Over the years, I collected wisdom from a wealth of experience and procured sage advice from woman across generations to make up what I am calling the Ten Commandments of Mature Womanhood. Enjoy this addition to Dear Wednesday.
1. Thou shall never go any place without red lipstick.
Ladies, it is imperative that you carry a deep red lipstick with you at all times. Red lipstick is the staple in your handbag that will never steer you wrong. Red for the gym, for the post office, for the grocery store, for a hot date, for walking the dog, for riding around the car, and even for work. At times when you need to dress up or have your dress-down look like a dress up, red lipstick is essential as the period at the end of your sentence.
2. Thou shall always have a hobby.
And, no, watching RHOA or any of that mess is not a hobby. Mature women have hobbies that transcend filthy TV. Learn to play an instrument. Write. Make content that inspires people. Paint. Make candles. Quilt. Dance. Create clay pots. Garden. Marathon. There's nothing like a mature woman who has something to offer beyond the norm.
3. Thou shall send handwritten notes.
My darling, thank you notes have never and will never go out of style. Buy yourself some lovely stationary and a MontBlanc pen and endeavor to send mature handwritten notes to the people, personally and professionally, who inspire you.
4. Thou shall endeavor to have A+ credit, an emergency fund, and stable investments.
Messed up credit can take years and letters to fix. Endeavor to have a credit score that would make any man envious. Low credit can impact your ability to get a job or to purchase the home of your dreams. We don't need to be turned down for another loan, ladies. Let's get it together. Start off with at least $1000 in your emergency and build up to 6 months of living expenses saved. The market may fluctuate, but a mature woman plays her hand close to her, making the investments that are cool, calm and gonna collect some cash over time.
5. Thou shall not argue over the petty.
Your energy is best spent creating things and sustaining things that give you life. If you need to argue, may it be more so a productive conversation about the state of the world and not something that won't matter in 5 years or even five seconds. Save your breath. Brattiness is unbecoming.
6. Thou shall always show up to family dinners with food now.
My dear, don't you dare show up to a family dinner without a dish. Those days are over. Mom and aunt and grandma may have said to simply bring the sweet tea. No. You are too old to just show up and help out. Show up, help out, AND bring a dish. That's a non-negotiable. And make it good. They may treat you like a child still; but you are a grown woman and capable of throwing down in the kitchen, even if it's not exactly from scratch.
7. Thou shall not make excuses.
If you're late, if you're not going to be able to make it, if you did not get the work/project in on time, whatever the case... mature women do not make excuses... ever. If you have to tell a detailed story about why something didn't get done or why you are late, then you have wasted your energy and others' time. Mature women harness their energy and zero their excuses. Telling tales is for light, conversational fare during happy hour and the dinner table; not to explain away a situation.
8. Thou shall embrace community service and mentorship.
Mature women give back to their communities with pleasure. This world is not simply about getting, but about giving. And, my darling, we give well. Mature women happily seek useful mentors and also reach out to mentor young women. If you can spend hours on Netflix, then you can spend an hour or two a month mentoring a young lady and imparting knowledge she can use for the better. Let's do some good in the world and leave it better than we found it. Cheers to a better community.
9. Thou shall forgive quickly.
Wait, no one said to forget. But, if you want to maintain a youthful glow and graceful disposition, forgive quickly. Mature women do not hold on to anything that is toxic and turbulent. That's what therapy and a good microdermabrasion is for.
10. Thou shall not stand for what is not standing for you. Period.
Shhhhhh darling: when you're fighting wars that are not your own, you are wasting time and energy that you could be using to reach your next level. Stand up for the people, places, and things that are standing up for you. Otherwise, have a seat, legs crossed, eyes forward and smile big knowing you are a winner. Nothing to prove. Sometimes the things (or people) you are chasing after aren't meant to be caught. They aren't meant to be part of the narrative. Stop making up a whole story in your head regarding someone that's simply a pit stop. Surrender what you can't control. Savor what you can control. A mature woman knows her assets, her audience, and her atmosphere. She is an asset and an ace. Therefore, her posture is one of wisdom, knowing what is for her and what is not.
Bonus: A mature woman embraces wellness - mind, body, soul and spirit.
Cheers to mature women.
May we know them.
May we become them.
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Comment and tell us some of your mature woman commandments in this season of your life.
This Dear Wednesday Letter was hand-crafted by Dr. Joy. Dr. Joy Well, mental health clinician, confidence catalyst, professor, self-sabotage solutionist and avid researcher is one of the quintessential experts on the connection between the mind, body, and immune system. Her doctoral work explored the experiences of women of color living with autoimmune diseases and how they function and experience the medical community and beyond. Once a shy, small-town girl with big dreams, Joy has found peace and purpose working with women of all ages to develop a fierce, faith-filled identity, personally and professionally. She is a clinician and entrepreneur in mental health private practice, seeing all ages, backgrounds, and genders. In her spare time, she enjoys music, movies, writing, and getting into mischief with friends. You can find Dr. Joy on social media @captivatingjoy.