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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Everything I Know About Life I Learned From A Girl

I sat cross-legged on the floor of my niece’s room, paying careful attention to her as she pointed out all of the new additions and changes she’d made in her bedroom. My niece’s bedroom – her haven away from the rest of the world – is “all diva”, her special place to be alone, so when she invited me in, I felt honored.

The little diva actually has a doorbell for her bedroom. I “oooh” and “aaah” over the beaded curtain at the entryway, the pink princess netting above her headboard complete with acrylic hand painted butterflies. The stenciled butterflies on her wall. Her mother, my sister’s, handiwork I have no doubt. My niece is truly a diva, not that it’s a bad thing!

While surveying her treasures, I picked up the small handbag that my niece was pointing out to me. “That’s new too,” she said, moving on to something else. Nestled on the front of the sparkly sequined handbag was a small plastic see-thru pocket, also trimmed with sequins. 

“What’s this for?” I asked her. My niece shrugged, the action nonchalant. “That’s where you put pictures of your best friends.” She told me. Ah, I nodded. “So whose picture are you going to put in there?”

“Whatever!” My niece sniffed. “I am going to put a picture of myself in there. I’m my own best friend.”

Well, two snaps and a twist, I guess that she told me! But, I had to admit, after I picked my jaw and myself up off of the floor, I decided then that my niece had something to teach even a Mid Life Diva like myself.

You know, out of all of the years that I have lived and now that I have begun this new journey through Mid Life Divadom, I find that I had a lot to learn about being my own best friend. Don’t get me wrong. I know the drill; I say nice things to myself most days. I take care of my health. I treat myself to alone time as often as possible, but I found that I had a lot more to learn about being my own best friend. I had to learn that I needed to be kinder to myself. To baby “my baby” - me.

Most days we are more polite, more considerate, and more forgiving to a perfect stranger than we are to ourselves. We smile at the cute guy at the corner coffee stand every morning but barely acknowledge our own reflection each morning with a grunt and a frown.

So, I am learning to baby my baby. Nurture myself, smile at myself. Congratulate myself on a job well done. Or encourage myself should I fall short, telling myself without beating myself up, that I will do better next time. I find that when I am nicer to me, I am nicer to others. And when I am nicer to others, this makes me feel more confident, more able to deal with the things that come up, and they will.

This confidence means that we are confident and happy with ourselves, as we are, feeling unique, special, confident and competent.

Maintaining high esteem may be a challenge for Mid Life Divas as things change, demands on our time increase rather than decrease. Time seems to speed up rather than slowing down, something this Mid Life Diva thought that she was looking forward to but am finding that now is the time when things are getting really interesting. 

Some of us are often taking care of children, parents, maybe even grandchildren. Technological changes, decreasing resources, increasing demands at work, even our own high standards. All things that could potentially lead to crash and burn, unless we learn to baby ourselves. Be our own best friends.

I am learning to focus on what I do well, instead of trying to do everything. Do well in what is important to me.

Returning back to the adults in the kitchen, I teased my sister that when I grew up, I wanted to be just like my niece. Well, unless I can be Tina Turner when I grow up. That’s a different story.
My reasons are simple. My niece has the best self-image that I have ever seen in a girl of that age. She is truly her own best friend. She says that she is gorgeous; she says that she is smart. She is truly unstoppable. If she’s said it, it must be so.

Definitely a role model to aspire to be.

Mid Life Divas, how are you “babying your baby?” How are you being kinder to yourself? Got a comment about the column or just want to share some words wisdom with other Mid Life Divas? Share it with us! Join in the fray. Tell us what gives your life flavor. What makes you feel alive, want to stand up and dance. We want to hear it, your stories, and your ideas. Stop by to visit, stay awhile and dish!


Miz LIz said...

TL- thanks for this. I needed it today. Time to baby my baby a bit; I forget when I get too busy.

Kris said...

Would I be able to get your permission to report this on my blog, I'd most certainly give credit and link back. Please let me know!

T L Thomas said...

Kris, that would be great. Let me know when it shows up, I'd certainly like to include your blog link on my blogsite! "See" you soon!