Until today, I don't think I have consciously thought about how many different types of women have passed through my life. Young, vintage, funny, sad, bright, not-so-bright, rich in emotional wealth and poor in character, funny and sad, uppers and downers, visible and invisible, good hearts and real bitches.
Think about it. From the women in our families, to friends and 'girlfriends,' to women we work with and buy from or serve us in some capacity, by this stage in our lives, we could write books on feminine mystique.
We have many fantastic women in our lives. Some stay and some pass through, but I call all of them 'keepers.' These women -- in some manner -- enhance our lives. They leave their footprints. They have earned our stamps of approval.
After you read my musings on a few of my special 'keepers,' perhaps take the time to call special women in your life and tell them how appreciative and grateful you are for their friendship, their teachings, their positivity and optimism, their warmth and kindness of heart. I know your call will brighten their days.
I will share my stories of five women who have left their foot print on my life. I am telling their stories because, though they are strangers to you, their wisdom may enrich you, as it has done for me.
Now onto five awesome women. Each has a story. None knew they were mentoring me.
1. "Don't expect anything from anyone and you will never be disappointed," my loving and kind hearted friend explained to me on a day I was having doubts.
The sentence, which I had never heard, rocked me into reality. I remember, I literally felt my body go into a state of what I can only describe as 'luxurious tranquility.' The phrase was harsh but her words hit me and I immediately got her matter-of-fact message.
Family and friends and others are going to disappoint you. Put everything into perspective before you have a meltdown. Weigh the situation and your expectations. Reality will kick in and you will know exactly how to handle.
2. "I am sick and tired of dealing with women who bore me or upset me so I added a new word to my vocabulary... DELETE." These words were said to me by a dear friend during a phone call.
All I could envision was the delete key on my laptop as my finger hit DELETE.
"Why, that would take less than one second," I thought to myself. I started laughing so hard. It was one of the best mentoring lessons.
3. My French girlfriend and I were walking arm and arm down a street in Paris. She was wearing a pinstripe light grey suit and carrying a pink Kelly bag and wearing pink shoes. I was dressed in grey to include my handbag and shoes.
She said to me nonchalantly as we walked: "American women always wear black shoes and a black bag with a black suit or grey shoes with a grey suit or white shoes with a white Suit. Don't do that anymore, Suzi. Treat your shoes and handbag as colorful additions." A great lesson in French style, dear readers.
4. "I love the silence of the night," wrote my dear friend, in the middle of the night, as we emailed back and forth. I was jetlagged from a flight from Europe; she obviously enjoyed the silence of the night. I have never forgotten her profound words. Silence is an art. We live in the age of speed and nothing is more revitalizing than slowing your body down and grounding yourself in silence. Truthfully, 'I love the silence of the day.' It is a tonic.
5. "Keep a journal and pencil next to your bed and each morning before starting your day, write down one, two or more reasons you are GRATEFUL," said a woman shoe saleswoman as she fitted me with new shoes. What a wonderful idea and what a wonderful way I now start all of my days. Grateful people are happy people. Ungrateful people can never feel happiness.
I am not embellishing my personal statement: I know women all over the world.
How has this come about that there is not a day that I do not hear from a woman I met from somewhere in the world? How am I so lucky to be able to choose who I want in my life? I myself marvel at the expanse of my lifestyle. How did a small town girl from Kankakee by the Sea go on to lead this amazing life?
I owe my lifestyle to my ultimate concierge, my husband, who opened the doors to the world... and to my most important mentor, my Mom!
6. MY MOTHER: My mother did everything with gusto. My mother has great values. She took great effort to achieve or obtain what she wanted with a fierce desire and the best part...she did it with glee. I am my mother's daughter.
I leave you with a short summary of the six points.
Delete what does not make your heart sing. Love the silence of the day and the night. Be a grateful person. Outfit yourself with pizzazz. Don't expect anything from anyone and you will never be disappointed. Live your life on your terms with gusto and glee.
Thank you to my friends, girlfriends and my mother who have been marvelous role models. I am so grateful to all of you. I am smiling.