HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: I have a new pal for you!
Having spent the early part of her career in the sometimes-friendly skies, author Marylu Zuk says she perfected the art of smiling through anything - at least until she was out of the passengers’ sight. (Like what? Like: "Really sir? You actually need me to buckle your seat belt for you?") Her career path has taken her from babysitter, to playground supervisor, flight attendant, road warrior, workshop presenter, sales manager and enrollment VP. The titles have changed, but the job responsibilities did not – maintain order and keep people happy.
An avid people watcher and eternal optimist, Marylu says she always finds the silver lining. So listen to this--we always wonder where book ideas came from, right?
While getting ready for a promotions event a few years ago, Marylu says she used the two-mirror trick to see how she looked in her jeans.
‘Oh my God! Whose ass is that?!’ she exclaimed… and the idea for her first book was born.
A storybook for women with illustrations by Traycee Bosle, WhoseA(XX) Is That? – invites every woman to relax her abs, exhale, and laugh at what we rarely see – our own backsides!
Today, Marylu reminds us that it's all about how you look at it--and not just our rears.
You say it like that's a bad thing..
Picture this. Somewhere in your mid-twenties your best-friend and sometimes-roommate blurts out ‘you act like a fifty-year-old woman!’ My reaction of course is a simple, ego-injured, ‘Huh?!’
She then proceeds to pack her bags, ending her post-graduate, three-month visit, and heads back to the east coast for a fabulous new job – leaving me wondering, in the blistering desert sun, what on earth she meant. And it gnawed at me… for a minute.
Perhaps it was the fact that my roman nose was always buried in a book. Sue me, I like to read.
Or maybe, it was my total aversion to the whole bar scene. Or that I preferred the 4:00am shift at work, which had my alarm going off when most folks my age were rolling into bed. Or, that my fashion sense was inspired by the dominant female presence of my early years - the Sisters of Some Super Holy Saint. Pick one.
Whatever triggered her comment, I responded in my typical non-confrontational style. Rather than ask for clarification, I absorbed the sting and buried those words somewhere deep in the back of my brain with other barbs instead – another story for another day perhaps.
Fast-forward a few decades through my crazy, hectic, working mother, balancing act lifestyle and I, like Alice tumbling down the rabbit hole, tripped over and arrived at the 50-year mark. Seeing that number over and over again on all those birthday cards reminded me of those long ago words. My friend? She pleads the fifth, claiming no recollection whatsoever.
As for me? In the interim, I’ve managed to add a bit more color to my wardrobe, overcome those self-diagnosed, nightlife anxiety attacks – ‘yes bartender, top mine off please’ – and have come to realize my dear friend had actually given me a glowing compliment all those years ago. If I knew then what I know now, my ‘Huh?!’ would have been a sassy ‘you say that like it’s a bad thing’.
I’ve discovered a certain feeling of freedom that comes with each extra candle on my birthday cake. My vocabulary, while still politically correct, is now peppered with salty language (my father and the nuns would be mortified). But, the most significant personal change has been in my once omnipresent need to control things. It diminishes a bit each day as I continue to morph into a more mindful lifestyle – embracing the whole don’t-sweat-the-small-stuff movement and intentionally focus on enjoying the moment I’m in rather than stressing over what’s passed, and agonizing over what may never come to be.
This mindset change is no doubt attributed to all that nose-in-the-book-reading (that hasn’t changed, by the way) of mountains of self-awareness articles, books and blogs… and just living life. Like those grade school connect-the-dot pictures – life experience itself brings the big picture into focus.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go act like a fifty-year old woman!
How about you? I’d love to hear what you’ve come to embrace on your life’s journey.
HANK: And hey, reds, how do YOU feel about your rear?
https://twitter.com/maryluzuk or @maryluzuk