Fact is women tend to live longer than men. Married men longer than single men. And widowers who remarry within a few years of their wife's death live longer than widowers who never remarry. Why you may ask? I believe the answer is as simple as the woman behind the man. Let's face it, men don't take care of themselves properly. The don't eat right and they don't like to go to the doctor. They don't emotionally unburden themselves often enough. Yes, I'm generalizing but it's true that the majority of men just don't think about their personal, mental and emotional needs like a woman does.
Woman are caregivers by nature. We are nurturers. It's in our genetic make-up to make sure everyone is healthy, happy and productive. If you don't take care of yourself either we'll do it or nag you to death until you do it for yourself. Sound familiar? I hate to admit it but the truth is I'm a nagger. I wasn't before I got married and I hate that I've become one. I have to be in my household of stubborn big and little people. I always ask first and if you don't act quick enough I'll keep it up until you finally do it just to shut me up. I try to use my nagging powers for good and not evil, though I know it slips in there from time to time.
For example, back in October I suggested several times that my husband go to the doctor when he continuously complained about his allergies. His head was stuffed, his ears were clogged, his throat hurt, he coughed, he sneezed, his eyes were red and then his lips started getting tingly. When that last symptom showed up he finally listened. After a battery of tests it was determined that he has severe outdoor allergies and a few indoor. He had what is called a "mast" reaction. Thank goodness with a heavy dose of steroids (including a shot) he was able to get it under control. The doctor said it could have been much worse if he had continued to ignore it. I would like to believe it is with my help and support that he continues to be healthy and happy.
What keeps me going is my family and friends. I think this is true for most women. We build a strong network of woman we can turn to in a time of need. We have different networks to meet different needs. I truly believe this is why woman live longer. We always have someone we can talk to during emotional times. We have a group of friends who listen willingly and offer advice or just a shoulder when needed. We don't bottle our feelings up as much and are freer with our emotion. Also, we keep ourselves healthy because we are the emotional cornerstone of our families. We worry about what would happen if we weren't there to take care of them.
I have a few close trusted friends that I share everything. I rely on them for emotional support. Obviously, I rely on my husband too but there are times when he has so much on his overflowing plate that I don't want to burden him. These ladies I can trust to keep my confidences. My circle widens out to include other types of friendships. I have some that I turn to for "mom" questions, others for educational help and others who are fun just to hang out with and chat the time away. These circles overlap and change with time and situation. As I grow older I've become more mature in picking my friends. I pick and chose my close friends more wisely. Unfortunately, woman are dramatic by nature and some more than others. I try to avoid those that need to be the center of attention and will do anything to attain it. I've been there done that too often and the emotional upheaval I've had to deal with in the aftermath is so not worth it.
As I come closer to 40 I know who my true friends are. I cherish them and what they add to my life. I appreciate what I have and feel honored to have such good friends who are there for me. I have the best IRL (in real life) and online friends who keep me grounded. I am honored to have each and every one of them in my life. I am a better person because of my friends.
Remember to let your friends know how much they mean to you!
And for my male friends, Remember...
~Behind every good man is a woman ready to smack him into place if he doesn't toe the line.~