Funny how the world sees "real women. . ."

Evidenced by all the Real Housewives of. . . shows which seem to be overtaking our televisions, it appears that the world believes we should all be wealthy, pampered, enviable, catty, curvaceous, gorgeous, and more. While we may be gorgeous, most of us are not rich or spoiled or even catty. We are ~ simply put ~ real.

The idea for this blog came after watching a few of those real housewives shows and realizing just how skewed the views of everyday life can be through the eyes of these women. Particularly to those of us in the trenches, working day-in-day-out to take care of ourselves, our children, our parents, our spouses/partners. Those of us who are out there earning a living, who may be dealing with catastrophic events or troubled children or medical issues or partner concerns.

This is a call to all women everywhere who live everyday lives and who want to simply do their best as they love all, laugh often, and live fully. Let us unite with our whole heart and soul, with humanity and grace, with vigor and hope. We are women and we are thankful to be so!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My Monday Heroes - Women Across the Globe

At this Memorial Day weekend, our thoughts turn to those we love who have passed on, who have made a difference in our lives and for our country. Generally, we reminisce about those who have served in battle and fought for the freedoms we have come to expect throughout the free world. 

As we recall those special people, let us also think of the strength, courage, tenacity, valor, and determination of the women we know, the women we have known, the women we know of, and all women throughout this planet who have made a difference. 

In consideration of this, I think about the ancients, the pioneers, and the contemporary women who have influenced my life. . .there are so many. 

Putting it very simply, let me ask all the women who read this blog: Do you have a credit card or a mortgage or a vehicle in your name? If so, are you aware that as recently as thirty years ago, this likely would not be the case? It took women of great stamina ~ essentially, modern pioneers ~ to bring us forward to this place. 

We have a voice and it is a voice of compassion and learning, a voice of hope and might, a voice understood by women across the globe regardless of our native tongue or what language we speak.

Remember who we are, and act accordingly. We hold precious lives in our hands, we shore up those around us who are in need, we have the strength to be someone's shoulder and the tenderness to pull them close in comfort.

These are such natural pieces of each of our characters ~ let us have cheer and joy and charity in our hearts for who we are, and let us be who we are, when we are, where we are, and why we are . . . just because we are! 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

My Monday Hero ~ Marvelous Marci!

Marci is quite a interesting character. She is someone I watch out of the corner of my eye ~ I never quite know what I will see, but I know that it will always be fascinating and I will learn from watching. 

Marci works in her daily life with teenagers. While she is technically a high school teacher, she is really much more than that. Mt. Edgecumbe High School is one of Alaska's boarding schools which provides opportunity for all high school aged teens to attend, regardless of where they live.  In our huge state (over 650,000 square miles!), each is given the opportunity to go to high school even if their home is in the tiniest of villages in the northern-most or western-most or other-most regions. The downside is that most have to leave their homes for up to four years in order to obtain that high school diploma.  

Thus, Marci is much, much more than a high school teacher. She becomes a mentor, a counselor, a guide. She becomes a very informal "parens patriae," an official term used when a child's natural parent is unable to provide parenting at a given time. In the case of Marci, her "parens patriae" role is by default ~ that is, because Mt. Edgecumbe High School students have are living away from their natural parents, Marci naturally (and quite easily) falls into that role. Not only does it happen naturally, but she does this with the compassion and concern for the whole-person-well-being of each student with whom she comes into contact. This is an incredible feat, in my mind, and one which can be accomplished only by those with the greatest devotion to those under their care.  Marci is, indeed, one of those.

I am in awe of the ability of women to bring all into their fold, to love without condition, to share without concern for themselves. I see Marci ~ out of the corner of my eye ~ doing this seemingly without effort. It comes to her so naturally and so beautifully.

Marci, you are my hero and I feel so very blessed to be able to witness your incomprehensible abilities to love so freely. Your skills, your gifts, your innate compassion, and the classy manner in which you live your life are an example to me each time I think about you. Thank you for being such an awesome woman!

Monday, May 16, 2011

My Monday Hero - Nancy!

One absolutely incredible woman who has garnered an immense amount of respect from me over the years is Nancy. With eyes that sparkle and one of the most infectious laughs around, she has the sound character from which life experience grows. Not all who live are able to pull through and exhibit these awesome traits, yet somehow Nancy has done so. 

This is a woman who has raised a family with the love of her life, who has completed the requisite education to develop and maintain a medical career, and a woman who had the wherewithal to secure a seat on her local city assembly . . . just to try and make a difference. Through these ominous experiences, Nancy's love of life and spirituality ~ along with her ability to infuse these traits into her family ~ have made her a woman of depth, a woman of faith, a woman of grace. 

I must say, it is not everyone who is able to recognize the small, telltale signs of the slightest distress in another human being ~ yet I have seen Nancy do this time and again. Indeed, I have been blessed to be the recipient of her genuine care and concern.

Nancy, you are my hero, you are my inspiration, you are my friend. I love you, I appreciate you, I applaud you. And as you prepare to move into your next life fortune, I bid you farewell with tears in my heart for both my loss and your upcoming exciting adventures! Be safe, be well, and know we are all thinking of you!

Monday, May 9, 2011

My Monday Hero - Sunni

A little over one year ago I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Sunni, a wonderful young Alaskan woman full of life and vigor and joy! I met her as a co-worker, and was immediately drawn to her naturally sunny disposition ~ begging the question, does the name make the person or is the person named accordingly? In Sunni's case, I can conceive only of her spirited soul coming to this earth with the happiness factor conveniently built in.

Sunni works hard and plays hard. She gives to others without regard to what she may or may not receive in return. Truly a selfless woman, she listens with her heart, she shares in others' happiness, and she hurts with the pains of her friends and loved ones. 

There are few women in this difficult world who are more self-possessed, more exuberant, express more vitality and love for life than I have witnessed in the short time I have known Sunni. She is beautiful, she is caring, she is the epitome of living life for today while still planning for tomorrow ~ indeed, with a wedding in the works Sunni will soon exhibit even more of her easy-to-love-self as she becomes the hopeful and generous bride.

Sunni, I hold you in the highest esteem; I uphold the womanhood you exhibit; I honor your woman-becoming and bride-to-be. You have the world in your hands, and while envying that, I also know this world to be in the absolute best hands possible. You are my hero!

Monday, May 2, 2011

My Monday Hero - Louise

So many times over the past half-dozen years or so, I have been blessed to have Louise cross my path, initially as a colleague and co-worker, and ultimately as a friend. There are few women in this world who seem to match up to my idea of what a "friend" is ~ yet Louise is, indeed, one of those few.

A mild-mannered Southern girl, Louise is articulate and very well-spoken. She is a lover of all that life has to offer, and her family are the blessed recipients of her never-ending compassion. Louise is truly one of those women who is easy to like, easy to be around, and easy to confide in. She is also quite self-possessed ~ her southern flair would never allow her to impose her opinions on others, yet she does what she believes in and believes in what she does.

Not too long ago Louise left her Alaskan home to return to her roots in the South, close to long-time friends and extended family. She is missed greatly, and yet I will always know that with Louise is a friend and confidant, a woman of kindness and virtue. One who ~ upon becoming your friend ~ will always be there regardless of the geographical distance which may separate.

Louise, I adore you, I admire you. I commend your womanhood and esteem your earnest sincerity. You are this week's Monday Hero, and I am grateful to call you  my friend!