Young @ Heart: Be the Best YOU You Can Be

I love writing Young @ Heart because I get to write with a young heart that has experienced a long and happy life. That doesn’t mean I haven’t had hard times, in fact an email I recently received reminded me of my 15-year marriage that ended in divorce.

The woman who wrote to me had been married for 25 years. Her husband had cheated on her more than once and she told me she had “lost” herself and hardly recognized her home or her person.

It is never too late to change! I told this woman who had successfully raised two happy sons that she needed to stop worrying about what her husband did and focus on what she is doing. Right now he probably feels he has a good excuse for the affairs, but when she gets her act together, she will erase that excuse and he will wonder what happened.

When someone is unfaithful it is his/her problem. It’s only OUR problem if we make it ours. I remember going to my minister when my husband was caught having an affair (I had three little kids and they came to the session with me because I couldn’t get a babysitter) and he told me that my job was to be the best me I could be, not for my husband but for me.

Back when I was frumpy, suspicious, and overweight and keeping a totally cluttered and dirty home, I knew what I needed to do. I knew disorganization affected every aspect of my life; my health, relationships, finances, appearance, recreation, hospitality etc. but I got temporarily stuck in self-pity.

When I discovered that I could be organized with a simple system, I let go of the vision of a mountain to climb. In Sidetracked Home Executives: from pigpen to paradise my sister and I wrote, “You can only eat an elephant one bite at a time!” Not that we were into eating elephants, we just initially saw our “problem” as something so much bigger than we were. When you break any problem down into little bites you see that you are bigger than the problem and you can do anything!

The best revenge is having a happy, successful life! My adult children have told me that their father would never be able to come to my home for any family get-together because he’d be too jealous of my success and happiness. My adult self isn’t into revenge, but there is a part of me that relishes that thought. Maybe it’s the good feeling we get when we know, “What goes around, comes around.”

My prayer for you if you have a story similar to the woman I wrote about or to my story, is that you will find yourself (if you are lost in clutter and chaos) and realize you can do more than just survive; you can thrive. It is your job to be the best YOU that you can be, first for you and then for those you love.

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