Last weekend I spent a couple of days with a very good friend who I’ve known for several years, today I had lunch with my daughter and tonight I’m having dinner with another good friend who I met relatively recently. Next week I’m heading off for a weekend of relaxation to celebrate the birthday of another friend who’s the same age as me and definitely on my wavelength.
So what? You ask.
Well – these ladies, and others like them, are my lifelines.
Earlier in the year I gave a talk in a country town here in Western Australia to celebrate their 2015 Day for Women, the theme was Embrace the Sisterhood, and in preparing the talk it really brought home to me the importance of the women in our lives.
I wouldn’t be where I am today without the women in my life. Those who came to stay and who will be around forever and those who were in my life for only a short space of time but who were so instrumental in getting me to where I needed to be.
Some know they played a part, others have no idea how fortunate I consider myself to have met them.
Those of you who have been around my blog for a while will know what I’ve managed to achieve. How I returned to study in my 40th year and somehow, after fifteen years of part time study while still dealing with the dramas of family life, I came out of the University of Western Australia with a PhD in my hand and a bewildered look on my face, wondering how the hell that happened.
You may have followed my progress as I undertook the biggest challenge of my life and made the trek to Everest Base Camp to celebrate my 60th birthday (and for someone who had never trekked before, let alone been so high up in the earth’s atmosphere, that was a major undertaking).
Then, surprise, surprise I did it again early this year – this time a more difficult route that had many more challenges attached to it, mainly in the form of huge amounts of unseasonal snow that necessitated a horrendous 10 hour day where we needed to backtrack through snow drifts and alter our route,
Oh … and did I mention the fact that I was still in Kathmandu after that trek when the major earthquake hit on 25th April this year?
But I don’t consider myself any different to any other woman. I got married, I had children and for many years I conformed to society’s expectations and I did what was expected of me, I did what I believed I should be doing.
But then something began to change and I got to the point when I needed to break down (or maybe crash through) a few of those barriers. It was a gradual move, tentative at first, but once I ventured out of the confines of what was deemed right and proper I realised that anything was possible. Whatever I set my mind to I could achieve.
But I could never have done it alone.
I needed those ladies in my life, and I still do. From my university tutor Glenys who taught by example to one of my best friends, Val, whose outlook on life and refusal to bow down to the breast cancer that hit a few years ago is simply inspirational, they’ve all played a part.
We travel together, we have adventures together, we drink together and we have fun together. They are there for me, unconditionally, They give me a good talking to if I need it, they listen if I need to talk and they are quite prepared to give me a kick up the proverbial if I deserve it. They boost my self esteem and they convince me that I have the power in my life.
So ladies, embrace the Sisterhood and never underestimate the value of the women in your life, your mothers, your daughters, your sisters, aunties and cousins and your friends. Sometimes we may not see them for months, maybe years, but we know they’ll be there and come running, chocolate and wine in hand, in a heartbeat if we need them.