If January was about planning, then February so far is about doing and we've kicked off our workshop series with an Art Talk with a Twist (a behind-the-scenes look at the lives of the Impressionists) and a Business Blogging workshop, which helped lay down the foundations of how to do it and do it right! We're following up shortly with a Modern Calligraphy workshop, so the ABC analogy couldn't slip by me :-)
What has really inspired me these past couple of weeks though is the countless new people I've met, either online or IRL (in real life, for those that don't have teenagers yet). From new mums, to those female businesses helping mums, to women in general. One thing they all share in common is an amazing resilience, a perseverance to keep on doing, even when it gets tough.
@power_ofmum's letter to @hi_mama_letters (a great feed for cheerleading new mums and supporting each other through those early months and years) reminded me of a moment when I was holding my eldest as a newborn, ecstatic to have him, but also so inspired by a newspaper article of a women who'd only really launched her career as a BBC radio producer in her early 40's when her children were pretty much grown. It made the hairs on my arms stand on end. Although that was one of the happiest times of my life, I knew even then, that there would come a time for me and that it wouldn't be too late to start something new. Your life comes in phases, some come all at once, and that can be tough, some take their while to pass, but there's a whole world out there to explore and what an exciting place it is.
Being a woman and having children is a brilliant leveller, whether you're at the start of that, or at the end of that, it messes with your identity and that can be bewildering, but it's also an amazing opportunity for re-discovery, re-invention and a time when the creative juices can really flow. I've met so many women who are busy juggling little children, jobs, elderly relatives, but are still driven to start something new and create a business for themselves, and I'm so inspired by them.
But it isn't just having children that makes women's place in the world an interesting subject. We aren't defined by being mothers, or what jobs we have. Seeing Harriet Harman being interviewed this week, the week celebrating 100 years of women's suffrage in the UK, she mentioned a time when speaking in the Commons that she was told she was a 'silly little girl'. (The only ever female Speaker of the House, Betty Boothroyd, insisted the male MP apologise. Enough said).
So in answer to @social.happy's great post this morning on Instagram, about why we women are so self-deprecating to the point of belittling ourselves and almost not allowing ourselves a voice and a strong, positive identity, I think those outdated attitudes are some of the reasons why.
And so I'm thankful that so much has changed, and as I sit here now, I'm reminded of that article and how it inspired me and suddenly...here I am, finding my way at last.
What are your sources of inspiration? I'd love to hear, please drop a comment below, and in the meantime,
PS Here's the workshop list if you're interested: