memories of going to see her and sitting on her lap while she told me how clever I was and how much she loved me. She was always in an apron, with a dishcloth in her hand and she always had a brew on the go.
Her house was the go-to place for family gatherings and it was always the hub of chatter and gossip and mischief. And spam. Whatever that is.
My Nan, being the eldest girl of the 9, was tasked with ‘looking after the boys’ and polishing their shoes, helping with the cooking and cleaning and generally making the boys lives better. Because they were boys afterall, so much more important. Isn’t that what girls are for? She could never understand the injustice of that.
Nan was the matriarch of our family. She worked in a laundry during the war and taught me to iron a shirt. Properly. She even ironed socks, but we won’t dwell on that! She was warm and loving and my happy place.
She made the best scones, and chicken casserole and was the best listener ever. She taught me so much. Because mum was so young when I was born, we lived with my grandparents until I was about 6. They were the happiest memories of my childhood. Nan had the best hugs and always made me feel safe. She was ‘home’
And mum. What to say about mum?
Even though she was barely a child herself, she taught me respect, independence, loyalty and honesty. She taught me to rely on myself, and not wait to be rescued by a knight in shining armour. She worked hard.
She even managed to gain her degree and attend her graduation ceremony just weeks before she died. She made me so very proud.
These women didn’t change the world, they aren’t remembered for their heroism or their scientific discoveries. Their names aren’t etched in history books or awards.
But. International women’s day is a celebration of all women. Remarkable, inspiring and empowered women.
And women who didn’t know just how remarkable they were.
So 2020 is my year.
Who am I kidding? Every year is my year. I love my life, and I love what I do. So why does it sound so cliche? So insta-ready? So boring?
Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not a machine.
I’ve got my mental demons the same as everyone else, I have good days and bad days.
Days when I don’t want to get out of bed and days when I feel so insecure and inadequate that I feel totally overwhelmed. Days when it all seems so totally hard and lonely and scary.
Days when I look in the mirror and I don’t see smiling eyes and a warm expression. Days when it just all feels too much.
But even on those dark frightening days, I find myself feeling grateful.
Grateful that I have a home and a family and friends. Grateful that I can laugh, and make people laugh. Grateful that I get time to be quiet. Grateful that I’m a wife and a mother. Some days I’m just grateful to be alive.
Gratitude and a passion for caring is my default position. My factory reset. I care about my life, my family and my friends. I care about my home and my environment.
I care about the way I treat people. I care about fairness and trust and integrity. I care about truth and honesty.
I care about calmness and quiet and peace. I care about having the freedom to express who I am and be who I want to be.
I believe in the power of kindness and the magic of trust. I believe in being transparent and helpful and a good friend. I care about how I make people feel.
I believe in empowering ourselves and our future generations to go out there and seek out their purpose. I believe in valuing our worth.
I believe in the universal language of a smile. Smiling and laughing are the things I love best.
Making my patients feel safe and cared for and relaxed are honestly the reasons that I’m a dental hygienist.
Yes, I love the scratching, and measuring, cleaning and polishing and treating the disease. But that’s just what I do.
How I do it is by working with people who believe what I believe. In a clean and bright environment with state of the art technology.
But Why? Why do I do what I do?
I believe I understand how to make people feel better about themselves, feel more confident, and relaxed. I believe I can make people smile. I believe I can make a difference.
I just choose to clean peoples teeth for a living.
If you’ve not found your why? Check out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4ZoJKF_VuA
Finding the Why By Simon Sinek
I love this quote.
I first saw it when I attended The Womens Organisation in Liverpool.
I was there to get some much needed start-up business advice when setting up the studio. This quote greeted me as a small plaque on the reception desk. Immediately I knew that I would meet like-minded, positive and empowered women.
When I was little, I was always told to be a ‘good girl’ and ‘behave’. So consequently I was a very quiet and sensible young lady.
Now, people who know me in my current form know that I’m neither quiet or sensible, so when I saw this quote I was thrilled that me coming out of my box was ‘OK’ and that I didn’t have to be seen and not heard anymore. I have to confess though, I did come out of my box a long time before I learned of this quote!
I love how the ethos of The Women’s Organisation is to empower women.
I love seeing women empower each other and support each other. I love that being in my mid forties I’m no longer worried about what others think of me.
I’m still kind and polite, honest and trustworthy. But I’m also scared and unsure of myself and brave and confident all at the same time. I love being a dichotomy of personal traits and I think I love this quote because it celebrates all of us.
So my message is : be empowered and brave. And go out there and make some history of your own.
…and don’t worry about being well behaved enough