Life in Circles: Women getting their boots on.

March 12, 2016
Stephanie Wagner

Stephanie Wagner

Life In Circles, by Stephanie Wagner.

Today, we introduce a new weekly series, Life in Circles, written by Stephanie Wagner. This introductory article sums up the theme of her series:

In late January, a snowstorm moved through Washington D.C. and shut down most of the city. By now, many of you have likely seen the news story where two female Senators, Lisa Murkowski (Republican -Alaska) and Susan Collins (Republican -Maine) showed up for work anyway to officially postpone Senate business until the storm passed.

Interestingly, it was only women who showed up that day. Senator Murkowski is quoted in her remarks stating,  “Perhaps it speaks to the hardiness of women who put on your boots and your hat on and slug through the mess that is out there.”

When discussing this particular incident at my recent book group meeting, we all laughed knowingly. None of us were particularly surprised. The quote of the evening was that “Women just get sh*t done!”  Usually with little fanfare or recognition. They just get up, put on their boots, and get to work.

It is very obvious we have a mess out there to slog through. If we believe what we see in the media, our country is falling apart at the seams. We are increasingly divided and polarized with seemingly no compromise in sight. Our infrastructure is failing from healthcare to education to transportation. We volley insults, backhanding disrespect as if the match point will actually win us anything in the end.

And yet, here in the real world, women are putting on their boots and slogging through the mess.

When my daughter was a toddler, I had a job interview with a local church that was looking for secretarial help. At the last minute, my sitter cancelled. When I called to reschedule, they just told me to bring her along.  All was well until in the middle of the interview, she looked up at me with “that look” – the one every mother knows precedes vomit.

I was in the middle of a sentence – which I never paused – as I scooped her up, hand under her mouth and ran towards the sink. There was not a drop on me, her, or the floor. I finished the interview while disinfecting the church sink, buckled her into her car seat, and off we went.

Women get sh*t done.

And I think it is time for us to start talking about how we do that.

The world needs us to tell our stories, loudly and proudly and quietly and humbly. Those threads that bind us together are the collective boots that will allow us to slog through the mess that we find ourselves in.

We need to hear stories of the women who have faced seething anger, unimaginable injustices, dream-making opportunities, and heart hardening grief.

Who put on their boots and hold their dying child, then go to work after to pay the medical bills.

Who put on their boots as they crawl out of the car they slept in to get to an 8am college class.

Who put on their boots to sit at the head of the table and speak their truth in boardrooms and churches.

Who put on their boots to sit down and finally write that novel, or make that call, or ask for forgiveness.

Who wear those boots to walk into chemo treatments, their spouse’s funeral, the adoption agency, and the women’s shelter.

Who wipe behinds and make lunches and do the dishes and never, ever, go to the bathroom alone.

We are all of those women and more. Our truths are the balm to heal a broken spirit and we all become stronger through that shared wisdom.

Here is our space. Here is our voice. Put on your boots and speak.  


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