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The Modern Woman – Guest Blog

I’m always interested when I hear women talking about how little time they have for the everyday things … especially themselves!

Of course, I come from an era when women always had time! Although I do remember my mother rushing around to organise the house for when my father got home; she used to go out a lot!

The majority of these women (a particular socio-economic group) didn’t work, and the most tiresome task of the day was deciding what to prepare for dinner; unless you were really well-heeled and had a cook/housekeeper who made even that decision disappear in the steam of boiling vegetables.

For many women of that time, life was about Morning Coffee, Afternoon Tea, collecting the children from school, ironing the bread winner’s shirts and going to the hairdresser once a week for the obligatory ‘cast in stone’ helmet-head hairstyle which lasted, with nary a hair out of place, until the next week.

And yes, there were even more women who never experienced this type of life; whose every waking hour was spent trying to keep their family clean and fed and happy. And that was all they wanted … or was it?

Society has changed … dramatically. Think of what we have nowadays that hadn’t even been thought of 40 or 50 years ago! I remember my first mobile phone which closely resembled a house brick. And the first time I wrote a computer sub-routine was using a small card and a hole puncher; the card was fed into a slot and hey presto, some time later, the answer appeared … on another piece of paper !

Is it any wonder that women who, like myself, were brought up in that quieter, slower and (dare I say it?) more genteel era, are now looking around and thinking “this is very interesting!” We look at younger women in their thirties and forties and can’t help but see they are heading in the same direction. So what was Women’s Lib all about?!

Where do their dreams and aspirations go? What happens to their chutzpah and pizzaz? Why do they persist in following in our footsteps and making the same mistakes? What is the biggest thing we can pass on to the women coming up behind us … We can teach them to change  the one major, glaring, in your face, monumental boo-boo that so  many women seem to choose to make (I plead guilty!), which is simply refusing to acknowledge they are worthy and deserving of time spent on themselves.

Once a week it is crucial, to maintain your emotional balance, your physical well-being, your self-esteem and your values, to reward yourself  in some way, for having achieved so much. Every single week. And if you really want to take it to the limit, reward yourself once a day … even if it’s only sitting outside quietly sipping a cup of coffee or a glass of water (maybe wine?).

Take the time to be with yourself. Enjoy your own company. Take up Yoga or Pilates or just go for a walk every morning and enjoy the peace of the start of the day.

Can something so simple really change your life? Yes …

Be grateful for everything, big and small.

Smile … big smile … more often, more easily

And if you don’t think you’re old enough to take this advice on board, you will be one day. The legendary Sophie Tucker on the subject of growing old, said “all you have to do is just breathe” …

Born in London, Penelope Whiteley has travelled extensively. Her working life has been catholic to say the least; she has experienced a variety of incarnations ranging from medical student to Actress to Singer to software developer … and beyond! Penelope is an International Speaker and Educator, a Life Transition Coach and a Stylist. She works with women on an individual basis, runs workshops for groups of women ranging in number from 20 to 500. Her aim is to Age Disgracefully and she helps as many other women as possible to do the same! Penelope works to help women boost their self-confidence and step into their power! She has become the Queen of Mid-life Make Over … Penelope can be contacted at