and central to the lives of their family and friends. Which got me thinking about the many such women that I have had the honour of knowing - including all of you!
I think it's time for us to pause, halt the endless focussing on others, and give ourselves a pat on the back for everything that we have achieved.
I am constantly amazed by the endless juggling that we women manage: We continue to nurture our children - no matter what age; we support our partners; create a warm and peaceful home; hold down jobs; care for elderly relatives and grandchildren; remember birthdays; shop for groceries and everyone's Christmas presents; and still find time and energy to catch up with our girlfriends.
Actually, I think it's the time we spend with our close friends that gives us the strength to take on the responsibilities and commitments that we do. How often has a soothing cuppa and a listening ear made it easier to carry on through a difficult day? How life affirming is a night out - or a night in - with girlfriends - a wine or three, much raucous laughter, some cheesy tunes and a bit of singing into a spatula? Just what we all need sometimes! I was lucky enough to have two of my closest friends round last night. We shared pizza and wine and put the world to rights - perfect.
During my friend Cath's long illness I took pleasure in sending her care parcels - little gifts that might give her pleasure and comfort, make her laugh. Of course I'm lucky, I had a shop full of lovely things to choose from. But, that aside, it felt good to treat her. I couldn't help with the kids (Cath lived in France) or make her a casserole, but I could spoil her, because I loved her.