I had no idea of the apparently American expression that has been popular since the 1800's deriving from the Scottish ice game of curling in which hog refers to a pucklike stone that stops short of its goal, thus coming to rest and sitting sluggishly immovable on the ice. The expression is: "He don't appear to care nothing for nobody--he's 'independent as a hog on ice.' (San Francisco Call, April, 1857) The other expression that I came across that was used in Time Magazine in 1948: "They like to think of themselves as independents--independent as a hog on ice."
For me, I like to imagine independence in many other ways that more of the majority of people probably adhere to. We just celebrated July 4th here in the United States which is a holiday to celebrate our country's Independence. So for me, whether we are talking about a country or a person or people as a whole, independence is freedom from control or influence of another or others.
Not everyone is totally free from conform and control of others, in the most basic and simplest form such as style, behavior, political thoughts, peer and social pressure, truly just the capacity to manage one's own affairs, make one's own judgments and provide for oneself.
What I wanted to focus on the most in this blog was how to be a strong independent woman based on my own thoughts from my so many (not to mention how many) years of observation about what makes an independent woman.
- Following your dreams - embracing your own style to suit your mood, your taste and your creativity
- Learn and study what interest you, not what may be popular at any given time. Stay up to date on current events so that you are able to engage in intelligent conversations, which means you are able to pick and choose what does interest you. I for one, must at least read and try to sort out some of the U.S. politics that is going on now in our country. It is not my favorite, therefore, I do not focus on it. Just enough to engage in a conversation that I quickly steer in another direction.
- Manage your finances by learning from savvy financial advisers, as well as articles and books. Since this is my blog, I can give myself the luxury of taking a quick moment to brag on my daughter for taking control of the family finances; something that I did not learn of until way later than she did.
- Be assertive and stand up for yourself. If you don't believe in yourself, then who will? Recognize your uniqueness, as well as others. Take charge of what you need and want without stepping on others, much less having them walk all over you.
- Most of all it is imperative to not compare yourself to other women. You are you! As Dr. Seuss stated, "Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you! You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose." Dr. Seuss, by the way, is one of my heroes. He tells it like it is.
- Take charge of your health. This means going for that yearly physical, getting enough exercise, eating healthy, getting enough sleep and most of all doing your own research so that you know what questions to ask of your doctor. They have the medical background, however, it is your body and you know what you are feeling.
For me, all of the above are very important and what comes to my mind when I hear 'Independent Woman.' When I witness what my daughter does in her life with her two girls and her loving husband, I feel that somehow I had a strong hand in helping her stand up and become that Independent Woman that I always hoped she would become.
My own independence means that I now can get up each morning when I want to and create my own experience. Beginning with my meditation and mantra of the day, flowing into my writing, reading and painting. This also means to go out and have connections with others, whether it means working a morning in Starbucks, going through Puppy Training, shopping and having dates with my very significant other and lunches with friends.
How lucky I am that I have the most wonderful husband a woman can have who has helped me work on my own independence. Now that we are both home working on our creative projects, we are lucky enough to work in the same house, in our own offices and meet up for lunch, discussions, hugs, kisses, or even going to the theater during the week for a matinee. Life is good!
So follow your heart and pursue your dreams, just as long as this does not restrict others from doing the same.