I was just catching up on my news and came across this amazing blog post by Dr. F. Emelia Sam on Huffington Post, The Grown Woman’s Oath. It is about believing in ourselves, being kind and respectful to other women, and acknowledging and celebrating our differences as women. I think it is lovely:
1. Other women are not my competition.
The old paradigm of “there’s only room for one” continues to be broken down. We still have a way to go, but it is up to us to create room for the next woman — not elbow her out of the way.
2. I admit that gossip is pointless.
“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” – Eleanor Roosevelt (a debated credit, but I’m going with Eleanor). Which mind do you have? Or are you just out of your mind?
3. I acknowledge that womanhood is self-defined.
Wear a Gucci belt or a tool belt. Have a child or don’t. Get married or not. There’s a spectrum of womanhood. Do you.
4. I recognize that women have value at every age.
There is no need to feel shame or shame others for the appearance of grey hair, wrinkles or freakin’ cellulite. Your essence is ageless.
5. I do not use my emotions as an excuse (to act the fool).
Emotions are indicators that can be used to explore underlying issues. They are not to be suppressed, but don’t use them to justify throwing over tables and vanquishing your frenemies. Really?
6. I hold my sexuality sacred.
There is nothing wrong with “being sexy.” However, if that is all you lead with, you will never be seen or respected for the whole person you are. It is part of you, but it does not wholly define you. Celebrate it without compromising your wholeness.
7. I will give up comparison.
There will always be another woman with smaller thighs or a bigger bank account. The only comparison you need to make is how you used to be and how far you’ve come.
8. I always speak in my true voice.
Your voice is worthy of being heard. There is never any need to downplay your truth due to insecurity or in an attempt to manipulate.
9. I am certain of my exquisite nature.
Beneath the layers, you are a unique, invaluable and divine being. Believe.
My sister-in-law gave our family a wonderful gift at Christmas — these pewter napkin rings with each of our monograms.
Included in the gift box was a note with instructions to 1) keep these on our breakfast table at all times; and 2) not change, wash or iron the napkins for days at a time.
The napkin rings have not left my table for the past few months and I am surprised by a few things:
- How fancy my breakfast table looks — as if I’m expecting guests to walk in the door at a moments notice
- How frequently I’m using our cloth napkins that normally don’t see much daylight
- How clean the napkins really stay after each meal
And most especially:
- How our family dinners have become more special and conversational
Think about the difference in your attitude and behavior if you eat at the local diner (paper napkins) vs your neighborhood bistro (cloth napkins).
If we head to cloth-napkin restaurant, the little ones know that this is a special dinner and bring out their “extra-special dinner manners” allowing for more loving conversation and less “sit down and get your fingers out of your spaghetti”. Somehow, this mentality has shifted to our dinners at home — and I give credit to these special napkin rings!
What a great gift idea — and one that I will definitely be passing on to friends!
Powerful three minutes about boys, emotions, what not to say.
Thought-provoking, scary, and sad, to say the least.
My boys’ school has a fantastic program about the importance of respect and kindness to others, and not bullying. It is based on the book “How Full is Your Bucket”.
It is amazing – a very simple concept for kids (and adults) of any age to understand. I hear my boys talk about it from time to time, and use examples of how someone has either “filled their bucket” by doing something nice, or when someone has “bucket dipped” by doing something mean or disrespectful. I am starting to use the concept at home more, since it is such a nice way to frame and visualize the importance of being kind and respectful.
The Theory of the Bucket and the Dipper
Each one of us has an invisible bucket.
It is constantly emptied or filled, depending on what others say or do to us.
When our bucket is full, we feel great.
When it is empty, we feel awful.
Each of us has an invisible dipper.
When we use that dipper to fill other people’s buckets ~
by saying or doing things to increase their positive emotions ~ we also fill our own bucket.
But when we use that dipper to dip from others’ buckets ~ by doing or saying things that decrease their positive emotions ~ we diminish ourselves.
Like the cup that runneth over, a full bucket gives us a positive out-look and renewed energy. Every drop in that bucket makes is stronger and more optimistic.
But an empty bucket poisons our outlook, saps our energy, and undermines our will. That’s why every time someone dips from our bucket, it hurts us.
So we face a choice every moment of every day: We can fill one another’s buckets, or we can dip from them.
It’s an important choice ~ one that profoundly influences our relationships, productivity, health, and happiness.
What’s Going on Outside: ugh, March is whipping my ass and we’re only five days in. I’m sick of dirty snow, icy sidewalks and boots.
How I’m Battling the March Blues: With blue, white and pink hyacinths sprinkled around the house. It may be grey outside, but the fragrance from my hyacinths reminds me that spring is on the way.
TV Shows I’m Digging: I will always be loyal to my Housewives of Bev Hills, but have lately turned on The Americans and Blacklist. Both have too much blood, but are good dramas that entertain the Mister and me on a Wed night.
What’s for dinner: Southwest Meatballs – one pot meal!
What I’m celebrating: Day 19 without any Diet Pepsi! People, this is huge for me. HUGE! It was time.
How I’ll End my Day: With a hot bath and my favorite L’Occitane Shea Ultra Rich Foaming Bath.
Did you read this wonderful article in the NYTimes? The author of “Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting” had some really astute and wise observations about her 5th decade of life.
Some of my favorites:
There are no grown-ups. Everyone is winging it, some just do it more confidently.
There are no soul mates. In fact, “soul mate” isn’t a pre-existing condition. It’s an earned title.
People’s youthful quirks can harden into adult pathologies.
By your 40s, you don’t want to be with the cool people; you want to be with your people.
And one of my favorite words of wisdom come from the comments section:
Life is not about finding the best. It is about making the best out of what you’ve got.
I prepared for my 40th birthday the way some people prepared for their weddings. I wanted to start this new decade feeling on top of the world — so I upped the exercising ante and finally fit into the too-tight-jeans, took inventory on my commitments and reduced a few, and really focused on what I had and not what I was missing. It worked — I felt confident and great about myself for the months before and after my 40th.
What happened afterwards is what surprised me. I gained some of the weight back, became over-scheduled once again, and started questioning some decisions….however, I didn’t lose that confidence. I had attributed my new-found confidence to all the of self-improvement on the outside, but it hit me that the confidence really came 40 years of life experiences and the self-improvement on the inside.
With that, I add my own lessons learned about being 41 and a half:
We finally are able to stop hiding who we really are. 40 year old introverts sigh a big relief.
As we witness our parents struggling with balance, memory loss and other signs of aging, we do everything possible to keep our minds and bodies young and fit to better prepare for the inevitable.
We finally learn that life satisfaction is not indicated by a number on the scale.
We can honestly answer the question “what do you want for your birthday?” with “I have everything I need”.
Do you have any words of wisdoms to add?
The cold and grey weather has been a theme on this blog as well as in my every day.
While Wendy posts pics of her boys wearing shorts, the rest of us are bundled head to toe in puffer jackets. And that is why an escape to paradise was much needed.
My entire family shared a house on the island of Barbados where we were greeted with so many shades of blue.
And each night would end with this….
I returned home feeling so healthy — my skin wasn’t dry and itchy anymore, my face added a few more freckles, my belly gained a few more scoops of ice cream….and most importantly, my spirit has been recharged with sun and family time.
Fourth graders in California study California History, and a key and much beloved component of that is studying the California Missions. The fourth grade “Mission Project” is a well-established rite of passage for young Californians, and generations of folks fondly remember “their Mission”.
A little background for those unfamiliar… the California Missions are a series of 21 religious outposts built by Catholics between 1769 and 1833. The goal of the Missions was to to spread the Christian faith among the local Native Americans. The Missions are dotted along California’s El Camino Real (the King’s Highway), which is largely today’s Highway 101, and they span from San Diego to Sonoma.
My older son’s class is now embarking on their Mission projects, and he was assigned Mission Soledad, or Mission Nuestra Senora de la Soledad – translated as Our Lady of Solitude, the 13th of the 21 missions. Soledad lies about 2 hours south of us, along highway 101, in the California’s agricultural Salinas Valley. We took a family adventure to Soledad this past weekend – our “Mission mission” – to check it out in person. It was a gorgeous and peaceful day, and it felt like we were a millions miles from the San Francisco Bay Area. We all got in on the history and fun of the trip, including my 7 year old who was also sketching the buildings and exploring the grounds.
A main part of the project is creating a model of the Mission, so our dining room table is now home to empty milk cartons, Model Magic, paper mache, and other items in which to recreate Mission Soledad. I have no doubt that this is not the last of the Mission Project updates from me…
I was saddened reading Wendy’s post yesterday about the loss of her family friend. My heart aches for you, my friend, and your close-knit community.
Last night, I was at a dinner party and woman who say across from me had just lost her father at Christmastime. I had met her father once and had asked her to re-tell one of his childhood stories about having tea with Eleanor Roosevelt at the White House. It was a charming story and one that you never would have read about in a history textbook or biography.
It struck me that there are so many wonderful tales and stories that have the potential to be buried with the storytellers. As we grieve the loss of a person and their energy that fills our hearts — we also grieve the stories that will never be told again with such details, inflections and accuracy.
We had a health scare in our family about 5 years ago that inspired my Dad to write his memories from the last 70 years – how he came into this world, how he was parented, favorite childhood friends, rebellious activities that you can only get away with as a young boy…he left us a legacy of his childhood up until college — and then stopped. The health scare was over and life resumed to normal.
With the thought of losing loved ones on my mind; it made me want to re-committ to documenting some of these stories. To ask my Dad to continue writing his story. To interview my Mom to ensure her stories will be passed on to the younger generation. And to listen closely to those around me so I can help re-tell their stories.