By Dawn Onley
Happy New Year!
May your grandest wishes come true. May your deepest longings be realized. May you try a new road if an old road dead ends. May you believe once again in fairytales.
And may your inner warrior be unleashed.
This year, I will be relentless. I will ask for what I want. I will cast out reluctance and hesitancy and my somewhat shy tendency to go after what I desire. I will knock on doors and try different approaches until I get one step closer to the reward that I’m after.
I will remember the lessons of my former mother-in-law, who would jot down on a piece of paper a gift she wanted and then stick it on the refrigerator so her kids could see it when they dropped in. It could be for her birthday or Christmas or even just because. It could be a replacement for a kitchen appliance that was on the blink or a piece of jewelry she had been eyeing.
It didn’t matter. She believed in asking for what she wanted and relying on her family to provide what she needed. And guess what? She got it. Every single time.
Initially, I’ll admit, I didn’t fully grasp this idea. The whole concept of gifts to me was a) a surprise and b) whatever the gifter wanted to give the giftee. If I’m being honest, I also thought these notes were a bit audacious and bold.
Now I think what she did was GENIUS! Absolutely, freaking awesome! I also believe that women would be wise to take a page out of her playbook. Kudos to Mrs. Smallwood and to the women who aren’t afraid to speak up until they are heard. Kudos to women who get exactly what they want because they have the courage to ask for it.
I’ve watched women accept what is given to them, no matter if they like it or want it or even if it doesn’t fit. I’ve even been that woman. We graciously accept it, thank the giver and re-gift it or hang it in our closets until we get tired of looking at it, and then we drop it off at the Goodwill. We go to great lengths to protect everyone’s feelings.
This mindset impacts us professionally as well. Studies show most women accept less financially than men on the work front – which has created a significant wage disparity.
Over and over, women historically ask for less of what we need as moms and daughters, as sisters and friends. We often neglect to take care of ourselves because we are so exhausted taking care of our families and everyone else.
We do it because we don’t like to cause a fuss or ruffle feathers. We want people to like us. It’s also harder for many of us because our natural disposition is that of the nurturer and the caregiver — meek, loving, and a bit too nice and accommodating, sometimes.
In 2017, we need to shake things up!
We need to start asking for what we want — even if it’s help from someone who has done something that we have not yet done.
This year ladies, let’s make things happen.
Let’s go get what’s ours.
Let’s be relentless in our pursuit of our dreams.