The best advice I ever had

from Bob Thaves, the creator of  http://frankandernest.com/ – “Remember Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high heels”.Loubbotin’s – I can dream

It has “inspired” me in a funny old way to believe that women are capable of greatness in any sphere, no matter the odds and obstacle course crafted by old school business thinking.

Perambulating to the office this morning, it led me to ponder other bits of sage advice and “life lessons” that I have garnered over the years. Mum said – if the label says dry-clean only, believe it (she was right, it took me a while to get it). My dad taught me to dance/love music and that knowing and loving sport if you’re a girl is quite acceptable and will probably help with boys (right again) 😉 . As a couple they taught me that I deserve the very best that life has to offer and that settling for less is really a waste of time.  Heartbreak taught me to trust my inner voice. Relationships taught me that even “nice” people can be really mean at times – it’s up to you how you deal with the problem and how much you’re prepared to put up with. I’ve learned to lock away the sadness and not let it rule my existence. 

Age taught me that being comfortable with yourself is paramount –

“Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect . It means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.” – Anon

That said, age has also slapped me around the head with the fact that I can still be afraid (even at my 40plus years) and there will be times when being alone in the dark is quite a scary thing. I’ve learnt that having a backbone and an opinion is a good thing and that glass ceilings are there to be broken through. I’ve learnt the fabulosness of true friendship and how rare it is.

Perhaps the most useful nugget that I’ve gleaned is not 18 carat in nature but the fact that just because I do things differently doesn’t make my way better or worse, it just makes me who I am. 

Marriage 101

So we were chatting, as you do, about the weekend and such like banalities when a friend (maybe an acquaintance is a better word) asked me about why I had described the weekend just past as a “bonding” weekend. After all, she said, after twenty years with the same man how much more bonding do you need to do? 

Without further ado, I donned my “advice” hat and attempted to justify (why we do that I don’t know, I should just have told her to go outside and play but anyway). DH and I have been together two decades (ouch 😉 ) and are both extremely busy people. I suppose you could say work orientated which is fine (it works for us anyway), he has a big family, I have a teeny but tight clan on my side. Our jobs both involve dealing with people and their nonsense and our weekends usually involve “people” as well. I can’t begin to explain how beneficial a bonding weekend is for us as a couple. It involves no cellphones (unless a parental emergency), talking, catching up, lots of eating together (a rarity in my house), watching movies together or going to shows etc together. A braai for two on the patio with candles and champagne and great food has become an integral part of the ritual.

We have more respect for each other, more empathy for each other and fight a lot less (I reckon anybody who says they don’t disagree with their spouse occasionally is talking horse twaddle) and that in a nutshell is why such a long married couple still does bonding.