Today is International Women's Day and while I wouldn't call myself a feminist, I can certainly appreciate a day that focuses on celebrating women.
But, much like my thoughts on Valentines Day, Veterans Day and Thanksgiving, a day is not enough.
I hadn't planned to write this post, but when I walked into work yesterday, I was asked to speak to a class next week on women in leadership.
That got me thinking about my career, leadership experiences and whether I have faced any obstacles simply by virtue of being a woman.
I was raised to work hard, dream big, play fair, speak the truth, all while being kind. Can't say I'm always successful at all of those, but I didn't grow up thinking I was somehow at a disadvantage because I was a girl. Yet another reason I'm so grateful to my parents.
Being smart was cool in our house. I regularly hosted ballet performances or theatrical events that I cooked up in our backyard, and charged a quarter for entry. My mom was usually mortified that I was charging the neighbors to watch me direct my sisters and the neighborhood kids in a rendition of Disney songs, but the neighbors humored me.
My idols were prima ballerinas, Olympic figure skaters, lawyers, realtors, badass journalists, astronauts and my teachers.
Smart, daring, ambitious women were cool and I wanted to be like them.
I'm so glad to see that those kind of women are still rising above the noise of reality television, celebrity gossip and all around nonsense that seems to have crowded out common sense.
As women, we're sometimes our own worst enemy and drown in comparisons. The Lean In movement says women can have it all if they want it, and while I agree, I'd rather raise my chickens and be a solid journalist in a small town where I can see the impact I can have, while also getting involved in the community.
So carry on with all the things that make you awesome. In small towns, on farms, in big cities. Working from home, or in a corporate office. Crafting or designing storm water systems. Keep rocking it out in your corner of the world and then consider taking your awesome on the road. Some of the wisest words I've ever read have come from bloggers I've come to call friends. You all continue to motivate and inspire me.
But don't take my word for it, wise words from wise ladies.
Ladies, today is your day and I just wanted to say that you are smart, talented, insightful, compassionate, creative, nurturing, strong, enduring, capable and all around awesome. For that, I say thank you.