by EM RUSCIANO
Earlier this year, we published Glamour magazine’s list of the 30 things a woman should have and know by 30.
Included on the list of the things you should have was ‘one old boyfriend you can imagine going back to and one who reminds you of how far you’ve come,’ ‘a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra’ and ‘one friend who always makes you laugh and one who lets you cry.
On the list of things you should know by 30 was ‘how to fall in love without losing yourself,’ ‘how you feel about having kids’ and ‘how to live alone, even if you don’t like to’.
Now, our very own Em Rusciano has composed her version of Glamour’s list:
This has to be the toughest thing I have ever promised to do.
I wanted it to have reflective value for you all, to be applicable to your situation – to encourage you to aspire to more than just a black lacy bra and a cordless power drill (which were on Glamour’s list).
I wanted to create a list that you could print out and stick on your fridge. Something you could email around to your girlfriends, Mothers and sisas.
The first thing that popped into my head was that you should own a mobile phone that doesn’t involve prepaid credit, unless of course you are a drug dealer. Alas, that was no better than Glamour suggesting you must have an e-mail address and bank account in your own name.
I sat staring at my computer screen looking for inspiration. By the hammer of Thor! You “should” definitely know the National anthem (even the 2nd bit that no-one knows) by the time you are 30!
‘No Em’, I said (a lot of self talk goes on around my house), ‘how often are women going to call on that bit of information? That isn’t going to make a difference in their lives’.
After some pacing, dusting, lint inspecting and dog grooming it finally dawned on me…
The list is pointless. The list serves none of you any purpose.
You are doomed to fail if you chose to follow a list printed by an American magazine in 1997.
The thing is, who am I to tell YOU what YOU should HAVE and KNOW by the time YOU are 30? Who is ANYONE to do such a thing? It’s the use of the word “should” that offends me most. Unless the person using it has achieved absolute spiritual and emotional enlightenment and can give you the one true answer then I don’t want to hear it.
At the risk of sounding like someone who wears a lot of corduroy and owns a beige skivvy – we are all on our own path.
As luck would have it, I am married to a professional coach and this is his thing. So I asked my husband Scotty what I should impart onto you all and he suggested I offer some questions.
Here we go (These are my words, his language is far more professional.):
1.How well is worrying about the following, serving you?
Generally being perfect.
If you notice yourself worrying, that’s okay – just try one of the following. Can you change yourself or the situation? Can you exit the situation or is there a way to accept it?
2. Guilt – This is obviously linked to worrying. Guilt does nothing for anyone, it traps you and causes suffering. Either act or accept the reality and let it go.
3. Have you figured out what is really important to you? What are your values? I pushed him on this. Coming up with your values is no easy task. He fought me and said there are many ways, I bullied him into telling me one.
Think of one of your peak experiences, write it down using great detail and as many senses as possible – i.e. what you heard, felt, thought, saw, the mood, were you alone? With family? Were you giving to others? Was it expensive? Re-create the richness of the experience as much as possible. Read back through it and try to exact the deeper factors that made it so good for you. Bang – you got yourself some VALUES! Scotty says aim for 5. He also says it’s helpful to know, which ones you’d drop off if you had to take it to 3 values and what your number 1 value is.
4. Make good stuff happen. Look for easy wins but also think about what you ultimately want. For most women it’s happiness. So do things that make you happy. Go deep here ladies. I mean it, not just shoe shopping but experiences that align with your values. The satisfaction will be deeper and longer, I promise.
I know we may have drifted into wankerville but the bottom line is: stop worrying and start living.
By the way, I suck at all of the above and I live with a dude who does it for a job. It’s not easy but when you all achieve oneness I will claim a small part of your victory… I hope this helped.
What do you think of Em’s list? What would you add to the list? Defining your own values is a tough ask but after following Em’s suggestions – what did you come up with?