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The Living Room Me and society Old age and women What gives you genuine pleasure in life?
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Old age and women

What gives you genuine pleasure in life?
What gives you genuine pleasure in life? How to develop them?
This is a subtopic of Old age and women.
Yesterday, what gave me great pleasure was having a manicure, pedicure and facial from a student at a close-by beauticians school where I go for such. She is in her twenties, has four children, has breast cancer which has recurred after initial treatment and yet is the center of several support groups--formal and informal--of young women who are helping each other cope with whatever life brings them. She and I connected well when we first met several months ago and she, some of her student colleagues and I had several hours of talking about life, being women at different ages and stages, etc. They cried while working, laughed and freely shared what was most troubling them and what was giving them joy, hope and support. Being included by them and sought out for the support and suggestions that I can make to them makes my life joyful and my own concerns lighter. They are brave, courageous and inspiring. 

The night before, a woman in her 40's who is a resident of the condo commnity where I live, came to ask to borrow jump cables to help a friend recharge her car's battery. When she brought them and their thanks back to me, she shared that she was feeling "out-of-joint' and asked what I thought she could do to help. We had an impromptu and informal counseling session and she went away minus tears and much happier to have a "plan" [I suggested a particular kind of journaling and gave her some suggestions re how/when/where to record negative as well as positive thoughts and feelings and a way to get the energy/stability from that to lift her mood. She invited me to go for indoor [a shopping mall nearby]  walks with her and friends. I likely will. She is in the armed forces reserves now after several tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan and does many helpful things with women vets.

For me, the past 40 years of my own counseling, coaching, befriending--personally and professionally--women and men of all ages who are seeking to lead lives filled with less stereotypical pursuits for any gender has been  the major blessing in my own life. I have been able to do for my self, children, friends, colleagues, acquaintances what I could not and very, very much wanted to do for my depressed and troubled Mother and Sister, both of whom were mostly miserable in their lives which they tried to live according to very traditional patterns, both having incredible talents, skills and assets, yet unwilling and fearful of trying new ways of thinking and being.  Dad was much more susceptible to new things and to growth. After Mother's death, he came to live in a retirement center close to where I lived and we had several good years before he passed on. He had been the mainstay and model for my not succumbing to joining the other womenfolks in the family and going my own way.

The incredible importance of mothers to sons as well as daughters and of fathers to daughters as well as sons has been too little studied. What we do know from some more recent research is that, unlike the imprinting of baby ducks, humans are not stuck irretrievably in the ways we see and learn from our parents and early teachers if those ways are not conducive to good health. "Seek and you will find" was a saying I took to from my earliest days and can truthfully say that is probably the foundation of the pleasure I have found in living.

Thanks for the topic!

In response to Winifred Beam Kessler
Dear Winifred once I sounded a lot like you and councelling without realizing that I myself was falling into a deep burnout that took 11 years to get rid much as I loved reading your touching remarks instead it sent shivers down my spine...that I once thought like you and suffered so much from giving.
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Latest Post: January 13, 2012 at 5:36 PM
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