Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Happy International Women's Day

Today is International Women's Day and it is not just any ordinary International Women's Day - it is the 100th anniversary of celebrating women and the progress we have made and hurdles that still have to be overcome to have true equality with men.

I thought that today I would share with you the women that I find inspiring and that influence my actions and thoughts. I also wanted to share with you the women I encounter in my everyday life that shape my views, passions and aspirations.

I sat down to think out my Top Ten but I cannot after immediately deciding on the first couple I felt that I still maybe had to meet my another 5. So there is my Top Five.

1. My Mum

What more is there to say really. This is woman whom I looked up to as a child (and still now) who gave me good values, taught me compassion and instilled in me a spirit of hard work, discipline and grace.

2. My Grandmother

My Grandma is the kindest person anyone could ever know. I am always shamed when we go to the hospital together and she will go and talk with the other patients in the hospital who have no visitors. Or on ANZAC Day when she is waving and clapping all of the returned veterans with tears in her eyes for the young men she knew who lost their lives on "their great adventure".

I can only aspire to lead a life as good as she has lived hers. Married to her sweetheart, with three beautiful children who all are good people.

I should be so lucky.

3. My High School Music Teacher

My high school music teacher was also my private clarinet tutor and it was she that inspired to me think seriously about studying composition at university and to then pass on my knowledge through teaching.

While I was at school (in my second last year) she had a health scare and was diagnosed with diabetes. I still remember her showing us (her music class) how to give her an insulin injection in case something happened to her in class.

Then when I was studying music at university she lost a child a week before she was due to give birth. Her faith and support of her family helped her through this ordeal and she went on to become one of the founding members of Stillbirth Foundation - a charity that raises money for research into the causes of stillbirth. She also now has two amazingly beautiful children.

My other great memory of her is at her wedding. I was in year 9 at school (about 15) and was asked to play in the band at her wedding! I was so thrilled that she thought me good enough. I re-payed the favour last year and had her play at my wedding.

4. My fake Sister

I have a"fake" sister. We are meant to be sisters we decided and so now think of each other that way.

My fake sister is a truly proud and determined woman. When she was about 17 she discovered that she was going to have a child. He is now the most strapping young man and I have to remind myself that I should be thinking of him as my nephew!

My sister also lives in Australia but all of her family is overseas. She fell in love with an Australian (who played ice hockey - I have never heard of anyone in Australia who plays ice hockey) in the States and he convinced her to make the move Down Under.

Two lovely children later and he turned out to be not-so-reliable and so my sister has with no help and a mean adversary managed to bring up the three most well-adjusted and happy children I have met.

I have never heard her complain or moan - she is the bright side of life and it seems to me that she deserves all the best things that could come anyone's way. A true friend to look up to.

5. My Best Friend

My Best Friend has recently moved interstate but if there was one person I needed to talk to something about it would be her.

She has heard me complain about my Husband, family, work and school. We have seen each other through exams, university, study, boyfriends, fiancees and now husbands, home buying, cheating partners, personal crises and family emergencies. There is no one that knows me better.

I remember in high school our friendship started after a fight about my stinky tuna sandwiches and my jealously of her being school vice-captain. How glad I am Mum kept giving me tuna!

My best friend is always the last one to leave after a party so she can help clean up, the first one there to plate up the amazing cupcakes that she has made for me and 100 of my guests, the responsible one getting us all home safe after a night out, the generous one refusing to let you even return the favour of a hot chocolate.

A one-in-a-million, once-in-a-lifetime friend.

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