I have mentored a few friends who were tempted to go grey. This is no small matter. It takes courage, flair and a non-apologetic attitude about aging. Some thoughts:
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“Ageless women” have a few things in common:
#1. Ageless women’s brains are filled with (delightful) but useless information. (The tabloid website DAILY MAIL is their must-read.)
#2. Ageless women defriend jackets with sequined padded shoulders.
#3. Ageless women try to use both thumbs when typing an email or a text.
#4. Ageless women are confident they’re fabulous.
#5. Ageless women do not discuss their gum surgery.
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I have a friend who has wonderful attributes. He’s smart, warm and clever. If only he could be happy for other people’s professional success.
I enjoy listening to a “how I got here” story. You know…how someone started out in a menial position, out-worked the competition, projected an upbeat attitude and saw a roadblock as a challenge (and not a defeat).
I wish my friend wasn’t sucked into the “he’s up so I must be down.” That thinking will undermine your confidence and corrode your soul.
If you know someone who is keeping score, there’s very little you can do to dissuade them. The minute they start counting I strongly urge you to start counting the black pants in your closet.
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A male friend bumped into one of my frenemies (a frenemy is someone who says she’s your friend and then takes every opportunity to undermine you.)
“She is really beautiful for 63,” he said. (What’s shocking about being beautiful at 63? I may have to rethink my relationship with him.)
I said good-bye to this woman a few years ago. She verbally spanked me. She belittled my dreams. She used all the best beauty products but she wasn’t beautiful on the inside where it really matters.
Please keep that in mind when someone suggests a lip balm that costs $70.
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My phone has an app for “Mindfulness.” I have no idea why I have that app. More Mindfulness and I’ll never get out of the house.
According to my app, Mindfulness will quiet your mind, relax your body, and be in the moment. That sums up my morning routine.
Upon waking, I quiet my mind with a happy vision of wearing one of my wacky costume brooches at the nape of my boxy white shirt. I’m relaxed when I see the long swingy black skirt (perfection with the brooch and shirt) is spotless (I thought I spilled salad dressing on it.) And when I contemplate the chic factor of metallic flats versus suede heels, trust me. I am totally in the moment.
Spotted (literally) on the street. Love the fearlessness.
A member of my “still going strong” tribe.
A statement necklace is a statement of confidence.
I wanted to follow up with you on the conversation we had on Saturday. We were sharing recommendations on cool shops and you blanched at the idea of going into a tiny boutique I like.
There’s something about a small shop that can be intimidating. You said you feel as if you have to buy something.
When you discover a shop that has the owner’s and your distinctive point of view you have stumbled upon a fun shopping experience. The owner has made it easy for you to find something and if she’s smart she’ll leave you alone. You have honored her with your presence and not your credit card.
But I do agree the lack of a bathroom is annoying given how much coffee we drink.
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I bumped into a friend who had just moved from a four bedroom house into a one bedroom apartment.
I knew the sordid details about the acrimonious divorce. Now I wanted to know where she was going to put her stuff. “I got rid of a lot. It’s so freeing, Ellen.” Perhaps.
Thankfully she didn’t mention the “sparkle” philosophy as touted by Marie Kondo, best-selling author/organizer/and guilt inducer. “If you don’t feel sparkle, toss it,” she admonishes the I-Can’t-Live-Without-It people.
This morning I opened the closet and admired my taste in clothing. No sparkle to be found. However, I did notice many of my wool sweaters had moth holes.
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A stylish friend asks “when did you start to develop your personal style?” I smiled. “I was 12,” I replied.
My mother had no interest in clothes or shopping. But my father loved the process of creating a great style. On Saturdays he would take me on his regular trips to his tailor and shirt maker.
When we went to the tailor my father encouraged me to look through the books with fabric samples. If he had a solid navy blazer, I might suggest a Prince of Wales check. We would ruminate on the color of the pants. He respected my opinion.
His shirt maker was old school. He always answered the door with straight pins in his mouth. My father preferred white shirts with his initials embroidered on the left cuff in a simple font. The fabric had to “breathe” so shirts were made of the finest Egyptian cotton. I lingered over the samples while my father was being fitted. Fit was important to my father especially the width of his collars.
My father died a few months ago. That day I went upstairs to his closet. I was surrounded by his beautiful clothing and his polished shoes. It’s funny how a closet filled with clothes can pack such a painful wallop.
Thanks Dad for sending me on my way.
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