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Posts Tagged With: self-love

Strong Women, Grey Ties & Valentine’s Day

As a girl, Valentine’s Day was celebrated with a school party, card boxes, ice skating and moms visiting our classrooms.

google.images.com

google.images.com

As a teenager, Valentine’s Day was celebrated with a boyfriend if I had one and avoided if I didn’t.

google images

google images

As a young married woman, Valentine’s Day meant cards and flowers – for a while, anyways.  As our relationship evolved, romantic gestures were replaced by thoughtful ones.  Things you can’t buy in the store: taking out the trash; filling my car up with gas on a snowy day.  Running his vehicle through the car wash then detailing the inside myself. Folding the laundry left in the dryer; bringing in the groceries.   It’s the little things  ~ but they’re helpful and kind and nice.  And there’s a flow and a comfort to it that I love.

In my 50’s I don’t wait for someone else to make me happy ~ I make myself happy.

get-your-happy-on-quote-1You see I learned it from her:  My mother was a strong woman and my role model  – 100lbs of dynamite ~ she calved calves, trained horses, wrangled 5 kids, a husband, a 1/2 acre garden, 2 dogs and 14 cats.  She rode in trail rides, taught 4-H and Sunday School, balanced the books and Chaired the Board.  She always got out to vote, once taking the tractor to the highway to catch a ride to the polls. No muddy roads were going to stop her!  Not much ever did!

Mom wrangling a Thanksgiving turkey in 1963 - mother of 5, do-er of anything she set her mind to. An Emjayandthem(C) photo

Mom wrangling a Thanksgiving turkey in 1963 – mother of 5, do-er of anything she set her mind to. An Emjayandthem(C) photo

Like she did, I go to bed when I’m tired,  take a nap if I need one and I stay up late when I choose to.  I make room for the things I love – books – and never apologize for the space they occupy.  I have learned how to say “no thanks” to stuff I don’t want (or want to do) and “YES please!” to the ones I do.

Years ago Mom bought my sister & I that novel about the guy with the grey ties  ~ She made it clear she had no intentions of reading it and quipped “you can handle it” with a snort.   The two of us traumatized our grown kids by leaving it out on end tables.  The comments of horror from my nieces and the looks our boys shot my way were so worth it.  That was her point, to stir the pot and to remind us we always have a choice.

I chuckle remembering how Mom and I joked that if a good looking, rich man came near us with a grey tie, he’d find himself in some deep do-do.

God, I miss her.

So this Valentine’s Day I wish you this:

  • I wish you the courage to make the leap you’ve been pondering,
  • I wish you dreams in technicolor,
  • I wish you the conviction to change what’s not working, to stop worrying about what others think and to do the things that make your soul sing.
  • Time’s a-wasting and, per the wisest woman I’ve ever known, the only hero we have is ourselves.

 

strong-women

 

 

 

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Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, fear, Fun, Gratitude, Grief, Growth, Holidays, Humor, Joy, Love, Mom, Personal, Romance, Uncategorized, Wisdom, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Random 5 Saturday- Radiators, Revolutions & True loves

Here we are at Saturday again and this week felt like four-in-one.

1.       Attended a meeting in an ancient City Hall recently and noticed steam radiators at the back. They took me back to grade 6 in our tiny prairie school.  That’s where we defrosted (homemade) wool mittens and, in a stroke of pure genius, my cousin and I convinced Mom and Aunt Irene to pack us grilled cheese sandwiches wrapped in foil. Why? About 30 minutes before noon you’d find those same foil packets set amongst the wet woolies and we’d guarantee ourselves ooey-gooey goodness for lunch.  I still remember the hissing and clanging sound those things made … and being cold most of the time.

 Radiator

2.       Went through a Starbucks drive-thru on my way back into town the other day. Now I don’t love Starbucks, as their coffee is a bit strong for me, and I’ve never adapted to their haughty sizing conventions. Venti-Grandayyyyy-whatever. I ordered a medium mild coffee with lots of cream and waited my turn in line. Well apparently we all waited too long because a gal behind me tooted her horn to get everyone going. Looking through the rear-view, I gave her what Mom always dubbed, “the look.” You know the look – you likely learned it from YOUR Mom. The look can turn someone into a pillar of salt. Anyways, confusing my acknowledgement for something else, she waved and offered what could politely be called a “hurry up” gesture.  Quietly and deliberately, I took my foot off the brake and put my car in park.  For a minute.  Or two. Maybe three? Who knows?  Just long enough to see her wave her hands and lose her you-know-what. Just long enough to send a message of, “Hey Honey, don’t mess with old(er) people.  Ta-wanda!”

 3.       Speaking of Tawanda, a bowling acquaintance told me I remind her of Kathy Bates in “Fried Green Tomatoes.”  I adore Kathy Bates but haven’t wrapped myself in Saran Wrap or hatched plans to smash some chick’s car in the parking lot … oh wait. See # 2. Ha!

I do love this movie!

I do love this movie!

4.        Next week oldest boy turns 30.  2 minutes ago he was this little.  Sniff, sniff.  He’ll always be my first true love.

That face! My boy. My first true love. An Emjayandthem (C) photo

That face! My boy. My first true love. An Emjayandthem (C) photo

5.       Yesterday marked 60 days grain-free.  60 days!  I’m feeling good, sleeping well, and no longer complain about aches & pains.  My skin’s happy, my clothes are looser, and I’ve found what works for me.  Social events are a challenge, travel can be as well, but you know what? I’m worth fighting for.  I’ve finally put myself on that d*mn to-do list I’ve carried around for 30 years.  Whoop!

TODOLIST

What’s random in your world this week?  What revolutions have you inspired in your mind?  Did you have alternate uses for heating appliances as a kid?  What’s the last kind thing you did for yourself?

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, Family, Food, Growth, Humor, Joy, Life, Love, Men, Personal, Rants, Relationships, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Useful Information, Wisdom, Women, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Curtain intolerance

It’s been an adventure, that’s for sure, this Wheat Belly way of living – eating differently, thinking differently, feeling differently.  Sleeping differently, looking differently.  All different – good – wonderful – but different.   Empowering different.

Hubbs is on board, cheering me on.  Youngest boy enjoys being my “sample taster.”  Friends are asking questions.   One has reacted negatively, because when you change it can create friction in a relationship – your change, motion, and movement can make another feel like they’re standing still.   Years ago I would have stopped my progress to rush back and “save” her and our rapport.  Not anymore.

Talking with a colleague about her unhappy relationship I listened in sadness as she described all she does for her boyfriend and how little it’s appreciated.  I listened as she told me about taking his kids to school, along with hers, how he doesn’t like it when she has to travel because he must assume her role.  It’s been three years and there’s no ring on her finger and between you and me, I don’t think he ever intended to put one there.  I listened until I couldn’t and then asked her this, “If you had a girlfriend telling you all this, what would your advice be?”

self talk

Making small changes to better my health have me feeling like I lifted the curtain – I can see clearly now, the rain is gone.    The  view has sharpened.  It has less to do with what I’m eating and more to do with (finally) putting my name on that d*mn “to-do” list I’ve carried for 30 years.  And when you do it, finally do it, the clarity you enjoy lessens tolerance for the curtains around you.

My colleague?   Settling for an unhealthy relationship with a guy who treats her badly.  I can’t save her.  She has to save herself.

Can you relate to this post?  Are you on your “to do” list?  What messages have you told yourself and are you willing to change the message?

 

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” ~e.e. cummings

emjayandthem in grade one

emjayandthem in grade one

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, Family, Growth, Joy, Life, Life Lessons, Personal, Quotes, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

On value, growth and being seen

So I’ve written a bit about a women’s workshop I was off to this weekend; it took place yesterday at a beautiful old inn on the other side of the state.  And to me, when you’ve not been to most places around you, part of the adventure is in the getting there.

A few weeks ago, as I knew he might, Hubbs pushed back on my attending.   Nothing serious, just in that way he does, a steady stream of questions about who-what-where-when-and why.  His Virgo-iffic nature of over-analyzing everything and thinking the worst kicked in (surely someone will kidnap me and I’ll end up dead).   No, seriously, that’s how he thinks sometimes.  Especially when it involves someone he loves.  Here’s the extent of the threats along my route:

amish mcdonalds

Anna sat in the carriage while Abe went inside. Me?  200% Safe!

I arrived at our destination, hugged my friend the Life Coach and met the other lovelies in attendance.  I ran into Sara again – someone I knew once years ago – and she with the happy curls and a smile that fills her face all the way up to her eyes – was absolutely delicious.

I think we were all nervous, I know I was, but soon we settled in and a relaxed camaraderie emerged.   As the workshop began we took turns listening.  Looking around I wondered if just having that moment wasn’t reward enough for being there.  Being heard is a powerful feeling.  Being seen is another.

One woman spoke to what we’ve all experienced ~ the cattiness of other women.. and her fears about attending: would we be any different?  Could we be trusted?   She spoke of her losses and her triumphs and how those experiences had prepared her to be exactly where she was right now … and we found ourselves nodding in agreement. Church was in session and I was in the front pew!

Some trembled when their turn to talk came around.  Bear in mind that many of us work in corporate roles where public speaking is part of what we do. Easy-peasy-pudding-and-pie.  But choosing to speak about deeply personal things can render the most accomplished woman speechless.  Some were at a crossroads – – marriages ending, careers stalled, children moving on.  Life stretching out ahead like one big highway but what now, what would it look like and just where to start?  I found myself listening to a sad-eyed woman who spoke haltingly of  her profession and the toll it was taking on her.  Quietly I shared background on Meyers-Briggs personality tests and our group encouraged her to not just look for a job change but for what will make her soul sing.  Her smile back to us was a gift.

Across from me sat Diane, a bubbly and energetic woman with very expressive hands – she patiently listened to everyone but when I asked her our table’s question: “what are you naturally good at” her eyes firmly met mine and she confidently said, “I’m very creative.”  When women speak their truth, have you ever noticed body language shifts and they lean into the answer? I l-o-v-e that.

I had several “aha’s” that come when your spirit is open and your soul is in a sacred space.  And on my drive back home, I smiled at the answer I had given Hubbs as I reassured him no one was going to kidnap me and I wasn’t going to die: I can die on the couch.  Life is meant to be lived and I’m going for it!

 

“Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.” ― M. Scott Peck,  The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values, and Spiritual Growth

 

What’s the last thing you did just for you?  If you have to think about it … it’s time.

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Categories: Determination, Faith, fear, Fun, Growth, Joy, Life, Personal, Quotes, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

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