Who do you want to be when you grow up? I am still undecided, but I get closer each and every year.
As a little girl, I dreamt of growing up to be like Snow White or Cinderella. I wanted a pretty tiara, golden carriage, a beautiful ball gown and glass slippers. Anything was possible at five years old.
As a young teen I wanted to be Farah Fawcett or Valerie Bertanelli. Being glamorous, popular and weathly was exciting. Imagine wearing the trendiest clothes, being a magazine cover story and dating rock stars! I would be so popular. Heck, worth dreaming about rather than living the teenage angst of pimples, periods, homework, bullying and stupid, hormonal and immature boys!
As an adult woman I internalized my focus and tried to be the best wife and mother I could be. My models or mentors through these years have been my friends and family. I have been fortunate enough to have great women in my life. They have provided me with some of life’s greatest lessons and some serious entertainment. Through their life experiences and wisdom I have grown. I have sifted through it all and found what I needed to continue on my journey.
Middle Aged Models
Recently, I was watching an episode of the Young & The Restless. Yes, I have watched this since 1972, get over it. Actress Jeanne Cooper is 82. She plays Katherine Chancellor and is a feisty, value based, healthy and active woman. As I watched her character, Kay Chancellor, dig her heals in and speak her truth not compromising her values in yet another ridiculous and stressful situation I thought... “I want to be like her when I am 82”.
Boy, times have changed. I have evolved from admiring good looks and wealth, to wives and mothers and now, at almost 50, I am looking up to an 82 year old woman. When I look at “Kay” I see a strong and resilient woman who has weathered life, taken her licks, learned lessons and now lives by her values. She (both the character and the actress) is healthy and active and loves her family and friends. Believe me, I am blessed to know these kind of women in my real life! How lucky am I?
We move through life, at whatever stage, gauging ourselves against other people around us. We see the kinds of behaviors and characteristics we admire and we try to mirror them. Also, we see the side of people we don’t want to emulate and learn to avoid or change those patterns in ourselves. That is, if we are wise enough to recognize the learning opportunities as they present themselves.
If this is so then also remember that we are being watched as well. We are all leaders in our lives. Who is watching you and what are they learning?