Today, I am thinking of all the wonderful women I have in my life from my mother and mother-in-law to my aunts, nieces, cousins and friends. While I am not an expert on life or have a degree in philosophy, I do have some tips that I hope will make their day a little brighter. I am very blessed to have such strong and amazing females around me. Taking the words of Martina McBride…”This one’s for the girls.”
1. Don’t settle for ANYTHING or ANYONE.
2. Do what makes you happy.
3. Believe in yourself and you will be successful.
4. Love yourself and your body just the way it is. Do not compare yourself to the altered images of models in magazines and on TV. They are altered. You are real!
5. Cry. When you need to and when you want to. It is not a sign of weakness.
6. Take time for yourself, especially those of you who are mothers with careers. I admire working moms more than any other group of people. You are my heroes!
7. Find something to smile about each and every day. Hopefully, you won’t have to look too far!
8. Do not waste your time with a person who puts you down – be it a boyfriend, friend, relative or husband. People treat you the way you LET them treat you. If a person is always negative or makes you feel badly about yourself, end that relationship and move on. You deserve better!
9. Enjoy the company of other women. When a bunch of women get together, there is always laughter, smiles and great times! GIRL POWER!
10. Ask for help when you need it. Women today are expected to do it all from being mothers and wives to having successful careers and running a household. When you feel overwhelmed, ask for help. It’s OKAY!!
There is a new and disturbing epidemic that is happening with our children. Boys are asking girls to send nude or semi-nude pictures to them via their cell phones and the girls are doing it – willingly. Inevitably, the boy cannot resist and sends the picture to half the people in his contact list. He becomes known as a stud and the girl becomes known as a tramp. And this happening in middle schools and high schools where the ages of the children usually range from 11-18.
One of my best friends is a high school guidance counselor and I have heard her talk about this for the past few years. Several of the girls sent pictures of themselves thinking that only their boyfriend would see it (how naive) and others sent it just because they were asked (for attention?). She often gets the parents of both parties involved and there are a lot of tears and embarrassment. A few times, legal action was taken because the student who sent the pictures was 18 and the girl was underage. No matter the situation, the damage was done.
This weekend, my niece told me about a girl in her class who sent a picture of her breasts to a male friend who proceeded to send it to half of the people in the school. She is now being called a “whore” and gets taunted by the other girls every day and many of the boys snicker and whisper when she walks by. At 11 years old, she has ruined her reputation. And she is only in 6th grade.
The fact that seemingly so many girls are willing to share their bodies at such a young age is extremely disturbing to me. Parents and teachers need to talk with girls about not using their bodies for attention or love. I know that is a tough thing given all they see on TV shows, in music videos and all over magazine covers, but they must realize that their private parts are just that – private.
I will never forget my mother giving me a piece of advice I have followed all my life. She said, “Don’t ever do anything that prevents you from holding your head up high as you walk down the halls.” That was one of the most valuable things she ever told me and I wish more girls would heed that advice. We all knew girls in high school who did things that caused them to have terrible nicknames and bad reputations. Back then, it was for fooling around or “going all the way” and people had to decide whether or not they believed the boy or the girl. Today, kids can SEE the evidence.
Girls must be more respectful of themselves and their bodies. They must understand that one bad decision can lead to years of misery. All with a click of a button.
Yesterday, I had a wonderful and delicious Sunday brunch with some of my closest friends. At one point, while sipping my mimosa, I looked at the faces of those I hold so dear to my heart and smiled. Wow. We really have been through a lot over the years and yet, we are still close. There’s been good dates, bad dates, break-ups, make-ups, engagements, marriages, babies, divorces, illnesses, sick parents and deaths of loved ones. Through it all, we were always there for each other to offer support and encouragement and I know that will never change.
When I was single, my friends became the sisters I never had. Being in the dating scene, working as teachers and coming from close families, we always had a lot to talk about. Plus, we were girls! In fact, we became known as “the girls” to our colleagues and families. We would work out together, eat together, go out on weekends together and even vacation together. It might seem like a lot, but always being together felt natural. And we had fun. Boy, did we have fun! We made many lasting memories filled with lots of drinks, laughs and smiles (and a few incriminating photos!). While some our other friends and acquaintances were planning their weddings and how many children they were going to have, we single girls were planning our happy hours and weekend getaways. Of course, there were little squabbles amongst us from time to time, but nothing terrible. And that’s not really unusual in a family. You disagree, or get on each other’s nerves once in a while, and then you move on and you move forward – together.
Over the past six years, many changes have occurred in the lives of the girls – most of us are married, some have children and I no longer live in the area. Some friendships do not stand the test of time after moving, marriage or children. We all know people who have gotten married or had children and seem to completely disappear. The friendship dwindles down more and more until the only communication you have is through Christmas cards or text messages around the holidays. You lose the bond of friendship you had with the person and they end up what they started as, an acquaintance.
As we get older, we get busier and become less available, especially with children and family obligations. But my friends – my sisters – have always been there for me and I know that will not change no matter what. Why? Because we still take and make the time for each other. We might not see each other as much, but we still talk or text and when we do get together, it’s like nothing changed. Thankfully, we all married fantastic men and our husbands all get along really well, which makes getting together as couples just as much fun. But every now and then, we do our “girls” thing. And it’s wonderful to spend time with my sisters. After each get together, I realize one thing. They will always be a part of me and my life. No matter what life may bring- good or bad – we will always be together. I am truly blessed to have them in my life I love them dearly.