From Dr. Jane's Notebook
Why Celebrate Women's History?
March has been declared Women's History month. For some, this may raise a few eyebrows
as they frown with stereotyped images of the women's movement. For others, this month may
have very personal meaning as they struggle to define the meaning, their goals and
destinations in life.
Much has happened to change the lives of women over the past three decades. Regardless
of one's political views, the truth remains that every woman and girl is faced with the
challenge of defining her approach to life. In the effort to stand on the shoulders of our
mothers, much can be learned from the histories of women who have found their niche and
accomplished their goals. Here are a few more thoughts on the subject.
- We learn from our role models. More than once while growing up, I was
faced with the task of writing an essay on "the person who I admire the most".
Each of these essays helped me to think about the behaviors and qualities that I wanted to
develop for myself. Deciding "how and what" we want to be is an important life
task. As such it is helpful to do a little research!
- We look for inspiration. In their 1983 book, called Women Who Changed
Things, Linda Peavy and Ursula Smith wrote "History offers many examples of
cause-driven women who centered their lives in their work. But women daring to combine
career, marriage and motherhood have primarily been a phenomenon of this century".
Today's women face a complex juggling act in their effort to "do it all". Much
can be learned from the trials and tribulations of others through mentoring, apprenticing
and simply observing these successful women.
- Changes are not just for the young. In her most recent book, Flying
Solo (1994), local co-author and therapist, Dr. Susan Stewart, describes women who she
interviewed in midlife. "...for them, midlife has been a time of renewal... For them,
it is an era dominated by the delicious task of figuring out what they have always wanted
and going after it with a vigor and a certainty of purpose they did not have when they
- Self-Esteem is a continuous quest. The best medicine I have found for
bolstering self-esteem... is learning new things. Each morning presents a new challenge to
explore and discover new ideas. Life is a continuous process of enrichment. As we stretch
beyond yesterday's capacities, we experience the exhilaration of new growth. It takes
energy to set new challenges for ourselves, but through some mysterious feedback loop, the
energy comes back to us and makes us stronger.
- Age is a state of mind. It is possible to grown old while we are still
young, or stay young even as our bodies age. One quality I admire in a wonderful friend of
mine who is an octogenarian, is whenever I hear her say... " I was just born 50 years
too early". As I watch her fight against time to do everything she wants to do in her
life, I am inspired.
Participate in local events. Remember who we are.
ęCopyright, 1995, Jane R. Rosen-Grandon. All rights reserved.
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Last Updated October 25, 1998 by Gary M. Grandon,