Category Archives: On Being a Lady

Rules of Being a Lady: Be Intelligent But Not a Know-It-All

A lady is accomplished, well-spoken, elegant, refined, intelligent, gracious, patient, and forgiving. She bears no ill will against others, and she is honest without being vindictive. She inspires people and gains their respect by setting an excellent example of behavior.

While I aim to be all of this, I miserably miss the mark in so many ways, and it is always so very difficult to know where to focus your energy and what needs refining.

In an attempt to save on thousands of dollars in psychologist fees, a dear friend and I agreed to be brutally honest with eachother and give one another our top 3 suggestions to improve ourselves. We had made plans for dinner (and an elegant one at that), and looking back, I wish we had kept our dinner conversation to pleasantries and appropriate conversation for eating. As it was, this topic should obviously have accompanied the port we drank later at my home.

Hindsight is 20/20.

The first item he suggested hit me between the eyes, and I truly have yet to recover from it.

He complimented me by saying I was obviously intelligent, very well-read and creative. He said he enjoyed my company and our conversations immensely. He then proceeded to explain that I use my intellect as a defense, or even as a weapon used to bully other people and protect myself. He mentioned several instances, some of which were surprisingly inaccurate from my perspective. But my heart began to sink even more as I listened to him continue speaking, realizing that whether it was my intention or not, I was indeed intimidating and perceived as using my intelligence to get the upper hand in relationships.

So I did what any lady should NOT do: I fought him. I argued my case, gave examples with reasons, explained how I spent so many years allowing my ex-husband to do all my thinking for me… and I “won” the argument. I successfully made him feel horrible for doing something I had asked him to do — to help me identify my weaknesses — and not only that, but I had intellectually punished him for doing it.

Oh. My.

I suppose my NewYear’s resolutions are writing themselves.

Ladies, consider yourself. How can we remain woman of wit and character without taking prisoners? Intelligence is to be valued when properly yielded. Being a know-it-all or using your intellect to leverage a position of power MAY work in the boardroom, but it is a threat to healthy friendships and relationships in every other realm.

So, I am publicly apologizing to him and attempting to make up for it by letting you in on his wisdom.

Love,

Lady Grey

 

Anxiety v. Peace

A friend of mine wrote a blog post this week and it changed my life forever, I think.

It boiled down to this for me: Anxiety is caused by living in the future. Depression is caused by living in the past. It is only possible to achieve true peace and happiness when you live in the present.

As many of you know, my life has been riddled with trial over the last 6 weeks. I have experienced more than many people go through in a lifetime. From the hospitalization of my child, to an emergency 3-day move to a new home (mandated by CYS in order to retain custody), to new schools for both kids, to a knock-down drag-out fight over custody and finances… the list goes on and on. Each time a new challenge arose over a two week time period, I felt my anxiety rear its ugly head again. “How can you possibly do this?” “How will you pay the bills?” “What if he never gets the help he needs?” “How will I move all of my belongings on my own?” “Am I going to lose my job because I have to take time off for my kids?” “Will my kids hate me for this?” “What if my ex is trying to trick me?” “Where will I store all of my costumes and Christmas stuff?!?”

There were so many worries, and they came like fiery arrows, piercing through the darkness and only causing more blindness, confusion, and pain. But despite the colossal weight of despair and anxiety, a mother’s love conquers ALL. In 72 hours’ time, I researched schools, found after school care, arranged transportation, negotiated my work schedule, found a new home, created a new custody schedule, found a new home, met with my son’s team about medication and his release, AND moved all of mine and the children’s necessities. I was scared to death, but by doing what needed to be done right at that moment, I was able to conquer an enormous, insurmountable task list.

And now, I have a new home. My kids are successful and happy in new schools. They are making new friends. They have a better relationship with their dad. I have a brand new oven and made apple crisp in it already. I not only kept my job, but have grown even closer to the people I work with, one of whom filled my refrigerator when I couldn’t afford groceries. My friends helped me move all of my furniture, sacrificing their time and energy. And I even was gifted a beautiful television and a stereo to allow me and the kids to enjoy music and movies together.

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My bank accounts are empty, because I am also carrying the old mortgage in addition to my new place. But last week, my son’s best friend came over with his family, and they played together with my kids while his mom and I shared a cup of coffee and I got to catch up. In the midst of the madness, I managed to book the Vermont Burlesque Festival. (WHAT!?!?!?) And I was blessed to have time off on the weekends to regroup, including an impromptu treat from a dear friend to spend a weekend in NYC seeing Hamilton and Wassabasco.

I am never depressed about the past. I did that once, and it nearly killed me. But I do worry about the future.

Today, though, I realize that the best I can do for myself and those I love is to live here and now…. present in their lives, doing what I do best – singing, dancing, and loving my way through each day.

A deep well of thanks to my girlfriend who found those words from her yogi important enough to record. They’ve changed my life, and I am grateful to her for opening my eyes.

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And to the rest of you, peace.

Love,
Lady Grey