*** Happy International Women's Day everyone ***
You can see four generations of women in this picture - my mom Karin (standing), my late Ouma Marie (right), my late Ouma Lettie (left) and me - blissfully unaware of the adventure ahead!
Today I am celebrating all the unbelievably amazing women in my life; one in particular: my beautiful mom, Karin.
Mom was 21 when I was born, but this didn't stop her from carving out a successful career - always working hard to support Dad financially. She did work shorter days - to prioritise being a wife and a mom - and used to jokingly say "what most women do between 8am - 5pm, I have to do between 5pm - 8pm"... :))
Mom and Dad started their Accounting & Tax business 20 years ago, and I often call her the CEO (mostly to wind Dad up) but I have to say, I honestly don't know what he would've done without her. I know Dad will be the first one to acknowledge this.
The biggest life lessons Mom taught me have not been through what she said, but through what she did. Mom is my conscience when I am juggling too many balls and need to figure out which ones to drop... This reminds me of the story of Bryan Dyson, the then President and CEO of Coca-Cola Enterprises who famously said:
"Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them - work, family, health, friends and spirit - and you're keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls - family, health, friends and spirit - are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life."
Ouma Marie also taught me many important life lessons, most importantly: kindness, compassion and gratitude. She used to say "if you just take a moment to look around you'll see there is always someone worse off". What a legend... (moment of silence).
I also know these amazing women were plagued by self-doubt every day. Carrying the world on their shoulders and blaming ---> dare I say bullying? <--- themselves for everything, for example: my eating disorder all those years ago. This is why I interrupt my story (about going to rehab) in my book ROAR! How to Tame the Bully Inside & Out to say to Mom:
‘Mom, you are exactly the reason why I am who I am today. You taught me to be strong and independent, and to stand in my power. As a woman in a man’s world you showed me that it is possible to have a successful career and also be an amazing mother and wife. You and Ouma Marie paid it forward for us girls. We can’t be what we can’t see, so thank you.’
We do carry the world on our shoulders - caring for everyone else, often at the expense of our own health and happiness. The biggest lesson I learned three years ago, was to prioritise 'me' on my list of priorities. I learned that if I am not in 'tip top' condition mentally and physically, everyone else suffers. It's all about winning the inner and outer game. You can read more about my story in my book, ROAR! How to Tame the Bully Inside and Out.
GIVE YOURSELF THIS GIFT ON INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY:
START PRIORITISING YOU ON YOUR LIST OF PRIORITIES.
<3 <3 <3