The furthest thing from a young woman’s mind is that time far off into the future when she will be fifty(+) and menopausal. Who has time to think about such things when your baby is crying, your toddler is reaching for a sharp object, and your eight-year-old just threw up all the pizza, cake, and, I’m not kidding—sushi (sushi?)—he had at a birthday party where the parents spent more to please Bobby or Suzy than what you spend on two-weeks worth of groceries? Or when she’s heading out the door to work, tossing down a piece of toast and a hot cup of coffee. Or whatever it is this young woman is doing to Live Her Life and do what she must do because so much of our lives is spent doing “what we must do.” (And I’m not leaving out the guys here, you can take out “menopausal” and add your own lists and dos and etcs here just as well!)
However, what I wish a big sister had told me in my teens, twenties, and thirties is this: how you treat yourself and how you ask to be treated by those around you will forever affect the person you will become—Me, the Future You. Who are you—I mean, the real you, not the Mommy You or the Wife You or the Worker You or the Partner You, but the Woman You, the one you must face in the mirror from now until, well, until you can no longer look into a mirror. For one day in your future you will look into that mirror and see the woman you have become from the experiences you have now. As your big sister, I want to tell you to care for yourself. To expect more of yourself, yes, but to expect more from others as well. That Respect should be a part of your daily diet—both taken in and given out—physical and mental/emotional respect.
When is the last time you patted yourself on the back for a life well-done? Have you been perfect? I bet not. Has every day been a gloriously sunshine-filled day of joy and happiness? Probably not. Have you lost your temper, been in a foul mood, screamed at your kids/partner/husband/coworkers/boss/employees/parents?, stomped around as if you were the two-year old? Maybe. But if this didn’t happen at least some time in your life, I’d wonder what you were trying to prove, or hide from yourself and others. We’re all human, and we all need to give ourselves a little break now and then to consider just how hard it is to raise a family, work to make a living, be married, be single, be independent, be dependent, caretake, be caretaken, etc etc etc, in other words: Life. Since you will one day be me and then beyond, I give you permission to love yourself, one day, one choice at a time.
And if you are already at the Me stage, it’s not too late to take everything I wrote and apply it liberally. Never too late to make a change, or go for that goal, or let go of one, etc etc etc, yup, in other words: Life ain’t over after 50, 60, 70, 80, beyond. I promise. We can make every excuse in the book—and they are all written down, believe me, in one fashion or another, nothing new under the moon—but ultimately this is our only life and how we decide to live it and how we decide to treat ourselves and others will determine how satisfied and at peace we are, how much respect we gain and give out. And when we fall on our ass, well, get up, brush the dirt off, and go on, who cares if someone saw you fall on your ass? You can betcha they’ve fallen on theirs but only you weren’t around to see it!
And remember, friends and family aren’t perfect either . . . they fall on their asses regularly too! But we can help them up just as they can help us up.
here is the only perfection:
Now go do the day!
PS – This is the LAST day of the Summer Sunshine Deals at Amazon (that page takes you to where TG happens at this moment -and that can change and does -to be No 1 on a list-which as I said below, if you put in enough criteria, you just may end up No 1 on a list *laugh*). After today, Tender Graces, and the other 600ish titles will revert to their regular prices. Thank you for your support! I guess we’ll see where all this leads. I have also found I am terrible at “self promo” – I suck at it – I become so uncomfortable talking about these things that have to do with “buying my books” – ungh ungh! But, happy to pass on savings, yes, that’s always a good thing!