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Five Top Tips for Young Women

There is no need to search for the Elusive Magic Guru of All Answers or schedule appointments with an expensive shrink.

Take some free advice from a well-seasoned traveler of life who scrambled out on the positive side of numerous trials and errors. I wear my Band-Aids, scars, and laugh lines like medals of free independence, so allow me to share what I know with these five basic survival tips:

5. There is no Prince Charming.

Suck it up, learn how to use your skills, and become self-sufficient. If you find a loving partner along the way, shout “Alleluia” and go enjoy life together. Then write your own fairy tale that doesn’t include poisoned apples, glass slippers, magic mirrors, or wicked step-mothers.

4.  Avoid whiners and users.

They will spin a trap to snare you and then suck out your very essence, leaving you a withered, bitter, and exhausted shell that consequently turns into a whiner or a user. Instead of gravitating toward the nearest magnetic victim, go introduce yourself to the most talented, positive person in the room.

3.  Know the basics:

How to sew on a button, make homemade chicken soup, balance a checkbook, rock a baby, sing a song, read a map, comfort a crying friend, volunteer for a good cause, and, please, know the difference between “your” and “you’re.”

2.  Stay healthy.

Have you noticed that hospitals now have enormous chairs in the waiting rooms to accommodate obese bodies? The chairs at the gym remain the same size. Yes, it’s a commitment, but it’s better to order a salad instead of a hamburger and fries. I only get one body, so I workout at least five times a week – just enough to earn a few glasses (or bottles) of red wine and fit into my favorite jeans.

1.  Be grateful for mulligans.

In golf, a mulligan is a chance for a second try with no penalty. Every day provides a new opportunity to start over, to correct mistakes, and to move beyond all the crazy crap from the past. Dump yesterday’s emotional garbage bag that you carry like a martyr and life will be easier. Not perfect, just easier. Acknowledge that if you are lucky enough to live a long life that your boobs will sag, you’ll sprout hair on your chin, and you’ll probably wet your pants when you sneeze. Besides gratitude, a sense of humor is essential.

As I reflect upon this grand journey through the decades (trying not to sound too sentimental, silly, or sappy), I admit that there is a sweet satisfaction that comes with age. I survived the rat race, and I know how to pick my battles. And, I see the delightful beauty and legacy of my grown children and grandchildren. So from the comfort of my easy chair, I raise a glass and toast the young generation of strong women who will survive and thrive as they write their own stories about living happily ever after.


Elaine Ambrose is a contributing blogger for JenningsWire.

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