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It's A Woman Thing: Finding Ourselves

Who We Are

Discovering who we are as individuals can be a lifelong journey; it takes work and dedication. Part of discovering ourselves is making decisions about our health. Deciding what health means is individual.

It might be clean eating, exercising regularly, meditating, attending church or making sure to get an annual health exam. For me, it is a little bit of all of that! I have also discovered on my journey that I am influenced or inspired by others. I have had the privilege of growing up among many strong women and I have learned a lot about myself just by spending time in their company.

I learned to appreciate art, music, and nature from my mother. She played classical music on the piano and when she wasn’t playing the piano, we were listening to music at home, or in the car. She was also an artist and experimented with watercolors and pastels. She used to take me to all of the art museums as a young girl and teenager. I learned to appreciate the works of the great masters. As an adult, I love to be surrounded by beautiful things, be it a piece of pottery I picked up at an art show, or a beautiful print by a local photographer. Surrounding yourself with beauty or listening to good music makes you feel good, and feeling good is healthy!

As a young teenager, while I was out gallivanting with friends, I would find my mom sitting on the porch having a glass of wine in the evening or a cup of coffee in the morning. At the time, I didn’t get it. I’d ask “What are you doing?” And her reply was “communing with nature.” I get it now because I do the same thing! I love spending time on my porch with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, listening to the birds sing, admiring the flowers or fresh cut grass, the gentle breeze, and listening to the gentle noise of the pond fountain in my neighborhood. I consider this part of being healthy because these little things feed my soul… It is part of what I consider health.

I have also been inspired by my “Wacky Aunt Lucy.” Purely a term of endearment! She has taught me to have fun, embrace life, and just be who you are without any apologies. At 70, she walks every day, plays the guitar, travels whenever the opportunity presents itself, dances like a 21-year-old, and does not let her age define her. I bask in her energy when we have the good fortune to be together and I tell her all the time, “I want to do what you are doing when I am 70!” I love having this great example for life; it motivates and inspires me to want to be healthy so that I can make the most of my life.

Each of us may have these forces or experiences in our lives that pull us in all directions, but it is important to focus on your core self. Find your inspiration, find the food for your soul. It may be something or someone you respect and admire. It could be a vision of health that you have in your mind. Or, it may be that voice inside of you that is ready to yell out!

No matter what stage of life or health you find yourself in, remember to believe in yourself. Take charge of your health and your mental or spiritual wellbeing. If you feel moved to walk on the beach daily—do it for yourself. If you want to start practicing yoga—do it for yourself. If you want to have a cup of coffee on the porch, do it.

I know that’s how my Aunt Lucy lives her life and it is my goal to remember that in my life. I hope you will do the same.

What little things feed your soul?

Bridget Buckaloo

Bridget Buckaloo

Bridget Buckaloo, MSN, is Executive Director of Women's Health Services at Beebe Healthcare.