Ladies, it was 30 years ago today that Sandra Day O’Connor was sworn in as the first female justice on the United States Supreme Court! It would be 12 long years later that Ruth Bader Ginsburg would be sworn in as the second female Supreme Court justice. How lonely Ms O’Connor must have felt those dozen years!
My point in celebrating Ms. O’Connor’s appointment is NOT that I agreed with every decision she made–far from it. However, she overcame TERRIFIC odds, and I see her as a significant role model for all us women, especially mature women, who claim that we “can’t do it”….whatever “it” is.
She repeatedly received “back to your kitchen and home female” letters. Having graduated near the top of her class at Stanford Law School, she was only offered legal secretary’s jobs at private law firms. She had her first child only three days after she was admitted to the Arizona bar, and because law firms were unsympathetic to moms, started her own law firm. However, when her baby sitter left, she quit work, staying at home with her baby for 5 years, stating that it never occurred to her or her husband, that HE might stay at home, while she continued to work. One wonders now, just what she could have become, had she not lost 5 valuable years on the “mommy track”, doesn’t one? Well, ok, I do….
I urge us women to mirror Sandra’s initiative and drive in all our endeavors, knowing that we can do it. Most importantly, I urge us women to address just what will happen to us now, or in our older age, if something goes wrong; i.e., Sandra’s baby sitter quit…yet what if we were to be laid off, or downsized, or become disabled, or be widowed, or be divorced? Do we have any money saved up for these life changes or potentialities?
Rainy Days Come And Go. Are You Prepared Weather Your Rainy Day AND Still Have Enough For Retirement?
If not, we can start today. We can realize that Women and Money indeed do go together like peanut butter and jelly….mostly because of two things. First, women are hard wired with common sense and money is really common sense. Don’t spend everything, because there will be a rainy day. Sub-divide your savings into some short term savings (read Money Markets or Certificates of Deposit) for emergencies and short-term expenditures in the next year or two, and then some long-term investments (read, stock mutual funds) so that you have money in retirement. Second, since women tend to live a long time, we will still need to purchase goods and services in our later years, and guess what? They will cost a lot more. So, mimmick the squirrels and bears about this time of year, at least in the NorthEast. They are both scavenging nuts and food for the upcoming winter, so they can survive. Saving is about that simple. After the squirrels eat what they need for today, they gather a few extra nuts to save for a couple of months from now. COULD the squirrels gorge themselves now by eating ALL the nuts they find? I guess….yet what would they eat in the winter’s cold and frozen months?
Let’s be WISE women, and act like squirrels, so that we have blessed and fruitful days ahead. We Can Do It Women, and THANKS Sandra for paving the way with untold opportunity, unlike you were afforded!