Forgive Your Parents

 

They Probably Did the Best They Could

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.

 

Most of us can look back on something our parents did - or didn’t - do and wish it had been different.

My mom confided to me recently that watching my brother and his wife raise their two children is very different from the way she and my dad raised us.  

“We just didn’t know what you know now,” she said.  “We followed the most current advice and the best practices at the time, but now there’s so much more knowledge and information I wish we’d had.”

It’s true.  Forty years later, people raise their children differently than many of us were raised.

Maybe you don’t have any issues about how you were raised - that’s great.  This may not be for you, or you may be able to apply it to another situation in your life.

I’ve had a number of men complain about women’s baggage - it’s the bitterness and the drama they are...

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Be A Good Friend

 

 

Free Your Friends By Detaching

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.

 

I think we’ve all had the experience of the friend who gets a new man, then you don’t hear from her unless he’s out of town or they break up.

If you’re like most of us, maybe you’ve been that friend!  In my younger days, I would ditch a friend to accept a last-minute date with a guy.  Or, I’d go on a date even if I was sick with a terrible cold, but cancel on a girlfriend because I was tired or just “didn’t feel like” going.

It is completely natural to want to spend every possible moment with your Mr. Right.  It’s easy to let your friendships slip away and just focus in on your beloved.  Part of that is how we’re wired as women, but we also need our girlfriends!  And not just the ones we double date with!

What if you and your beloved break up?  Many times, the couple you hung out with feel like they have to choose...

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Be A Lady - Part 2

 

Ladies Inspire Others!

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.

This is the second part of our Be A Lady series. Click here to read Part 1.

A lady takes care of herself.  Ladies don’t shlump around town in their sweats.  They wouldn’t be caught running out for a quick coffee in their ratty t-shirt and pajama pants. 

I recently saw a photo of a movie star wearing paint-splattered jeans.  And not in an haute-couture kind of paint-splattered style.  They were old, paint-splattered jeans.  Not cute, and not flattering.  Those may be fine for when you’re home (painting), but when you go out, throw on a pair of well-fitting leggings or skinny jeans.

I used to NEVER leave my house in anything lower than a 3-inch heel.  Today, I’d rather wear my cute Vans (hello, leopard print!) or my ballerina flats, or my clean, cute sneakers.  Even if I’m wearing what I’ll wear to my yoga class later, my outfit is clean, cute, and...

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Be A Lady - Part 1

 

Ladies Aren’t Doormats!

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.

 

I know times are always a-changin’, but one thing I believe never goes out of style: acting like a lady.

You wouldn’t know it looking at today’s “influencers.”  Many of our “style icons” bombard us with attacks on others, in-your-face cleavage and body parts, f-bombs, and newsfeeds full of shade and negativity.

But when I look at great ladies in the past - Jackie Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy - I’m reminded of the charm, elegance, and grace that ladylike behavior contributes to any environment.  

Some of my modern-day inspiration for ladylike charm comes from people like Kate Middleton, Amal Clooney, and Queen Letizia of Spain.

I’m far from perfect, but I’ve come up with a few points I believe describe a lady.

But, first: what is a lady NOT?

The word “lady” may conjure up an image of a helpless damsel dropping her...

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Listen to Your Gut

 

 It’s ALWAYS Right

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.

 

In the TV show, “Scandal,” Olivia Pope used to brag that she trusted her gut because it was never wrong.

The good news is, gut accuracy isn’t a trait reserved for fictional heroines or “lucky” women.

We ALL have intuition that exists to serve us - men have it, but women are able to access our intuition more quickly.  Our problem is that we will frequently talk ourselves out of listening because sometimes our gut’s direction doesn’t make logical sense, or we feel “mean” about following it.

There’s a line in Girl With the Dragon Tattoo that goes something like, “People are more worried about offending someone else than they are about their own safety.”  The consequences of that can be deadly, and not just in the movies.

Whenever I have ignored my gut, I regretted it.  Every.  Single.  Time.  At work, in...

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Build It Right

 

 There are No Shortcuts in Successful Relationships

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.

 

Recently some houses were constructed along the route I typically take to the gym.  It seemed like they were fully built in record time - going from foundation to ready in under 2 months.

As a former homeowner, I know the importance of what you CAN’T see in a home.  Sure, the beautiful countertops, floor tiles, and fixtures are exciting, but if your foundation, plumbing, and electrical systems aren’t up-to-par, you are in for years of expensive problems.

This morning there was a letter to “Dear Abby” in the newspaper (yes, I still read a daily newspaper).  The writer was a woman saying she got involved with a coworker - their affair was fast and furious.  She became pregnant, so they chose to move in together to coparent their child.  The problem: they detest each other and do not agree on anything related to their relationship or life together....

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Dealing with Shady Guys

 

Things Aren’t Always Cooler in the Shade

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.

 

One of my girlfriends recently had an experience that we can all benefit from.

One of her neighbors was being very flirty with her.  He was bringing the compliments and the sweet words, and eventually asked her to dinner.  She found him very attractive and she liked his personality.  Except for one thing:  he’s married.

The only way she suspected this was because when he was moving in a few months ago, a woman was helping him.

He is in town on a work assignment that will last months.

When he asked her out, she asked if he is married.  “Separated,” he answered.

OK - stop here.

One thing you need to know about shady guys is that they will play semantics and split hairs, all while justifying that they aren’t lying to you (omitting key information is fine, though).  

In this case, I’m sure he meant “separated,” as in: we’re living...

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What Does “Love Yourself” Mean?

 

 Self-Respect Makes You Sexy!

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.

 

One of the pieces of advice that has always confused me is when someone says, “You just need to love yourself.”

What does that mean?

For me, self-love is a tough concept to grasp.  But, it seems to be a recurring theme so I wanted to understand it!

I started to see that one way to define self love is “self respect.”  If you love something, you value it.  If you value it, you take care of it.

If you love yourself, you take care of yourself: physically, mentally, emotionally.

When you love yourself, you don’t put yourself in harm’s way.  You don’t place the other person’s wellbeing ahead of your own (unless they are your child). 

You don’t do things that devalue yourself (like being hungover at work or dating married men).  You don’t let other people devalue you or disrespect you. 

What’s interesting is that men find...

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Victim or Hero?

 

Which Role Are You Playing?

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.

 

As women, we frequently like the fairy tales where the princess is rescued by Prince Charming.  While it’s fashionable to bash these damsel-in-distress stories, there is some biological basis to them.  As women, we want community and connection, and we want a man to provide for us.

In many ways, our culture supports us in identifying ourselves as victims.  While it’s out-of-vogue to use the word “victim,” it’s very much “in” to talk about your past trauma, your current drama, and how you were messed up by your dad or mama.

But, who are you rooting for in an action movie?  The hero or the victim?  The hero, of course!  

“Wonder Woman” was a blockbuster hit in 2017.  Nobody’s waiting for “‘Why Me?’ Woman” to come out!

If you have suffered a major trauma, then it’s time to deal with that.  And...

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Be Interesting

 

What Are You Passionate About?

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.

 

Most people can name very few Supreme Court justices, yet they can name all of the Kardashians (and their exes).

I believe we’re living in an “entertainment” culture - we want to be stimulated and we’re constantly looking for the latest info, trending topics, and hot gossip.

 I’ve heard my friends say they fear men will find them “boring,” but I say that what makes you interesting is having interests!

While a man may not share your passion for knitting or your joy over your vintage Tupperware collection, most men aren’t worried about the object of your passion - they are intrigued by the fact that you’re passionate about SOMETHING!

When I say, “passionate,” don’t mean sexually (although who doesn’t love that?).  I mean that state when you’re in the zone, your face lights up, and you are excited about something.  Maybe...

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