Entries from April 1, 2008 - May 1, 2008
If I were Queen of the World, there would be a few things I would want every woman to learn. I would ask this of her for no other reason except that to do so would make her life simpler. Even though I was Queen of the World, I would politely ask this of women, because you really cannot order someone to do something you see as benefit to them without an army to back you up and without becoming an arrogant despot. I would be a wise queen if I ran the world.
I would ask women to learn to cook a few easy meals. Cooking is a skill that blesses the chef, her family and friends in ways that are to numerous to mention now. If I were Queen of the World, I would order you to take my word on this subject.
How to give and receive a compliment would also be on my list. Compliments, the sincere kind, the kind that encourage, flow from a generous, confident heart. There is an art to receiving a compliment. A smile and a thank you is an appropriate response, but I have seen very accomplished women disparage themselves when complimented. “Really, but don’t you think I look fat in this?” and, "Oh, it was nothing.” Compliments are little verbal gifts that when sincerely given and graciously received bless both the giver and the receiver.
If I were Queen of the World there would be weekly e-mails sent out concerning the dangers of comparing yourself to other women. Either we compare ourselves to those we think are better (either thinner, or richer, why never more generous or wiser?) or, we compare ourselves to those we can look down on (usually fatter or poorer, why never someone who is bravely facing a difficult circumstance). Too much wasted emotional energy. There is no point in outlawing comparison but as Queen, I would actively discourage it.
Finally, as Queen of the World I would ask women to consider taking my Queen sponsored course on “How to Say No”. I mentor a group of mom’s with preschool aged children. It is my observation they would benefit greatly from such a course. Women in general seem to feel that, just because someone asks them to do something, they should do it. As Queen of the World, I do not have this inclination, but I am rare among my gender. The course would include practice in saying no to parents and/or in-laws that make unreasonable demands on young married couples, saying no to bosses, volunteer recruiters (church, PTA, civic group, etc.) and friend who like to sell you things at “parties”. All of us would benefit by learning to say 'No' to that which drains time, energy and/or finances from already overcommitted people who have not yet learn the art of saying 'No'. The point of the course would be to train women to say no to good things, so they have time, energy and money for the best things. As Queen of the World, I would graciously leave it up to my subjects to decide what the best things are.
I have a list for men also, but my gracious suggestions would probably lead to armed rebellion, and, eventually, to war and strife in my kingdom. If I were Queen of the World, I would make my life simpler and deal with other women.
There is a nice little "leave a comment icon" below. If you were Queen of the World, what would you ask of your subjects?
.......especially if the age is 40 or 50 or 60 or 70. Every time Judith Viost turns another decade, starting with When Did I Stop Being Twenty through I’m Too Young to Be Seventy, she has written a book of poetry capturing the struggles and joys of those last ten years. From growing kids, to empty nesters, to boomerang kids, to wrinkles and marriage makeups and breakups, retirement and grandchildren, and doctors who look like they have barely graduated high school let alone medical school, she covered it all with wit and humor, in blank verse.
The Secret to Staying Married
Still married after all these year?
We are each other’s habit,
And each other’s history.
Excerpted from: I’m Too Young to Be Seventy and other Delusions
I saw a fairy princess drifting around my house today. She had shinning blond hair and laughing blue eyes. She was wearing an ice blue gown that matched her eyes. I remember catching glimpses of her in her younger days, dressed in sparkly gowns from the thrift store, covered in jewels, with a tiara on her head and a magic wand. I knew it was a magic wand because it had ribbon streamers. She would teeter around in shoes to big for her. Now she glides.
I am not the only woman to spot a fairy princess in her home. April through June is the season for them. Aren’t they magical!
My daughter and I are reading Carolyn Mahaney’s book Girl Talk. In the book Mrs Mahaney mentions a language developed by women just for women. I was so intrigued by the concept that I spent some time tracking down the details.
For hundreds of years, prior 1920, women in China were forbidden to learn to read or write. The intrepid women in the Hunan villages of Jain-Yong providence developed their own written/sung language called Nushu. Elegantly simple, speaker and readers needed to learn just three hundred characters, as opposed to the thousands of characters memorized by the men.
Nushu was a poetic language that was sung when used aloud. The women and girls would sing to each other as they went about their daily tasks. As marriage separated the Hunan women from their tight knit circle of female family and friends they used Nushu to express in their personal dairies and letters to each other the hope, sadness, joy and struggles of their lives.
I am always in awe of women’s ingenuity when faced with oppression, from those Hunan women of past generations who found a way to express themselves hidden from the eyes and ears of the men who shaped their world to the very brave women of today, who teach girls to read and who operate beauty salons in spite of the Taliban’s oppression.
I greatly admire the ingenuity and greatly regret the necessity.
If you also are intrigued by Nushu see Edward Cody’s Washington Post article for more information
Caught between paying for college and filling the gas tank (the cost is getting comparable), there is not much money leftover for traveling the world. The internet is a wonderful place for those who have travel lust and little travel lucre.
For a glimpse of what life is like for an America family living in China visit One Child Policy Homeschool. Jimmie, her DH and their daughter Sprite, have lived in China for the past five and a half years. While Jimmie blogs mostly about homeschooling Sprite using the Charlotte Mason method, from time to time, she writes interesting snips about life in a county very different from the USA.
For example, did you know, cheese is not easily found in China. Jimmie’s family, in conjunction with several others, imports it from New Zealand. Imagine life without cheese. Even in the densely populated urban community Jimmie lives in live in, people strive to bring beauty into their daily life. The female bus drivers place flowers in the front of their buses. Her blog entry about dining at an insect restaurant was fascinatingly gross reading.
Jimmie uses beautiful photos to capture for her readers the uniqueness and strangeness of the land she lives in. It is well worth a couple of clicks to explore China through her eyes.