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Aretha. You can’t go wrong with Aretha.

Or women.

I had a long overdue visit with a very good friend last night and what we came away with from our time together that we, as in all women, are amazing.

Before anyone gets their shit in a knot, we both happen to really like men. We have male friends. We get along, in some cases, better with men than we do with women. Which is why we also happen to like each other so much. Of my very best friends they share a number similarities: intelligent, funny, to the point, adverse to bullshit, strong, and pretty. We’re all really pretty. Oh and most of us have a long history of having either more male friends than female or a pretty even split.

I’m getting distracted though from what my point was. What we realized last night is that we as women run the world. From my 18 year old daughter who has firmly got the world by it’s balls to my friend’s 89 year old great-aunt who has a very solid grasp on the earth’s nether regions as well.  The best part about this amazing power, strength, and just all out fantastic-ness is we share it. We use it to build each other up. Sometimes we are so focused on building other people up that before you know it, we’ve worn ourselves down.

We’re shells. We give to our spouses, we give to our children if we have them, we give to our careers, we give to our parents, we give to our girlfriends, the list goes on and on. And we wouldn’t have it any other way. This isn’t some martyr based rant. We forget though, more often than not, that if we give it all away there is nothing left for us. What is okay about that though is that most of us are fortunate in we have women, at the ready, who are able and willing to top us up until we get back to where we need to be.  And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

These are the things are willing to part with though: menstruation. Enough. I’m done with my uterus. And I didn’t need it until I was an adult (although honestly I used mine a touch early on but have some pretty fantastic human beings to show for it). However, now that I”m done with it I would like to be done with the monthly inconvenience of turning into a slightly psychotic crampy bloated bitch. And if anyone asked my husband I’m pretty sure he’d sign a petition or vote yes or whatever was necessary to avoid this oh so special time.

I could also do with out being paid less than men for the same work.

I could do less with buying vehicles, dealing on a mortgage, banking, or any endeavour where the professional in the room talks more to my husband than me because he has a penis.

I could do less with nurses bearing the brunt of mostly male doctors treating them like less than because of the difference of two letters behind their name. Nurses are fucking rockstars. I work with them and respect them immensely, seriously. Before I started my current job I always knew nurses did the lion’s share but I did not know how much of that share involved bodily fluids, angry family members, and holding certain individual’s hands.

I could do less with successful women in a male dominated field having to be concerned that people are muttering behind her back about who did what to whom to get her to where she is today.

Ugh.

Let’s turn the channel back to the positive.

I could do more with my daughter. 18 years old and strong, independent, caring, funny, and a hard worker. She’s driven. She knows what she wants and she will do what takes to get it done. I have been in awe of her since she was very small and routinely yelled “I DO IT.”  at me whenever I attempted to assist her with shoes or something of that nature.  I learned to wait until she realized she needed help and then we carried on and it works that way to this day. She makes me proud every day and surprises me with the depth of her strength, grace,and maturity.

I could do more with my friends. These amazing women who would do whatever I needed it whenever I asked if at all possible. Women who have been my cheerleaders through some very difficult times. Women who know that when I am absolutely losing my shit and swearing every other word that all you have to do is wait, let me finish, and I will be fine. Women who are at the ready when I am beating myself up over my many life’s mistakes and reminding me I’m human and I’m a good person with value. Women who love me. And I them.

I could do more with moms, grandmas, and great-aunties, who love unconditionally and guide wisely. Even when we are ‘grown up’. Who sometimes surprise us with their wisdom and the depth of their love and respect for us when sometimes we don’t feel we deserve it or expected far less because we don’t give ourselves enough credit.

Every year I am learning more about the value of women and my role as one and my relationships with them. From friends I have had for 15 years or more to those I’ve only met recently in Facebook ‘Challenge Groups’. Women I may never meet in person but who applaud, support, and encourage me while I try to not eat my body weight in junk food and get my ass moving. And it’s genuine.

As I left my friend’s house last night, with this assignment in hand (she told me I needed to write this. Write about women and how awesome we are…and so I did, because she’s right), this song was playing in the car. It almost felt like fate. Respect. Respect women. This is not directed to men.  This is directed to all of us. Respect yourself. Take a moment and take stock of your relationships – with your friends, sisters, mothers, aunties, daughters, co-workers. Take a moment and celebrate the power and beauty that comes from women respecting and celebrating each other. And then? Have a glass of wine and revel in truly being Wonder Women (sans weird bra and tiara).

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