Thursday, July 09, 2009

21st Century Housewife©

I started The 21st Century Housewife© website almost ten years ago now and I am really pleased with how it has evolved and grown. I’m looking forward to watching how it continues to evolve in the future. It has even given birth to a sister blog (which you can read by clicking here) and led to my being published by some very well known news agencies. But it is this site that I am the most proud of, and I am always happy to introduce myself as April Harris, the 21st Century Housewife©.

I get some lovely emails from readers. It is so nice to know that what I write makes a difference in their lives, and that they feel encouraged by it. Their letters encourage me in turn, and sometimes they even challenge me.

In a recent email, a reader quoted an old Portuguese saying “Quantos bons anos teve a tua vida ou quanta vida boa teve os teus anos?” Translated it is a very close match to the English quote, “It’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.” That quote has been attributed to a lot of people, from Abraham Lincoln to Adlai Stevenson. I can’t be exactly sure who said it, but it is very true. We need to live our years to the full, enjoying and appreciating the good times. We keep ourselves so busy these days. It’s too easy to allow the years to fly by. Sometimes you just have to slow down.

We learned that this week when my husband got flu. He had been working very hard, not getting enough sleep and taking care of everyone else except himself. Eventually his body got fed up with being neglected and he got sick. As frustrating as it was for him, I thank God that it was just the flu, and not a much more frightening or serious wake up call that made him realise it was time to slow down and take care of himself.

I created 21st Century Housewife© to encourage women (housewives in particular) not only to appreciate themselves and the importance of their role, but also take care of themselves. It’s something you really have to work at. It is so easy to take such good care of everyone else that you forget about yourself. Skipping meals, not taking time out for yourself, setting unattainable standards and being hard on ourselves is something that comes easily to women (and apparently also to many men like my husband!). In general, I’d say that most people in the world could really do with being a whole lot nicer to themselves.

So today, ask yourself if you are looking after yourself as well as you are looking after everyone else. Be honest! If the answer is no, then please take some time out for you before your body forces you to. The advice your mother gave you all those years ago is still good. Eat right (no skipping meals), get plenty of sleep and take care of yourself. You are important and you need to value yourself.

Dads give good advice too. At my wedding, my Dad advised my husband and I to “have some fun”. It was the very last line in his speech, and it was the best advice he ever gave me. So let me share his advice with you, and encourage you not only to take care of the very special person that you are, but also to be sure that you do have some fun. Seek it out! That way you can be sure that no matter how many years in your life, you will have had lots of life in your years!

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