Women Worth Knowing: Meet Chey

I met Chey a few years ago through my Homeowners Association web group.  I noticed that she was a lightning rod for conversation, likely because she was fearless about stating her well-considered, well-researched, well-written opinions.  Chey has been a very important part of what makes our neighborhood a great place to live.  She has what I call a Founding Father spirit.  That is, she understands what it takes to get the grass roots moving. She is a Patrick Henry type, able to light a fire in the group and get things moving.

She has been very charitable with her time in our neighborhood, involved with various aspects of different events, always willing to help.  Recently, I learned that she worked and lived in Moscow during the Cold War, and that raised her to an entirely new level of esteem.  Neighborhoods need a Chey, and I just like running into her at the WalMart.

Meet Chey.

Name: Chey Dustin
Age Range: 50s
Preferred Job Title: Currently domestic goddess, book reviewer, beading queen and project manager for family.
Industry: Currently in the “belief in family and home” industry

I’m the proud mom of 2 adult(ish) daughters and partner/spouse of their father, my life mate, for 33 years now.

The first hour of my day is spent in “slow mo”. I like to wake quietly, drink some caffiene, read the paper, watch the sunrise, hear the birds awake and do a little writing, then shift into high gear and “get ‘er done.”

The last hour of my over-filled days are spent checking the next day’s schedules, doing the lockdown and then a bit of reading before bed.

I’m at the age now that I can objectively view my life in more of an arc than the short bursts I saw it as when younger. Because of this I am better able to have a realistic perspective on how my definition of success has changed. Success: I have healthy children who think independently, are pretty self-sufficient and who have, so far, avoided some of the major pitfalls to which some of peers have succumbed. Success: My relationship with my life-partner has steadily become stronger over the long years together. Success: I know that the work I did early on, over a 20 year period, had a permanent, positive impact on the world and helped form who I have become. But most importantly, I feel I’ve found success because I don’t need/crave or pander to the judgements of others like I did when I was young. I am what I am…and I’m okay with that…because I know my own heart.

More and more I find joy in the simplest pleasures. After a hectic period of time working, raising kiddos, etc. I have the time now to stop and look and listen better than I ever have before. So I notice the beauty in things that I passed by too quickly before. Also, one thing in particular that brings me great joy is having long discussions with my daughters in which they truly share their own opinions and ideas on lots of subjects with no hesitation. After their stormy, closeted teen years, it is so nice to find out what kind of people they’ve become…and it is a joy to me that they feel free to share themselves with me.

Women I admire? First on the list would be the strong women in my family who preceded me. My mother, my grandmothers….they all endured hardships and sorrows with a grace that humbles me. They stood for what was right. Their loyalty was unshakeable. Other women I admire include writers, artists and “trailblazers”. I was the first generation that benefitted from the “women’s movement” of the 60’s/70’s. While some of those leaders were abrasive and unpopular, they made great strides both in the workplace and home for those of us who followed. The greatest achievement they gave us was a choice to be what we wanted to be…not stay within any tight stereotype defined by society.

My closest friend offers me absolute honesty…even at times when I may feel it is not what I want, I know it is what I need.

My best trait is that abhor injustice. Also I have loyalty and being forthright, all things I consider positive traits. Some interpret my forthright behavior as being abrasive. That’s their choice. While I’m guilty of being blunt and frank, I do not ever intend to be rude or mean-spirited. My personal belief is that we all waste too much time in talking around an issue, padding it with cotton, when we should just be direct and frank.

Advise I would give boys about girls? Be clear, be honest, be reliable. Say what you mean and then truly mean what you say. If you don’t mean it, don’t say it. Oh, and learn to cook and do laundry…no thinking woman wants to be your personal maid or substitute mother. When looking for a girlfriend, always look for substance over style. We all love style but style can fade with time, but substance is forever! Find someone with both!

I overcome adversity through committed persistence and an unwillingness to be cowed down by those who try to bully me through their words, actions or judgments. On personal adversities I draw on the strength and example of the strong women who came before me.

How do I want to be remembered? As someone who was never afraid to speak up for those who had no voice. As someone who, when choosing between career and family, made the hard choice and at the end of the day, it proved to be the best choice for me. As someone who never loved lightly but always loved deeply.

3 thoughts on “Women Worth Knowing: Meet Chey”

  1. I enjoyed this post about my dear friend Chey.

    You described her most accurately and, as always, I love Chey’s written words.

    Well done.

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