KEEPING MY HEAD ON STRAIGHT

Believe me, the grass is not greener on the other side of the fence. Don’t waste your time worrying about it comparing your life to someone else’s. Let’s talk about the six things I practice to help keep my head on straight.

1. Forget what the other guy is doing. Why waste time and energy focusing on what you think is a better life than yours, when you can use that energy to focus on your own life to make it better. You can work to make your own life happier.

2. It’s okay to have a bad day once in awhile and instead of hiding it, acknowledge your feelings.

This is the hardest for me to do. I always have felt that acknowledging a bad day, would make me seem weak. I always felt I had to be in control, even when I’m having a tough time. When someone says “how are you?” we generally respond with “I’m fine thanks – and you?” even when were not – internally we might be depressed, stressed, hormonal and preoccupied with problems.

It’s important to remember that it really is okay to not be in charge and optimistic ALL the time. Its fine to feel sad sometimes – my advice is just to learn to recognise and indulge in “I feel sad” and give myself a break – curl up and read a book, listen to music or inspirational podcast, or eat a pound of chocolate ( well, maybe not a pound, but you get what I mean). Allow yourself to have a bad day. Tomorrow you can pick yourself up and begin again.

3 Find joy in the moment. Of course , you might say that this is so obvious, but how often do we step back and really do this? Waking up and having a cup of coffee in your pajamas while listening to the birds outside, watching your favorite Youtube channel, a movie or in lying cozily in bed with your partner. Just slowing down enjoying real life in the moment and appreciating real life as it is. All of these ordinary things really matter and are important.

4. Eliminate negativity. When you learn to be happy, you will not want to be around people who make you feel anything less than you are.

Any aura of negativity around you is toxic. Get rid of those that create that environment. At the same time, learn to give more love to others from your end.

I’ve become better at giving more of me, my love and my attention to kind people that deserve it, rather than people that drain me – and I’m better off for it.

5. Life is short. Buy that Chanel lipstick! As a friend once advised me, “Quite simply, I think if you truly love something, you should work, save, and get it. It doesn’t matter if it’s on trend, it only matters that it makes you feel great.”

Pampering yourself by treating yourself to some luxuries and recognising that you deserve to be treated well is important for everyone’s self-esteem.

6. Be kind. The next one has been my mantra for a long time and I end all of my Youtube videos with this one. Be kind. ‘Do unto others as you would do unto yourself.’ It could be something as simple as a smile it thank you. It is amazing how just a small gesture of kindness travels from one to another as it is played forward. If you can do good every day it will come back to you ten fold in one way or another.

We are not perfect, but I try with these steps to keep my head on straight.

Copyright Sandra Hart 2018©️

WHO ARE YOU?

FIVE STEPS TO BUILDING THE LIFE YOU WANT | QUESTIONS WE SHOULD BE ASKING NOW | WHO ARE YOU

Women over sixty. Who are we? WHO AM I? Who are you?

The Five Ws, Five Ws and one H, or the 5 W’s are questions whose answers are considered basic in information-gathering. They are often mentioned in journalism (news style), research, and police investigations. They constitute a formula for getting the complete story on a subject.

Who was involved?

What happened?

Where did it take place?

When did it take place?

Why did that happen?

Some authors add a sixth question, how, to the list.

I was thinking the other day that we can take those important fact finding W’s and use them in relation to our lives.

1) Who are you? Who do your friends think you are?

2) What do you want out of life right now?

3) Where do you want to be a year from now?

4) When is a good time to start?

5) Why do I think this is important?

6) How am I going to achieve this?

These are important questions we should be asking ourselves no matter how young or old we are. The sooner we find our direction and who we really are and what we want from life, the more fulfilled we will be. It is never too early or late to begin your personal fact finding journey.

https://youtu.be/8yZQNgA37nU

Copyright Sandra Hart 2919©️

All Rights Reserved

GRATITUDE AND TOXICITY

This 2019 adventure on which we are embarking will evoke thousands of resolutions and retrospectives. Good intentions, blessings and regrets of 2018 will be on all the social media sites.

I usually don’t add to the pile of thoughts about my past or future, but this year I am especially grateful. I am grateful for my family. My children and their extended families. Each of them deserve the best in life.

As a parent, no matter how young or old our children are, we want the best for them as they make their way through life, don’t we? What joys they have, we have. What pain they carry, we carry.

Fortunately, there are so many good people in this life. Contributing. Giving. Applauding our successes. They are the majority.

Then there are the toxic ones. Taking. Resentful. Spiteful. It is those negative sources we may be connected to through past decisions in our lives that can drag us down. This is especially hard when those negative people surround and try to take down your loved ones.

When it is out of control what advice do I give them? Keep a positive boundary? Don’t go for an easy fix? Fight fire with fire? Hold onto what is going well and don’t let hateful energy coming your way destroy the good in your life?

I truly believe in karma. What comes around goes around. Those who try to steal our joy eventually cannibalize themselves. The vitriol and envy eats away and eventually…’poof’ they disintegrate into into nothingness.

As my husband often quotes, “On the plains of hesitation bleach the bones of countless millions, who at the dawn of decision, sat down to wait, and in waiting died.”*

I think this is the best advice I can give myself or my children when we are encountering negative and toxic people in our lives.

There is nothing wrong for fighting for your and your loved ones happiness. Face it head on.

* George W. Cecil

Copyright©️ Sandra Hart 2019

All Rights Reserved.

https://youtu.be/mhmQO210DUA

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©️

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