• Matilda Butler

Sharing a Source of Gratitude

Gratitude for Words of Wisdom from Other Women


Occasionally, in our blogs, Kendra and I mention the collective memoir we wrote: Rosie’s Daughters: The “First Woman To” Generation Tells Their Stories. The book is based on interviews with more than 100 women as well as memoirs written by about 200 women — all born during WW2. These women, precursors of the Baby Boom generation, revealed their untold stories as they also shared what might be called their hard-earned wisdom.


Sharing Their Wisdom

Today, I’m starting the first of several blogs based on their words. I’m so grateful to these women as they have enriched my life. I hope in sharing their well-earned wisdom with you that I can extend the reach of their words — give you words to be grateful for.


My Question

I talked with the women just as they were turning sixty. My interviews were in-depth and often lasted two hours. After taking them through aspects of their lives such as education, marriage, children, work, etc., I moved on to one final question. At the end of each session, I asked, “Given what you have learned during the past decades, what advice can you give to younger women?”


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“Do It Now!”


The most frequent advice was "Do It Now!" The words varied from woman to woman, but the message was clear. Go for it.

“Don’t wait,” said one woman.
“You fit in what you want to do with your life now. You find a way to make it work.”
“Just go for it, and if you are lucky you can have it all, just not all at once,” said another.
"To give direction to your life, you need to plan. Otherwise you'll never get to where you want to be."
“Make a list of what you want to do in your life,” counseled one woman, “and begin to do each item now. External events may make deferred goals unreachable at some later date. Don’t wait.”

Advice Prompts Action

The wonderful woman who transcribed all of my recorded interviews —Diane Selewski — found the “Do It Now” wisdom while creating a written record of the interviews — and took it to heart.


Diane was the first person to listen to all these women (well, after I heard them in real time). Late in her process of transcribing the tapes, she emailed me to say she had just returned from REI where she bought her dream bike, a Novara. She had wanted to regularly bike the more than 100 miles of scenic trails around Madison but kept postponing the purchase of a bicycle. After hearing so many women tell her to “go do it,” she followed their advice and was preparing to hit the trails that very afternoon.


It’s All Too Easy to Postpone

Of course, Kendra and I often use the phrase — We Can Do It! — borrowed from the WW2 Rosie the Riveter poster. We even entitled our memoir Rosie’s Daughters and used the image of Rosie the Riveter on the cover of our book. And yet, it is so easy to postpone “the doing of it.” WE CAN…But will we?


There are a million (or so it seems) demands on your life. There never are enough hours to do what you want to do. But when woman after woman urges you to “Do It Now!” you should pay attention.


Gratitude for “Do It Now”


We hope you'll give consideration to this DO IT NOW advice.


In the coming days, we'll share more of the wisdom from these women. We're grateful for it and hope it will make a difference in your life as well.

Gratitude for the advice of these woman!

DO IT NOW...

...Make the IT whatever is most important to you.

 

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