The Solution

I wanted to write about the solution as I see it. I wrote things out longhand over and over not satisfied with anything I wrote.

The solution might be as simple as liking yourself.

The fact is if you’re not living an authentic life it’s not possible to be happy or healthy.

(Cue the violin strings for my failed first career in insurance office jobs.)

I for one refuse to wear a suit or dress in neutrals. I need color and flair.

This is what I would tell readers: You have the right to be your original self.

Free of the torment of trying to please others and have them approve of you.

Ladies: I’m 54 years old and have stopped caring what people think.

Finally breaking free of the idea that I should conform.

I’m excited to read soon Beyond Beautiful the new Anuschka Rees book. This Curated Closet author replaced the body positive mantra with the term body neutral.

Narrowing down a woman’s worth to whether her body pleases a man or whether she lives up to a sexual ideal is just plain not right.

Wearing a cleavage-bearing mini-dress and stilettos won’t ever be my thing.

Fitting a mold holds no allure for me.

Living in menopause is the time to get things right in your head about how you feel about yourself.

In a coming blog entry I’m going to post 2 photos that illustrate this point. Along with what I’ve learned at 54 years old about self-acceptance.

It strikes me that if you turn 50 and still don’t like yourself this doesn’t bode well for when you turn 70.

I’ll end here with this affirmation:

Like yourself right now the way you are. Change what you’d like to change. Yet always remember that you’re the only person that has to like, approve of, and be happy with yourself.

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Spreading Joy, Love, Peace, and Understanding

By reading about other women I’m inspired to spread joy, love, peace, and understanding.

Dua is Albanian for love.

The Dua Lipa interview in the May issue of Elle magazine has inspired me to no end.

She’s the Albanian singer-songwriter who won a Grammy award for Best New Artist.

In the interview she talked about having eggs as snacks. She cooked and fed her interviewer eggs.

In my Flourish blog devoted to other topics I wrote about my change to scrambling eggs and veggies for breakfast.

Hearing Dua Lipa talk about having eggs as a snack reinforces my belief that a music star–or any famous person–can be an inspiration.

In the interview she talked about getting lost in a scroll hole of negative comments about who you are.

Not a fan of social media I understand the temptation to live for “likes” and worry that what you write will alienate your followers.

Dua seems down-to-earth which impresses me.

The interview talked about how women have been standing up and asserting our needs for a long time. Starting with Janet Jackson in the 1990s.

This gives me confidence to stand up for myself and what I believe in.

Ladies: start your engines.

 

 

Life at 54

Turning 50 is what it is. Turning 54 is another thing entirely. You’re on the shady side of your early fifties.

In coming blog entries I want to talk about this era in a woman’s life.

How your priorities can change. How your identity can change.

I want to document my efforts to go Green.

I want to chronicle what it’s like to wake up one day and realize your life is getting shorter. Realizing that you have only a limited amount of time to achieve your goals and resolutions.

The future isn’t guaranteed–either for ourselves or the planet.

Like Michael Jackson sang in “Man in the Mirror” I’m striving to help better the world.

So first I have to look in the mirror and change my life.

This starts with having a sustainable lifestyle first of all. Once this is in place you can start thinking about global issues.

Menopause is the right time to make positive changes.

Changing for the better is possible at any time in your life.

I say: love turning 50. It heralds a decade where the possibilities are beautiful.

Not everything might be a bed of roses at this time.

That’s when you put on rose-color lipstick. And go out to get what you want.

Women are conditioned that we have to take care of everyone else.

Now is the time to get our needs met.

I’ll talk in a coming blog entry about an interview with Dua Lipa in Elle magazine.

Along with Arianna Grande she’s one of my new role models.

Viewing the World at 50

My newfound alarm at the hazardous conditions garment workers labor under has been part of a series of revelations I’ve come to post-50 years old.

Every week I log on to the Accidental Icon blog.

In one comment Lyn Slater wrote:

“Creativity can move one forward into doing what one really wants to do in life.”

Being resourceful. Veering off the beaten path. Deciding for your self how you want to live.

These things seem to have taken precedence in my life as I near another birthday.

When I turned 35 that was the start of realizing that living only for self-gain and making tons of money wasn’t such a great idea.

Fast-forward to 53: I don’t think anyone will get very far in life acting selfish and greedy and materialistic.

The point is that feeling good about ourselves and doing good is why we’re here on earth.

How old are you? If you’re not in your fifties yet what I’m writing will be a preview of the years to come.

At 53:

I’m done with the hate in the world.

I’m done with caring what people who sit in judgment of you think.

I’m done with fearing acting true to yourself because you worry people won’t approve of the Real You.

In your twenties and possibly going into your thirties you have different ideas about what’s important.

It’s later in life as the years roll along that I think:

Wasn’t it kind of entitled to be upset that your mother gave you a fluorescent green shirt as a Christmas present? (As recorded in my memoir.)

See what happens. You’ll turn 50 someday too. You hopefully won’t be the same person you were when you were 20. Or even when you were 40.

The famous boxer Muhammad Ali has a great quote I’ll end here with:

“A  man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.”

Women: this applies to us too.

Creating a Look Book

look book

I’ve figured out that creating a Look Book can help you figure out what pocketbook to choose and use with a particular outfit.

The photo album above holds 200 photos. I’ve also begun shooting photos of clothing items. You can use Pinterest on your cell phone or a device like an iPad instead if you’d like to create a Look Book.

I’m on the cusp of 54. A lot of woman at mid-life decide we want to do something new or at least change an aspect of our lives that we don’t like.

In this regard as I’m starting to reach the middle of my fifties I find that doing the things that give you joy can transform your confidence and give you self-esteem.

The point of creating a Look Book is that it can be fun to choose and use items in your wardrobe to make whatever statement you want to make on a particular day.

I would go so far as to say that style is the language of your soul transmitted sartorially.

Dressing well can spark joy in mid-life or at any time in your life.

Now that I’m leaving 50 in the dust and heading upward I can tell readers that you need all the help you can get when others in society–men and fashion editors alike–insinuate that a woman has an expiration date.

The goal is not to look like you’re 20 when you’re 50 or 60 or older.

The goal is to use your wardrobe to transmit to others that you like yourself and think you’re hot by your own standards.

Not by any other person’s view of what you look like.

I will end here by stating that creating a Look Book is therapist-approved. No kidding.

My Signature Wardrobe Piece

bandanna purple photo

The Accidental Icon blogger Lyn Slater talked about having a signature item in your wardrobe.

The photo above attests to what has become my signature item: a colorful bandanna.

The summer I turned 51 my hair start to frizz up and curl in different directions in rainy or humid weather.

I’d dry my hair straight. Going out the door in the rain or humid air I’d arrive at my destination with unruly hair. You can predict the weather by looking at my hair.

That summer I bough 5 different bandannas in a dollar store. (I”m not proud that they have a Made in China label.)

Since I can’t wear a hat on my job I was pleased to be able to get away with wearing a bandanna to staff the reference desk.

Isaac Mizrahi in his book How to Have Style recommended wearing bandannas to brighten your mood.

A woman featured in the Andrea Linett book The Cool Factor sported a bandanna as her trademark.

These two fashion guides inspired me to start wearing bandannas as a bad-hair day cover-up. My cover has been blown.

In New York City the Human Rights Commission has made it illegal for employers to discriminate against workers because of their hairstyles.

I think I was able to get away with wearing bandannas at my job precisely because so many people wear different kinds of headscarves as a matter of course.

In fact: sometimes a hairstyle born out of a bad hair day can become a celebration of your individuality.

Taking away someone’s right to self-expression should be forbidden.

There are so many beautiful people walking around with hair that is a point of pride.

If the hair is not on your head you shouldn’t be concerned with what it looks like.

My unruly hair brings me no happiness.

The bandannas I wear bring other people joy. Walking down the street people stop me and comment on my choice of headscarf.

At midlife wearing a bandanna has become my signature.

In a coming blog entry I”m going to talk more about why uniformity and conformity should be illegal.

Dawn of 54

I will be 54 in the spring.

I’ve discovered the Accidental Icon blog I’ll link to at the bottom of this blog entry.

The goal is to admire not envy others.

In mid life it’s time to accept the things you cannot change.

And to change the things you’re able to.

I’m only 5 feet tall. I couldn’t possibly wear obdurate dangling earrings that steal the show. I would look ridiculous in a rust coat too.

Yet I find that observing that look I can take from it my own distinct variation: maybe my lightweight gray coat and the designer sunglasses picked up at a discount store.

It’s time to get wise to the Instagram-worthy selfies that others post on social media.

Research says that younger people are winding up depressed. Most likely it’s because they’re viewing the perfect-seeming feeds of peers.

“I admire people who seem to have a charmed life,” I told a woman I consider a friend.

Seem to. That’s it. There’s no charmed life,” my friend shot back.

On the cusp of 54 it’s time to start liking yourself and your imperfections if you haven’t already made peace with these things.

I’ll only ever be 5 feet tall. I won’t have perfect hair ever.

Now I think trying to emulate another person who is supposed to be inspirational as a role model is a myth.

Trying to follow fashion trends is a myth too.

In your fifties you have to trust that you have enough and you are enough.

Regardless of what other people insinuate about your worth.

It’s called self-worth because it comes from within.

The Accidental Icon blog is my new added attraction.

I’m keen to riff on things this other blogger talked about.

Stayed tuned for my own city girl take on getting older.