Tomboy Soft Woman Era is here to stay....
Annoyance is what surfaces when I hear a ton of these overused terms/topics: narcissism, masculinity in women, trauma, "you have my condolences", the soft life, and all the other stuff forced fed via social media feeds.
Though hated, "the soft life" expression stopped me in my tracks. Got me to thinking about life and outcomes.
I grew up as a tomboy. I grew up in a house full of boys and did what they did. I played basketball in the alley, tumbled on dirty mattresses, did handstands (or at least tried), flipped on the metal poles in Granny's back yard....all of it. Whatever they did, I tried to prove that I could do it too.
Then came the adult version of Tomboy Ria. No more dirty mattresses though cause....ewwww YUCK, but hiking, rafting, skydiving, swimming, diving, climbing are the new norm. You name it, I'm planning to do it or have already tried it. But what about Tomboy Ria at home? In her marriage? As a boy-mom?
I love helping my husband. In fact, I used to pride myself on helping him shovel snow, washing the car, cleaning out the garage, etc. Thank God for friends. My friend said, "Girl, if you don't go sit 'cho ass down and get him a cold pop. He don't need your help and it's not attractive." It took me a while to get it. Though my husband didn't ask for my help and was grateful, he would express more gratitude for my femininity.
I'm so blessed to have friends who hold me accountable
Though Tomboy Ria is still ever present, she doesn't show up much in the marriage. To satiate her desires to still do Super Dave like stunts, Tomboy Ria does Spartan races. Spartan races are like all of the aforementioned things rolled into one event. I get to crawl under barbed wire, jump over fire, carry heavy stuff, flip, jump, and whatever my heart desires. The best part....the encouragement. Have you ever had dozens of people stand at the bottom of a rope encouraging you to keep climbing while giving you a boost? And when you fall, helping you back up to do it again? It is the best feeling ever (especially when upper body challenges aren't my strong suit). The rope, the monkey bars, the rings....I fail at each obstacle and at each obstacle dozens of people are there to help me.
Even while being Tomboy Ria, I realized I was living the 'soft life.' The Spartan races restored my faith in humanity. Each race I watch people from all walks of life work together to achieve one goal--to cross the finish line. At my last race, there were several wheelchair bound participants. There were other participants waiting at each obstacle to assist them---carrying them over the bar jumps, carrying their chair over mud pits, holding the chair up while they pull themselves across the rings, etc.
We were born humans, but it's a choice to have humanity. Generosity is a gift everyone can afford to give. We do not necessarily need to be affluent in order to support those in need.
Marta Zaraska's book (Growing Young: How Friendship, Kindness, and Optimism Can Help You Live to 100) replaced the conventional thinking of diet and exercise as keys to a healthier life with convincing arguments and ample evidence that social engagement, kindness, and/or serving do more for longevity. After years of research, she concluded that “diet and exercise [are] not the most important things… to encourage my family’s longevity. Instead of shopping for organic goji berries, I should concentrate on our social lives and [emotional] makeup. I should look for a purpose in life, not the best fitness tracker.”
Serving not only calms us from stress and enhances our mood, but it also demonstrates Jehovah God’s love. There is nothing softer than altruism, being stress free, being connected to your life's purpose and cultivating gratitude.
When you're able to count your blessings you're much more likely to try to contribute to the world beyond yourself. And that my dear is the softest place on earth.
Three cheers for the soft life....