Monday, October 14, 2019

Living a Gutsy Life

Gutsy is a word making the media rounds right now because of a new book, “The Book of Gutsy Women” by a famous mother-daughter duo, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chelsea Clinton. I can’t even imagine what Hilary and her daughter went through during their days in the White House and on the road during the 2016 presidential election. I admire both of them. 

What they did and do and who they continue to be takes real guts. And they see the ability to be gutsy in other women. I don’t see it in myself but I can see it clearly in other women around me.

Meet my favorite gutsy woman. 

She is my daughter, Caitlin. From a young age, she loved to sing and act. Her first role at the age of 12, was the lead in “Trial by Jury”, a Gilbert & Sullivan play. Her naturally beautiful voice took everyone by surprise. But as her mother, I saw one very gutsy girl up there on stage as a 6th grader in front of the entire junior high school. 

Now, she has a Master’s in Vocal Performance. A list of vocal scholarships, degrees, awards and performances as well as work conducting and teaching music at academic levels. 

Three years ago, she moved to Los Angeles with her husband and found new jobs and performance opportunities. 

Beginning a new life takes guts. 

Now, Caitlin is a new mom. And as any mom knows bringing a baby into the world is a gutsy act. Birth itself is scary and many times, traumatic. Recovery from surgery takes time and sleep which almost don’t exist as a mother of a newborn. Add the responsibility of being the sole manufacturer of food for another human being, right? Nursing your baby is natural and wonderful. And very overwhelming. 

Now add to all of that trying to make a living in an insecure world as a vocalist and musician and teacher. Well, it all takes a lot of guts. 

Women are gutsy. 

Many people are gutsy including men, of course. My husband and son and son-in-law come to mind first. They have each worked hard, suffered losses and still continue to accomplish more. 

Women many times start out in the background just by being born female. I grew up in a man’s world surrounded by brothers. I was taught early to do woman’s work. But in spite of or maybe even because of that, I was very determined to do more with my life than dishes. 

And I did. Writing. Awards. Art classes. Gallery shows. 

Yet, even though I’ve done a lot more than dishes and diapers, I’ve relished that too. Nothing can compare to holding and feeding and teaching my babies. And as those babies grow, it’s a growing challenge to follow their fearlessness into this fearful and uncertain world. 

But, let’s face it, living a real life takes guts.  

So maybe, I am a gutsy woman. 
And yes, you are too. 

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