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In this TEDxOlympicBlvdWomen talk, Tracy McMillan makes the case for the person you really need to marry: yourself!
I first saw McMillan on NBC’s reality show, Ready for Love. It was a cheesy, reality love show, with a twist: three relationship counselors coached the three bachelors and dozens of women on dating and relationship issues. I loved hearing their tips and advice, and McMillan, also the author of Why You’re Not Married…Yet, was one of my favorites.
Watch this video for a few reasons:
- McMillan’s history and relationship record is a bit rocky, so you can either identify with it, feel better about your own, or enjoy her humor and humility around it
- She committed to doing her own inner work
- She points out that this (“this” being your relationship with yourself) is going to be the “till death do we part” relationship of your life
- She deconstructs the vows of traditional marriage and translates them for a marriage to yourself
The whole 14 minutes is worth it, but if you want to get to the “DY” material, skip to 6:25.
I recently learned about St. Catherine’s Day and a particular way of celebrating in France. I would encourage you to flip the tradition and have a little fun with it.
St. Catherine was a princess and scholar in the early 4th century. She became a Christian and denounced the pagan emperor Maxentius. He then burned 50 of her fellow converts to death. She refused redemption through a royal marriage and, once in prison, proceeded to convert the emperor’s wife and 200 of his soldiers.
A powerful woman!
In France, St. Catherine’s Day…well, let me just include this fun excerpt from Wikipedia:
On St. Catherine’s Day, it is customary for unmarried women to pray for husbands, and to honour women who’ve reached 25 years of age but haven’t married—called “Catherinettes” in France. Catherinettes send postcards to each other, and friends of the Catherinettes make hats for them—traditionally using the colours yellow (faith) and green (wisdom), often outrageous—and crown them for the day. Pilgrimage is made to St. Catherine’s statue, and she is asked to intercede in finding husbands for the unmarried lest they “don St. Catherine’s bonnet” and become spinsters. The Catherinettes are supposed to wear the hat all day long, and they are usually feted with a meal among friends. Because of this hat-wearing custom, French milliners have big parades to show off their wares on this day.
The French say that before a girl reaches 25, she prays: “Lord, give me a well-situated husband. Let him be gentle, rich, generous, and pleasant!” After 25, she prays: “Lord, one who’s bearable, or who can at least pass as bearable in the world!” And when she’s pushing 30: “Send whatever you want, Lord; I’ll take it!”
You can see we’re going to have fun with this, right?
St. Catherine’s Day is traditionally November 25th, which either makes it a convenient excuse to have another holiday party or a reason to pick your own date.
Build your own St. Catherine’s Day. Gather your friends, build some crazy hats – or go hat shopping! – tell crazy dating stories, and celebrate your single lives.
Write letters to your single friends and tell them how fabulous they are. Reach out to the younger women in your life – daughters, nieces, cousins, etc. – and share this fun French tradition (with a twist).
Happy St. Catherine’s Day!
For many of us without significant others (only our significant selves), Thanksgiving can be a bit awkward. Around the dinner table, you could get questions from family about who you’re seeing, or you could run into old flames. You could find yourself flying solo for the holiday or receive invitations from friends or coworkers.
Take some time to prepare for Thanksgiving. Visualize the best version of what could happen and “practice” the visualization multiple times.
Maybe you need a witty comeback for the sardonic aunt or uncle who’s always prying into your personal life. Or maybe you want to have a heartfelt conversation with your gram or gramp about their lives before each other.
You could plan to accept or decline certain invitations for next week. And you can even plan some treats (or, elaborate adventures!) for yourself so you don’t feel like there’s celebration lacking in your holiday celebrations.
Don’t let Thanksgiving overwhelm you, no matter your plans. Take a hold of the holiday and make of it what you will.
What does it mean to be an adult? Here’s a DY take on the answers.
An adult…cherishes her life.
…loves her body.
…nourishes her health.
…maintains a peaceful, warm home.
…creates safe environments for herself.
…smiles – hope for laugh lines!
…gives herself the fuel that her mind, body and spirit really need.
…really, truly, slowly tastes food.
…embraces her Self.
…exercises her body for the sake of vigor and vitality (not for the sake of 5 lbs).
…cultivates rich relationships.
…lives soulfully, deeply.
Single women aren’t always perceived so kindly, but it can be especially blunt in older cultures. Read “Happy to be Single” written by Bhumika Rajan in the Deccan Herald of Bangalore.
As you can tell by the title of the article, though, the women interviewed are embracing their autonomy: “‘Singledom is a lifestyle choice and society needs to accept the presence of single, unmarried woman as normal and learn to be tolerant towards her,’ says Vaishali. ‘This unapologetic choice (to be single) is recent and unique to women of our times. Probably economic independence could be a crucial factor,’ she opines.”
Read the article here: http://ow.ly/f80wU.
Here’s a pretty thorough article on “Where Single Women Might Want to Retire” from NextAvenue.org. I love that it covers intentional communities, buying vs renting, retirement communities, homesharing, volunteer/living, lesbian communities, RV living and even “hangar homes” that are connected to airports (how cool?!).
There’s a growing culture of travel and nomadic living for younger people, but many partnered women live full-time where their partner lives and/or, in a move, have to negotiate the needs of a relationship in deciding where to live. (Let me also say that there are plenty of older long-distance relationships and couples who travel full-time together or live very adventurous lives.)
But for some women, finding themselves single from a divorce or the death of a spouse or facing retirement presents all kinds of choices – maybe for the first time – on where to live.
“Like many brides to be, Anita Chakraburtty is busy planning her Sydney wedding next April. What sets her apart is that she doesn’t have a boyfriend, let alone a fiance. But she is convinced she will find a husband before the wedding day.”
Okay, so I don’t really want to attack another woman. She’s being so optimistic and hopeful that it’s endearing and, really, who am I to say anything about how she should live her life?
Chakraburtty might derive great pleasure from planning her wedding, spending her money on it and reveling in the delight of her big day. And maybe she will meet her partner – especially with all of this media coverage! But I worry and care about her well-being if things don’t work out the way she’s planning them for next April.
So here’s my wish for her: Plan your big day for You. And if you have someone to meet you at the end of the aisle next spring, wonderful! And if you don’t, continue with the wedding and set it up totally different: walk through and around your gathered family and friends. Wear white to celebrate your optimism. And take vows to continue living life on your own terms. Then wed yourself to your Self, your family, your community and to Love.
I could toast to that!
“Forty, single, childless — and loving it” is a great article over at the Irish Independent’s Independent Woman section.
Maureen Coleman, a 44 year old freelance journalist from Belfast, says “I have great family, friends, I can go away at the drop of a hat, I’ve plenty to keep me occupied and I’m happy in my own company. People ask me if I ever get lonely and I honestly don’t; I like me.”