Monday, April 18, 2016

Iron Ladies 2016

I have come to believe that to be a great lady, one must first be a true bad ass.  While the rules of etiquette provide us with the standards for which to interface in a genteel & respectful manner, these are only arbitrary dictates if they are not first inspired by a sincere desire to treat others with love & understanding.  And that desire comes only from a heart that has complete confidence of its place in the world and a deep understanding of life -- two things which come from encountering joy & pain, from loving sincerely, from losing things & people of value, from struggle, from laughter, from being forced to start over unexpectedly, from learning what truly matters in life.  Once a woman has done all of these things, she becomes a bad ass.  She knows what is important and what is not.  She has the ability to be completely confident in her actions no matter what others think, and yet she chooses to treat those around her in the manner that she would want to be treated.  Those are also the hallmarks of a great lady.

In April of 2013, Baroness Margaret Thatcher passed onward.  Several of my best friends gathered at Harrison Farm the following weekend in their black cocktail dresses to celebrate the Iron Lady.  This event has now evolved into my annual Harrison Farm Iron Ladies Party -- a celebration of the strong and remarkable women who inspire my world.  We gathered on Saturday 4/16 for a wonderful night of conviviality.  The event usually starts with cocktails, then a potluck, dessert, bourbon, and cigars.  It is the one night of the year that smoking is permitted in the farmhouse . . . Being surrounded by inspiring women (all in their favorite black dress) while having a libation and enjoying a cigar is a joy-filled experience!

My friends are cognizant how important equality of opportunity is to me.  I believe we are all endowed with certain rights by God, and we should have the freedom to exercise our abilities and shape our own destinies through personal hard work -- regardless of gender or color or creed or orientation.  I am interested in individual achievement, and I want to compete on a level playing field.  That being said, I also believe in celebrating what makes us different.  I love being an American, I love having blue eyes, I love raising goats, I love being a Catholic . . . And I also want to encourage others to love what makes them a unique individual.  Finding connections with others can be uplifting, thus I firmly endorse finding support networks of those who help to celebrate what makes a person remarkable as individual.  Being able to gather with other strong women to laugh, to cry, and to support one another is such a joy.  It is also my personal celebration of what it means to be an American woman: my friends were able to drive themselves to the home of an unmarried woman without any male chaperones to pray as we wanted, drink as we wanted, and talk about what we wanted -- all while wearing fabulous black dresses.  Think of all the places around the globe where this small party could NEVER have happened due to restrictions on behavior.  To be an American woman is a great gift, and we must never lose sight of the routine freedoms which we have thanks to our birth in this great country!

I am extremely grateful for my inspiring friends who joined me for this year's event!  I truly believe that Margaret Thatcher would be proud!

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