Heart and Soul

Tuesday, May 10, 2005


Recently while discussing a number of life issues with a college-age friend, I came to the realization that women are often sadly deficient in the advice department. While we instinctively possess a world of wisdom and are incredibly capable of learning and creating, generally we have been poorly taught and sparingly advised on ways to strategically plan our lives.

So after considered thought, I have come up with a list of life advisories that I’ve entitled, Womandments. And while clearly every woman has her own distinct means by which she lives, I think these eleven little gems are worth considering.

1) Listen to your heart and become who you want to be. Your dreams absolutely can come true.

2) Never allow anyone to diminish your personal value. No amount of money or power provides another human with the right to judge your worthiness.

3) In choosing a profession, always seriously consider retirement plans and pension options. If none are offered, then with that first paycheck, start your own. One of life’s greatest freedoms is having enough money accrued at age 40 or 45 to retire, or at least regularly shop at T.J Maxx with complete abandon.

4) Children are a choice, not a requirement. If you should choose to become a mother, know in advance that the job will be demanding and exhaustingly endless, but also know the years will fly by and your caring devotion will return to you in magical ways you could never imagine.

5) Do your best to avoid envy or jealousy in your life. Have confidence that you are a unique gift to the world, and don’t diminish your brilliance by demeaning the talents of others.

6) Who we are, the good and the bad, is greatly influenced by the actions of our parents. Yet at some point in our adult lives we need to acknowledge that mom and dad did their best and begin taking responsibility for our own actions, rather than blaming our parents for our faults.

7) Set goals for yourself, personally and professionally. Write them down and update them so that you are aware of the passage of time and the progress of your life.

8) Understand that behind every great marriage there is a strong and caring group of family and friends. Cultivate and cherish them for they are the direct path to years of happily wedded life.

9) Spiritual faith is integral to your well being. However a meaningful connection to the God of your choice does not necessarily require a steepled church or a holy preacher.

10) There are two things that will ensure a life well lived: laughing fully and loudly and giving to others, both on a daily basis.

11) Last but far from least, love can be everything, but it is not the only thing. If love should leave or never appear, make sure that there is enough of you to make your life whole.

And I guess I would be remiss if I didn’t include the two memorable pieces of advice that my mother shared with me throughout her life. First, to always realize how lucky you are. That glass can be half full, as easily as it is half empty. Second, to never go to sleep angry…at yourself, your significant other, your family, your friends, the world….life is short, don’t waste it.
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