Matilda Butler

Becoming a CAN DO Woman – Program #5: What is My Physical Capital

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BECOMING A CAN DO WOMAN – PROGRAM #5: What is My Physical Capital

Becoming a CAN DO Woman – Program #5. This is a new consideration as you move toward becoming a CAN DO woman — your physical capital. When we think of life, we have seven assets, or what we call Life Capitals:

  • Social Capital
  • Physical Capital
  • Emotional Capital
  • Spiritual Capital
  • Financial Capital
  • Temporal Capital

We can examine each and determine how to increase or enhance them. In the previous four blog posts, we considered the importance of social capital — or what we called friendships. Each week provided what we hope was food for thought as well as a special action step to take. 

Becoming a CAN DO Woman Program

Start Now. The First Life Capital – Social Capital – Program 1 

The Need for Social Capital – Friendships – Program 2 

The Many Shapes and Sizes of Social Capital – Friendships – Program 3

Questions and Answers about Social Capital – Program 4

Harness your energyThis week in our Becoming a CAN DO Woman Program, we’re going to explore the second of our seven life capitals — Physical Capital. The first week of a new capital is always the most general. We intend this to give you some new areas to think about. Then we’ll provide you with One Action you can take this week to help you as you move toward becoming a CAN DO Woman–toward becoming the woman you want to be.

WELCOME BACK TO BECOMING A CAN DO WOMAN – PROGRAM #5 

We have researched, coached, and written about ways to become a CAN DO Woman. Ways to take charge of your life. Each blog in this series brings to light a different aspect of how we can change and manage our lives so that we can be more of the type of woman we want to be and move toward the life we want.

In particular, the pandemic has caused many of us to begin the important (re)evaluation of our lives. What do we want to do? Who do we want to be? How can we get unstuck? What is the purpose of our life?

Let’s Get Started With Physical Capital

We are born with physical assetsPhysical Capital

The fundamentals of our Physical Capital are given to us at birth, and much of that inheritance was assembled at the time of conception. Except perhaps for Spiritual Capital, none of the Life Capitals is entirely under our control, and Physical Capital fluctuates more than we wish.

Many people, unfortunately can’t rely on their Physical Capital to be adequate for the active living that the rest of us take for granted. They must nurture and ration what we spend so carelessly.

Define Physical Capital

Physical Capital consists of the proceeds from the initial genetic make-up of the body and from lifelong efforts to nourish and exercise the body for strength, agility, endurance, and reliability.

And the Definition Means…

Walking is a great way to enhance physical capitalWhat Does This Definition Mean? We have absolutely nothing to do with the size of our Physical Capital birthright. Some people acquired an ample inheritance. Others did not. Some people are able to improve their physical capital.

Surprisingly enough, considering the restricted balances of some other Life Capitals that people must contend with, we are collectively a healthy species.

Moreover, as the seven major causes of good health are better understood by more people (genes, environment, nutrition, exercise, relaxation/rest, friendships, and optimistic attitude), we see more examples of deliberate health in which people befriend, so to speak, the six causes they can influence in order to achieve the best health that they are capable of.

JUST ONE ACTION. TAKE JUST ONE!

Once again, we suggest that you take just one action in the coming week. This will help you get started thinking about and improving your physical capital. With your mind tuned to physical capital, you will be better able to determine the level of self-care that you are able (and willing) to provide.

BECOMING A CAN DO WOMAN – PROGRAM #5. HERE’S THIS WEEK’S ACTION

(Once Again) TAKE THE 1 ACTION CHALLENGE FOR BECOMING THE CAN DO WOMAN YOU WANT TO BE

  1. It’s time for you to think about or, even better, write the 5 positive aspects about your health that you inherited — were born with. Be grateful for each of these. For example, I’d write the word longevity in my list. My great aunt lived to be 99 and was just 3 months shy of her 100th birthday. My mother lived a full life to the age of 95. With the improvement of healthcare, I can easily imagine living to 100. This is a valuable inheritance. 
  2. Are there negative physical health issues that you also inherited? Write those down as well. My mother and now my sister had heart problems. That makes me aware of the need to find the physical activities that will help me keep my heart healthy.

CAN DO WOMAN ACTION…IT’S EASY

As we always say, “That’s it.” That is all you need to do this week. As you think about your life, remember that you only have to take one step forward. This week that step is to reflect on and better understand the positive and negative elements of your physical health that you have inherited. 

And while you are doing that, you may be ready to start considering how you can protect the positive elements and work to overcome or effectively deal with the negative elements you have inherited.

BECOMING A CAN DO WOMAN…

By now you know that taking simple actions will not change you overnight. But you are now started along the path toward the life you want — to being the person you want. You will have taken another action. Hopefully, you can begin to see how physical capital is distinct from but also works with your social capital. We’ll talk more about that in the next blog.

As you go forward with this program, remember to continue previous steps taken. Keep up the valuable friends. Don’t let yourself get pulled back into the harmful friendships that tore you down rather than built you up!

And now…write that list of the good and bad physical capital that you inherited when you were born. Even this simple task prepares your mind to take positive action on your current state of physical capital.

Matilda ButlerBecoming a CAN DO Woman – Program #5: What is My Physical Capital

Celebrate 101 Years of Women’s Right to Vote

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Celebrate 101 Years of Women’s Right to Vote

Meet Victoria Claflin Woodhull and Nannie Helen Burroughs, two suffragists

Before August passes by, we want to honor and celebrate 101 years of women’s right to vote. As you probably know, this all started back on June 4, 1919 when the language for a 19th Amendment to the US Constitution was passed by Congress. The next step was for the amendment to be ratified by 36 state legislatures.

The final state, Tennessee, ratified the amendment on August 18, 1920. Beginning on that date women had the right to vote.

Nobody “Gave” Women the Right to Vote

Notice, I didn’t say “gave women” the right to vote because tens of thousands of women worked hard to achieve their goal. They marched, protested, spoke, and educated both women and men about the need for suffrage. Achieving this milestone required a lengthy and difficult struggle; victory took decades of agitation and protest.
So go ahead and celebrate 101 years of women’s right to vote. Just remember that suffrage, like many important causes, requires work.

But Not All Women

The 19th amendment prohibited states from denying the right to vote on the basis of sex. It said nothing about Jim Crow laws in effect at the time that denied African Americans, both males and females, the right to vote for a number of reasons. So while white women could vote beginning in late 1920, many Black American females could not vote until after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Let’s Also Celebrate 50 Years of Women’s Equality Day

In 1971, Congress designated August 26th as Women’s Equality Day to celebrate our accomplishment. It is perhaps more accurate to say it is the celebration of achieving advancement of women’s rights towards quality with men. The day is hopefully used to create an awareness of progress made and progress to be made.

Who Called for Women’s Equality Day?

If you are old enough, you may recall the name of Bella Abzug from New York. She was known as a no-nonsense women who was fierce in defending her beliefs. She was often called “Battling Bella”. Bella was known for always wearing a large hat. It was her signature look. But when the Sergeant at Arms of the US House of Representatives asked Bella to remove her hat, she did. Her supporters could not believe this and asked her why? She replied, “I choose my battles.”

We have Women’s Equality Day thanks to Congresswoman Bella Abzug. She introduced a resolution to designate August 26 as Women’s Equality Day. Nixon was the first president to issue a proclamation to declare August 26 Women’s Equality Day. Nixon wrote in his proclamation:

“The struggle for women’s suffrage, however, was only the first step toward full and equal participation of women in our Nation’s life. In recent years, we have made other giant strides by attacking sex discrimination through our laws and by paving new avenues to equal economic opportunity for women. Today, in virtually every sector of our society, women are making important contributions to the quality of American life. And yet, much still remains to be done”.

And that was 1972. There have been setbacks as well as steps forward since then. But all of us can make a difference — both in our own lives as well as in the lives of others.

Rosie the Riveter and Wendy the Welder are Also Beneficiaries of the Suffrage Movement

Rosie the Riveter OrnamentWe’ve been accomplishing the seemingly impossible ever since.

During WW2, we saw so many women excel. For example, Rosie the Riveter is a product of the suffragists. She accomplished so much to support the war effort, knowing her actions of courage and strength were made possible by her role in civilian life.

 

CAN DO Woman - Wendy the Welder Ornaments

Meet Wendy the Welder, Rosie the Riveter’s Cousin

Don’t forget Wendy the Welder. She’s another woman who showed empowerment through her work in shipyards and aircraft factories.

These, of course, are only two of the millions of CAN DO women who inspire us every day to reach our potential.

YES! You Are Also a Beneficiary of the Suffrage Movement

Please, take a moment out of your busy day to thank the suffragists who fought for your right to vote. And then reflect on you own accomplishments.

Congratulations!

We congratulate you and know that you will do even more in the days, weeks, months and years ahead. For now, remember…

We Did It! … And We’ll Keep on Moving Forward and Making Progress.

Matilda ButlerCelebrate 101 Years of Women’s Right to Vote

Anatomy of Wendy the Welder’s Employment Badge

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Rosie the Riveter and Her Collar PinIt All Started with Rosie the Riveter and Her Collar Pin

Yes, Wendy the Welder’s Employment Badge actually started, at least for us, with Rosie the Riveter and her collar pin. How did that help us with the anatomy of Wendy the Welder’s Employment Badge?

First a Bandana and Then a Collar Pin

Rosie the Riveter Authentic BandanaWhen we first started selling Rosie bandanas, we were thrilled with the results of our research into Rosie the Riveter. We found a way to replicate her red and white polkadots. They weren’t in regular rows and columns. They were random.

Some people speculate the random pattern was based on the bandanas worn by Women Ordnance Workers (WOW). Their bandanas had a random pattern of round white bombs. J. Howard Miller, the artist of the We Can Do It! poster, never talked about his inspiration.

Our Customers Started Asking…

…well actually, they were begging us to create Rosie’s employment badge once they had our Rosie bandana. The badge is the one you see on her collar.

But we weren’t going to do that unless our research would enable us to have an authentic one, with all the right details.

And so our research began. First we looked closely at the collar button in the We Can Do It! poster. Although it was only a sketch, it was enough to lead us to an original ID pin.

Rosie the Riveter Westinghouse Collar PinHow? We went to the government archives and found one of the few known  badges worn by an employee at the Westinghouse Electric Service Company. That’s where J. Howard Miller was when he drew the now famous poster. As you may know, it was only supposed to be posted for two weeks in February 1943 — morale booster for employees. It was about 30 years later that the poster became an icon of the feminist movement.

Final Details to Rosie’s Badge

All that was left was for us to create a detailed design of the original with a black-and-white photo of Rosie in the center. Because details matter, we even removed the employment badge from Rosie’s collar since she wouldn’t have had it on in her employment photo!

It took us almost two years before we were satisfied with the design and the quality of our Rosie Collar Pin…hand enameled and with photo insert.

And How Did That Help Us with the Anatomy of Wendy the Welder’s Employment Badge?

Original Wendy Button and Our Replica

Original employment badge on the left and our reworked replica on the right.

With the experience of developing Rosie’s badge behind us, we knew how to begin our investigation of Wendy’s ID badge. Research is key to all of our products. 

First we looked for the various factories that relied on welders to make the war product. Welders were used in the production of airplanes and ships, among other products. We decided to use a welder’s employment badge of a woman who worked on ships. Then we chose the Richmond Shipbuilding Corporation and found an interesting set of badges — all quite different from the Rosie collar badge.

What’s Different?

The welder’s badges were:

  • Wendy the Welder and her Employment BadgeMuch bigger than the collar pins. The one we choose was about 2 1/4 inches. In contract, the Rosie collar pin was 1 1.4 inches. A big difference.
  • These pins were designed to be worn on the chest, not the collar.
  • The one we chose as our model was set on a dark blue background.
  • And most amazingly to us — it shows a height scale behind the employee.

The Background Height Scale is Authentic

Wendy Welder's Employment BadgeYes, these look a bit like mug shots. But the height scale provided another means of identifying an employee.

We thought maybe we had chosen a rare or unusual employment badge, so we looked at a lot of WW2 employment badges and discovered that the height scale was more typical than we thought. In fact, Rosie the Riveter’s Westinghouse badge was the rarity.

This Wendy ID Badge Is NOT a Collar Pin

What About this Wendy Badge vs. a Rosie Collar Pin?

We reviewed many photos of women working in factories during WW2. We particularly looked for the welders. And what we discovered surprised even us. Wendys wore their badges on their chest. Not the collar. So that is what we have created. 

Hope you find our explanation of the anatomy of Wendy the Welder’s Employment Badge to be as interesting as the research for it was to us.

Want to find more information on items Wendy wore? Click on the item below.

Wendy and her welding goggles

Already Our Customers Are In Love With Wendy

And the reviews are starting to come in. Customers love the new Wendy costume:

• “Cute”

• “Original”

  • “Love It!”

Right now you can enjoy introductory price savings. PLUS, you can use Etsy Discount Code to save an additional 10%: WENDY10.

Matilda ButlerAnatomy of Wendy the Welder’s Employment Badge

Becoming a CAN DO Woman – Program #4

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Becoming a CAN DO Woman – Program #4: Questions and Answers about Friendships

Quote about friendshipFriendships are vital to our wellbeing. They can take us up or bring us down. They can inspire us to be more than we imagined or they can hold us bound to a narrow view of the world. Yes, friendships are about so much. And they are an important part of becoming a CAN DO woman.

This week in our Becoming a CAN DO Woman Program, we have some questions and answers about friendships. We invite you to read what other women told us about this year of the pandemic and their friendships. Then we’ll give you the next One Action you can take this week to help you as you move toward becoming a CAN DO Woman.

Welcome back to our blog. Becoming a CAN DO Woman – Program #4 

Three FriendsWe write about ways to become a CAN DO Woman. Ways to take charge of your life. Each blog brings to light a different aspect of how we can change and manage our lives so that we move toward the life we want.

Lately, we have been writing about one of the first aspects of a CAN DO Woman — understanding/ managing/utilizing friendships. Friendships and social capital lessons from the pandemic are the focus of this blog. Friends, in our discussion, includes both family and close acquaintances — people we feel affection for. Although family is often excluded in formal definitions of friends, we have included them here as our lives intersect with theirs and their opinions, in similar ways to how we intersect with our friends.

If you missed the three previous blogs on friendships — what we call Social Capital — here are the links:

Part 1: Becoming a CAN DO Woman Program

Part 2: Becoming a CAN DO Woman Program

Part 3: Becoming a CAN DO Woman Program

Friendships and social capitalIn some of our blogs, we hope to help you concentrate on ways you can become the CAN DO Woman you want to be. In other blogs we also focus on strong CAN DO Women, telling their stories. These stories can inspire us in our own lives. We also have blogs that highlight one of our CAN DO Women inspiration sources such a Eleanor Roosevelt, Amelia Earhart, and Sally Ride. And in still other blogs, we bring to light amazing women we SHOULD know about but don’t such as Bessie Stringfield, Nannie Helen Burroughs, and No Teno Quah Grace Thorpe

Taken as a whole, all of these blogs have something in common. They help us see action steps we can take toward becoming strong, empowered women. They also help us understand that every courageous CAN DO Woman has had to overcome difficulties and problems in their own lives. No one becomes CAN DO without work.

BUT WHAT ABOUT FRIENDSHIPS AND ROSIECENTRAL READERS?

Friends help each otherRecently, we reached out to some of our followers to see how the pandemic has influenced their friendships — either increasing or decreasing social capital, improving or worsening it.

We asked those willing to respond to help us understand their thoughts. In spite of constant talk of returning to “normal”, we know the pandemic has changed us in so many ways. We’ll never really be the same. We may get back to normal, but not the one we knew before. So rather than pushing the changes under a floor board, we decided to place the changes in our friendships in a large beautiful bowl and display them on a stand for all to see. Or, at least, for us to see. Let’s acknowledge the changes and try to grow from the insights the changes have brought.

Here’s What We Asked

We asked followers to —THINK ABOUT YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY. Just below each of the three questions we asked, we have listed some of the many responses. We hope they get you thinking about your friendships — your Social Capital and how you want to use it in your unfolding CAN DO life.

  • In what ways did the pandemic change your interactions with family and friends?

Responses —

I have lots of friends both in my at-work and after-work lives. The pandemic changed all of that. I barely saw any of them since mid-March 2020. This really saddens me.

“So much time has gone by. I definitely lost some of my friendships. Especially those that were fragile or were new.

“I like to joke that I have a “hug deficit.” But it really isn’t a joke. There is no way to make up for all the time that has passed.

“I live on the opposite coast from my parents so I am used to not seeing them. The pandemic, at first, didn’t seem all that different. But as the months crept by, as Thanksgiving and Christmas came and went without my siblings or my parents, I realized how much COVID-19 was taking from me.

“I never really thought about friends until Covid struck. They were just always there. We talked about frivolous things (although I never thought of it that way). With fewer people to talk to and less time to talk, our conversations have become more thoughtful.

  • What are positive outcomes in the way you now think about friends and family?

Responses —

“Gratitude. I’m an introvert so I didn’t really miss not being around people. But over time, I keep returning to the word ‘Grateful.” I am grateful for the kindnesses of my friends and really cherish them. I may not have many, but they sustain me.

“I tend to sort of collect people. But covid has taught me to stop using up my life on people unless I can consider them “real” friends who value me and whom I value.

“I’m no longer as snarky as I was. I had a friend who died and I regret all the ways I didn’t support her over the past few years.

“I never imagined that zoom could bring me closer to friends. Friendships, real friendships, seem to carry right through my computer screen during zoom calls.

“I like that I found out that friends are part of my mental health. This discovery helped me realize the importance of both physical and mental health. When I can finally be around friends again, I want to combine both ph and mh by suggesting walks, maybe yoga classes together, or something else my friends suggest. Friendship needs to be about more than a glass of white wine after work.

  • What are the negative outcomes in terms of your friendships?

Responses —

“Simply being apart was hard. Facetime helped, but it really wasn’t the same.

“Couldn’t give (or receive hugs) when I had problems. Physical contact matters.

“No negative outcomes. Friends that drifted away probably needed to drift away.

“My parents live in a rural community and still think Covid is a hoax. My father, in particular, just thinks it is a plot. He and I have not spoken in more than a year. I hope this isn’t a permanent change — but it may be. Fortunately, I still have a good relationship with my mother — she’s my rock.

JUST ONE ACTION. TAKE JUST ONE!

With each of our Becoming a CAN DO Woman Program blogs, we end by suggesting you take just one action in the coming week.

Becoming a CAN DO Woman – Program #4. HERE’S THIS WEEK’S ACTION

TAKE THE 1 ACTION CHALLENGE FOR BECOMING THE CAN DO WOMAN YOU WANT TO BE

  1. It’s time for you to think about or, even better, write down the one most positive way and then the one most negative way that the pandemic has changed your understanding of friendships — of your social capital.
  2. Reach deep. When you think of friendships remember your friends are part of who you are. They make up part of your world and are a percentage of your assets. In addition they represent part of what you represent. The pandemic has highlighted the value and/or the lack of value in some of your friendships. Ponder all of this as you write down the one positive and the one negative insight you have gained about friends during the pandemic.

CAN DO WOMAN ACTION…IT’S EASY

That’s it. That is all you need to do this week. Just take one step forward. This week that step is to evaluate one positive and the negative aspect you have learned about friendships during the pandemic. Hopefully the comments of other women will have provided insights for you.

BECOMING A CAN DO WOMAN…

As we say each week, taking simple actions will not change you overnight. But you are now started along the path toward the life you want — to being the person you want. You will have taken another action. You can begin to see how different kinds of friendships help you to expand your horizon and how different types of friendships will help you achieve your goals.

Matilda ButlerBecoming a CAN DO Woman – Program #4

CAN DO Rosie the Riveter Talks about Wendy the Welder’s Costume

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CAN DO Rosie the Riveter Talks about Wendy the Welder’s Costume

Why does CAN DO Rosie the Riveter talk about Wendy the Welder’s costume? A couple of days ago, we blogged about Rosie the Riveter’s cousin, Wendy the Welder. We heard from several people that they would love to know more about Wendy and the components of her costume. So, here goes…

First There Was Rosie

Rosie the Riveter

By David Mong, Photographer

Our Rosie gear has become popular with women and kids around the world. They love Rosie, and they also love our attention to detail. We research (often in the National Archives) all the details of our items. Historical accuracy is important to us.

Even professional photographers like to use our gear as shown by this photo by David Mong.

 

Red and White Polkadot Bandana

Rosie the Riveter Authentic BandanaRosie the Riveter is well known. We started with her distinctive red and white polkadot bandana. Through our research, we found that the accurate size was 27 inches square and the pattern of white dots was random — not in rows and columns.

BUT, We Were Stumped on How We Could Honor WENDY with Something Special

Wendy the Welder at work

One of the 1000s of Wendy’s at work during WW2

There were tens of thousands of women working during WW2 as welders — welding ships and planes and tanks. The challenge for us was to find out more about the hard-working Wendys. Then honor them with a fabulous costume. What would put it over the top? And that’s when it hit us…the goggles!

CAN DO Rosie the Riveter Talks about Wendy the Welder

Welders Need Protection When “Sewing with Fire”

Riveting takes strength and stamina. Rosies were good at that. But Wendy was working with a welding torch. Our favorite Wendy quote is, “Welding is like sewing with fire.” What a great image that creates.

Welding Goggles Have Unique Safety Properties

Wendy the Welder with her goggles

WW2 women welding. Just look at those sparks.

Wendy protected herself from hot sparks with gloves and long sleeves. She protected her eyes against the bright flame with special goggles.

We looked at hundreds of photos of women welding. The WW2 pictures helped us see her work environment and the clothing she wore. From various photos we even drew two Wendys and made them into our inspirational doll ornaments.

Wendy as an Inspirational Doll?

CAN DO Woman - Wendy the Welder Ornaments

Meet Wendy the Welder, Rosie the Riveter’s Cousin

I know, we’re talking about our Wendy the Welder costume accessory kit. But, we’re so excited about our two Wendy ornament dolls, that we wanted to show you the images.

And those photos we looked at? We examined many — both photos of real women welders as well as several WW2 posters showing women welders. We took different elements from the images and created two composites. The major inspiration for one of the dolls was Gladys Theus and for the other was Katharine Booth.

Goggles, Goggles, Goggles!

Wendy with safety goggles

Wendy has the dark lens down to protect her eyes.

Wendy flipped the dark safety lenses down just when she was about to weld. Trust me. The dark flip-down lens are REALLY dark. That means they protect eyes.

The goggles (yes, we got red ones because they are so cute) are actual welding goggles. That means the dark glasses are probably too dark to flip down and think you can see to walk around. But if you decide to push the goggles up on your head, you may decide to leave the dark lenses in place.

 

And the Rest of the Time…

Wendy the Welder wears goggles when working

Wendy the Welder shows her goggles with the dark lens up

The rest of the time, Wendy used the clear lenses. In many photos you will see Wendy and her sister welders walking with the dark lenses flipped up so she can see through the clear glass. 

The goggles are a reminder of just how dangerous the work was. But Wendy, like Rosie, was up for the challenge.

She was a CAN DO woman.

 

Be a Wendy the Welder this Halloween

You can be a CAN DO Woman this Halloween. And remember to use Discount Code: WENDY10.

Buy Now Introductory Pricing — Get our Rosie the Riveter’s Cousin — Wendy the Welder’s — Costume Accessory Kit

Next time, we’ll discuss the research that helped us design the Wendy the Welder employment badge. Authentic in all its details. 

CAN DO Rosie the Riveter Talks about Wendy the Welder — Hope you enjoyed learning about Wendy’s welding goggles!

Matilda ButlerCAN DO Rosie the Riveter Talks about Wendy the Welder’s Costume

Inspiration as Rosie the Riveter Introduces Wendy the Welder

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Inspiration as Rosie the Riveter Introduces Wendy the Welder

Inspiration for you as Rosie the Riveter introduces Wendy the Welder. Plus, Rosie has gathered inspirational quotes from women who worked during World War II.

Rosie the Riveter says I Want YouMeet Wendy the Welder

She worked shoulder to shoulder with me. And now there are Halloween, cosplay, and reenactment costume kits for both of us.

Did I say Halloween? Yes, it will be here before we know it. And I’ve talked Kendra and Matilda into making a special introductory price PLUS an EXTRA 10% discount code ( WENDY10) on the fabulous new Wendy Costume Kit.

Now it is your choice — BE A ROSIE or BE A WENDY.

Wow, where is this year going?

It’s August! And even though we’re in the Dog Days of Summer,  we can already see Halloween just over the horizon. .

 

I want you to meet my cousin—Wendy the Welder. In her honor, RosieCentral (AKA Kendra and Matilda) has developed a unique new costume.

Rosie the Riveter introduces Wendy the Welder

Wendy the Welder Costume Kit

It’s a fresh view on your favorite Rosie costume. Wendy the Welder has her own:

  • • blue and white bandana,
  • • authentic employment badge, and
  • • her own name patch
  • • Plus goggles! Real welding goggles.

“Welding,” said one Wendy, “is like sewing with fire!”

Rosie the Riveter introduces Wendy the Welder

It’s hard to believe, but almost 80 years ago, Wendy and Rosie went to work!

AND Just imagine. Halloween 1941—80 years ago—the world was on the brink of World War 2. In just a little more than a month (December 7th, 1941) the attack on Pearl Harbor would pull the US into war.

And with the war, millions of women mobilized, taking up the jobs vacated by the men at war. In other words, women’s lives were about to change…FOREVER.

Who is Wendy?

Like Rosie, Wendy is more than a fictional hero. She’s an icon for the women who took on the challenging job of welding. It wasn’t an easy job. Many welders carried the burns on their skin throughout their lives. Proving, once again, that women can do a man’s job. As one woman welder said, “Welding is a lot like sewing with fire.”

And now Wendy has her own costume. She’s earned it.

This year, you and a friend OR you and a daughter OR you and a sister can celebrate Halloween together as Rosie the Riveter and Wendy the Welder.

Words of Inspiration from WW2 Working Women

Oveta Culp Hobby – Words to Inspire

Women who stepped up were measured as citizens of the nation, not as women. This was a people’s war, and everyone was in it.Colonel Oveta Culp Hobby

During WW2, Oveta Hobby organized the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps. In January 1945, Hobby was awarded the Army’s Distinguished Service Medal for her work. She later served as the first cabinet-level secretary of the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare. She was an inspirational woman to many. 

A purpose gives meaning to life. It is like the hub in a wheel — with every spoke fitted into it to make a strong and perfect circle. Without such a hub, spokes will not radiate evenly and your wheel will lack strength, will tend to break apart on the first good bump it hits. Given a strong hub, a strong purpose, a person can take a surprising number of shocks and bumps on the outside rim without sustaining permanent damage. ~Oveta Culp Hobby

Oveta Hobby was not just a strong woman during WW2, she continued to make a contribution throughout her life. Her words are meant to inspire us to see ourselves as fulfilling important roles throughout our lives.

Anonymous – Words of inspiration

Although we don’t know the name of the woman who spoke the following words, we can take inspiration from her.

I knew I was a part of making history…It gave you a real high, because you knew real things could come out of it.World War II Anonymous Woman

WASP – Words of Inspiration from the Women Airforce Service Pilots

You don’t need legislation to prove something…you can be whatever you set your heart and head to be, and don’t let anybody tell you can’t be, because 1078 women pilots did it in World War II. If the nation ever again needs them, American women will respond. ~Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP)

Wendy the Welder and Rosie the Riveter

Wendy Welders at work on ship

Rosie the Riveter and Wendy the Welder

Two WW2 Wendy the Welders

Rosie the Riveter and Wendy the Welder

Wendy has a good sense of humor

As we always say, WE CAN DO IT…PASS IT ON!

And now we can add Wendy’s motto: “WE DID IT!” And you can too.

If you would like to check out our new Wendy the Welder costume kit, just CLICK HERE.

BE SURE TO USE THE DISCOUNT CODE:  WENDY10

Matilda ButlerInspiration as Rosie the Riveter Introduces Wendy the Welder

CAN DO Woman Recipe – Blonde Chick Bar Cookies

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CAN DO Woman Recipe – Blonde Chick Bar Cookies

What’s with CAN DO Woman Recipe – Blonde Chick Bar Cookies?

Let me begin by saying I’m not a blonde and have never thought of myself as a “chick.” But when a recipe produces a lovely light-colored bar cookie that is made with chick (wait-for-it) peas, I thought the title for this CAN DO Woman Recipe would be just perfect.

CAN DO Woman Recipe with CAN DO Attitude

My passion for making desserts (lots of desserts) started a few years ago. We used to try to celebrate each person’s birthday as close to the actual date as possible. We now celebrate family birthdays twice a year. Even for a small family, it got to be too much to get everyone together for every birthday — even just the Oregon family.

So along the way, we decided to celebrate birthdays that occur between January 1 and June 30 all on one day and then celebrate the July through December birthdays later in the year. No one got featured and no one got ignored.

But Which Dessert to Make?

With multiple birthdays being celebrate on one day, how would I choose what dessert to make?

Everyone had her or his favorite — apple pie for one, flourless chocolate cake for another, thumbprint cookies for a third, fresh strawberry cupcakes for a fourth, and the list goes on.

Then I got an idea. An idea that only a slightly crazy CAN DO Woman would get.

A Dessert for Each Person (Shareable, of course)

Surreptitiously, I found out the favorite dessert for each person. I intended to learn the favorite cookie, but then things almost got out of hand as nobody knew why I was asking. Hence a list that included cakes and pies and cookies.

But that was just fine. I really did want each person to feel special with individual attention and not just my own favorite dessert.

Six Desserts. REALLY!

That meant I now prepare six desserts for each of these events. And once that became the pattern, I found it hard to resist having multiple desserts for all kinds of get togethers. Even today, as we anticipate the visit from Arizona family, I’m trying to restrict myself to three desserts — Nutella Stuffed Chocolate Cake (the favorite of our Arizona son who soon has a birthday), Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes (the favorite of our only granddaughter but a dessert that is now a favorite of several family members), and Blonde Chicks Bar Cookies. I am holding back on several more only because I am running out of time and still need to finish cleaning the house.

CAN DO Woman Recipe – Blonde Chick Bar Cookies

CAN DO Woman Recipe for Blonde Chicks Bar CookiesI created the Blonde Chick Bar Cookies for a family get together a few months ago. I wasn’t sure if anyone would like them. But when someone asked, “Is it all right if I eat the last one?” I know I had a winner.

Enjoy. 

If you make the recipe, please let me know if you like them.

Substitutions?

Sure. You can use any nut butter you like or any seed butter if you are avoiding nuts. I like the combination of almond butter plus almond flour plus almond oil. But you can make substitutions. Peanut butter is a stronger flavor and will take over the bar cookie. But that can be good too.

Almond oil? This is just a small conceit. Any mild flavored oil will work. You only use 1 tablespoon, after all. But when I open a new container of almond butter, there is always a lot of almond oil on top. Rather than mixing it in, I often pour off most of it into a small jar. That’s what I use in this recipe.

As you know from some of my previous recipes, I continue to be influenced by my mother. In this case, I can almost hear her say, “Waste not. Want not.”

Interested in Other Recipes?

CAN DO Woman Recipe - Blonde Chick Bar Cookies

Yummy bar cookies. Easy to make. Vegan and gluten free
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time22 mins
Total Time32 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Bar Cookie Recipe, Almonds, Easy to make, Vegan, Gluten Free
Servings: 12

Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas
  • ½ cup almond butter
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp almond oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ cup almond flour
  • ¼ cup tapioca starch
  • ¼ tsp soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds Dry roasted preferred

Instructions

  • Add chickpeas, almond butter, almond oil, maple syrup, vanilla to food processor and blend until smooth
  • Add almond flour, tapioca flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and blend.
  • Pour into lightly oiled 8 inch square pan.
  • Add dry roasted, unsalted, almond slivers in a pattern over the top.
  • Bake for about 22 minutes until dry and slightly "cracked" on the top.
  • Remove from oven, cool, cut into 12 or 16 pieces.
Matilda ButlerCAN DO Woman Recipe – Blonde Chick Bar Cookies

Friendship Comes in All Shapes and Sizes – CAN DO Woman #3

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Friendship Comes in All Shapes and Sizes: What This Means for Your CAN DO Life

Friendship and Social CapitalWelcome to the third week of our 12 month CAN DO Woman Program. Each week we discuss an aspect of the Seven Life Capitals that will help you move forward to become the woman you want to be. Each week also includes just one action step. We want to help you bring change in your life without feeling overwhelmed. This week, we’ll find examples of friendship that comes in all shapes and sizes.

If case you missed the previous weeks programs and their action steps:

POST-PANDEMIC FRIENDSHIPS AND DISCONTINUITIES

This week we’re continuing to discuss the value of Social Capital—what we typically call friendships. Friendships serve different purposes. Let’s look first at comments from two women about how important friends have been in their lives. Then we’ll look at a broken friendship. 

Discontinuities in our lives are often hard to handle. You get fired from a job. You move to a new city. Even positive discontinuities, big changes, may be hard to absorb. You get married. You have a child. Etc. Discontinuities, both good ones and bad ones, can provide valuable insights and opportunities for change. For example, no one would say that COVID had a positive side to it. So even though we would never have thought about it in a positive way, we can still find insights from our one-plus years of a pandemic that turned our world upside down.

After a year of isolation from family and friends, you may notice that some friends have slipped out of your usual interaction pattern. Stop and think about this. Do you realize that there are some people you don’t feel the need to reach out to even now when you could? Interaction patterns such as weekly or monthly get togethers weren’t possible during the pandemic. And some friendships may be in the dust bin.

This is the perfect time to review your friendships and see which ones don’t need to be resumed. Maybe some friends were not truly supportive of you. But it was difficult to break the pattern of seeing them if you regularly interacted with them.

And, at the same time, consider friendships that have become “cracked” or simply “unused.” Maybe you want to repair or renew or those friendships.

Let’s look at three stories of friendships.

Friendship InspirationHow Women Manage Their Friendships —Their Social Capital

Almost every woman I have interviewed or coached over the years voluntarily mentions the importance of friends and friendships in their lives. Marian Rosen’s comment illustrates the support that friendships provide her.

Friendship Comes in all Shapes and Sizes: Marian Rosen’s Story

“My friendships with women have been enormously important and supportive. For example, when I had breast cancer my women friends rallied around and saw to it that I never went to a doctor’s appointment alone. The night I was in the hospital for surgery, two of my friends replanted my tiny garden. They were still digging and putting in new annuals and perennials at midnight. It was a surprise for me when I came home the next day. That was great. It was such a loving way to support me.”

Friendship Comes in all Shapes and Sizes: Sarah Reingold’s Story

In a similar vein, Sarah Reingold points to the fulfilling role that friendships have played in her life.

“When I graduated from high school, I thought I would have a life companion. Instead I have lifelong friends. I am so fulfilled by the number and the depth of these friendships.”

Friendship Comes in all Shapes and Sizes: Renee’s Story is Different

Marian and Sarah’s stories showcase some of the kinds of friendships we all want to have. When I hear the world friend or listen to someone talk about their friends, I always imagine smiles and sunshine and laughter and hugs. But there is another side to friendship. Renee Howard Cassese published her story of an end to a friendship in the anthology Tales of Our Lives: Reflection Pond.  She gave me permission to share with you a few paragraphs from it.

In Burying Sara Teasdale Renee writes:

“Several days after my friendship with Joan disintegrated, due entirely to my own immoral and erratic behavior, I came home from work and found a brown paper bag on my front stoop. I had no doubt Joan had left the bag and I was both frightened and curious to see what was inside. I carried the bag into the kitchen, made a mug of chamomile tea, sat down at the table, and peeked into the dark interior.

“I found a few of the gifts I had given her over the years of our friendship including an out-of-print and rare edition of a collection of Sara Teasdale’s poems. Joan is a poet, as I am, and she adores Teasdale’s verses. I can recall how her eyes glinted when she read those poems out loud. Her musical voice lent each verse a quality of magic.

“I’d spent weeks searching for that book to give her as a birthday present, finally tracking it down in a tiny rare-books store. I paid dearly for it but far less than I got back seeing the delight and surprise in her warm brown eyes and the curve of her smile that framed her perfectly straight white teeth. The hug she’d given me was one of many soul caressing gestures between two close friends.

Renee Faces the End of a Friendship

“I held the book in my hands, forced myself to open it to the title page and read the inscription I’d written so many months before. I stroked the blue ink as if it were a magic lamp that could resurrect our friendship. As my tears fell on the page the words blurred into lost memories. I kept the book for a few weeks, periodically thumbing through it and reading the poems as I recalled the details and events of our time together. But I had to move on.

“Joan and I loved going to the beach and spent many delightful and relaxing summer days swimming in the ocean, walking on the dunes, and napping on sheets beneath the scalding sun. That’s why I chose the beach as the place I would bury that collection of poetry, along with a braid of happy, sad and regretful memories.”

CAN DO Woman Friendship Lesson

Friendships Comes in All Shapes and SizesMarian, Sarah, and Renee’s stories describe different kinds of friendships and different points in the relationships. You can probably think of other types of friendships—such as ones that remain dormant for years or even decades and when renewed seem as if only a week has gone by. In next week’s blog, we’ll see what behavioral scientists say about categories of friendships, what they mean in our lives, and how they benefit us.

But for now, let’s see how we can use the stories of these three women to pry our way into our own set of friendships. (Examining friendships isn’t always easy but doing so can help to move us forward.)

TAKE YOUR 1 CAN DO WOMAN ACTION THIS WEEK

Last week, your one action involved finding a friendship that had been neglected and reviving it.

Let’s pick up the other side of that coin. Today, or during this week, take just one action to decide if there is a friendship you will not continue. Yes, last week’s action was much more fun than this one. That’s why we put the actions in this order. Restarting or nurturing a friendship is a desirable action. Recognizing a “bad” friendship (one that harms you or simply does not support your goals or drains you) is a necessary action.

But Before We Get to this Week’s Action…

…Consider Marie Kondo, Her Approach to Tidying, and Our Look at Friendships

Think of this week’s action step as a variation on a Marie Kondo exercise. In her method that she calls KonMari, Kondo focuses on tidying all the possessions in our life. But KonMari isn’t about throwing things away (although that is the end result, of course). Instead, Kondo focuses on having you look at each item and deciding if it brings you joy. If it does, keep it. If it doesn’t, express your gratitude for it and for the way it helped your life. Then let it go.

Marie Kondo also brings up a related concept that still focuses on gratitude. If you decide to let go of something you never used, you can express your gratitude for it because it taught you that it (and other objects like it) have no purpose or need in your life. You don’t need to buy that type of object again.

Why does Marie Kondo focus on Tidying?

Kondo focuses on tidying NOT because she thinks it is good to have a tidy living space just for the sake of good organization. She contends “the question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.”

Similarly, we can apply a variation of KonMari to “friends” instead of “things.”. If a friend brings you joy, definitely continue the friendship. If the friend does not, express your gratitude for the friend (to yourself), but be willing to let it go. There is at least as much to be learned from friendships that didn’t work as those that do.

Why?

When we determine who we want in our lives, we are determining the type of person we want to be.

ACTION: HERE’S THIS WEEK’S

1 ACTION CHALLENGE

FOR BECOMING THE CAN DO WOMAN YOU WANT TO BE

  1. Get out your list (physical or mental) of friends — however you define friendship. (This builds on last week’s action challenge.)
  2. Each person who brings you joy and happiness when you think of her is someone who belongs in your life. Express your gratitude for that person and the relationship. It is good to continue to invest in the relationship.
  3. Each person who does not bring a feeling of joy should no longer be a relationship you invest in. As you begin to loosen the bonds of that friendship, you can still be grateful for it. That particular friendship has taught you much.
  4. It is likely that no one has a set of perfect friendships where all of them should be maintained. You might. And in this case, be incredibly grateful. And, for you, discovering what a good set of friends you have will be this week’s action step. But if you find it is time to let go of a friendship or multiple friendships that, in Marie Kondo’s words, clutter your life, your action step is to determine one friend you will not continue or renew during the coming post-pandemic period of re-engagement. You need friends who are positive, supportive, encouraging of you as a CAN DO Woman — the woman you want to become — the woman you can imagine you will be.
  5. Write down the name of that person, be grateful for her, and mentally let the relationship go. This may not be easy to do. But it will open you to new friendships or simply give you more space to grow.
  6. If you are using a journal (or computer file) to document your progress on becoming a CAN DO Woman, make notes on this Week 3 ACTION.

CAN DO WOMAN ACTION…IT’S EASY

That’s it. That is all you need to do this week. Just one step: Evaluate your friendships and determine if someone holds you back from becoming the woman you want to be — someone who uses your time in ways that takes you away from becoming a stronger, more empowered, and truly courageous woman. 

BECOMING A CAN DO WOMAN…

As we say each week, taking simple actions will not change you overnight. But you are now started along the path to having the life you want. You will have taken another action. 

Inspiration for a CAN DO Woman

CAN DO Woman - Wendy the Welder Ornaments

Meet Wendy the Welder, Rosie the Riveter’s Cousin

Looking for an inspiring woman as your touchstone as you work on your path to becoming the woman you want to be? Consider Wendy the Welder, a World War II cousin to Rosie the Riveter. Click Here to learn more.

 

 

 

 

Matilda ButlerFriendship Comes in All Shapes and Sizes – CAN DO Woman #3

CAN DO Woman Recipe – Easy Peasy Crispy Potatoes

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CAN DO Woman Recipe – Easy Peasy Crispy Potatoes

CAN DO Woman Crispy potato recipeCAN DO Woman and Her Easy Peasy Crispy Potatoes

Yummy potatoes that are already salted (no need for a shaker on the table), crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. The steps are easy. If you can:

  • Peel a potato (or use Yukons without peeling)
  • Boil water
  • Find your salt supply
  • Have a little margarine in your refrigerator and a little olive oil in your cabinet
  • Locate a spoon for stirring
  • Have a baking sheet
  • Turn on an oven to 450

THEN you can easily make this easy peasy crispy potato recipe.

Pandemic Cooking Aftermath

As CAN DO Women, we figured out the concept of “pantry cooking” fairly early in the Covid-19 pandemic. Who wanted to go to the grocery store more often than necessary? Now I find myself looking back on those recipes I enjoyed so much that I want to repeat them frequently. Why this recipe?

CAN DO Woman Seeks Crispy Potatoes

CAN DO Woman Crispy PotatoesI know. That header sounds like a Personals Ad. And in a way, it is almost true. Over the years, I’ve tried various ways to serve potatoes. My mother loved to make baked potatoes. She’d scrub and dry them, then oil the skins with a little olive oil. I always thought that olive oil was completely unnecessary until I tried the difference. Trust me. If you don’t use olive oil on your potato skins (especially if you like to eat the skins), you are in for a treat when you do.

My mother also made potato soup frequently. This was a great winter evening dinner. One of these days, I share her recipe. It is simple but if you don’t already have your favorite, then you’ll enjoy her recipe (modified by me, of course, since mine is vegan gluten free).

But I’ve had a longstanding hankering for crispy potatoes and that isn’t always easy to achieve. Sometimes a recipe is great the first time. I remember one that called for combining oil with pureed onions. It worked once but after that the result was soft not crisp.

So today’s recipe is one that works and works and works. If you want a potato on your plate that is crispy, give this a try.

Crispy?

I’m from Oklahoma and not all of my words and expressions are grammatically correct. So when I was told that I could/should use “crisp” instead of “crispy”, I acknowledged the error of my ways. I could agree that the “y” was unncessary. Of course, I went on using crispy, taking pleasure in the knowledge that crisp was shorter and would have done just as well. Crispy, it turns out, has been around since the 14th century. But that didn’t help my argument for its use.

It was a doughnut company that rescued me. If a company can get by with misspelling both crispy and cream (Krispy Kreme), I could certainly use crispy with abandon as I have done in this CAN DO Woman recipe.

A CAN DO Woman

Throughout history there have always been CAN DO Women. We owe much to them. If you would like to learn more about just a few of these women, we invite you to our Etsy store showcasing WE CAN Do It Women.

Finally, Here’s the Easy Peasy Crispy Potato Recipe

CAN DO Woman Crispy potato recipe
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5 from 1 vote

CAN DO Recipe - Easy Peasy Crispy Potatoes

Easy and quick side dish with potatoes that are soft in the middle and crisp on the outside. We share our secret way to make them as salty as you like.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time36 mins
Total Time51 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Crispy Potatoes
Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 1 Large Russet potato
  • 1 Tbsp Margarine I use Earth Balance
  • 1 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 2-3 Tbsp Salt
  • 6 cups Boiling water

Instructions

  • Clean and peel potato
  • Potato into pieces (about ¾ inch)
  • Salt to boiling water
  • Potato pieces for 6 minutes
  • Potato pieces
  • Margarine and oil to potato in hot pan
  • Potato pieces until coated with margarine and oil
  • Potatoes on baking pan
  • In 450° oven for 15 minutes, turn pieces over, return to oven for 12-15 more minutes until crisp on both sides.

Video

Matilda ButlerCAN DO Woman Recipe – Easy Peasy Crispy Potatoes

A CAN DO Woman Needs Social Capital – Friendships – #2

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A CAN DO Woman Needs Social Capital – Friendships

A CAN DO Woman Builds Social Capital through Her Friendships 

Become a CAN DO Woman, Program #2

CAN DO Women FriendsWelcome back. Today we’ll discuss how a CAN DO Woman builds her social capital through friendships.

Last week was Week 1 of our 12 Month CAN DO Woman Program with discussion of the various types of friendships — using the concept of social capital. And we provided you with your first action to take in becoming the woman you want to be. Next week, we share the  three different types of friendships and how each enriches your life.

Scroll Down to This Week’s Program If You Have Already Finished Action 1

Self Friendship

Perhaps unexpectedly, last week we focused on being your own best friend. We self-talk all the time and often that talk brings us down — makes us think less of ourselves. It sounds brutal to say this, but sometimes we bully ourselves with statements like:

  • “Why am I so dumb?”
  • “I should have known better than to believe him.”
  • “Everyone I know is successful and I barely get by.”
  • “I’m applying for a new job but I’m sure I won’t get it.”
  • “I’m never organized.”

Self Friendship Action from Last Week

Did you take the action we suggested last week? We hope so. Your challenge was to write 5 statements affirming what you like about yourself. If you didn’t write the list, we suggest you take 10 minutes, right now, and accomplish that action. We modeled the action on statements you might say about a good friend:

  • “You are always so positive.”
  • “You work really hard.”
  • “You keep up friendships even when you are super busy.”
  • “You are always learning new things.”
  • “You are open to new experiences and that makes you fun to be with.”

Etc.

Now go ahead and write positive statements about yourself.

  • “I’m …”
  • “I work hard …”
  • “I can…”

Etc.

Still uncertain? OK. We want this to work for you and if you feel uncomfortable writing 5 positive sentences about yourself, write just 2.

Why? Friendship is the basis of Social Capital, one of the capitals that helps us have a fulfilling life. Being your own friend is one way to be a better friend to others. Friendships keep us centered, encourage us, support our needs and our goals.

Taking one small action each week, the basis of this CAN DO Woman Program, starts right now (or last week, if you have already created your list).

CAN DO Woman Needs Social Capital — On to This Week’s Program

Diane Boxwood’s Story of Friendships–Eventually Having Social Capital

I promised last week to share the story of Diane Boxwood. Like most of us, her unhappiness developed slowly as her self-confidence went lower and lower. Her story took place over a period of 20 years. Even the length of time covered in her story helps us see that both the good in our lives and the bad don’t usually happen overnight.

When I interviewed Diane, she had come out of a long period of just “getting by”, without understanding why. She had accepted that she would be depressed and unhappy. She didn’t think she deserved happiness and joy. Here’s what she said:

Diane Boxwood Tells Her Story

“My future husband was in the Army when we met. We hit it off right away and corresponded for about five years, but rarely saw each other during that time. Then, in one of his letters, he suggested I come and visit him in Idaho for a vacation.

“I went and we had a great time. So great a time that he proposed to me and we married soon afterwards. A few years later, I had a son. I was busy with family life, but by the time our son was six, I knew my marriage was unraveling. I did a number of things to save our marriage—everything I could think of—but nothing seemed to make it better. Counseling didn’t help. He wouldn’t go, but I did. I tried being more attentive to his needs, but he didn’t seem to care.

“My husband didn’t find me attractive and so wanted no physical contact. He didn’t even seen to like my company and that meant I spent a lot of time alone. Needless to say, I was unhappy but didn’t know what to do about it. I kept remembering how I had thought we were so in love. He was always a good father and he was kind, although distant, to me. The circumstances didn’t seem to merit a divorce. Maybe I wouldn’t ever be attractive to someone. And so my descent into unhappiness made its slow but unwavering way.

20 Years Pass and a Sense of a CAN DO Woman Has Disappeared

“Twenty years later, we were having our carpet replaced, and I went down to the basement to get out of the workers’ hair. My husband had his study as well as a television down there. I was watching TV when I happened to put my hand down in the cushion and felt a magazine. I pulled it out and saw it was a magazine for gay males.

“I couldn’t believe it. I could not believe that he was gay. But I didn’t say anything. What could I say?

“About a month later, I was in the basement again when the phone rang. I answered it and sat down at his computer desk to talk. I happened to look over at his printer and saw pages in the tray. It looked like a conversation so I read it. Oh, my god. He had been on the Internet with other gay men.

“I was absolutely devastated. I remember thinking, “How could he marry me knowing he was gay?” I realized that was why we hadn’t had sex all these years. It didn’t have anything to do with my physical attractiveness.

“I thought for years and years—and this is why my self-esteem went down to nothing—that he wasn’t attracted to me. I always tended to internalize everything.

He Was Out of Town..

My husband was out of town when I found the Internet conversation message. I put a note on the kitchen table saying I knew he was gay, I’d flown home, and we’d talk after I got back.

“When I returned, he told me he went berserk and considered suicide when he read my note. I said, “I had no idea that you cared how I felt. I thought you’d be glad to get rid of me.”

His Explanation

“He explained that by getting married and having a child, he felt he was solving a problem because in the ‘60s you didn’t come out. In fact, his family only learned he was gay when we divorced. He was just living a lie. He gave me a month to get used to the fact that he was leaving.

He told me I Would Have to Make Friends

“He knew I shouldn’t stay in the house by myself and not have any friendship outlets. He told me to get some friends. I’d spent all those many years with just my family as my only friends. After he left, I felt like I’d been put on a desert island all by myself. I cried and cried and cried. I had asked him to stay but he refused. I said, “You can continue your lifestyle. I just don’t want to know about it.” Now I see that it wouldn’t have worked but at the time he was my security blanket.

At First I Was Angry

“After he left, I was very angry, but then I forgave him because what else are you going to do? He is a very kind man and a good father. Everybody tells me I’m so wonderful and asks, “How can you forgive him?” I say, “He didn’t ask to be born that way. He wasn’t bad to me.” I’ve since learned that there are thousands, maybe even tens of thousands, of us out there who had husbands that kept their homosexuality a secret. I had no idea.

Friendship Circle

“Now I’ve developed a wonderful friendship circle and I have a very satisfying social life. I have great friends and go out almost every weekend with someone. They support me and my goals. They don’t put me down and when I feel down they support me.

“I didn’t think that I could ever be happy.

“But I am.”

FriendshipCAN DO WOMAN FRIENDSHIP LESSON LEARNED FROM DIANE

  • What can be learned from Diane’s story?
  • How does it help us examine our own lives.
  • How do friendships help us on a path to being a CAN DO Woman?

The time Diane’s story took place might seem to be quite different. And fortunately, not as many people feel the social need to hide their sexual orientation now. But the lesson is still there. Unhappiness, of any kind, can cause one to avoid friendships and  become isolated.

The isolation might be caused by unhappiness with one’s professional or personal life. It could be caused by low self esteem. It might be caused by personality type. But if you do not have at least a couple of close friends, you are cheating your own life. You are making it harder to be a CAN DO Woman. The rewards of friendship are many and include both physical health benefits and mental health benefits. 

TAKE YOUR CAN DO WOMAN ACTION THIS WEEK

You get the point about the value of friendships. Clearly the pandemic has altered your interactions with others. If not, consider yourself extremely lucky because most of us have found it difficult to maintain the same ties we had before the pandemic.

Fortunately, you now can take the opportunity to decide which friendships really matter to you and which ones don’t add to your life.

During this coming week, take just one action to renew a friendship that you value.

ACTION: Here’s this week’s action challenge for becoming the CAN DO Woman you want to be.

  1. Think about friends that you’ve lost track of OR simply have not been in touch with for the past year.
  2. Make a list of 3 such friends.
  3. Next to each name write what you value about that friend. Is she supportive of you? Does she bring laughter to your life? Does she introduce you to new ideas? Do you find her trustworthy? Is she compassionate? Do you value her honesty?
  4. Friendships are two way streets. Also write what you contribute to the friendships. In what ways do you think the 3 friends value you?
  5. Make contact with one of these friends this week. REACH OUT TODAY. Based on what you wrote next to the names, choose the one you realize you have missed the most and is the most supportive of your goals.
  6. What kind of contact? You could call the person, send her a text or email, or arrange to get together for a meal or a walk. What really matters is that you build back the friendship, making it even stronger.
  7. If you are starting a journal (or computer file) about your progress on becoming a CAN DO Woman, make notes on this Week 2 ACTION.

CAN DO Woman Action…It’s Easy

That’s it. That is all you need to do this week. Just reach out to one friend you haven’t been in close contact with over the past year. You will have taken the second step in being a better friend by understanding what you value in a friend and what you contribute to the friend. Your action helps you keep or renew the friendship. 

Becoming a CAN DO Woman…

Taking such simple actions will not change you overnight. But you are now started along the path to a more empowered life. You will have taken action. You will be reconnected or better connected to a friend. You will be starting to think about the woman you want to be …the kind of friend you want to be. And you will have taken this second step in understanding and building Social Capital, one of the seven life capitals that leads to you being a CAN DO Woman.

Inspiration from Eleanor Roosevelt

CAN DO Woman – Eleanor Roosevelt

INSPIRATION:   

Many people will walk in and out of your life but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.” Eleanor Roosevelt 

COMING NEXT WEEK —Month 1: Week 3

Next week, we’ll share several stories of how friendships can open new paths for you…it isn’t as obvious as it seems. We hope you’ll join us then.

Oh by the way…

Did you see our Can Do Woman recipe earlier this week? If not, here’s the link.

And be sure to look for next week’s Can Do Woman recipe.

Matilda ButlerA CAN DO Woman Needs Social Capital – Friendships – #2