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Things I took for granted today

Posted in Life & Love, and Women's issues

women on bicycle WW2The alarm clock went off at 5:45. I was pissed off I had to go for an ultrasound at 7:00 am, on an empty stomach, with no caffeine to aid the short drive and jump-start the brain. By the time 5 pm rolled around, the inventory of what I took for granted today included:

  • Modern medicine at its best, that is making sure I have days and days ahead of me;
  • Walking into a bakery and reward myself with a hot from the oven cream croissant and a steaming cup of coffee;
  • Being welcomed and valued at work;
  • Shooting off a couple of emails from my phone as I am standing in an elevator;
  • Enjoying a Lebanese meal for lunch, because it’s what I felt like;
  • Driving my car to and from everywhere I needed to go;
  • Sitting here, writing whatever pleases me;
  • Flopping on the couch and picking the latest show on Netflix.

Some of those things I took for granted today, things I did or received without giving them a second thought, stem from choices based on my individuality.
I also take for granted, every minute of my day, the information I have access to and my discerning ability to sort through it and being able to express my opinions, loud or otherwise (mostly yelling “moron” at the tv).

And there, at the bottom of one of the New York Times International news pages I spot a sweet story about four Palestinian women who have taken to biking in Gaza. Despite the ridicule and the insults of men, of those who deem they shouldn’t bike because it’s the behaviour of whores, because their place is in the home, making babies, preparing food and tending to the house. Unseen.

“When I ride, I feel like I am flying. I feel free” one of the women says.
“I lost 11 pounds” the oldest remarks.

Palestinian women cyclingThey ride at dawn, when few people can see them. But they ride. On rickety bikes, down war ravaged streets. They don’t stop for a coffee and a cream croissant, nobody thanks them for the unpaid work they do. They would rather be labelled whores than giving up the one, tiny little thing they love. The one thing I so take for granted, I can’t even be bothered to do it.

Hillary might be president in a few months. Legislation has been passed to make it unlawful for a woman to be paid less than a man for equal work. I don’t have to be grateful for everything I take for granted. I don’t have to be grateful for living in a country that allows me the to be the kind of woman I choose to be. I only have to remember, from time to time, that the work is far from done. And that if I ever need inspiration, I needn’t look further than at other women.

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12 Comments

  1. Those Palestinian women brought tears to my eyes. What spunk!

    March 2, 2016
    |Reply
    • camparigirl
      camparigirl

      I had to write about them because I couldn’t get them out of my head.

      March 3, 2016
      |Reply
  2. Winston Moreton
    Winston Moreton

    Your writing cool

    February 27, 2016
    |Reply
    • camparigirl
      camparigirl

      Thank you sir.

      February 28, 2016
      |Reply
  3. Never take for granted the cumulative joy of a lifetime spent shouting “Moron!” at the TV. That’s a life well-loved right there.
    So sad to read about those women. It’s not sad, actually, it’s infuriating.
    I would also love to quip “don’t take for granted Hills will be prez” as I truly would love to see what Sanders would do to whip this shitshow into shape. But I don’t think they’ll give him a chance in all honesty. :-/
    Anyhoo, happy weekend to you!

    February 27, 2016
    |Reply
    • camparigirl
      camparigirl

      I don’t see Sanders making it to the nomination or, if he did, winning with that big socialist sticker on his back. But I might break into a happy dance if the gal makes it to the top.

      February 28, 2016
      |Reply
  4. silvia
    silvia

    As long as a father, somewhere in the world, can take for granted that he can shoot his daughter for marrying the man she loves and get away with it without being punished by the law, pls don’t stop reminding us how blessed we are. Especially if you do it so gracefully with words.

    February 26, 2016
    |Reply
    • And there are so many of those fathers, and we are still such a long way from eradicating the problem. But each time a girl rebels, or runs away or defies the family laws and we are able to support them, we will be scoring little victories until the battle is won. At least, I would like to think so.

      February 26, 2016
      |Reply
  5. petal
    petal

    We are indeed blessed to live in South Africa, to have a nice house to live in with aircon in summer and heating in winter, to have enough food to put on the table (even though every time I go to the shops I am horrified at how expensive everything is), surrounded by friends and family who, like you have benefitted from great medical care. Thank you for making me stop and think about the things that I take for granted every day.

    February 26, 2016
    |Reply
    • camparigirl
      camparigirl

      We shouldn’t feel guilty for what we have. Some of it we earned, some of it is the product of dumb luck: being born in the right place, at the right time, with possibilities afforded to us. But, while recognizing these gifts and not taking them for granted is important, I think we should never forget what we can do with these gifts. Your beautiful country also has an uphill climb but I would like to believe you will get there eventually.

      February 26, 2016
      |Reply
  6. We take so much for granted these days that it is nice to take time and do what you did. Being back in good old South Africa for the last few days had made me think about this as well. Have a great weekend!

    February 26, 2016
    |Reply
    • camparigirl
      camparigirl

      You are back there! I am a touch envious. Not just because it is where sofagirl is and I have wonderful memories of my trips there but because it is indeed a magnificent country (albeit in need of some tlc).

      February 26, 2016
      |Reply

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