One Smart Cookie!

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As I may have mentioned, I live in a rural area surrounded by farmland and small-acreage “country estates/hobby farms” owned by people who want to live a country lifestyle.

My place is surrounded on two sides by a family that has lived and farmed the area for generations. The father, widowed after 40+ years of marriage and now in his late 70s, lives with his bachelor brother on the original farm. His two sons, in their late 40s or early 50s, both own 40-acre hobby farms. They are a good family, solid church going folks who are upstanding citizen types.

Recently, the grandson announced he was engaged, and will be married this summer on the family property. He, his mom, and his bride-to-be stopped by to say hello a few weeks ago, sharing their good news.

I was immediately impressed by this young woman. She’s tall and fit with a curvy but athletic build. Her long brunette hair is styled in natural cascading waves, and I was not surprised to hear that she sometimes does modeling work. She was dressed stylishly but modestly, in clothes that fit and flattered. (She was conspicuously lacking in the tattoos, wild hair colors, piercings, and other fashion choices many gals her age are making these days.)

She’s bubbly, graceful, and well mannered. By no means shy or a doormat, but she’s also not at all overbearing. She’s got a regal confidence, the bearing of a true young lady. Classy. His mom beamed at her with pride, obviously smitten with her son’s choice of a future wife. All good signs that I was happy to see!

The son is a strapping young man. Thanks to working around the farm plus having very athletic parents, he’s pretty much the physical ideal example of a young man. I could not help but notice this the other day when he and his fiance stopped by to check in on cutting my hay field. Instead of the long sleeved shirt he had worn during the prior visit, this time he was in a loose tank top. I don’t know how I didn’t notice it before but his biceps and chest were huge, the boy is solid muscle!

As the two bounded off to check the field, he and his eager helpmate, I thought what a dashing pair they make, so happy and carefree and obviously in love. Like his parents and his dads parents before that, I can see them married for life, building a life, and starting a family of their own.

I did not ask their ages or what they do, but my guess is they are recently out of college, in their early 20s. While others in their age group are sowing wild oats, these two are pairing up and settling down.

I thought what a smart cookie she was to choose wisely and well, marrying into a solid family, with a bright financial future. I have no doubt they will have a beautiful and fairly easy life. Charmed, even.

Like many of her age, she could instead be on Tinder, swiping and matching, putting everything into her career, going out to nightclubs and bars, keeping her options open, telling herself maybe she’ll settle down, “someday,” but for the time being wanting freedom, independence, empowerment, and lots of life experiences.

I wondered how she had happened to take the path less traveled, if it was just blind luck or if she consciously sought to find her mate, a good man from a good family who she loved with all her heart, and happily marry young? My bet is that it is a result of deliberate choices to be and do different than most of her peers, choices that are now paying off.

In any case, I think she’s wise. And I don’t see her doing anything but building upon the firm foundation she’s establishing. Like his mother who herself married wisely and well in her youth, I see a relatively carefree and easy road ahead for this girl rather than one filled with pain, struggle, and strife.

It makes me happy to see it and to share the tale — sometimes you see it working out, despite the odds, and it gives me hope that all is not lost. I hope other young ladies (including my own girls!) who hear her tale see the wisdom in doing different, and take the same path themselves!

What do you think? Please share in the comments.

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Father Insurance

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On Father’s Day, it seems like a great time to bring up some statistics that show dads do a lot more for their kids than simply contribute genetic material. Consider:

  • 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes (US Dept. Of Health/Census) – 5 times the average.
  • 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes – 32 times the average.
  • 85% of all children who show behavior disorders come from fatherless homes – 20 times the average.  (Center for Disease Control)
  • 80% of rapists with anger problems come from fatherless homes –14 times the average.  (Justice & Behavior, Vol 14, p. 403-26)
  • 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes – 9 times the average.  (National Principals Association Report)

To say dads are any less critical to raising healthy, well developed children is ignoring reality. So today, thank a dad for all they do for kids — and for society!

Happy Father’s Day.

What  do you think? Please share in the comments!

Ladies First

Lol, perhaps this poem from a book published in 1981 foretold the red pill:

Ladies First

Pamela Purse yelled, ‘Ladies first,’
Pushing in front of the ice cream line.
Pamela Purse yelled, ‘Ladies first,’
Grabbing the ketchup at dinnertime.
Climbing on the morning bus
She’d shove right by all of us
And there’d be a tiff or a fight or a fuss
When Pamela Purse yelled, ‘Ladies first.’

Pamela Purse screamed, ‘Ladies first,’
When we went off on our jungle trip.
Pamela Purse said her thirst was worse
And guzzled our water, every sip.
And when we got grabbed by that wild savage band,
Who tied us together and made us all stand
In a long line in front of the King of the land-
A cannibal known as Fry-‘Em-Up Dan,
Who sat on his throne in a bib so grand
With a lick of his lips and a fork in his hand,
As he tried to decide who’d be first in the pan-
From back of the line, in that shrill voice of hers,
Pamela Purse yelled, ‘Ladies first.’

by Shel Silverstein

What do you think? Please share in the comments!

Careful What You Wish For

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I got some sad news yesterday that a couple I know has separated and is on the path to divorce. Their son is 11-years-old.

They did not marry until later in life, late 40s. He is a chemist with a well-paying job working for a large company, she was a former housekeeper and has been a stay at home wife and then mom since they married close to a dozen years ago now.

They hadn’t planned on becoming parents, so the news they were going to have a baby came as a shock. She was nearly 50 at the time, although both seem and act a decade younger. Their son is a very bright child, charming and well mannered. Even so I suppose becoming a parent by choice versus by accident is a different experience, and she struggled to be happy about it, or her marriage.

As far as I could see, a big part of their issues come from her attitude. She’s constantly focused on the negatives and has complained about the marriage and threatened divorce nearly from the start. Frankly, she’s a miserable person and difficult to be around.

One day, after walking me thru their home and describing all the remodeling projects she had underway, once again she started in on how she wasn’t haaaaapy, he wasn’t this or that, she was sick of it, and she may as well get a divorce.

Perhaps because I was a single mom she expected me to be on board. So I think she was a bit shocked when I pointed out how lucky she was that her biggest problem seemed to be what color of tile to choose while I was each and every month panicking about how I would pay the mortgage and other bills and not lose our home. I told her she had no idea how hard life as a single mom can be.  At the time she actually thanked me for providing some perspective, and I urged her to focus on the positives instead of the negatives. And to not create problems that were not there.

This was over a year ago. Unfortunately it sounds like she continued with the picking apart of the marriage and after years and years of it, he snapped. He said he was tired of the constant complaining, moved out to an apartment nearby, and has no interest in going back.

According to our mutual friend, it did not occur to the wife that HE might be the one to check out, and she is now desperately trying to get him to change his mind to no avail. She’s now panicking at the thought of being on her own, having to get a job, possibly living alone for the rest of her life. Easy street has come to an abrupt end. What color of tile to pick is no longer all she has to worry about.

I know several other women who share this same attitude toward their marriage, always picking it apart, never happy, constantly complaining. I suppose it is an easy habit to get into, but a very destructive one. They literally create problems that are not there. Only thinking about themselves, me, me, me. (If perhaps you have fallen into this trap, please stop it TODAY!)

For the record her husband is a good man. Smart. Faithful. Good looking. Steady. No major deal breaker flaws for sure. She could do a lot worse. Much. As far as I can see, there really isn’t any reason for her unhappiness except her own mental roadblock. And I would be willing to bet that mental roadblock will remain, she will continue to be negative and unhappy, but will no longer have the husband to blame. (Hopefully it will not then transfer to the son, who my heart breaks for having to go through all this.)

Ladies, happiness is an inside job. Don’t be foolish like this woman, tearing your house down with your own hands. That good man may just decide better to live in the corner of an attic with a leaky roof than spend one more day listening to a nagging, complaining wife. And at that point, as this woman has found, it may be too late.

What do you think? Please share in the comments.

 

When Normal Is The New Weird

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I am not sure exactly when it happened, but these days it feels like normal is the new weird!

I realized this yesterday as I found myself at an event talking to a gal with multiple body piercings, tattoos (including a large green worm on the side of her face!), blue and purple hair, and jewelry that indicated her sexual fetishes and preferences.

As I looked around, I realized I might have been the only woman there without a tattoo, or body piercings (besides pierced ears), or unnaturally colored hair, or jewelry or clothing that didn’t somehow make a statement. Yep, I was a normie!

Now I am not saying there is anything wrong with being an individual, or expressing oneself, but it struck me that in a world where everyone is desperately trying to be more edgy and individual than anyone else, and as a result are having to go to greater and greater extremes to do so, normal has become the new weird.

It made me wonder will a return to traditionalism be next? Will it somehow become hip to be square?

After all every reaction has an equal or opposite reaction, so they say. When nothing is shocking anymore, is the only logical way left to stand out to be not at all shocking? To be shockingly not shocking?

What do you think? Please share in the comments!

Is Feminism Sexist?

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An interesting contradiction I have long noticed about feminism is how anti-female it can be.

Consistantly female traits are discouraged while masculine traits are encouraged.

But isn’t telling women they will be more successful if they act more like men than women actually sexist?

And yet for years the equal rights movement has basically only been reinforcing the message that being a woman is NOT good.

Ironic? Wouldn’t it be better for a pro-women’s movement to actually be positive about being female?

I say better to really embrace and celebrate who you are than try to be a poor imitation of what you are not. And my observations have found women who are comfortable with their femininity are often more successful than those who perceive it as a negative they have to suppress or overcome.

What do you think? Please share in the comments!

The Power of Gentle

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Something modern culture seems to have lost sight of is how masculine and feminine power can be quite different.

Like much about being feminine, feminine forms of power were branded as weak and inferior by those advocating women act more like men, “in order to be taken seriously.” Thus feminine forms of power were largely cast aside as outdated.

Today its more common to see women opting for masculine power techniques, even priding themselves on being ballsy, brash, and outspoken. However, these masculine forms of power don’t sit well on a woman.

It may be counterintuitive, but for a woman there is far more power in being gentle.

Maybe you know such a woman? She isn’t loud but yet people listen. She isn’t demanding but is given respect. She isn’t pushy but gets far.

Gentleness is so powerful for a woman for exactly the same reasons strength is so powerful for a man. It is the essence of femininity just as strength is the essence of masculinity. Yin and yang.

Perhaps it’s projection at play here? Women might be confusing what they see as strength in men as what men would see as strength in women? But the reality is, they don’t. Just like women don’t see feminine forms of power as strength in a man, despite the common modern sensitive guy trope. It’s repellant vs. attractive.

If you want to be more effective in your efforts, try a gentle approach. You might be surprised how much further it gets you than a more forceful “masculine” method.

What do you think? Please share in the comments!

Dating Dilemmas Decoded

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Ladies, if you find yourself puzzling over dating dilemmas such as what to do when a guy doesn’t call back, what men think about sex on the first date,  a simple way you can stand out from the rest, and more you’ll want to go to this informative dating blog written by a man cluing women into all those things about dating that never made sense, but suddenly will!

Now some of his advice may come across as blunt or even harsh at times, but if you take it like advice from a brother to his sister, his no holds barred, cut to the chase style becomes more a form of tough love to save you from many mistakes, broken hearts, and go nowhere situations.

In fact, I would suggest you go to this page that lists all of his posts, and start reading from the bottom up a few a day until you have read them all. By the time you do, dating will no longer be so much of a mystery and you will be armed with the knowledge you need to succeed in relationships, rather than wondering time and again what went wrong.

What do you think? Please share in the comments!

Wedding Daze

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All the news and such on the royal wedding has me thinking how easy it can be to get swept up in the event itself rather than what it’s really all about.

It’s not really about the dress, the flowers, the decor, the ceremony, the breaking or not of tradition, who is invited or not, who shows or not, etc.

I have often seen women get so caught up in the planning of the day that they lose sight it’s not the finish line, it’s actually the starting line.

The wedding day itself will last 24 hours at most, and in many cases the ceremony is 15 minutes or less.

What really matters is not the wedding but the attitude and mindset one approaches the entire situation with. It’s not about being a bride. It’s about becoming a wife.

Being a wife is about entering a whole new life phase. Doors closing and others opening. Building a life. Making a commitment. Sticking to it. Two becoming one.

Needless to say the choice of life mate is perhaps the most important one you will make in life. Not only choosing well and wisely, but also being a good and wise choice in return.

Of course there’s nothing wrong with enjoying the day but in the process be sure you don’t lose sight of the big picture.

What do you think? Please share in the comments!

 

Hormonal Swings

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Regular commenter Earl said the other day, in response to a discussion about how women’s hormonal cycles can lead to some pretty poor decisions (cheating, feuding, drama, and more),  some good advice to keep in mind when hormones surge:

“Not everything is about what your menstrual cycle is telling you.”

I had to laugh out loud at that one! Nailed it!

Now granted, it took me YEARS to figure this out. Not that I was cheating, but like clockwork I would find myself stewing and snappy two to three days before “Aunt Flo” arrived, and despite it happening every single month I would be caught off guard and say things I sincerely regretted a few days later when, “Duh.”

But at the time, I swore whatever I was feeling was the honest to God truth. I would even call it my, “moment of clarity!” (Cringe.) When that 24-hour or so moment struck, I swear I would have at times thrown a car across the yard if I could have managed it. I was snarly, grumpy, moody, glum, and prone to argue. Not good. Not good for me, and not good for those around me.

Now one would think it would be obvious pretty quickly, after a year or two, but no. I did not start to put two and two together until I was in my late 30’s. After nearly 20 YEARS of experiencing the same month after month.

Maybe I am just slower than most, but I would guess many women’s hormonal cycles get the better of them a few days a month. Much to their later regret. But the key is — it doesn’t have to!

That’s right, tracking your cycle is easier than ever thanks to apps, smart phones, and gizmos. If you prefer to keep your private life private, there is always the old fashioned calendar method.

Trust me, life gets a whole lot easier when one can identify, “this is probably hormones, don’t make a big deal” versus, “I hate my life and want to blow it up just ’cause!”

Now I have heard women make excuses, that they can’t help it, that they can’t control themselves, that other just have to accept it. No. This is simply not fair and is a very immature way to think. While it’s true you can’t stop or control the cycle, you CAN stop or control yourself. (Yes, you can.) Hormones are not an excuse to wreak havoc on those around you, possibly causing long term damage to your relationships — romantic, work, friends, and family.

If this sounds all too familiar, if you find yourself coming off the rails once a month, try tracking your cycle. Challenge yourself to take a deep breath when you feel off and ask yourself, “Could this be hormones?” Practice some self-control and self-mastery. You’ll be glad you did. And you’ll find it gets much easier with time.

Trust me, doing so makes life much smoother and more tranquil for you and everyone else.

What do you think? Please share in the comments.