I've got so many things to be thankful for in my life, but one of the biggest things is the relationship I have with my mom and aunts. They are all such strong, intelligent, independent women that are each great role models to look up to. I think back on all the things they've taught me and just how much they've each shaped me as a person. I would not be who I am today if it weren't for each of their influences.
1. The perfect marriage doesn't exist, but no one knows that.
From an outsiders perspective, my Aunt Steph's marriage is one for the fairy tale books. I've never seen her openly angry with my Uncle Bob. I've never seen them fight, disagree or be anything but loving towards each other. I can honestly say that those two seem to love each other more and more every time I see them, which seems impossible to fathom since they already seem like they love each other to the max. A long time ago I asked my aunt how she made it seem so easy, and she told me that they never publicly disagree and always support each other when others are around. I'll never know if they have ever fought or not because they've never done it in front of anyone.
2. Sometimes you need to hear things you don't want to hear and you need to listen and learn from it.
My Aunt Penny seems "tough" on the outside, but inside she's a soft, loving woman. Dave tells me I act more like her than any of my other family (and everyone says I look like Aunt Steph). I've always been a pretty good kid, stayed out of trouble so I didn't have to deal with being in trouble (even as a kid, I thought logically). As an adult though, it almost seemed like I was making up for the times I didn't get in trouble by doing stupid things. Aunt Penny is the first to tell you you're wrong even if you don't want to hear it but she does it in a way that is respectful and loving (most of the time haha) and she makes sure you're understanding it and fixing it. There's no getting out of it until you do.
3. Be kind.
I used to joke that my mom had "save the world" syndrome. She was always doing anything and everything to help everyone, even when it inconvenienced her. As I've grown older I now see why. It's important to be a good person, and you need to be able to put your head on your pillow at night and sleep peacefully. The only way I know how to do that is to make sure that I am a good, decent human being. The days where I don't live up to that, I don't sleep good. Be kind, sleep good. Plus, when you do things that causes you to go out of your way for others, you end up feeling pretty good about it.
4. It's okay to have fun, no one else is that concerned with you.
My Aunt Steph used to be quiet, introverted, sitting at the table watching everyone else dances the night away, and I used to do the same thing too. Then she hit 35ish and suddenly she was the first one cracking a joke, laughing, dancing. She seemed to have a lot more fun that way, so one day I decided to do the same thing. I can't dance, my best move is the lawnmower but I went up on that dance floor and owned it. And all the things I was afraid of happening, like people laughing at me, never happened and now the lawnmower gets requested at all family functions. It's okay to make an ass out of yourself, as long as you have fun doing it.
5. Be beautiful (inside and out), be intelligent, be independent, be you (whatever that is).
All three taught me this in so many different ways, there really isn't much more I can say beyond what is listed here.
Do you have your own group of "little women"? What are some things they've taught you?