SARATOGA TRUNK STARTED IT ALL

The year was 1945. Going to the movies was the great escape. It was entertainment that helped everyone escape the stress of WWII. My mother loved the movies. As early as I can remember sitting on my mother’s lap during an afternoon matinee was an important part of my life; memories that have stayed with me throughout the years.

I fell in love with Gary Cooper while sitting on my mothers lap. So much so that I struggled free, escaping from my comfortable perch to join Gary Cooper on the screen. Movies and movie stars. My love of both started with Gary Cooper and Ingrid Bergman in Saratoga Trunk when I was five years old.

I never outgrew my passion for movies. Moving from teenage crushes on Tab Hunter, then William Holden in Picnic and then Cary Grant in To Catch A Thief. I absorbed the lives I saw on the screen and made them mine. I wanted to be a part of that life. I wanted to be an actress. I never lost that dream.

Well, life happened and I wound up, not on the big screen, but the small one. Television. For most of my adult life I was in television in various rolls. Romper Room, talk show host, news anchor and syndicated host of my own financial show. My plan for my life was different than my five-year-old dream.

Then, before I could blink my eyes it seems, my fiftieth birthday rolled in. My hair was starting to gray, I had just celebrated an anniversary with my husband of five years. Somehow all of these changing factors, milestones in my life, proved to culminate in an ‘aha’ moment. I was going to go for it.

For forty-five years I had put my life’s dream on the back burner. Never say never. I was going to be an actress. Maybe not a movie star, but I was ready to work at building a new career and living my dream.

I immediately got headshots, made the casting rounds, and auditioned for a theater group. I used the same persistence that had helped build my television career. I made new friends and connections and soon was working in theater, film and television. I was older and didn’t have to compete with ingenious like I would have had to years ago. I had a chance at a second act and life was good.

Well it still is. I rarely audition anymore, though, because I am in what I consider my third chapter. My husband and I have resettled to Florida. I write books, this blog, lecture, have a presence on social networks and have a YouTube channel. But one thing has remained constant. I love movie stars of the 40’s and 50’s. Those glamour girls with great acting chops and charisma.

What’s the proof of that? I am doing a retrospective on Instagram (sandrashart) of the actresses that kept me company in many darkened movie theaters while growing up and dreaming of being a movie star. Let’s remember the good days of movies together!

Copyright Sandra Hart©️2018

All Rights Reserved

LATE-IN-LIFE REJECTION

It is Saturday and I’m sitting in my favorite chair, coffee at my elbow, Sofi at my feet and my husband across the room reading his favorite news magazine. Alexa is streaming big band music and I am wondering what I can write about here on my blog. It’s a brain fog kind of day and my thoughts are all over the place.

My husband and I have been married close to 35 years. Ours was his first marriage and I came into the partnership a widow with three teenage children. It hasn’t always been smooth sailing for us, but we have weathered the ups and downs of a late-in -life marriage and are still here.

Recently one female friend and her husband celebrated their 60th anniversary; another lost her husband and a third is divorced in her 70’s. Loss by death is one thing we understand is out of our control, but divorce has its own separate pain. Rejection. How does someone in what should be the best years of her life survive that?

A divorce in later life is not only a personal rejection by an individual, but a shattering of long-held values and one’s self-image as someone who thought she and her partner would live happily after.

Therapists suggest the next 7 steps to help ease that feeling of rejection.

1. Feel the feelings. …

2. Understand you will go through the stages of grief. …

3. Think of your pain like a wave. …

4. Gather your support system around you. …

5. Stop the self-blame. …

6. Practice self-care. …

7. Find a therapist who can help.

Life is not always mapped out the way we planned, but as women we have to look at ourselves and say every day to our mirror, “I am worthy. I am enough.”

https://youtu.be/XsEu84UMAac

Copyright Sandra Hart 2018©️

All Rights Reserved.

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

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

12 Moments In A Woman’s Life

Some thing never change even though centuries have gone by. One of those is the story of Ruth in the Old Testament. Within the four chapters of Ruth lie 12 Moments in a woman’s life that are still so relevant today.

I am 79 and, even at my age, can relate to her story all of these centuries later. As a woman every one these 12 moments have touched me during my lifetime. I would bet that they have touched you, as well.

No matter what your core beliefs or non-beliefs are if you are a woman today the lessons found and taken from the book of Ruth will apply to you.

Ruth was a Moabite woman, a foreigner from a hated country. But she married a Hebrew immigrant in Moab, and after his death she left her native land and went with her mother-in-law to Bethlehem in Israel.

The 12 Moments for us contemporary women are:

  1. Loss
  2. Change
  3. Transformation
  4. Aging
  5. Independence
  6. Respect
  7. Recognition
  8. Insight
  9. Empowerment
  10. Self-definition
  11. Invisibility
  12. Fulfillment

Within the video below from my Youtube channel, Life Over Sixty With Sandra, I discuss how each one of these 12 moments are related to us as females in today’s society. Sit back, relax and see if you can relate to Ruth’s moments from the Book Of Ruth.

Copyright©Sandra Hart.

All Rights Reserved