Every morning I make a To Do list for the day. It’s a list that can run either long or short depending on my goals, but it’s often a blend of professional and domestic chores. There’s dry cleaning to be picked up, appointments to book or cancel—why can’t I ever make any of these checkups?—and work to be done before I can even think about the much underlined “work out” or “prepare taxes” that keep reappearing on my list.
Yesterday morning, however, I scrapped my To Do list for another kind of exercise: I made a list of women I admire and respect.
The most surprising part of the new activity was how quickly the page started filling up. My mother, my sister, my aunt, my friend who has never let any obstacle get her down, the woman at my gym who lost her husband to cancer after 30 years of marriage yet still has the grace to be grateful for the years she had with him rather than bitter or resentful for those that were stolen from her—these are just a few of the women I know that have or continue to inspire me.
Even thinking about some of the reasons why I find these women so admirable—my mother’s goodness, my sister’s loyalty and my aunt’s generosity—improved my mood and put the often glum and chore-like tone of my daily To Do list in perspective.
In future, I’m going to make a slot for similar reflections on my daily To Do List—god knows, it beats “Change the kitty litter. Finally.”
I encourage you to do the same, and if you want to make your tribute to a beloved female friend, acquaintance or family member official, you can go to Chatelaine’s Women Who Move You site, a charitable campaign that supports the Canadian Women’s Foundation, an organization that raises money to research, fund and initiate programs that help women and girls dig out from under the oppressive weight of poverty, violence and exploitation. Donate $25 and your honoree will receive an e-card letting her know how she’s changed your life. Donate $50 and your tribute to her will be posted on Chatelaine.com as well. For more information, visit the site here.
By celebrating someone that inspires you, you’ll help move women in Canada out of poverty