Conscious Chic

Merriam-Webster online defines the noun Chic as:

Smart elegance and sophistication especially of dress or manner.

As I roll into my mid-fifties the goal is to be conscious not live life on auto-pilot.

ReadingĀ We Are All Fast-Food Workers Now has been a wake-up call.

This has awakened in me the urge to speak out as a Rebel/Feminist.

At this point in my life living on the cusp of getting older I think each person should decide for themselves how they want to be, live, act, dress, and think.

To be a Feminist in today’s world was beautifully expressed by Gaia Repossi, an Italian Creative Director living in Paris:

“Since I am a creative person, my style is my language, a way in which I speak.

I would encourage you to “speak” freely as yourself, to be guided by your instinct, to be faithful to your heart and mind, to say something…Contemporary elegance, to me, is rooted in an enlightened feminism, in equality of genders and sexualities, and in freedom from gender.”

To embrace and honor your individuality–of gender yet also of personality–and that of others is the goal.

My agenda in advancing the ethic of Conscious Chic is precisely to liberate ourselves from the old-school patriarchy that has caused the hazardous working conditions in garment factories around the globe.

Being chained to a treadmill of buying and spending isn’t the way to live the rest of your life after you turn 50.

I say: be Chic by being You.

Acting as a conscious consumer can be a great way to manage your mental and physical health at mid-life.

In coming blog entries I’ll talk about this in more detail via the concept of having a capsule wardrobe of 30 or so items.

Making the World a Better Place

Post-50, I find myself wanting to rebel what passes for normal.

The hate, the violence, the charade of a government ruled for and by the people, I find myself wanting to protest all of this.

I’ve become a Rebel and Political Protester at mid-life.

There’s so much you’re going through when you’re in your twenties and in your early life. Having a disability or some kind of illness you could first of all be tasked with keeping it all together just to get through the day. Managing your symptoms could be a full-time job.

As I got older and healthier it was imperative to me that I wanted to spend my life in public service. To serve other people not just focus on getting my needs met was my new goal.

For those of us who crossed over and have come back I submit that if you’re doing well that’s the time to think about making a difference.

It’s possible that our hardship will be alleviated when we’re older. The symptoms can attenuate. This gives us the second chance to have a better life.

We should not let this life pass us by. We should enjoy being ourselves and living our lives in our own inimitable style.

Yet most of all the quote is apt: Life is not a dress rehearsal.

The older I’ve gotten I’m aware that my life is getting shorter.

If I don’t speak out today when I have the chance I’ve just wasted another day.

Remaining silent isn’t something I care to do anymore.

When you’ve recovered, when there’s an ed at the end of the word recover, I say that you should think about helping to make the world a better place for other people too.

Remodeling Your Self At Mid-Life

The book The Happiness Curve talks about the myth of having a mid-life crisis. Apparently, people are happier in their fifties sixties and beyond. There’s an uptick in joy in our later years.

We have the balls or breasts to defy other people’s expectations:

We go back to school, remodel our kitchen, get a divorce or do any number of new things when we’ve had enough of life as it’s always been.

Today I reckon with this new requirement to stop caring what other people think.

It’s true no one’s going to like you or approve of you for speaking out, for having a diagnosis, or whatever you do or have that they can’t wrap their head around.

Only here’s the truth:

No one changed the world for the better (or even just their world for the better) by sitting on the sidelines and waiting to be called into the game.

Readers, mid-life is our game to play. We own this particular playing field at forty and beyond.

Only you have to be okay with your newfound bravado.

The secret to success at mid-life is indeed doing what gives you joy that comes easy to you. Other people might be envious that you’re happy. That shouldn’t concern you.

The older we get our time here becomes shorter. To steal the Maxwell House Coffee advertisement from the 1980s, we need to make each moment: “Good to the last drop.”

At 40, at 53, at however old you are, it’s time to pay attention.

Life will tell you what to do, if only you stop to listen.

So, remodel your kitchen or your self. It’s all good.

Well

I’ve been blogging for over 11 years so far.

At the start in the original incarnation of the blog I stated that if you have your diagnosis going against you, you might not want to dye your hair green and look weird.

Today I recant that assertion.

Lately I’ve been thinking about the tragedy that is conformity.

You can’t repress your soul and expect to be well.

You shouldn’t hide your life or your light.

Trying to change who you are so that other people will accept you or approve of you is a losing battle. Doing so will cause ill health.

Be not afraid to “Be who you are, not who the world wants you to be.”

Today I abide by this refrigerator magnet quote as the one true livable maxim at mid-life.

In the coming blog entries I’ll talk about how things often pan out in our older years.

Living life whole and well is predicated on embracing and expressing our individuality without fear of reprisal.

The Secret to Aging Well

Sometimes a fresh swipe of lipstick can swizzle your mood.

If I can look in the mirror without judgment I’m going to have a better day.

The key is to have the self-confidence to stand tall and shout:

“This is who I am, take me or leave.”

We don’t need critical people in our lives. We don’t need to have other people judge us.

Tony Robbins is quoted to the effect:

“If you judge another person you lose the power to influence them.”

If you judge yourself you give others permission to not like you either.

As a 52-year old woman I strive to be gracious towards others. I act as best I can without judging anyone else for I can’t see inside their heads.

Mid life is the best time to meet new people, do new things, and adopt new beliefs about what’s possible.

To do this we have to let go of the past and re-frame our perception of who we are and who we can become.

Self-neglect is the foolproof way to age yourself faster than the expiration date on a carton of milk.

Liking yourself is the key to changing your life for the better.

I think the key to success at 40 and beyond is to have a restlessness; a desire to “see the world” with a fresh outlook.

Success at mid life involves not getting stuck. It requires weekly exercise of the body and mind and spirit.

The way I see it: to always be moving forward is the goal.

To not remain stuck we must move our bodies and move our minds out of their comfort zones.

That is the secret to aging well.

Making room for others in our hearts and making peace with our imperfections.

This is all part of remaining youthful regardless of our chronological age.