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It’s amazing as I look back on my life now at 50 years old, half a century. Many amazing and wonderful things, that many younger people may not even be aware of, have happened. I was born in 1966. In 1967, Kathrine Switzer was the very 1st woman to run the Boston Marathon as a numbered entry. The world was very different back then and believed that women should not run, especially not 26.2 miles. It was a very different world back then for women in many ways. All throughout my life there has been progress towards more rights and acceptance of women. I remember how when I was growing up, my Mom was so excited when she was able to get her very own credit card. Before 1974, women could only get a credit card in their husbands name as an authorized user. My father was a very fine man, a gentleman, a one of a kind, who put my Mom up on a pedestal. He loved my Mom so very much that he wanted her to be happy, he knew that doing things for herself made her very happy. I remember when she got the credit card she took us out to eat. With the biggest smile on her face, announced she was treating us with her credit card. I remember years later when she got a part time job, that same huge smile came on her face when she would happily say she was treating us to go out to eat. My Mom loved being able to make her own money and be independent, not because she needed to, but because she wanted to, it made her feel good. The Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974 made it possible for women to obtain credit on their own.
Years later, when I was working in public accounting in the 2000’s, my boss, the partner was very old fashioned. He was a great, family oriented boss that I was very thankful to have, but he believed all of us women should only wear skirts or dresses to work every day and never to reveal our arms in front of clients. His rule was that if we were in our individual offices, we could take off our suit jackets, but were required to wear them elsewhere in the office to look professional and lady like. I did not mind wearing skirts, I love skirts, but I bring up this point because it goes towards the still present mindset in society today. It is not everyone’s mindset, but it is still a challenge in many ways to be a woman in this day in age.
I have 2 grown children, they both applied for credit cards at the same exact time. My son was not working but was attending college full time, my daughter had held a steady, and good paying job for 2 years and attended college full time, yet my son was granted much more credit than my daughter. It seems he received much more credit based on his gender alone.
I remember how TV commercials have changed dramatically from when I was growing up. I remember the first time they put a tampon commercial on TV, I was in high school, they never even said ‘tampon’ or anything, they didn’t have to, it was ‘risky’ enough to just do that commercial the way it was. I remember the girl was wearing a pretty pink dress and I really wanted that dress. I was sure it was the perfect dress for me. I never did find that dress anywhere to buy, but there were many other fashions that have come and gone over the years that TV commercials have played a big role.
I remember that I used to wear high heels all the time, every day. I could not imagine not wearing high heels. It was in my mind that women wore high heels to get dressed up and look pretty. I was raised to think that somehow I was not as attractive if I was not dressed up in high heels, not that it was ever told to me specifically, because it was not, it was just the way people thought back then, and some still do today. I am so glad I do not feel that way anymore. I cannot remember the last time I wore high heels, and do not plan on wearing them. I am still the same person, just a better, healthier version of myself, thank God. I believe now that high heels are not healthy for your body. I take care of my feet very seriously because I believe that your health starts with your feet. We can learn a lot about our health from our feet and their condition.
I could write much more, it was a very long time, a beautiful time, 50 years. But I just wanted to reminisce a bit and call attention to the way things were and what has changed and what still has room for growth. There is always room for growth in a healthy. vibrant society and in each individuals life. I am blessed to have had such a wonderful 1st 50 years, although I have had many severe challenges, medically and financially, over the years, I choose to focus on the good and feel blessed for all of it. Thank you Jesus.