Get Organized Month

The truth is too painful for me to want to write about what’s gone on right now. I will talk about my take on this in a future blog entry.

Today I will stick with the original topic I wanted to post on how January is Get Organized Month.

At the end of this blog I will link to the Dressing Well(tm) website. Founder and President of Organization by Design, Inc. Mary Lou Andre featured in her latest video there must-have organizing products.

Andre has created an industry out of talking about dressing in clothes.

One tip she gave I paid attention to after having resisted for years–using acrylic storage. On a recent trip to a Burlington Factory Store I bought for $4.99 each two of these bins. One is bigger and has one tray. The other has 3-divided trays.

The one bigger tray holds 3 wool and flannel winter scarves filed front to back like envelopes with their folded-over sides on top. The divided bin stores 3 pairs of winter gloves.

Cheaper acrylic storage than to be found at the Container Store.

The trick I’ve discovered is to set your limit up front to decide the number of items in an accessories category that you can sanely manage the upkeep of.

Using the Marie Kondo method I touched items I haven’t used at all or wore only once. Into the donation bags they were tossed.

I’ve come to realize that I. Am Not. A Scarf Person.

Along with culling my accessories I’m donating in like-new condition houseware items I didn’t use at all either.

The true sanity-saver is to keep on hand only the things you use throughout the year. I’ve seen firsthand that it’s overwhelming to need to pull out or move aside or rearrange the things you don’t use simply to get to the one item you’re reaching for.

The things you store need breathing space around them.

I study and practice feng shui. It’s my conviction that a closet or drawer or cabinet overstuffed with things that haven’t been used in years causes stagnation.

The flow of chi (pronounced chee) is the life energy in your house or apartment. Blocked chi can drain us people living in these spaces of energy too.

I’ve found that by lightening my load of what I keep on hand I feel more energetic too. This is what it’s like when I got to the point where the only clothes in my closet and drawers are the ones I use every week.

You can watch the Dressing Well(tm) YouTube videos here: Dressing Well(tm) website.

With all the ongoing injustice going on in society it’s my contention that taking a break from the news by doing what gives us joy is warranted.

Watching these videos puts a smile on my face.

I hope followers of my blog can take joy in what I write.

Celebrating Ourselves

Let’s have a party.

Bravery is called for in the post-COVID world. I’m writing a second memoir. As an Author I’ve grappled with the tone of voice of the new book.

Then I decided: to show by celebrating myself that readers have permission to light up the world with your greatness.

I wondered at how Kylie—or is it Kendall—Jenner has 125K Instagram followers.

Then I understood how a superstar could have hundreds of thousands of fans:

A person like Lizzo or Beyonce is not afraid to be themselves and express their feelings by singing songs and speaking out.

They do what a lot of us are afraid to do—flaunt what they’ve got—and we adore them for doing this.

Why can’t you and I revel in ourselves to the people we interact with? Like the Beastie Boys sang we have to “fight for our right” to party as our original selves.

At the end of the day I know I wouldn’t be happy living as a pale imitation copycat of someone else.

Let’s bring ourselves to light.

I’m not a superstar like Kendall. I’m a tiny person with a big mouth who has only 120 followers.

Getting a kick out of blogging because in the end it’s a way to make a positive difference in readers’ lives.

Blogging is a way to bring people together who wouldn’t meet IRL.

Perhaps in my humble words I can give you the courage to Celebrate Yourself.

To be continued.

The Most Magical Time of Year

It’s said that the holidays are the Most Magical Time of the Year.

My horoscope had foretold that there would be peace among everyone gathering at the table this season.

For Christmas I was given a gift card. I figured out how to use it on the internet to buy rainbow moonstone stud earrings.

As 2023 nears I’m grateful to end this year with renewed gratefulness for my good fortune.

I urge readers to live with gratitude. Even for the inevitable trials we all face I say: be grateful for the hard times as well as the beauties.

2023 I envision as the Year of Reflection. The time to examine where we want to go and what we want to do.

My New Year’s Resolution is to buy a skateboard. To practice rolling on the asphalt roadway in the park. At 13 years old I had a red skateboard. Rolling down the hilly streets where I lived gave me joy.

Not doing an ollie or other explosive move I simply loved rolling along.

Remembering this short-lived hobby I got the idea to buy a skateboard. Why can’t a 57-year old woman skate? is what I thought.

A Generation X girl living in her Third Chapter I’m on a kick of self-reinvention. My motto is risk, fail, rise up, repeat.

What gave us joy when we were younger should not be ruled out as a hobby in the 25 years after 50.

Too often we become adults and abandon the happy-makers because we think we should do what everyone else tells us we’re supposed to do to be successful and be accepted.

No–I was miserable living in the mainstream in the years I thought I should try to have a normal life.

Decades later realizing that the only way I would be happy was to live my life Left of the Dial.

In this last week of 2022 I urge readers to join me in renouncing the tried-and-often-(not)-true approaches to living our lives.

For my birthday I’m going to buy a skateboard. Watch YouTube videos on beginner skateboarding techniques.

Watch out as this Skate Girl rolls in the park in the spring.

I hope my blogging gives you the courage to try something new (or return to something that gave you joy).

This really is the Most Magical Time of the Year when we’re getting ready for 2023 and the possibilities that beckon.

Risk, fail, rise up, repeat. If you ask me that’s the only way to live going forward.

Pretty Good Advice

In her book Pretty Good Advice: For People Who Dream Big and Work Harder Leslie Blodgett wrote: “When you see beauty you become beautiful.”

The author is the founder of Bare Minerals the makeup line. I recommend you buy her book which is why I quote from it.

As the year ends I’ll quote another beauty–South Korean model Sora Choi who was quoted:

“To me, beauty is when a person is living and embodying their truth, no matter what that is.”

On the cusp of 58 I’ve learned that no one else gets to speak for me. Only I can speak my truth, or else others will impose on the world their view of who they think I am.

2023 I envision as the year when everyone is free to live and embody our truth freely and fearlessly.

We should be acting to lift each other up. Not cutting each other down. I stopped reading editorials because the hateful rhetoric only serves to divide people instead of bringing us together.

Believing is seeing. Believing that others are beautiful you will see the beauty in everyone.

It starts will looking in the mirror and feeling that you are beautiful.

I’m no saint. I won’t be exercising this week. I view this lapse like taking a holiday vacation week.

If I could give my own Pretty Good Advice I would end here with:

The two foolproof ways to achieve any goal–even a New Year’s resolution coming up–are to understand that change will happen incrementally. And that compromise is called for when you can’t do what you want to do in one day or in one week.

Lastly:

It’s time to unshackle ourselves from self-limiting beliefs. Internalizing shame about who we are will rob us of the energy to set goals and go after them with gusto.

2023 is going to be even better than 2022 was. I firmly believe that whatever happens in our lives we can live through it and emerge stronger and better.

Hiding our light is no way to live. Beating ourselves up because we feel like we’re a failure is no way to live.

I urge followers to see the beauty in yourself and everyone else.

Together we can move mountains of hate. We can create the world we would like to see.

More coming up on what I’m doing to shift the needle toward love and forgiveness.

No Hello Kitty

The Italian written on the Davines holiday box stated the hair products were for capelli indisciplinati. The Italian word for frizzy hair sounded like undisciplined–which described my incorrigible hair.

So, I was willing to save up the $75 to buy the shampoo conditioner and leave-in treatment that might just help my hair blossom into gorgeous after all these years.

Who exactly did I want to look beautiful for?: Every guy I sent a message to on OKCupid ghosted me after my second response. I got the idea that circa 2022 things hadn’t changed: It was okay for a woman to open her mouth to kiss not speak.

My photogenic face compelled men to click “like” on my profile. A few guys went further and sent messages. What’s with the “likes” guys? If you like a woman, send her a message–don’t be coy. We’re not communicating via the Pony Express–this is 2022.

I got the idea that they were shocked when a pretty face had something intelligent to say. Not what they were expecting Cupid to shoot them with?

Getting ghosted. Every. Single. Time. I got the hint and canceled my account.

Not relishing spending an hour or two every day reading match profiles to see who I wanted to send messages to. Acting as a caregiver to your mother you have no energy or time left over to conduct love combat in the hopes of getting one man in your scope.

Pat Benatar got it right: “Love is a Battlefield.” It doesn’t have to be this way.

Living my life Left of the Dial I’ll use the hair products for my own joy and love.

What was I going to do instead of hunting for a boyfriend? I’ve begun sending emails to my Republican congressperson asking her to do the right thing on humanitarian causes.

One January night 12 years ago I attended a candlelight MLK Vigil for Peace. Five of us–I had thought hundreds would show up–stood in a triangle park holding lit votive candles.

My candle fell on the cement path and broke. After giving the host of the vigil my email account ever since then I’ve been sent in my inbox pleas to act on social justice issues.

Ever since Mr. Toupee–my nickname for Donald Trump–became president the emails have escalated. LL Cool Joe–President Biden–has been no saint either.

Sending messages to Nicole CacaCola–my moniker for Malliotakis the Republican who won the election–is my way of participating in our Democracy.

A girl in the world who’s an Activist I can’t get any play on OKCupid. The men want to Meet Cute. Then when they find out I’m No Hello Kitty they bolt.

This holiday season since I have no love interest–I’m going to wash the men right out of my hair–and wash and condition my hair with the Davines products.

What’s cooking in my Protest Kitchen? Peace Love and Happiness.

This is what the world needs. We don’t need endless wars, bipartisan bickering, and the ongoing hate.

Have something to say. This is what I would tell readers: use your lovely lips to speak out.

Our time is here. We have the opportunity to change society for the better.

Whether or not our hair is frizzy. And whether or not other people like that we have loud mouths.

The Black Feminist Project

Tanya Fields the founder of the Black Feminist Project in the Bronx, NY was interviewed in Women’s Health magazine.

What she said: “It’s a little ridiculous for people to see activism as a job as opposed to a responsibility to create a better world.”

Tanya Fields launched Black Joy Farm. On a sliding-scale fee families can have fresh fruits and vegetables delivered in their South Bronx neighborhood.

What if activism was no longer needed because there was no injustice anymore? Then the task for humanitarians would be uplifting others in different ways. Like doing motivational speaking to inspire teens to graduate high school.

There’s likely always going to be a cause to advocate for. The Tanya Fields activists of the world deserve credit for making their corner of the world a better place.

You can log on to The Black Feminist Project to donate money and buy their tee shirt and read about the nonprofit.

Something to think about as holiday time nears.

Grape Expectations

The 11th District election showdown is in full swing.

In her TV campaign ad Nicole CacaCola [Malliotakis] wears a purple sweater.

I see right through that clever marketing ploy.

Purple is a color that signifies spirituality.

CacaCola voted NO to giving American workers national paid sick leave.

She voted YES to funding the Pentagon with upwards of $1.4 trillion dollars.

Money that would be better used helping Americans buy food when we go hungry.

Giving every citizen 18 and older a $1,000 per month Universal Basic Income (UBI).

In a book I checked out of the library about ending poverty one of the solutions listed was giving Americans a monthly UBI payment.

Not that Max Rose the Democratic contender is a whole lot better.

Afro-Latina Brittany Ramos DeBarros who I voted for didn’t win the primary.

Though she garnered 20 percent of the vote which is phenomenal.

A woman I corresponded with said she votes–and she lobbies after the election is over.

Which is what I do even though no candidate can do everything you ask them to do.

I’m no fan of CacaCola’s funding of the perpetual war chest.

She wouldn’t debate Max Rose on TV. This leads me to believe that CacaCola knows she wouldn’t stand a chance if she had to speak for more than ten minutes on real issues.

The Green Party has gotten kicked off the ballot in New York State.

We are also voting for Governor. In a match between Kathy Hochul and Lee Zeldin.

Hochul appears brilliant in the TV campaign ad I saw her speaking in. Not trashing Zeldin. Stating her victories on gun control and other measures. The TV ad was impressive.

I have yet to come up with a catchy nickname for Max Rose.

Hopefully this last week before election day doesn’t turn into a barrage of TV ads with potty-mouthed Staten Islanders taking profane pot shots at Max Rose. Like two years ago.

Brittany Ramos DeBarros should’ve won the primary.

Who I vote for is a mystery I have no idea about. Though no way will I be voting for CacaCola.

Here’s the trick: ever since the first George Bush the father invaded Iraq with Operation Desert Storm in 1991 I refused to vote Republican after that.

Twenty-six years old then why did I think that war wasn’t justified?

This is all I’ll say about politics today. Coming up my latest great nonprofit that I’m donating money to.

Nail Polish Nirvana

I turn 58 in the spring. With the prospect of my life getting shorter I have the urge to Dare Beautiful Girl. Like the words on three poetry dog tags I inserted in a ball chain to create a jewelry poem.

In keeping with this I’m emailing elected leaders on issues that should be taken up. Like acting on the 100+ year-old promise to give the Cherokee Nation a seat in Congress.

Elsewhere what I’m doing points to the fact that a person is not ever too old to change their tune.

All my life I’ve only used clear nail polish to give myself a manicure.

This week I didn’t want my talking hands to fade into the woodwork either.

Confetti-sparkle nail polish to the rescue.

Out of the blue I craved color on my hands to express a lively feeling.

Wit happens when you’re 57.

I see the world differently than I did at 27.

It’s called risking. And risking that my nail polish might chip.

This is neither here nor there in the scheme of world peace.

Yet anything that would make the trial of being a caregiver today worth it I’ll take.

We should cherish that our mother or father is still alive. Forgive them if we must for how our childhoods were.

Often: “The pain is real” as the expression goes. Whatever trial we’re going through I say:

To turn an ordinary day into a celebration buy that $5 bottle of nail polish.

What I would like to do when I retire is volunteer my time to take individuals with disabilities to Sephora. To pay for them to get a makeover.

Neon green nails here I come!

Change of Life Change of Outlook

I should not be so nonchalant about telling people my age–57.

Yet living through “the change of life” is central to what I want to say.

Dissatisfied I was reading the first few pages of No One Tells You This–the memoir of a 40-year old woman with no kids and no husband.

I’m writing a second memoir that I would like to publish within two years.

It’s about having my cake and celebrating each new birthday with glee not gloom.

No one talks about being a Generation X Girl living in menopause.

I will do this. Born in the first year of the Generation X cohort I don’t want to be rendered invisible.

Not everyone is a member of “the sandwich generation.” For those of us who are single our lives are often an “open-faced sandwich” acting as the caregiver without children of our own for a mother or father.

This time of life isn’t so terrible even though the pain can be real for a lot of us.

We have only this one lifetime. Use your regret as the catalyst for changing your life for the better. Today is the day to Just Do It.

It can seem like on one ordinary day you pivot on a dime. Most likely this urge was percolating in the coffee pot of your brain for a while. Until it reached the boiling point.

One day you choose to do something totally not like you. Unlike everything you’ve done before.

At 57 I’ve become electrified to Make It Happen–whatever I fancy I want to do before 60 kicks in.

Cherish 50 while it lasts. Grab the bull of life by the horns and ride wild. These can be the best years of our life. At 60 I imagine the bull will get tired of stampeding. Want to laze and graze in the grass.

Our fifties really are the Dangerous Decade. A lot of us are no longer satisfied with the way things are. We risk bending, breaking, and rewriting the rules.

Coming up: How at 57 I’ve become a quick-change artist.

How to Love Our Bodies

I’ve become fixated on dressing in clothes all over again.

The Science of Fitness special edition magazine has an article titled The Power of Body Neutrality.

The key takeaway of this featured article is that you don’t have to think positively about your body every hour of the day.

You might like your hands and not like your thighs. The Body Neutral movement espouses focusing on the parts of your body you really like.

Yes–I’m obsessed with my arms–one with its “kitchen scars” and all.

A surprise suggestion in The Power of Body Neutrality:

Rethink your clothes by sticking with styles you’re comfortable in.

To wit:

“It’s a simple step, but when we’re self-conscious about what we’re in, it just brings more awareness of ourselves to our bodies and what we don’t like about them.”

I for one cannot wear regular blue jeans and feel good.

The quote above from the Science of Fitness hammers home why it’s a mistake to buy clothes that have become popular without thinking of whether you’ll like wearing them once you’ve taken them home.

As I live on the cusp of 60 I’ve taken to rethinking how I want to dress. It might be that I will always dress like I’m a teenager regardless of my chronological age.

Proving that our real age is just a number and the size on a clothing tag is just a number.

If you like how you feel dressed in jeans that’s all that matters.

Loving our bodies is possible.

It’s a radical idea that fits into the Conscious Chic and eco-conscious clothing ethic: save money by buying only the clothes you’re comfortable in. In turn we save the planet and S.O.S.–Save Our Sanity by quieting the internal critic.

How a person dresses often reflects what’s going on internally. Another great reason to choose and use clothing items carefully to either amplify or alter our mood.

It’s true we should like what we’re wearing.

I’m going to take The Science of Fitness mantra above to heart.