Monday, May 7, 2007

Words of wisdom

This weekend I had the privilege of attending the college graduation of my fiance's daughter. She is a stunningly beautiful and bright young woman, who graduated with honors (and TWO degrees!) from a lovely private school in Montana. As we visited the campus and saw the students packing their things, exchanging hugs, wiping tears and sharing memories of their time together, I was struck by the thought of what lies ahead for her and her classmates. I was struck by the knowledge they carry with them as they leave their familiar surroundings and step into the reality of our times.

The world they are embarking on today is full of opportunities, yet full of uncertainty. Like going to a restaurant with too many menu choices, making decisions can be daunting at times. But choosing between the chicken salad or the pasta du jour isn't life changing. Oh, it may make a difference in that number we see on the scale or the number of minutes we run on the treadmill, but it won't affect the big picture things. Happiness, careers, children, health, husbands, finances ... those are the biggies. The things that these graduates will now face head on. The things that their decisions from this point forward will most likely have an effect on.

As I think of these young adults with the world before them, I am grateful that I'm not in their shoes. The real world today is not the same world as when I was their age. We didn't think about terrorism and HIV. Owning your own home was a very achieveable feat and the price of gas wasn't something you even considered when budgeting your weekly salary.

The good news is that the world is at their feet. The bad news is that the world is at their feet. May God Bless them richly.

The following was written by Pamela Satran and published in Glamour magazine in 1997. As much as things change, it's good to know that some things stay the same. I hope they add this to their knowledge base as they move forward on their journeys.

What Every Woman Should Have
One old boyfriend you can imagine going back to (even if you wouldn't) and one who reminds you of how far you've come.
Enough money within your control to move out and rent a place on your own, even if you never want or need to.
Something perfect to wear if the employer or man of your dreams wants to see you in an hour.
A purse, a suitcase and an umbrella you're not ashamed to be seen carrying.
A youth you're content to move beyond.
A past juicy enough that you're looking forward to retelling it in your old age.
A set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill and a black lace bra.
One friend who always makes you laugh and one who lets you cry.
A good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in your family.
Eight matching plates, wineglasses with stems and a recipe for a meal that will make your guests feel honored.
A resume that is not even the slightest bit padded.
A feeling of control over your destiny.
A skin care regime, an exercise routine and a plan for dealing with those few other facets of life that don't get better after 30.
A solid start on a satisfying career, a satisfying relationship and all those other facets of life that do get better.

Every Woman Should Know
How to fall in love without losing yourself.
How you feel about having kids.
How to quit a job, break up with a man and confront a friend without ruining the friendship.
When to try harder and when to walk away.
How to kiss a man in a way that communicates perfectly what you would and wouldn't like to happen next.
How to have a good time at a party you'd never choose to attend.
How to ask for what you want in a way that makes it most likely you'll get it.
That you can't change the length of your calves, the width of your hips or the nature of your parents.
That your childhood may not have been perfect, but it's over.
What you would and wouldn't do for love or money.
How to live alone, even if you don't like it.
Who you can trust, who you can't, and why you shouldn't take it personally.
Where to go - be it your best friend's kitchen table or a charming inn hidden in the woods - when your soul needs soothing.
What you can and can't accomplish in a day, a month, and a year.
Why they say life begins at 30

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What an enjoyable newsletter. I really like the pieces on what women should have, etc. Very practical, amusing, and spot on!