I've spent a lot of time alone in my apartment here at the mission the last few weeks. That leads to way too much thinking. These are a few random thoughts about things I need to tell my daughters if I haven't already, or I need to tell them again...and again.
1. Do your Kaegel exercises three times a day faithfully. If you don't know how, read this article from The Mayo Clinic. Read it even if you think you know how - some of you (including me) are doing it wrong! Please trust me on this...if you will do these exercises you will be going strong when other women are bemoaning their aging bladder. (pun intended)
2. Tell everyone that you love, that you love them every single day, or at least a couple of times a week if they're far away. Call them, text them, tweet them, facebook them, or tell them face-to-face, but tell them. You never know when it will be the last time you tell them.
3. For every child you have, use that many Bibles. Write in them, underline in them, mark dates and events in them. When you are gone every one of them is going to want "your" Bible (I bet you remember who got Grandma's Bible if you didn't!). Rotate them so that you use them all....you're leaving a legacy. If you don't use a Bible find other books that inspire you and have one for each child.
4. Train up a husband in the way he should go. :) Early in your marriage ask him to please hold hands with you any time you're walking together - it needs to be a habit whether he thinks it's manly or not. Later you will need the support. :) Ask him to open car doors for you and help you put on your coat. These are little things that you will treasure in your heart when the first blush of marriage fades. I know you can do those things yourself....but let him treasure you in this way. It helps to keep romance alive when body parts fail you. :)
5. Become the wife who responds to the above. And no I don't mean bedroom stuff. I mean the little things....make his favorite dessert, tell him to have a wonderful time when he wants to take a boy's trip (golfing, fishing, etc.), and don't make him wear matching shirts. There's a story behind that matching shirts statement...I'd tell you to ask my husband, but he won't remember it since we were only 18 when I thought that would be the ultimate statement of our undying love for each other.
6. As much as you are able feed your children organic foods. You might not be able to buy completely organic but buy what you can. It's important to their life-long health.
7. Store brand foods are often as good as or better than name brand. Make a habit of trying a store brand to try for yourself. If you don't like it, don't buy it again. But if you do then over your lifetime you'll save enough to take a cruise. Well maybe not quite that much, but a new pair of shoes for sure, and a girl can never have too many shoes.
8. You've heard it before but it's really true - you need girlfriends. Women need women to encourage each other and to listen to each other. Do what you must to maintain those friendships - put it on your calendar along with the dentist, the dog groomer, etc.
9. Have a mammogram once a year. Don't skip it, don't put it off, and don't even moan and groan about it. And immediately after it's done go to your Gynecologist and do that yearly exam. Your children need you to be healthy so do it for them if not for yourself.
10. Society will tell you that a size two is the only beautiful size. Society is sick and wrong.
I'm pretty sure some of you out there could add to this list. If you'll put it in a comment we'll all learn from your wisdom. And hey, don't some of you younger women have some advice for those of us who are a little more mature? That would make an interesting post, don't you think?