It’s important to remember to celebrate being a woman*
Life is hard. For all of us: men and women. I read something very interesting today – there are too many critics and not enough encouragers. Too true! I’m one of the latter. If I’m in a social setting I’m the first to compliment people, encourage, lift them up and offer positive words. Do I do this for myself? Not nearly often enough. I’m often my own worst enemy. But I am getting better. I realised that now and then I need to give myself…not a pep talk but those same words of encouragement that I so often give others. I’ve been thinking about myself a lot lately: who I am, what I think of myself, what do others think of me, where am I in my life, where do I want to be? In doing so I thought about not just women in general but women of my own age. So, boys, I’m sending lots of love and good energy to you but today’s post goes out to all the ladies…
1. Who are you? You’re the mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend, doggie/kitty mommy but in the end…you are you. If they say that men are the head of the household then women must surely be the centre. We’re the pillar that everyone relies on. Be proud of that because it’s a wonderful thing but don’t get lost in it. My Great-grandmother in France used to tell my mother this: ‘I get up every day and do my chores quickly, the house, the washing, the dishes. Then what is done is done. What’s not done, isn’t. Because, you know, tomorrow everything will be there all over again: the dishes, the washing, the chores.’ After cleaning she would sit with her bread, cheese and a glass of wine. She would add, ‘All of this will still be here but you know, tomorrow…I may not be here.’ There’s a simple wisdom in that. Do your duties and do them well but don’t obsess. When it’s all going mad – the kids, the husband, the dogs, the washing, the dishes!!! Take a step back, a deep breath and let it all go mad while you sit back and gather yourself. It’s ok. It’ll all be there tomorrow as it would’ve been if you’d also run around like mad. You have a duty to yourself as well.
2. What do you think of yourself? You are unique. You are a woman. I want you to celebrate being both of those. Close your bedroom door, put some funky music on and dance. Really, do it. Sexy dance in front of the mirror. You might have a couple of good laughs at first but you’ll start getting into it and you’re gonna say, ‘Hey, I’m sexy.’ At the end of the day you’re a woman. Do something that will challenge yourself. At this stage in our life most of us have been through hell and back. Having children, raising them, teenage years…not for the fainthearted. Juggling jobs and finance, moving houses, supporting our partners while we’re not being supportive to ourselves. Again, I’m the first to say do your duty to your utmost but nowadays I’m also saying…be a little selfish. Take some time for you. Cue: laughter and yes, I can hear your words, “Where do I find the time?” You make the time. You fight for it. You make the effort. Would you drive in the dark at 6pm so your daughter can have an extra dance class? Why don’t you do that for YOU? Would you take time out on Saturday to drive your son halfway across the country to get to a cricket match? Why don’t you do that for YOU? Would you get up early to help your other half get off well for a business trip? Why don’t you do that for YOU? Do you put your heart into doing your work well? Put your heart in for YOU. Ha! You say. It’s because of the dance class/cricket match/getting up early for my partner/working my heart out that I have no time for myself. I’m with you girl, I’ve been there. You need to push one thing aside, just once a week, to make that effort for time for you. Before you know it…it’s a part of your routine. Remember what Great-granny said: “It will all be there tomorrow.”
3. What do others think of me? Does it really matter? Well, yes and no. Firstly let’s get that out of the way. There are those people which you must just push aside in your mind. If you are on the path of good karma anyone who is going to judge or be scornful are not to be heeded. There are those that do like your good family and friends. Can you answer this question though – does it matter what I think of myself? Of course! At the end of the day take it all back and ask if your actions, deeds etc are something you can live with? Or…if you’re your own worst enemy (like me sometimes) imagine someone else doing your actions/looking like you do/seeing someone’s lifestyle etc…would it be acceptable? If yes, then stop beating yourself up.
4. Where am I in my life and where do I want to be? A very personal question. You’ve done the wedding, the babies and toddlers, teenagers and suddenly you may feel that you’re standing there feeling quite alone. Oh, it’s not like you’re not loved or needed but from a whirlwind life your teenagers are branching off and wanting more and more independence, your husband has his career and quite often you find yourself looking down, chatting to the dogs…not entirely a bad conversation! Find something. It doesn’t have to be something that you do forever just challenge yourself, get out there, change routine, do something different. A career or a change of career. Maybe your own business? This may help with that second question of where you want to be because believe me this is an amazing beginning. The most important thing is to have faith in yourself: Yes, you can!!
5. Lastly, really, I want to applaud you. From my heart I say thank you: for everything you do that goes unnoticed – looking after the children, supporting your partner, taking care of the animals and house, working hard to make ends meet, going the extra mile. Because sometimes it’s not meant but you don’t get a thank you. The final word is to have faith in yourself. For all the good you’ve put out there the universe will give back to you. Stay strong.
Faith but also lipstick and perfume helps! That’s what my Mama always says!
Love to all you ladies
*Thank you to Steve Castings for the wonderful photograph