Date published: February 1, 2010
Over and over again women are admonished to "take care of yourself." If that seems a vague and yet overwhelming task, here are six women who have committed to six areas of wellness: physical, emotional, intellectual, financial, social, and spiritual. They offer what is working for them.
Meet Loralee Cooke- At 72 her look is fresh and fashionable. At first she didn't think she really did much to attend to her physical wellness, but as she got to talking, it turns out she does plenty.
"I don't eat junk food. Growing up we didn't have fast food. My father had a garden and we ate what we grew. It astounds me what young people eat today, every day. For lunch I had half of a turkey sandwich, skim milk, 10 potato chips for a little crunch, and peach yogurt with blueberries. I used to play a lot of golf. Now, I walk either outside or on the treadmill at the gym in the complex where I live. I take supplements and vitamins B-6, biotin, calcium, folic acid, a One-a-Day vitamin for women over 50, and vitamin D."
Her favorite entree? The Parmesan-coated tilapia from Fresh Market.
For 2010 Lora lee hasset some wellness goals. "Cut down on my smoking, be more active, and join Curves. I like the idea that it is a place only for women."
Lisa Higgs of Jeffersonville admits she has been more aware of her feelings in the past two years. This 45-year-old mother of two said, "My kids are getting older and they have questioned the rules, beliefs, and routines that I have relied on. It has made me think about why I feel and think a certain way.
"I pretty much think before I speak. I just deal with things. For the most part I keep my cool. I am not a screamer. Well, there was a time three months ago that I was screaming at my 18-year-old daughter Meagan, She had put herself in a dangerous situation. I was really mad. I did scream and I did cry then."
Movie that made her cry? My Sister's Keeper.
Makes her laugh? "My family."
Scares her? "The unknown.'
At 19, Ana Maldonad, knows one thing for sure - she is a reader. "I love to read. I haven't had much exposure to the classics. I did read Hamlet in high school.
"I really like reading romances and I love the Twilight series. I don't listen to audio books. I check books out of the Iroquois branch of the library and get recommendations from the librarian or friends."
Ana said that the idea of a joining a book club sounds like a good idea, but she doesn't feel like she has the time right now.
She is working on her own romantic novel. "It started as a short story written for school, but it hasn't ended yet. I think it would be a good idea to set up a schedule to finish it."
Two classics she would like to read? "Romeo and Juliet and Little Women."
As a single mother of two daughters, April Bartosh of Clarksville, 32, knows it is important to attend to her financial wellness.
"I am a money-management person. Today we are shopping for a dress for my daughter Kani'a to wear to her school's winter homecoming. We are looking at what she likes best. I have learned to sew and could even make her dress. We are also getting ideas of ways to embellish a gown for a more unique look. There are lots of options and sales on now."
April said she was not shopping for herself. "Clothes, purses and shoes are my downfall. I have to stay away from the Coach store and Dillard's shoe department. I am aware of places that are my weakness and just stay away from them. On payday, it seems like there is a lot of money and the temptation to spend it is always there. But I have responsibilities first. I don't want to buy something and then the next day suffer from buyer's remorse. And even things on sale can add up."
When one is 18 years old, there are a multitude of electronic ways to keep in touch with friends. Cell phone, texting, Facebook. In school there is time between classes, lunch, and after-school activities.
"I have a lot of friends and we keep in touch all the time," said Meagan Higgs, a senior at Jeffersonville high School. "We make plans to see each other and catch up."
After high school, though, friends have a tendency to scatter. What about old-school communication then. You know, a handwritten letter?
"Well, I have only ever written a couple of letters. Those were to my brother when he went off to college. I don't really think about writing a letter. I really haven't had the opportunity to write someone."
Meagan admits that with the purchase of some pretty stationery or postcards that could always change.
Kathy Brent has seen some difficult times lately. She has a master's degree and a background in health and wellness and worked at University of Louisville until her grant funding ran out two years ago. Since then she has worked at Brookstone where she is manager.
"My new year's resolution is to take care of myself -physically, mentally, and spiritually. My spiritual bedrock is my church, Lampton Baptist. I attend services there when I am not working on Sunday. When I am, I study the Bible. I try to do good deeds and smile at people I meet. I keep an optimistic outlook."
At the age of 53, Kathy knows that her spirituality keeps her grounded and helps get her through the rough times. "Sometimes I remind myself what my son told me, 'We are just in between blessings.'"
Kathy used to sing in her church choir and enjoys the gospel music of James Cleveland and Kirk Franklin. She watches TBN television and finds inspiration and comfort in the words of Bishop T.D. Jakes, Paula White, and Joel Olsteen.
Not content to hide her own light under a bushel, Kathy speaks on wellness and spirituality at churches and women's retreats.