It is often said that the space for who and what you truly desire in life is often occupied by whom and what you settled for. We all need the gifts of wisdom and courage to thrive and enjoy life with grace, rather than merely surviving the motions.
During the past two weeks, I lost two wonderful women in my life to the clutches of cold, sudden death. They both had a lot in common; both caring mothers and loving wives, who sacrificed their lives and dreams to give the best to their respective families. They held on to the blind faith that if they sacrificed their all and asked for nothing back, their spouses and children would love them more and return the favour much later in their lives.
They believed (rightly or wrongly), that at some undefined point in the future they would have enough time to treat themselves, to eat right, exercise right, dress right, take up a hobby, participate in their communities, live well and in general enjoy life! In the present, however, they settled for a life of ‘burnt toasts’ and ‘designer wheel chairs’!
The Phenomenon of ‘Burnt Toasts’.
I first came across this expression from the Desperate Housewives actress-Teri Hatcher (Her book ‘Burnt Toast and other Philosophies in Life’ is an inspiring, fun read!). She described a situation where women settled for the worst crumbs in life (aka burnt toasts), not because they want it or enjoy it but rather because they are conditioned to settling for the worst no matter how nasty it takes, looks or feel. It delves into the misplaced belief that by somehow ‘eating’ something that should ordinarily be thrown out in the garbage, we are doing some sort of ‘good’ and saving a bad situation. The reality is of course, that in choosing ‘burnt toasts’, all we are really saying is that we’re not good enough to deserve the best and we make ourselves the dumping ground for all sorts of ‘garbage’. In other words, we become ‘certified crap magnets’!
The Phenomenon of ‘Designer Wheel Chairs’.
I attended a couple’s 50th wedding anniversary party some years ago, where the husband, a boisterous charismatic man in his eighties gave a seeming ‘great’ speech/toast in honour of his lovely 75-year old wife for her unconditional love, support and dedication through the years. He talked about how she gave up everything-her family, career and passions to stand by him while he built his empire. In my naivety, I’d been moved by his touching anecdotes and commented to the other guests at the table. This drew some chuckles and uncomfortable glances. Later that night, I got to know that the husband was a chronic philanderer and that his long-suffering wife had lived through many horrendous years of verbal, financial and physical abuse before he finally got cancer and of course ‘found the Lord’.
I remember watching her at the party, and seeing a woman who had glimpses of past beauty but now had very sad eyes. She had been adorned in stunning jewels but somehow seemed all drained and dried out. Most of all, I recall poignantly, the vividly beautiful, gleaming, state-of-the arts wheel chair she sat in. It was a sobering moment because it struck me then that she’d wasted the best years of her life simply waiting for her husband’s unconditional love. All she got in the end were ‘Designer Wheel Chairs’!!!
So ladies, are you settling for ‘burnt toasts’ and wasting away while awaiting your ‘designer wheel chairs’?
Live Passionately! Live Freely! Live Beautifully!
Remember, you are not ordinary, you are divinely unique.
You are WOW (Wonderful One-of-a-kind Woman)!
BLOGGER BIO: The preceding blog entry is from Juliet Ume, MBA –Wealth Management Consultant & Lifestyle Coach at Whole Woman Network. Juliet is an avid Life Connoisseur and a passionate advocate of WomEntrepreneurship, Investment & Financial Literacy for women. Follow her on Twitter: @wholewomaninc