Each year, we have one day dedicated to celebrating women all over the world – it’s a day that focuses on the many achievements of women and a day celebrated around the world for more than 100 years. For me this is a time to reflect on what it means to be a woman, what life and work success means to me and ways we can all work towards being better and bringing more to the world in general each and every day.
From the outside, I guess it may appear that I am relatively successful. I work at the top of my profession; I have studied at a high level and I am lucky enough to run a successful business that allows be to balance the demands of being a wife and mother, with a good career. What is interesting though is that I never feel overly successful, rather I feel as if I am simply doing what I need to do each and every day to be my best, to contribute and to try and cram as many things into this limited life as I can. That is the funny thing about success, it is always only relative to the individual, and often for high achievers is always just a stepping stone to the next achievement, goal or outcome.
Rather what I have learnt both personally and chatting to hundreds of women of all ages and backgrounds in my work as a dietitian is that it is not success as such that is important, but as a woman identifying what is really important to you – having a family; maintaining a successful relationship; being a present parent; spending quality time with those most important to you and then being able to leverage your so called ‘success’ to have the freedom to enjoy these things.
As women, we have so many options and we are frequently striving for things, success, achievement but the question is not what do you want per say, rather how do you want to live. It is the way we live and spend our day to day lives, feeling ideally happy and fulfilled that is what really matters, not what we have necessarily done and achieved.
The other observation I frequently reflect on when I spend time with other female friends and colleagues is just how incredibly capable we all are, and what an amazing support network we are able to provide for the other women around us. Each and every day we juggle multiple full time positions, in most cases run the home, work many more hours than we are likely paid for and are still fighting for every dollar we make. Yet, the future looks incredibly bright, when our girls are learning quickly how to be considered equals, to feel confident enough to stand up for what they know and believe in and how to hold our own in a world that heavily favours the opposed gender. I am grateful for the women in my life, both at work and at home who I can trust, rely on and be there to provide the emotional support and listening ears each and every day. This International Women’s Day I will be sharing a glass of bubbles with some of those women and giving ourselves a big pat on the back for all that we do, each and every day.