Thursday, March 9, 2017

How Did I Honor International Women's Day?

Yesterday it was International Women's Day and, because I have a vagina, I was encouraged to NOT engage in paid and unpaid work, avoid spending money, and wear red in solidarity. Um. Okay. I'm not one to conform. I embrace the unconventional and the Wabi Sabi way of life. Aside from that, I'm also a realist. I'm a wife. I'm a Dog Mom. I don't have the luxury of NOT engaging in paid and unpaid work. My kids depend on me. My wife depends on me. Our day to day life depends on me. There mere thought of waking up and not doing a damn thing because, what? I'm a...woman? It makes me laugh just to think about it.

So, how did I honor International Women's Day?

I got up at 3:30 in the morning. I made Lisa a hot breakfast. Made her lunch. Poured her coffee. With love and gratitude. Lisa works her ass off to provide for our family. She's the reason why I can be a work at home Dog Mom.

I hate the color red. I always have. The only article of red clothing that I do own is a red scarf. Instead, I wore pink and gray plaid fleece pants, a gray turtleneck, and gray panties with champagne bottle graphics. I actually had a little color coordination going on. None of that was planned.

No, I didn't wear my red scarf. That would have looked ridiculously insane. 

While Lisa was at work, I caught up on work stuff, finished a Bodacious Patchwork Doggy Quilt, wrote several blog columns, did housework, took care of our 5 fur-kids, prepped dinner for everyone, completed a tutoring curriculum for the next month, and spent money on groceries, gas to fill our vehicle, and to pay our bills.

Shortly after Lisa arrived home from work, she spent time with the kids. Took them out to play. Fed them afternoon snack. Then, after she changed into her comfy clothes, I told her to sit and relax while I finished preparing dinner. She sat at the table and used her tablet for a bit. Shortly before dinner was ready, I set the table and served her. Again, out of love, respect, and because I WANTED TO.

We played cards, while eating dinner, and talked about our day. This is our time to exhale, connect, and chat. When we play cards during dinner, we eat slower, talk more, laugh a lot, and linger at the table longer than usual.

After 2 games of cards, Lisa fed the kids dinner while I cleared the table and cleaned up. Lisa did a quick load of dishes while I took a few photos of the quilt that was going to be up for grabs at 7 p.m. The quilt sold within a few minutes.

The next hour was spent on the sofa, with the kids, enjoying family snuggle time and watching an episode of House MD.

Our day ended at about 9:00 p.m. when I tucked Lisa and our kids, except for Willa, into bed. That entire process takes about 10 minutes. It's part of our routine.

I spent the next few hours working. In the living room. On the sofa. Willa chewed her bones, we played a quiet game of fetch. After about an hour, she curled up beside of me and fell asleep. So did I.

My entire day defied "A Day Without A Woman...." You know what? I couldn't care any less. You know why?

I am a woman. I am 43 years old. Lisa is a woman. She's a year shy of turning 50. We both got up early to start our day. Sure, the thought of sleeping in or not working for the day would have been nice, but that wasn't an option.

Most of the people in "our tribe" are women. We all bust our asses for our families, friends, a good life, and the greater good. Work. School. Random acts of kindness. We put forth a tremendous amount of effort to better our lives. Make a difference. To be heard. Make our mark in this messed up world.

I refuse to participate in these "one day movements" telling me how I should act, dress, what I should and shouldn't do, or how to spend my day.

I refuse to feel guilty about it.

What I WILL do is continue to stand beside, and have the backs of, the women in my life, near and far, who speak in their own voice. Dress how they want. Work hard for what they have. Provide for their families. Present themselves without the smoke and mirrors charade. The ones who are able to exhale, let their hair down, burp out loud, wipe their mouths on the back of their sleeves, and drop the big "F" and "C" bombs in our presence.

I will continue to listen to the older women in our life because their stories are wise and interesting. We can learn a lot from them.

I will continue to enjoy girls game night with the pretty ladies who range from 17 to 71 because we all can learn a little something from each other. And, sharing stories, dancing on the front porch, sharing music preferences, cooking techniques, and laughing, as we view the world sideways, has no age boundaries.

*raises coffee cup*

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