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  • Writer's pictureSJ Marcotte

Ruthie Featured!

I happily take hold of any avenue I can to release the good in others and to encourage them to look at the good in themselves and those around them.

Creative | Artistic | Determined | Encourager | Positive | Loving | Inquisitive

What is your purpose?

I absolutely love to encourage others--build them up, help them embrace their best selves, know that they have incredible value in the lives of others, and to share the good that's out there. I believe we all have the ability to empower those around us--those we know well and who we don't know at all. Life is so short--why not focus on and feed the good around us?

What is at the core of your being?

My faith is core to who I am--both in God and in the good that we have the power to release around us. There's a great strength that comes with choosing the positive--in looking at our circumstances and deciding that they aren't going to define our day, our week, our month, our year, our lives!

What does society say about what it means to be feminine?

Society, I think, doesn't recognize the very good and true things that make women great! Society often gives us mixed messages about being mothers, wives, and partners to the ones we love. There's a lack of true appreciation for what defines us and makes us awesome as women. I choose to embrace my femininity--my role as a mom, a wife, a woman!

How have societal messages about femininity changed in your lifetime? When I was a kid the role of women seemed less defined in some ways than it is today--it was a little more fluid or assumed. Our society is so desperate for labels to define people, set characteristics, rights, laws. Some of that is so good and has helped to advance greater equality in the workplace, to put stopgaps in that help work against abuse and empower women to have greater self-respect. Some of those things, sadly, have undermined the true grit and grace of womanhood, sometimes giving the impression that women would be better off if they were more masculine and had more masculine traits. Once again, I embrace all that it means to be me--a woman!

How do you define femininity?

I define femininity as this beautiful mixture of grit and grace, of love and determination. It's sometimes mixed with worry and fear, with uncertainty and indecision, but overall, it's the power that's kept one half of the world going since the dawn of time! We share an equal portion in the success and failure of history and the also the future! When we embrace our true selves as women, we have the power to effect great change in the lives of those around us.

Is femininity part of your identity? Absolutely! In my job as a sportswriter, I bring a different angle to the work than the male reporters around me. To me, this really sums up my thoughts on femininity and masculinity. When I write an article it often focuses on relationships and the 'feel' of a game or an audience. It brings in numerous voices--especially the kids on the field. My male counterparts tend to focus more on the plays and the nuts and bolts of the action. I feel our very best papers are the ones that have articles that contain both voices--male and female. We get this gorgeous balance and blend of emotion and empathy and necessary facts and black and white description...and many times that's the way I feel the male/female world turns!

Describe a time when you felt feminine and were not conforming to societal messages. Ah! That's a great one. All the years I homeschooled my kids, I was totally filling a very feminine role in a way that voices in our society wouldn't necessarily see as empowering or groundbreaking. I felt it was just the opposite. I had my hand in a very detailed and incredible process. I was molding and shaping young minds, personally overseeing the education of my kids and providing them with what they'd need to go on in their education and in life. It's not for everyone (really!), but it was a great fit for me. There is value in listening to what society says, but sometimes we have to take a look inside and see if it lines up with what our heart and mind knows is best for us and ours, whether it agrees with societal messages or not!

Talk about a way in which you choose to influence the world around you for the better. When it comes to influencing the world around us, I believe there is great power in feeding the good in ourselves and in others. I happily take hold of any avenue I can to release the good in others and to encourage them to look at the good in themselves and those around them. We see and hear so much negativity in the media (of all types) and from ourselves and others as well. Why not make a choice to look beyond that and take hold of the good? At this point, I am using my writing and my voice to have that impact in our local community, but I believe there are so many ways to share the good. We can all find avenues if we choose to look for them.

Talk about a way that the "world" has influenced you for the better.

I've had the opportunity to surround myself with people, books, and media that speak encouragement and truth into my life on a regular basis. This comes sometimes as compliments, but it also comes as constructive criticism! Both are so necessary. On top of that, I make an effort to get outside regularly, expand my horizons, and challenge myself physically and mentally through outdoor activities. I believe things like running and hiking and swimming--getting out and moving--help clear my head, focus my thoughts, and leave me tired and refreshed all at once.

Describe a time when you felt totally badass. Physically, this summer has been great for that! I've pushed myself over and over again--long day hikes of up to 20 miles and some lengthy swims that have been on my radar for years. I've lifted more weight on a daily basis and really gotten myself in the best shape I've been in my life. I've learned that I am capable of so much more than I knew I was! Emotionally, overcoming those obstacles that seem tough to power through--that always leaves that badass feeling! Most recently, accepting a new job this year and taking on the challenge of building another 'life' at a new paper.

Who has/does inspire you? My husband Adam is always an inspiration to me! He is constantly pushing himself to improve and grow (and me, too). He has a 'can do' attitude that has brought him far in life, and I have sought to embrace that for myself in every way. He supports me in my endeavors and believes the very best is possible for us when we make an effort to be present, passionate about what we are doing, and persevere in our efforts!

What is your "super power"? Encouraging!

At the heart of a strong beautiful woman is: a person who is a student of life, an encourager, an empowerer, someone who looks for the best and is willing to deal in reality!


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