I had to travel 32 hours to the Greek islands to meet one of the wisest ladies I have ever known and ask her advice on being happy, being happily married and feeling OK when we look in the mirror.
It was done surrounded by groves of lemon, bay and olive trees on the island of Lesbos.
The island borders the Aegean ocean and is incredibly rich in minerals, which are found in the ocean.
Many bath in the waters there, as they say it helps a women age with beauty. Pass the bikinis.
Victoria is the ultimate Greek mama who is 78 and spends half her year in Melbourne and the other half in her native home of Lesbos.
The grandmother is gorgeous and larger than life. Think Sophia Loren dressed in a Camilla kaftan dripping in gorgeous gold jewellery and overflowing with vitality.
“My secret to being happy is that I have a beautiful family. That is all that counts. My family.
“I have three gorgeous daughters and my son is a divine man and of course I have a good husband and my grandchildren give me a lot of good energy,” Victoria beams.
The wisdom continues.
“I always pray every day and that keeps me young and I tell myself not to worry as God is with me.
“What will be will be. I smile even when I feel sad. I tell all young women, do not let little problems become big problems.”
As for a recipe for a happy marriage, the wise woman says remember to say sorry to each other often and if you know your husband has done something wrong, do not say anything in front of anyone else but wait until you are home in private and then talk about it in a very calm way. Duly noted Victoria (married 53 years and counting).
So perhaps next time we are at a barbecue, I should not snap at my long suffering hubby that he is not eating enough salad in his diet and I am sick to death of cleaning the loo.
It’s called grace and decorum and what a wonderful reminder to live this way.
Lastly, I asked Victoria why Greek women are so body confident no matter what their shape, and comfortable in their own skin, while Aussies seem to shudder at getting in our togs in front of anyone.
I travelled with eight Aussie women and seven of them groaned about getting into their cossies. And we are raised on the beach. Why are we largely ashamed?
“We tell our girls they are so beautiful from the day they are born and our bodies are just our bodies.
“Do not worry if you are not perfect. You are alive and healthy. Eat the gelato. A man likes a woman who looks happy, not who looks hungry. This is all that counts.”