A Life Less Ordinary – Thoughts on International Women’s Day

That year rolled around faster than ever. It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was ruminating about my life and trying to add up my existence and relate it somehow to the celebration of being a woman.

This year, I added another female role to my repertoire, that of grandmother, or Nanny, to be precise. I am now the exceedingly proud Nanny of a wonderful little bundle of raspberry-blowing glory named Peter. Gaining membership to the granny circle hasn’t exactly added to my grey hairs but it certainly makes me seem a little more aware of them. Although, I refuse to grow old gracefully.

Last year, I was still coming to terms with the joys of separation after nearly twenty years of matrimony (sarcasm intended), I was floundering and struggling for all I was worth while dragging myself out of bed each morning and attempting to exist in the role of mother and sole provider.

Each day was a challenge, the future seemed hopeless and yet I stubbornly continued with the dream of being a successful writer and business owner. I held onto the belief that I could achieve something larger for myself – a life less ordinary. I still do.

And now, a year on, my business has slowly got off the ground, my marketing efforts seem to be attracting more clients and I’m optimistic. I have learned so much – made a large amount of mistakes and discovered better and more effective ways to promote and sell my services. I have also learned the joys of being single, of being mistress of my own destiny and in command of every aspect of my life, however daunting.

So, this International Women’s Day, I must admit to being proud of myself, of how far I have come in a year, on my own. From budgeting, managing the household, car problems and holiday arrangements to family get-togethers. I’ve turned up for myself and my family, kept the electricity on, the roof over our head, oil in the tank and fuel on the fire.

I’ve kept my sanity and pulled myself back together after the black days when things went wrong; when direct debits bounced back and I had to ring the neighbour to jump start my car battery, and when loneliness covered me like a shawl. I searched for and discovered tools to help with the anxiety of change and new challenges and exchanged gratitude for despair.

I learned a lot about myself, rediscovered parts that although dusty and creaky from misuse, still worked and I found a sweet, sweet joy in starting each day from a place of authenticity.

My International Women’s Day is a quiet celebration. I raise a coffee mug to the women, for whom life isn’t all roses and concertos. For the grafters, the protectors and homemakers. May you reach your potential, your goals and wake up each morning with love and gratitude in your life.

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