A day for everyone

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An assortment of special symbols, each denoting some special day of the year
Every day is a celebration, even if just as an excuse to have cake Lee Lim

Special days are an opportunity to be mindful of things we take for granted 

Since March 8 was International Women’s Day, I thought I would talk about what International Women’s Day means to me as a woman. Quite frankly and personally, I see it as a day to be thankful, a day when I get to recognize who I am as a woman, and the chances and opportunities that I have as a woman that we as women did not always have. The history and the movements that women have had to go through over the years is quite lengthy and honestly some of the best history that I have learned about in my life.  

Did you know that once upon a time women did not have the right to vote? Or that they didn’t have the right to work? The duties of women were mainly to stay at home, reproduce, and take care of children. Being a woman is very important to me and I am sure to many other women in the world. Over time, women have gained rights and have managed to change their rights and their purpose in life and in the world. This is only the beginning of why I am thankful to the women of history. Many women have fought for the chances that I get now to live my life every day the way I choose.  

I am a very fortunate woman in that I get the chance as a 23-year-old to attend university and work hard to get a bachelor’s degree in a subject that I am very passionate about! Not only do I get the chance to study at university, I get to work two well-paying jobs. With those jobs come opportunities for me to pay for food that goes in my body, food that fuels my body to go to the gym and get stronger both mentally and physically, and to take care of my health. I also get to reward myself with things that I enjoy, like shopping, travelling, spending time with friends and family, and so much more.  

I’m not trying to brag and say that I have all these chances and things that other people do not. That is not my point here. I am trying to say that International Women’s Day helps me recognize what to be thankful for! It helps me realize all the chances that I get that not all women do. Do I feel sorry for everything that women in the past had to do for us to be where we are? Of course I do, and that is just more reason to be thankful and recognize the passion, history, strength, and worth that we as women have in the world that we did not always have. I think it is very important for each and every one of us to be thankful for this day and to be thankful for the history that is history. Whether you are thankful for yourself, for a mom, for a friend, for a daughter, your boss, or whomever it may be, International Women’s Day can help you stop and recognize what to be thankful for.  

But I do not just want to talk about International Women’s Day, even though it is one that holds a special place in my heart. I want you to think of all the things and all the reasons you can be thankful.  

As I look right now at a list of international days, there are a few that may hold a sweet spot for you readers. Did you know, according to the United Nations website, the year is just filled with international days that you may not even be aware of? January 24 is known as International Day of Education, March 1 is Zero Discrimination Day, March 8 is International Women’s Day, April 2 is World Autism Awareness Day, April 7 is World Health Day, May 12 is International Day of Plant Health, June 1 is Global Day of Parents, July 30 is International Day of Friendship, August 9 is International Day of the Worlds of Indigenous Peoples, September 17 is World Patient Safety Day, October 10 is World Mental Health Day, November 14 is World Diabetes Day, December 10 is Human Rights Day, and the list of days goes on!  

Whether or not you knew these days existed and whether they speak to you or not, these international days can help us realize what we may and may not have. These days can help us recognize what to be thankful for, or maybe be just a little extra thankful for on that specific day.  

We all live very busy lives. Whether you go to work every day and come home and take care of your kids, go to university or work a job, each and every one of us has our own busy life, and sometimes those tend to get in the way. They tend to take us away from our loved ones or doing the things we love. Maybe these international days can help you recognize to be thankful and do something for yourself or those things or people around you!  

I am not saying you have to go all out. But maybe on April 2, World Autism Day, if you know or love someone with autism, give them a call and just chat, help you recognize that day and who they are. Or, on April 7, World Health Day, explore the world, maybe go for a hike in an open field or a swim in open water.  

All of these international days can help you recognize what and who to be thankful for. Some days may speak louder than others, and that is okay. You get to choose how these days affect and represent you. There are a lot of days in the year and we all have busy lives, but that does not mean certain days have to go unnoticed! So be thankful, and maybe the next international day that speaks to you, do something special for yourself or someone else! That is what international days mean to me!  

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