Hey, I have a message for you- something new; something that may go more viral even than the keto diet and hot yoga- something revolutionary! And don’t forget that you first read it here! Are you ready for this massive truth bomb? Here goes:
You’re doing fine.
I just wanted you to know that.
Cake, Wine and Cellulite
Even though you have wrinkles around the corners of your eyes and you drank that wine and you ate that cake with caffeinated coffee and you have cellulite- (yes, the terrible secret’s out and will be all around your kids’ schoolyard in the morning like a forest fire) – what I want you to know is that all of those things are actually OK. Yes- really.
Because- you know what? So did most of those smug-looking skinny people pouting on Instagram, but they just hide it better than you!
I guess that now you’re a bit disappointed
You maybe feel that there is no point in reading any further in this article because there’s nothing in it for you to resolve to do more of tomorrow. We do love an article that sets us a self-improvement task, don’t we? A bit like a homework assignment with a deadline by the end of next week.
Not a bad effort, after all….
But look- here’s a thought: what if what you did today, and yesterday, was actually alright? What if you don’t need to make any really massive changes, because who you are, and the way that you live your life, is, in fact, alright. What if, quietly, and on a daily basis, you are doing a good job of your life? Now there’s a new idea for you!
Is the female default psyche set to always feel guilty?
My workplaces have always been dominated by women, and, believe me, it’s never very long before we are all confessing our sins- conversations frequently follow the same pattern:
1. First, we set our kids up in the ring against each other: my kid is sportier, smarter and prettier and altogether more worthy than any of yours.
2. This is then tempered by amusing anecdotes and affectionate moans about their music and adversity to chores of any sort, and everyone rolls their eyes and shares the moment; picturing their own kids’ chaotic bedrooms and smiling.
3. But inevitably, bit by bit, the real stories start leaching into the conversation. Actually, I don’t think my kid has any real friends, a girlfriend, they’re failing in school…. their dad shouts at them all the time, and-
4. it’s all my fault. Somehow, the unavoidable conclusion.
What is it with us women?
We don’t need men to make us feel guilty anymore- we can do it all by ourselves. Open any women’s magazine and the messages are clear: every page offers us some sort of cure; some kind of solution, some kind of ‘how to…’ If it’s not our wrinkles that are coming under attack, it’s our cellulite, our disorganization, our aversion to taking exercise, our ordinary hair, our wobbly bellies; our dreadful dress sense.
Never mind our diet…you’re eating what? Do you want to kill yourself and your family by serving up those unwholesome meals? You may as well throw yourself into that deep-fat-fryer today and be done with it!
The Guilt Market
Fortunately, in response to all our flaws, there is always some sort of brand new product to fix them all. Before long, our fingers are feverishly punching in our credit card details and we’re eagerly checking out the delivery information to calculate how soon it could arrive. Next day delivery? As long as that? We need instantaneous delivery- how are we supposed to go out in public looking like this?
Before and After
In the adverts, the change is always pretty mind-blowing- you can definitely see the difference. In real life? Maybe not so dramatic. Perhaps it’s just that the light isn’t so good in here? Maybe it’s this mirror? Maybe I just haven’t given it long enough?
Can you see the difference yet?
You ask your loved ones whether they can tell that you’ve been using the product and then hope. Critically, they scrutinize your face from different angles. You can see them trying to work out the response which will make you happy. And you know, and they know, that whatever they say won’t, because essentially you won’t believe them if they say the right thing, and you’ll be upset if they say the wrong one.
It may surprise you to realize that the fact is that they don’t actually care.
In fact, when you asked them to look so closely at your face was probably the first time that they ever really did. The rest of the time they just see a face that they love. Your wrinkles are fine, your cellulite is fine, your hair is fine, and even that baggy old top you’re wearing is fine because you chose it, and you like it, and that makes it good.
You can’t please everyone, but the hardest person to please of all is yourself.
That’s where the true battlegrounds are to be found, because somewhere, against the great tide of negativity, that you are unwittingly swimming against on a daily basis, you have to fight to keep your head above the water and keep moving forward.
Drown out the noise from the media- transform it into white noise; just burbling away in the background. Forgive yourself for your imperfections because perfection is an air-brushed impossibility: you already know that, but you need to believe that too.
Ultimately, you are going to need to learn to believe in yourself, to listen to yourself and accept that you know more about what’s good for you than anyone else. No one else is living your life, day to day. No one else experiences life the way that you do- no one else has lived your past or faces your future. Therefore, no one else knows what best for you, because they haven’t really got all the necessary information: only you are the keeper of that.
So when they’re telling you what they would do, if they were you, they’re mostly talking nonsense; even if they mean well.
Do what makes you happy
You may be reading this article sitting alone in a coffee shop with a coffee that isn’t skinny and a piece of chocolate cake that doesn’t even have any aspirations towards skinniness, but that’s alright. Maybe that is just what you need to do right now: take some time by yourself to sit and think- do a bit of analysis without having anyone else throwing in their penny’s worth. Screen out all their noise.
Listen to your own voice, because you are the expert in your own field here: you are actually your own best psychologist; your best career and life advisor. Yes, you’ve made mistakes and used poor judgment at times, but had you not done those things you would not have learned what you know today- you would not have prepared yourself for what you will have to face in the future.
Spend time with those who love you and make you happy.
Take the dog and the kids to the park; snuggle up with them all on the sofa at the end of the day and share a pizza in front of your family’s favorite TV show. Drink good coffee. Enjoy a couple of glasses of wine. Go out on your bike and follow a trail through the mountains with your partner. Just do what makes you happy and what makes other people happy, just because you’re there: that’s as close to perfection as you ever need to be.
Want to know more about the author?
Christine Foley is a lady on a mission to make her middle years an exciting venture into entrepreneurship. She wants to share this journey with fellow females who want to break out from the trap of feeling ordinary- or even invisible- and give themselves a future to look forward to, full of financial freedom and fulfillment. Join the journey! https://www.bychristinefoley.com
- Why Cake, Cappuchino, and Wine May Be Surprisingly Good for You - November 30, 2019