Friday, April 20, 2012

a lady by 27: well read

well-read (wlrd) adj.  Knowledgeable through having read extensively.

the problem i have is not having read extensively.  that part is easy peasy pumpkin squeezy, as my coworker would say.  the challenge is in developing the information into usable and applicable knowledge.  this is what i consider a true lady talent.

brain power  the difference between my brain when i was in grad school compared to my brain now is that i used to think more actively and comprehensively.  since each week we were required to read several research papers and textbook chapters, my mind was constantly swarming with information and thoughts and ideas.  now... not so much.  a well read lady trains her mind to think - exercising it and strengthening it.  and a well trained mind grasps onto new information faster and more efficiently.

consciousness  these days, awkward moments no longer phase me since they're so common to my existence.  but one of the moments i shy away from is when someone steers a conversation in the direction of have you heard of such and such? and you have no idea what they're talking about.  while it would be impossible to know everything in the world at every moment, it is good to be well-informed.  many of you also know that i've recently read many books on personality development.  (sorry to those of you who've had to listen to me give speeches about birth order or whom i've tried to psychoanalyze without your consent)  in any case, i'm finding that reading also develops self-consciousness, which, when read with discernment, can be vital to awareness and improvement of character development.

decision-making  when my sister was pregnant with the cutest baby on earth, she sent me her amazon wish-list to prevent me from buying random crap for her baby shower.  i remember thinking she was ridiculous for wanting so many books on parenting and baby-raising instead of cute fluffy stuffed animals and fun onesies.  but the truth is with reading comes the knowledge needed to navigate through many of life moments.  in my sister's case, how to feed her toddler or what doctrines to follow in terms of discipline.  a lady is able to acquire a vast amount of knowledge through books and gather information through discussing topics with other people, which gives her the ability to make informed decisions.

people skills  small talk has its place in social gatherings and can be a great diving board into deeper conversation.  but i always experience that awkward moment when small talk dies and i'm left standing there in front of my new acquaintance, looking at the door trying to think of a good segue out of the conversation. sometimes having a storehouse of knowledge and information can facilitate in getting to know someone better and having meaningful conversation that leaves both parties with a deeper understanding of each other.

i guess it's not so much about cramming your brain with a whole bunch of random information but rather filling up on a variety of knowledge as you seek to find guidance and wisdom as well as reading up on things you're passionate about or interests you and that allows you to share with other people.

feel free to object to any of my beliefs on the lifestyle of a lady.  these come primarily from my own understanding of how women were created to be based on what i've witnessed in my own family , what i've learned from jane austen and what i've gleaned from a few select bible heroines.  thank you 1900s feminist movement for your hard work but the side effects of your achievements have also caused much havoc to the modern female life that i'm looking to change.


it seems as though the new noblewoman has beat me to the chase with an exhaustive list of hobbies for the noble woman.  guess i can just link to her blog instead of finishing mine >__<

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

a lady by 27: exercise

i know i'm stepping into dangerous grounds as i get into this next post on ladyness.. i admit, i lack all street cred required to expound on a topic such as this.  but nevertheless, i believe that it's important and definitely something i'm looking into as i journey into womanliness.

one of my pet peeves is seeing girls be so physically weak that they need a guy to help them with the smallest chore.  like carry their purse.  puh-lease!  let the dude be a dude and take out all your heavy crap and carry your own gigumbus purse!!  >__<  okay, that was slightly hyperbolic and mean.  and don't get me wrong, i'm definitely a fan of chivalry.. but the point is, ladies must be able to carry their own - not for the sake of shadowing a man's strength, but to nurture a certain physical strength that matches their inner strength.  let me explain:

mental willpower  i'm still trying to convince myself of this point, but i think that exercising provides an opportunity for a lady to sharpen her willpower and discipline.  sure, these traits can be honed through other skill-building practices but for someone like me, committing to a physical activity that doesn't particularly enlighten me incorporates a huge amount of challenge and willpower.  it's my thought that as a lady continues through life, she will encounter many events that will test her ability to persevere and all that kinda tough stuff.  that's a given.  the true test then would be whether or not she can weather those tough times with the grace of a lady.  therefore, wouldn't it be wise to start growing an armor of discipline in preparation now?

cost effectiveness  in the context of the high prices of medicine, my mom used to always say wearing a sweater doesn't cost any money.  so true.  neither does exercising.  years of school has taught me that a healthy lifestyle that incorporates moderate amounts of physical activity (at least 30 to 60 minutes of heart rate-raising activity a day) can prevent the onset of most preventable diseases ie. diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, etc.  if the cost of a coronary bypass surgery is equivalent to that of my dream car, i'd rather run a few laps a day and drive happy.  it's interesting to think of physical activity hobbies you might invest in.  what may seem like a fortune for a bike helmet, knee pads, gym shorts or vibram five-fingers, is completely dwarfed by the physiological, emotional and financial cost of a diabetic leg amputation.

it's not yours  first corinthians says your body is the temple of the holy spirit and is not our own.  romans says to offer your bodies as living sacrifices holy and pleasing to god.  contextually, these passages are pretty meaty and would require another blog series to extract.  but i think the overarching principle is that christ dwells within us and gives us these kinesthetically amazing bodies to use for his glory.  i don't think it's necessary to be ripped in order to provide a dwelling fit for the king.  but i do think that by maintaining a healthy level of physical endurance allows a lady to have the stamina needed to do a good work - whether it's chasing kiddies in sunday school or running around a mall with a friend all day in the name of fellowship.  also, i have a feeling couch potato missionaries would not do well in jungles where cheetahs and other fast, hungry animals reside.

long life  i'm too lazy to look up research for this so don't kill me if i'm spewing medical blasphemy here.. but generally if you're healthy and active, you are more likely to steer clear of preventable diseases and thus, live a longer, more satisfactory life.  as a lady, family is somewhere along the horizon and it should be her desire to maintain good health in order to serve her family well.  in all my life, i cannot recall a time when i've ever had to make my own lunch or find a ride home from school because my mom was lying sick in bed.  while i think this is superhuman and crazy, i also think she's set a pretty high standard for womanly conduct that is worth pursuing.

hot stuff  this requires no explanation.

big fail.  it's raining today and i'm still trying to figure out how to cure my vocal chords so there was no attempt at exercising.  although i did stretch a little (can't touch my toes =[ ) and do laundry, which requires climbing two flights of stairs 6 times.  i'm well on my way!

up next: well read

feel free to object to any of my beliefs on the lifestyle of a lady.  these come primarily from my own understanding of how women were created to be based on what i've witnessed in my own family , what i've learned from jane austen and what i've gleaned from a few select bible heroines.  thank you 1900s feminist movement for your hard work but the side effects of your achievements have also caused much havoc to the modern female life that i'm looking to change.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

a lady by 27: take control of messes

the messes i'm talking about here are not life messes as one of my girl friends misinterpreted when i shared with them my lady-rearing list this morning.  hehee  no.  life messes are far beyond my scope of practice.  i'm speaking to tidy and cleanliness - think martha stewart spreads and the last 5 minutes of hoarder's.  to be a lady is to keep the home clean.  i can attest that i'm always in much better spirits when i come home to a clean apartment rather than one where plates are stacked high in the sink and bunny poop overruns the rug.  there's also more impetus for creativity/productivity as well as comfort and relaxation, which for the modern woman is very very important after a day's work.  a lady should also be ready to entertain guests at a moments notice without freaking out and stuffing crap in the walk-in closet 2 minutes before showtime (guilty)

i came up with a few ideas to help me curb my tendency to tornado my room every time i open the door.  and here's a note for those of you who enjoy group participation: i'd love to hear any of your thoughts on keeping a space in apple-pie order =]

minimize  this is hard for me.  if you ask me why i need 20 green dish towels, double copies of the same book and 5 million sets of tupperware in both plastic and glass form, i will stare at you blankly and wonder if the brain monster got hungry and partook of a piece of your cognitive thinking.  kidding.  i'm starting to grasp onto the concept that less is more.  i used to pride myself in the ability to strategically wedge loads of treasures into small nooks in my studio so that no one would suspect how much junk i really have.  unfortunately clutter is clutter and no matter how hard i try to hide it, it's still there waiting to pounce and raid precious surface area.  a lady knows exactly what she needs and does not buy in excess.  must minimize!

purge  i love stuff and from the deepest parts of my heart, i believe that each piece of stuff has potential.  so it must be retained, that at the perfect moment it shall have its chance to realize its full potential  >__<  i feel like if i went to hoarder's anonymous group, i'd find great company with others who uphold this same belief.  whether it's an issue of costco connection from 4 months ago or a mish-mash of amazon boxes in varied sizes, i want to keep it all!!!  however this does nothing in my effots to keep a clean house.  i'm slowly learning to just throw things away, operating on the objective that if something hasn't been used within the past 3 months, it likely will never be used ever and therefore must be purged.  a lady can tell the difference between junk and true treasures.

restraint  i have a microwavable chip maker that i've never used.  i have numerous pairs of super hot shoes that have never touched asphalt.  i have t-shirts from shirt.woot that i rarely wear in public.  i have boxes of cookies, candy, cereal that all looked so good in the store but have never been opened.  want me to go on?  embarrassingly, i definitely fall into the trap of consumerism, flash sales, and impulse buys.  this is inappropriate lady behavior for several reasons - it reflects badly on finance management, lack of self control, wastefulness and poor purchasing decisions.  a more astute lady would consider her expenses and necessity before making a purchase.

initiative  just do it.  i tend to let things pile up over the course of several days until i finally resolve to clean up, which usually takes a significant amount of time.  the only remedy to this is to clean as i go.  so easy but so haaaard ;)  but a true lady has all her ducks in a row, always.

yikess that's a big list to tackle!  but turning 27 was never meant to be easy, right?  >__<

up next: exercise

feel free to object to any of my beliefs on the lifestyle of a lady.  these come primarily from my own understanding of how women were created to be based on what i've witnessed in my own family , what i've learned from jane austen and what i've gleaned from a few select bible heroines.  thank you 1900s feminist movement for your hard work but the side effects of your achievements have also caused much havoc to the modern female life that i'm looking to change.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

a lady by 27: be a better cook

following a recent conversation, i realized just how unappealing some of my habits can be.  i could blame it on a lot of different factors such as living on my own and operating from a nontraditional work schedule, but the simple answer is that i'm lazy.  if christians believed in reincarnation, i'd probably want to come back as a koala.  eat.. pass out.. repeat.  except better judgment tells me that's not okay for life as a lady.  it's ironic that oftentimes i expect so much from a guy - qualities that are necessary for manlihood.  but then if i were to measure myself against the female version of that same scale, i'd never make it!  maybe karma should make me a hippo instead cuz i'm so hippo-critical ;)

since my birthday is coming up in a few weeks, i decided instead of updating my bucket list of things to do before i turn 30, i'm gonna try and highlight a few habits that i ought to reconsider as i near closer to the end of my 20s.  i'm not so good at continuing dedicated blog series like some people, but it's worth a shot.  so here's my take on how to be a lady:

be a better cook

i realize i love shocking people with my weirdO diet preferences, knowing that i'm a nutrition major.  i'm proud of my affinity towards doughnut holes, frosted flakes and a good cheeseburger and of course my complete breakfast of.. coffee.  but better judgment tells me that's not okay.  neither is the fact that my refrigerator staples only include lactaid milk, orange juice, butter and an accumulation of assorted condiments and sauces =/

if i'm so comfortable with my current set up, why consider being a better cook?  i can think of a couple good reasons.  it's healthy, economical, and it's what my mom did and i seemed to turn out pretty well.  nutritionally speaking, eating a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables is the best defense from chronic diseases and preventable cancers.  obesity is also a byproduct of our culture's need to satiate hunger with fast, affordable meals prepared by stranger hands.  no bueno en mi libro.  as a lady, these are important factors to consider.  for self, for family, and for a skinnier america.  hahaa mebbe jk about the last one.

up there is my attempt at crab cakes with a chipotle sauce.  recipe courtesy of my sister who's mastered the art of womanliness :D

up next: take control of messes