Welcome to Real Women Wednesday
This series was created to empower and inspire women around the globe. Every Wednesday (except last Wednesday) a new Q&A with a remarkable woman who I’ve connected with and/or admire appears on my blog. It’s my way of helping spark your flame. Your spark will turn into a burning fire and passion will be formed. It’s a magical thing! This series will help you gain knowledge into how women live their lives and become the best versions of themselves.
It’s about growing our sisterhood and developing the understanding that all women are divine beings who are created to change the world.
This Wednesday’s woman is Ruth Smith. I met Ruth on Valentine’s Day when I was a young girl in Nova Scotia. She became my Big Sister from Big Brother Big Sister Foundation.
She and I spent a lot of time together. We walked the beaches to collect sand dollars, we watched movies, went to yoga, cooked sushi and played cards. She welcomed me into her family and allowed me to live with her when I needed adult support. For a period of time, I wasn’t in a safe spot and I didn’t have my family for support. Ruth took me in and essentially saved my life. She helped me with my school work and always pushed me to be the best person I could be. Ruth is an amazing and inspiring woman and I’m so happy she decided to answer my questions.
Meet Ruth Smith
I was so honoured when Molly approached me about participating in this project for her blog. We were once very close but are now somewhat separated by time and distance.
Tell me five things I may not know about yourself
Five thing people may not know about me are:
- I lift weights
- I sit with people who are dying and try to help them find some peace
- I would like to live on the Oregon coast
- I don’t dislike my body but am constantly on a weight loss diet with little success
- I like to lie on the beach in the dark and watch the stars
Where is home for you?
Nova Scotia is home but, as some of your women have expressed, wherever my boys and grandchildren are located certainly feels like home and more.
When you’re in need of alone time, where do you go?
I love ocean kayaking and seek this when I need some alone time. I am not foolish enough to kayak alone but in your own kayak, even in a group, you are alone with your thought and the wide open spaces of the ocean. The immediacy of your actions by necessity is usually a great cure for what ails your mind.
What has been the happiest moment of your life?
The birth of my children and grandchildren has each been extremely happy for me. Birthing and caring for a helpless individual has a way of sharpening your focus and helping you to grow up very quickly. It brings you outside of yourself. They say that grandchildren are one of the rewards of aging – Totally agree!
Another saying – If I’d know they were so much fun, I would have had them first!
What does being a woman mean to you?
Being a woman to me means being a complete and equal person in the world. My life as a middle-class white woman has been easier than a lot of my sisters. I worked very hard and was given nothing I did not earn, but I routinely had a decent job and, even as a single parent, was able to house and feed my sons and support them into adulthood.
They have delighted and frustrated me equally over the years but they have also rejoiced in my accomplishments and loved me beyond measure, as I have them.
It’s my mom’s birthday today! Thank you for bringing me into this world (and for threatening to take me out of it several times when I was a teenager haha). My brother and I are what we have become because of you Mom. You raised us by yourself and now that we are both bringing up children of our own I know we both wonder how you ever did it! I love you more than you’ll ever know. Happy birthday Ma 🙂 #SuperMom
They are both so different but love each other totally. I have been lucky not to meet many people in my travels who made me feel less than myself.
What do you think is the biggest challenge women face today?
I do believe one of the biggest challenges for women is still sexual abuse. It often comes out of left field and damages a person’s soul. In building friendships with other women, it takes only one person to reach out in friendship, mentorship, and love to begin the cycle and having it passed along. We are all getting so much better at this.
How do you work on yourself and improve your mental health?
Meditation has been a part of my life for more than 20 years. I credit this with helping find and maintain some sanity in situations where you want to throw up your hands, open your mouth and scream.
In my journey into old age, I consume no drugs for blood pressure and related illnesses and attribute that to meditation, as well.
Each person has a different experience with this but no one ever got hurt from sitting quietly and calming her mind.
Tell me about a woman who inspires you
My friend Shari is an amazing inspiration. she is a younger woman with a grown family who watched her husband suffer a stroke. Through his hospitalization and recovery, she has been such a rock — calm and cool and completely there.
She spent every day at the hospital and now at home doing everything necessary to assist her husband’s rehabilitation. She had their home adapted for his use and did all this while continuing to run her own home-based business. There is never a complaint. I’m not sure I could live up to this. I love spending time with this positive role model.
If you could tell a teenage girl/young adult one thing, what would it be?
For younger generations, I would say “be yourself”. You can do anything you want in this world. There are different opportunities today – more technology, greater worries about the earth, the constantly changing roles of women and men.
I have four granddaughters with an age spread of 17 years. I want them to have all the tools they need to go forward into a happy life. They are brilliant and caring and funny and I want nothing to change that. The idea they might be sexually assaulted or made to feel like a lesser being sends me straight to my meditation cushion.
I’d like to end with a couple of mentions on my bucket list:
- Skydiving is always there but should drop off as no one is going to get me to jump out of a perfectly good plane.
- Stand up paddleboarding – you may say this is not much but for a clumsy person with little balance ability, it is.
- I would love to visit BC again (other than the Vancouver airport) and reconnect with Molly and other friends throughout the province.
Hello, me again. I just want to say a HUGE thank you to Ruth for taking part in RWW and answering these questions. I was really looking forward to this RWW because I knew Ruth would show her pure soul in the answers. Ruth has such a positive aura that surrounds her and I knew she would be the right woman to feature this Wednesday. I am looking forward to the day she travels to British Columbia and we’re able to reconnect. Until then, emails will have to do.
Thank you, Ruth, for being part of my Real Women Wednesday series.
Are you wanting to read previous RRW posts? Catch up here.
If you’d like to be featured on Real Women Wednesday, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out to me on social media. My handle is @thebookofmolly.