Tuesday, July 24, 2012

It‘s Good to Be the Queen

My dear friend Mrs. Oppenheimer and I (She calls me Mrs. Oppenheimer, too.  It’s a long story.) had a running joke that there had been a huge cosmic error along the line and somewhere someone was leading our Princesss lives while we were stuck in their miserable peasant existence.

Okay, we weren’t really joking.

But who knew someone was way ahead of us in reclaiming their royal turf by writing Queen of Your Own Life: The Grown-up Woman’s Guide to Claiming Happiness and Getting the Life You Deserve?  They were so ahead of us the book was published two years ago and this is the first I’m hearing of it.

I haven’t read it yet.  It does appear to have a few strikes against it for a literary snob like me.  For one thing, it is published by the same publisher who puts out Harlequin romances.  And one of the authors was behind the marketing of the South Beach diet.  That just strikes me as a little shallow.  But the chapter titles are promising.  Here are a few: "Build deep, fulfilling friendships with other women (Choosing your court)"; "Establish firm boundaries that will strengthen all your relationships (The Huns are at the Border)" and "Discover the simple trick to finally being happy (the subtitle is a little scatological, so I will discreetly allow you to discover it for yourself.)"

Even though I haven’t read it, and it appears to be lightweight, it clearly has some good thoughts, presented in a tongue-in-cheek manner.  I have maintained for decades that my women friends have been the core of my life.  I don’t know what I would have done without their love, encouragement, support, laughter and wisdom.   I swear by boundaries, having had numerous Huns at the border throughout my life.  They have usually been relatives.  Stymied by limits, now they are relatives who no longer speak to me.   It is sad having no one show up for your daughter’s wedding from your side of the family.  But it beats the alternative of drama, Gaslight-like craziness, veiled criticism, overt jabs and, in some cases, flat out meanness.  Although the entertainment factor has been reduced dramatically.

I am still working on the simple trick of finally being happy.  I was getting there.  In my late forties I was more accepting of myself and less judgmental in general than ever.  I felt very peaceful with where I was in life.  I loved my job.  I bought my dream home.  The kids were happy and on their way to great adulthoods.  Getting sick shook that satisfaction and sense of where I was in the world right out of me.  My career, my finances, my family and, obviously, my previously rude good health, have literally imploded over the past seven years.  I am having a hard time picking up the pieces.  I have a simple affirmation at the top of my blog “Remember this every day: You are fabulous.  Believe it. You are. ”  I truly do believe that – for everyone but me.  As I struggle to cope with this horrible disease, I am ashamed of my weakness and lack of grace and acceptance.  Other people tell me I inspire them and I have no clue what they are talking about.  Inspiring?  I think I am pathetic.  But I keep trying to hold my head up and focus on the positive where I can.  Trying is about all I can manage right now.  It is constant work and I back slide all the time.  But I do believe YOU are fabulous, you Queen, you!  (Or King, as the case may be.)

I'm looking forward to it.   If you are interested, you can find it here:


If nothing else it will be a fun read and a good reminder that we all deserve the best.  Here is their website, http://www.queenofyourownlife.com/, which includes a link to create your own coat of arms, http://www.queenofyourownlife.com/wp-content/uploads/COAT_OF_ARMS_P.jpg.  How could I resist wasting hours of Photoshopping (well, Paint.net, actually, because it is free)?!?!  So here is mine:

The field is green for Ireland, where all but one ancestor, my father’s father, emerged from.  The ordinary is red for the Red Cross, because I am in dire need of aid.

The barrel in the center is for Cooper, the barrel maker.  I have two ferocious cats as supporters, and my symbols are a quill and book for scholarship, a bee because I have always been as busy as one, a celtic harp for love of music and yarn and a sewing needle for love of fiber arts.  Two shamrocks adorn the top next to my crown.  And my motto is on the bottom (nod to Monty Python): “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.”  Because I have never expected it but have been blindsided by its equivalent more times than I care to remember.

Long live each Queen!

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Patty Woodland said...

If the publisher is MIRA they have put out some novels so un-Harlequin like I was shocked to learn they were the same house.

You are the Queen of your own life - and just like queens of old some kingdoms are erm, more stable and wealthy than others. My kingdom, or should I say queendom consists of several goats, a few cats and damn fine king. No money but a heck of a castle....

Marie said...

Patty, you are one of those wise, wonderful women I am lucky to have in my life, even if it is just virtually. We are the Queens of our own lives indeed. I am so happy that you have the King you deserve. xoxo

Muffie said...

I've written a few posts about my queenly aspirations. Like you, I've been reduced to far meaner circumstances, and we are not pleased!

Marie said...

Muffie - And why should We be pleased?!? Just wait until I find that Pretender...