FASHION POLICE

Let’s talk fashion. Should older women be conscious of their age when deciding what styles to wear? In my opinion, no they shouldn’t.

Age has very little to do with personal style. Who cares what the fashion police think? What really matters is what you think about what you wear.

As a teen I couldn’t wait every fall to get the September issue of Seventeen magazine so that I would know what was trending in back to school outfits!

In my twenties and thirties, it was Vogue or Harpers Bazaar that were my fashion bibles. I couldn’t afford the designer clothes featured, but I sure as heck could try to copy their styling.

By some miracle, maybe it was menopause, my late forties a lightbulb went off in my head. I just wanted to be me! I wanted to be brave enough to leave the trend train and follow my own fashion sense and style. That is when I finally got the courage to appreciate and be the real me.

My classic/ Bohemian style was born and I have given it a healthy life ever since. I’m free to be me and will never even think to let fashion trends define my style.

What do you think?

Copyright Sandra Hart 2018©️

THE GOLDEN AGE OF ANTI-AGING

My mother had beautiful skin with minimal care. She washed her face with Palmolive soap, put lanolin serum on with a touch of Coty power and she was good for the day. She always wore a hat that protected her face from the sun and for ninety-two years she had beautiful skin.

Today we are inundated with a plethora of products that the beauty industry tell us we need or else we will all wind up looking like prunes before we reach forty-five.

What has changed? Well there are real factors our skin is dealing with today. We have lost some of the ozone layer that makes the sun more damaging to our skin. There are more damaging free radicals in the air. Our diet contains more processed foods and the world we are living in today is more stressful. All of these things are directly related to the health of both our bodies and skin.

Unfortunately, our current culture has a deep-rooted habit of valuing women largely in terms of their attractiveness.

For women, it also means being turned from a coveted object into a disposable one. We spend our whole lives fighting our own disappearance.

We nod and agree that we should embrace our wrinkles while quietly understanding that none of us, individually, want to be the one who actually looks old.

Let’s face it. We are all getting older. But we should start “Changing the way we think about aging by starting with changing the way we talk about aging.” I’m not suggesting we give up our retinol or retinol, but maybe we should change the way we think about aging by changing the way we talk about aging.

In this culture, as a woman to age is to be erased — to be deemed irrelevant, disappear from magazine covers and popular films. For women, it also means being turned from a coveted object into a disposable one. I feel my whole life has been focused on fighting my own disappearance.

Each sign of wear on my face might be taken as evidence of my failure as a person.

I would like to read you and example: A 1926 ad for an in-store facial treatment blares, “Poor Lois — see how old she’s growing!” Female self-loathing was acknowledged openly. One ad asks, “Is it the greatest crisis of a woman’s emotional life?” Meaning: “that sudden, merciless message from a mirror’s crystal depths … ‘you are fading, just a bit.’

1930s and ’40s, Palmolive ran a series of bluntly shaming ads in magazines like Good Housekeeping and Farmer’s Wife. The soap company invented the problem of “ ‘middle-age’ skin,” a condition it claimed could afflict women as young as 22, then blamed it for all kinds of romantic disappointments, from “girls with empty date books” to the wife who “loses love.” (One ad featured an illustration of Cupid, sitting with his head in his hands, crying, “I give up!”)

Good skincare is an important part of anti-aging. We have truly come along way with research and products that genuinely will help slow the process of aging skin. But there are also a lot of products with promises that are bogus. Nothing will made us look twenty years younger. Nothing.

Copyright©️Sandra Hart. All Rights Reserved

VINTAGE STYLING AND ETHICAL FASHION

Today we have so many fashion choices. Shopping fast fashion stores like Zara and H&M gives us the latest trend in clothing at reasonable prices. Great, right? Not really.

These companies are helping to pollute the planet and encourage the need for us to fulfill our shopping addictions. Each fashion season, instead of recycling to retail discount stores like Marshell’s or Ross, or third world countries in need, they destroy the clothing at the end of the season and send it to dumps.

What can we do about it? Well, the obvious answer is to not support these fast fashion stores and shop ethical retailers during their store wide sales. We can save money and know we are not supporting the fast fashion industry. But there is another way we can shop ethically and get great bargains. Thrifting.

I am a longtime fan of supporting thrift shops. Not only is thrifting fun where you can find great bargains, but you are helping those in need while also helping the planet.

Come along with me as I talk about ethical shopping in an upscale resale boutique in LaGrange, Illinois. The Hope Chest.

Copyright Sandra Hart©️. All Rights Reserved 2018

Can I do It Again?

I have been doing videos on my Youtube channel lately talking about bucket lists and not putting off one’s dreams. All of this has me thinking about my own list. How can I motivate others and neglect my own unfilled desires?

The last time I sang in public was at my oldest daughter’s wedding in the 80’s. It was in a large vaulted church and I sang Schubert’s Ave Maria in Latin. When I look back now to what seems a long lifetime ago and why have I chosen to lock away my voice after that performance I don’t know. Life just happened, I guess.

Taking into consideration it is said if you don’t use it, you loose it. If singing in the shower once in awhile doesn’t count, well, I haven’t used my musical voice in years. The other morning a fear shot through me. Just out of the blue. I started wondering if I have lost it. If it’s too late to get back the gift given to me that once was so much of what made me happy.

As a young girl I sang in church and in a girl’s choir. I soloed at my music teachers wedding and I dreamed of singing opera one day in Europe. I met my late husband through music. My son is a musician. My daughters love music. Music has always been such an integral part of my and my family’s lives. How can I let it die within me?

I started vocalizing a week ago. My voice is there within the rusty pipes. I hear it. It’s still there. I know it won’t be ready for awhile, but I am going to get it back – every scale run by scale run.

My bucket list? Recording a song or two. For me. Just for me. Never say never.

Copyright Sandra Hart 2018©️. All Rights Reserved

CAN MONEY BUY HAPPINESS

The magazine TOWN AND COUNTRY was my bible as a teen while growing up in a gritty steel town in the Ohio River. I saved all month and I couldn’t wait for each new issue to arrive at McNoltie’s Confectionery.

I used to dream over the glossy pages of beautiful people, smiling behind their big sunglasses while on their boats or at a glitzy gala. Oh, that was the life for me. I just couldn’t wait to grow up and have that life.

I would sometimes cut out images from the pages and pinned them on my watermelon colored cork Dream Board hanging in my bedroom. I figured if I dreamed enough about that life, I could make my fantasy come true. I could become rich and famous just like them.

Anything. I would do almost anything to fly away from my current steel town existence to something bigger. I deserved to have something better someday. I would dream so hard I would make it come true.

Sixty years later as I look back on my life, most of it did come true. I have been successful in my own right. I have rubbed shoulders with both the famous and richer. Am I happy? Yes, for the most part. I have had lots of valleys on my journey, but I have always been able to see the sunshine when there were dark clouds.

Are the smiling faces of the rich and famous happy? Well, not always. My teenage fantasy was just that – a fantasy.

The truth is that when I grew up I realized that what really matters are people and our relationships. Those are the million dollar gifts in life. Those are what make us rich and happy.

Copyright©️Sandra Hart 2018

All Rights Reserved

DITCH WORRIES THAT DON’T MATTER

5 REASONS TO STOP CARING ABOUT THINGS THAT DON’T MATTER

“A man who knows everything knows nothing.”

1. Question your obsessions., If you think you know everything about your life then you are going to be less motivated to do something with your life.

2. Life is too short. Think about what is immediate, true and important to you. As we age life should be easier, but sometimes it gets more complicated. Money, aging partners, health, children, grandchildren are a part of our universe.

In our search for happiness and personal growth being able to focus on things that really matter to you is important.

3. If you feel stuck it’s because you don’t have, or you perceive you don’t have, the power to react or create meaning around your life. If you are sometimes angry and anxious; if you you feel bad about something, it’s okay. You may have genuine reasons to feel these emotions. These are a huge component within a healthy life. Don’t feel guilty about having these reactions to problems.

But remember struggles are not always that bad. They invigorate you. They motivate you to work through them to help either others or yourself.

Believe it or not, our struggles are the building blocks of happiness. Okay . It’s true sometimes problems are completely out of our control. You can’t always eliminate them—- but it’s finding something more meaningful in your life, or worthwhile, where you can put your focus and be in control.

Don’t focus on the negative details, Details are the enemy of growth. Focus on the bigger picture – the end goal and work toward that.

5. You have to be comfortable with who you are. It’s not being different, but it’s your acceptance of being comfortable with being different.

Copyright ©️Sandra Hart 2018

Are You Afraid Of Aging?

This is a question that runs through not only my mind, but for certain most women as they approach retirement age. Studies show that women fear five basic things:

1) Becoming invisible

2) Being alone

3) Dependent upon others

4) Getting cancer

5) Being a bag lady

Believe it or not the last one, being a bag lady, has always been my biggest fear. I was really surprised to see this one on the list because I honestly felt it was just me.

We are the sum of our experiences and during my lifetime I had a period where I didn’t know where my next dollar was coming from. I was widowed, had three children, a mortgage and no job. It worked out in the end, but that traumatic period in my life has scarred me.

Today let’s have a conversation about aging and how to face our fears as women as we journey through the aging process.