There are million life stories of women living under stress due to their failure of satisfying certain standards of perfection. No matter if they fail to impress their bosses at work or if they cannot find their soul mates by the age of 30 or if they don’t manage to squeeze gym in their daily routines, women generally tend to feel guilty and unsatisfied all the time.
We live in a world where nudity is becoming a new fashion seen at every turn. It is so over-used, so rinsed and boring already. Girls are growing up too early. The whole humanity is being brain-washed with shiny commercials, selfies and pushy self-help tipps (How to be happy? How to lose weight?, How to survive being single?), turning us into consumer junkies running around shopping malls like idiots trying to find a piece of happiness in a purchased item. Half of the globe is on some kind of pills. Depression is the new state of mind cured either by obesity or drug addiction. The excessive fitness is considered a healthy option. Being in a physical shape is not a choice anymore, it’s a social demand. If you are not a gym member or you don’t have an Instagram account, you are from another planet. Who sets those trends? Who sets the standards for perfect life/mind/body today? Kardashians?
If you are managing to keep a healthy mind & body in this world, you won already.
But let’s not be so pessimistic. There are good stuff in the world today. You can customize everything nowadays, choose between millions of options, from a hair shampoo to your business plan. Everything is being delivered at your door, made just for you, adjusted to your needs and your lifestyle. We can do everything by ourselves today, we have Google and You Tube tutorials, we can become whatever we want and create our daily routine the way it suits us. But in spite of all technology, schedules and customization of life, we still cannot make it on time, do it the way we planed, fulfill all the expectations.
And another thing is, INDIVIDUALITY screams from the media: “Be yourself!”. Still, many women look the same, or at least they try to. If it doesn’t work in real life, it doesn’t matter. Filtered, photoshopped and fake-smiled will be just fine. Photo is a new reality, right? And my life happens on my Facebook account where all of my friends live. Now, strike a pose and show them the party was great. And all the flat ass-ladies, please stay out of the frame.
Now, try to eat that piece of cake without remorse.
My grandmother never visited a gym in her whole life and she didn’t work either. She spent her lifetime housekeeping and raising children. She was never frustrated or under stress, she didn’t even know what the word STRESS means. And she never thought: “Oh, I am a bad mother, I couldn’t make it to the parents’ meeting today” or “Oh, I look big in this dress, I’ll definitely need to cut down on my carbs”. The last year of her life she spent in a nursing home. When she got a served meal for the first time, she began to cry. Never did anyone prepare a meal for her before. At that moment, she wished she hadn’t spent so much time at home, but it was too late. It doesn’t mean she was unhappy with her life, she was just fine with her own reality.
My mother, on the other hand, is a total opposite. She could never settle for the traditional version of a woman’s life at that time in Croatia. She built a successful career and it became her passion, her marriage, her love. She could never calm down and just enjoy the moment, she was always working. “In order to be a single mother with an ambitious career, you just cannot afford to relax”- she used to say. Today she wishes she had more time for the books she always bought, but never read. But still, she doesn’t stop the race. She cannot help it, she is a workaholic on sleeping pills. This is her life and she doesn’t know how to live differently. Nobody can see the pain hidden deep in her heart. Some things will always remain untold. It doesn’t mean she is unhappy with her life, she is just fine with her own reality.
I am happy I carry the heritage of both mothers inside of me. I can learn from their experiences, as well as their mistakes. Interestingly, my character can nicely fit somewhere in-between my mother’s and my grandmother’s, which gives me hope I will be able to balance both destinies. I am not sure which life was happier or whose choices were wiser. But one thing I know for sure: My grandmother would never trade her life for her daughter’s and my mother would never trade her life for her mother’s. I think I can continue the same tradition.
Women are putting too much pressure on themselves. In every possible way. Too much expectations. We have too many plans, but not enough time and will to fulfill them. And then, we feel frustrated. We feel GUILTY.
Try to let it go for a minute, just relax and ask yourself:
- Have I ever took a walk without a goal?
- Have I ever enjoyed doing nothing?
- Have I ever decorated a meal for myself?
- Have I ever eaten a cake without counting calories?
We shouldn’t put so much stress on ourselves if we want to stay healthy and don’t lose our minds. Let’s set some new rules that won’t drive us crazy. I would say to all women:
- Set daily goals and be realistic. Keep it simple. Be patient
- Live in the moment and make the best out of it
- Go with the flow. Relax and enjoy your time, your success, your sunny days
- Be flexible because life is
- Be active: climb the stairs, walk around, clean the house, ride a bike. Your body is made to move
- Solve problems as they come, don’t plan too much in advance. And don’t invent new problems by over-thinking
- Be creative: with your ideas, your career, your style, your parenting, your love life, your food
- Eat healthy because you’ll feel better, have more energy, be healthier and live longer
- Set priorities. Learn to say NO to negative things/frustrating things/exhausting things (or people)
You’ve heard all these tips already, I am not reinventing the wheel here. But this time, try to UNDERSTAND them, try to LIVE them, LEARN them, READ them all over again, PRACTICE them daily. Don’t think: “Yeah, yeah it’s all very nice, but I have bigger problems in my life, I don’t have time…” If you don’t have time for yourself, for your happiness and your priorities, no one else will. It’s up to you, you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. I am not here to set up your standards. Just remember you have the POWER to choose your life for yourself today. Choose it wisely and don’t settle. Do it in your time and in your own way. You have all the freedom in the world. Use that advantage. My grandmother couldn’t.