A Year of Gifts
One of my favorite weekend get-a-ways are girl’s shopping weekends. In fact, I’m looking forward to another one right now.
These trips have evolved over the years. As young women, we’d leave the kids home with the dads and head to Minneapolis for lots of shopping, laughing and wine. Back then, we had to go to the bigger cities to find our favorite stores. Friendships were strengthened during those trips. There was laughter, sometimes tears, lots of sharing and plenty of memories made. It was rare to steal time without kids underfoot or guys around, so those were special times.
There were also a few trips where we tried to bring infant and toddler girls along. One outing involved newborns, nursing moms, poop on an outlet store floor and an overheated Suburban. That is a story for another day! Another trip included a tea party at the American Girl store, complete with dolls and ponytails. Lots of fun but not much true “shopping” and not nearly enough wine.
Then the trips morphed into traveling around the kids' activities. Still fun, and still squeezing in some brief shopping, but not the kind of girl time we’d come to appreciate. Everyone was too busy for a “ladies only” weekend.
Now those little girls we used to shop for during our weekends away are finishing up their high school and even their college years. They are blossoming into beautiful young women and are so fun to be around. Our upcoming trip will include my two sisters-in-law, four girl cousins, and two hotel rooms (because we will all appreciate both togetherness and space).
So, what is it about these weekends that make them so fun to look forward to, a blast to experience, and a source of wonderful memories? I think it’s all about the companionship. It’s a chance to reconnect, to visit, to share. Our girls are growing up fast and going off in different directions. We have to make the most of these special times.
I think it is so important for women to celebrate our relationships, support each other, and nourish each other’s’ strength. As a writer, I like to weave themes of strong women into my stories. One of my all-time favorite quotes embodies this sentiment:
Now, take a minute and re-read those words. I truly feel all women should strive to be strong role models for the younger generations. If I were given the opportunity to sit down over a cup of coffee or glass of wine with a young woman, I’d love to share some of the things I’ve learned through my many years. Things like:
* I would be honest about some of my own mistakes so that perhaps she would learn from me and not repeat them herself.
* I’d tell her to work to surround herself with a network of family and friends so she wouldn’t find herself alone on the dark days and have others to share the good times with too.
* There are all kinds of strength in this world. No one’s life is perfect. Strong people battle through the difficulties in life and come out on the other side.
* I’d encourage her to strive to be an individual, not a conformist, to design her own life and don’t let the dreams of others derail her own.
* Help build other women up. We all make choices every day and we aren’t operating in a vacuum. Others are watching. It isn’t so much caring what others think about us as it is showing them how wonderful life can be when you make good choices. Be the example of what is right and good in this world.
* Be the heroine, not the victim.
* It’s okay to cry, but when you’re done, pick yourself up, find your smile, and move on.
* Decide what it is you want to focus on in life and then get started. No excuses.
* Manners are still important. Say “please”, “thank you”, and always hold the door for others.
* Stay classy. That in itself will make you unique.
* If you are going to let loose and maybe drink a few too many, don’t do it in public. Surround yourself with friends you trust to help keep you safe. And don’t do it often.
* It seems everyone is getting a tattoo these days. Be careful where you put it and never permanently scar your body with someone else’s name (of course the name of your own child or grandchild might be an exception). I hear it hurts more and costs more to take off a tattoo then to put it on so don’t be rash.
I could go on and on, but suffice it to say, having the chance to spend time with some of my favorite girls this weekend will undoubtedly be a joy. I’ll try to sneak in a few words of wisdom, and likely receive a few eye-rolls in return, but we should never forget the younger girls are watching.
Set a good example, straighten your crown and stay classy! Kim
Kimberly Diede Author
Hello everyone and welcome to my blog! My name is Kimberly Diede and I'm a fiction author and family girl. When time permits, I am happiest with a great cup of coffee in one hand and a book in the other. I love to alternate between reading and writing. Winters here can be long, dark and cold. Summers are unpredictable, lovely and always too short. Every season of the year, as in every season of life, is a gift. Let's celebrate it together!