Posted on February 1st, 2012
Posted by Julene Samuels
Hi everyone! I just had a birthday, and a special gift that I received from my dad was a little
book called, “Cowgirl Smarts…How to Rope a Kick-Ass Life”. I was told by my mother that in a
rare “together shopping moment”, my dad encouraged my mom to “get this book for Julene”,
which, mostly to shut him up, my mother did! As fate would have it, this little book of course,
turned out to be one of my favorite birthday presents. I haven’t had the chance yet to sit down
with my sweet father and ask him exactly why it occurred to him that his oldest daughter should
have a copy of this book, but I am hoping that, and until I can ask him for clarification I will go on
assuming that maybe the reason is that he thinks I might have “cowgirl smarts”…of course, the
other alternative is that he thinks I might NEED more “cowgirl smarts”!
This little gem of a book is about Life Lessons obtained from cowgirls who tamed the West, and
when you think about it, some of those women had to have been pretty tough and potentially
gutsy role models for many generations of women to come. My parents and schoolteachers
taught me and inspired me from a young age to believe that I could become whatever I wanted
to be in life. They inspired in me a sense of self-confidence that was genderless.
So, for years I believed I could easily become anything or anyone I wanted to be, but as I looked
toward the top surgical residencies after medical school, and then for Plastic Surgical
residencies after General Surgery residency, I realized that in the “real world” of the career I had
chosen, there were not hundreds of women who had gone before me. Where were my female
role models? I had chosen a career that, throughout most of my training, was not totally devoid
of female physician/surgeon role models, but there were few. I then chose a surgical specialty
and residency where I was the 11th female Plastic Surgery resident to complete the program.
When I finished Plastic Surgery residency, women represented less than 5 % of practicing
board-certified plastic surgeons.
Now, I have never been a true feminist in every respect, but I do think, and as I read this little
book I came to wish, that all girls everywhere could make decisions like a cowgirl, and set big
goals for themselves like a cowgirl. This little book helps women realize, by reading chapter
after chapter, how they might aspire in their lives to find their cowgirl spirit and use it to exercise
their sense of freedom and independence in their everyday lives, whether it is spent on the golf
course, running for a political office or volunteering for the Peace Corps. The little book
documents characteristics in cowgirls of the Wild West by telling stories about the lives of true
cowgirls. The author has summarized some of these cowgirl characteristics into a set of
unwritten rules that cowgirls lived by for over 100 years, and she calls it The Cowgirl Creed.
Here it is…
The Cowgirl Creed
- Dare to be a cowgirl
- Buck the rules
- Stay balanced in the saddle
- Ride the trail of adventure
- Dream as big as Texas
- Be tough, but be feminine
- Attack life like it’s a 1000 lb. steer
- Saddle your own horse
- Rein in your fears
- Dress for success – the cowgirl way
- Ride high in the saddle
- Ride high, but stay grounded
- Give others a leg up
- Always get back on the horse
- Ride beside your man
- Recharge your cowgirl spirit
- Die with your boots on
I hope you find a way to lasso your cowgirl spirit and think outside the ranch! Like a plaque I
have in my kitchen reminds me everyday…Here’s to a good woman…may we know them…may
we be them…may we raise them.
Happy trails to you, until we meet again!