I’ve been feeling a bit low lately.
My grandmother died last week, at the grand old age of 92.
My other grandmother died a few months ago, aged 93.
These two women shaped my life, and this week I’ve spent some time looking back at theirs.
These days it feels like we’re living through a time of rapid change: businesses are being disrupted, robots threaten to take our jobs, and your mother is now on social media (Hi Mum!).
Well, picture this:
Your family home doesn’t have a television. Or a refrigerator. Or a washing machine. Or an electric stove. Or air-conditioning. Or a husband, because he’s off fighting a deadly war in a place you’d never heard of.
Your home doesn’t even have the most important appliance: a flushing toilet. If you wake up and want to do your biz, you have to head out to the backyard with a candle and poop in a pot. A bloke empties it … once a week. (Can you imagine the smell after a week? Sure puts another spin on leaving the toilet seat up, right?)
Well, that was the life my grandmothers lived when they were raising my parents.
Now that is what you call massive change.
Look, things don’t change much year to year: there’s a new $2,300 iPhone that allows you to send a Poop Emoji. MySpace changes to Facebook. Cars get more safety features.
It’s only when you stretch out and look at the world over the course of somebody’s lifetime that you get a sense of how astonishing the changes have been.
Let’s face it: you wouldn’t trade lives with even the wealthiest people in the 1920s.
Especially if you were a woman.
My grandmothers were amazing country women who built loving families, yet truthfully they were never given the opportunity to do anything different.
Today their great-granddaughter — my daughter — has amazing opportunities they never had.
And that is one of the most exciting changes of all.
In loving memory of Kath and Lorna. Here’s to all the strong women!
Tread Your Own Path!