NEVER GIVE UP ON YOUR INNER SELF


I was having an ‘over-sixty’ conversation with one of my children this morning about life’s chapters and challenges. “Remember the guy that gave up?” I said. “Neither does anybody else.” That, basically, my friends, has been the salted truth that I have poured over and over on my many adult wounds to heal and move on. 

If you grew up in the 50’s like me, times were good and innocent and most of us actually thought our lives would be a yellow brick road that once taken, would lead only to good things. I believed that life did promise me a real rose garden. 

 

Well, in reality, my imaginary rose garden got smothered a lot by rag weed and poison ivy. I had to live the life I was given-not the life that I had chosen. “Tough,” She said. The Goddess of Life didn’t promise me a rose garden even though I was expecting it. 

Throughout their adult ups and downs I have asked my children to please give me someone who has never struggled or hit a brick wall at some point in their life. They have no answers. Living life never promises a perfect pitched game, so my answer to them is to never give up on their inner self. They will never lose. Either they win or learn. 

There is something so special and positive about the lessons and paths in life most of us over 60 have walked. We will never lose. We are still winning and learning. 

2016©Sandra Hart        All Rights Reserved

Collect Memorable Moments. Not Things

See it. Love it. Forget it.

I never ever thought of myself as a collector or hoarder but after cleaning my house of 40 years of living I realize that I am a collector of other people’s things and of my own stuff. I have to finally plead guilty to all of the above.

The interesting thing about all of my downsizing was that it really wasn’t that difficult for me. I bundled my prior life, which included thousands of dollars worth of ballgowns, clothing that I worn in film and television and my menopause size clothing. All of that was easy for me to gladly give away. What was hardest for me was the memorabilia attached to my children. I just couldn’t do it. Solution? I gave it all back to them! Problem solved. 

Now about that closet of mine. I still have one down here in South Beach. My prior experience giving the heave ho to my past life made me reconsider my current situation with my now full-time tropical life and it’s attached closet. In came my daughter Brett to the rescue. Her solution for me was the app called Poshmark.

Poshmark is a clothing site where you can sell your own or buy clothes out of other closets. Since I am a seller Poshmark was a gift from heaven. A seller can take pictures of their clothes right from the app, download pre-paid shipping labels for sold items and have the sales receipts sent directly to your bank or held to buy within the app. Genius! 


I am so determined to scale down my wardrobe and give my poor closet breathing room. I want to live simply chic, mix and match my jeans and maxi queen life.  

Andy Warhol once said he wanted to die in his jeans, well, for me it would be my black maxi dress sipping cappuccino at my favorite cafe. Not yet though! My new motto is “See it. Love it. Forget it!”

( I have attached a recent “why do”article in Bust magazine by Kailey Thompson that only fortifies how I am feeling about my new closet.). 

Copyright Sandra Hart 2016©. AllRights Reserved.

How To Create A Sustainable And Ethical Closet
By Kailey Thompson in Bust Magazine

The idea of “sustainable fashion” can be a bit of an oxymoron. The fashion industry is hugely based on trends that change season to season, leading to massive amounts of cheap and poorly made clothing, which can have major impacts on the workers who produce them and the environment. When it comes to shopping, it can be hard to find clothing companies that both honor human rights and have a low environmental impact. But our purchasing decisions have the power to challenge the norm. 
Shop your own closet! Are you sure you don’t have enough of what you need already? I mean, really, really need? Extending the life of clothing already in circulation does more for the environment than changing the way we make clothes ever could. Research by WRAP in the UK shows extending the average life of clothes (2.2 years) by just three months of active use per item would lead to a 5 to 10 percent reduction in each of the carbon, water and waste footprints.
2. Buy used.
This is the best option if you do shop. Buying used clothing significantly reduces the impact of the items on the environment because we are diverting waste and reducing the environmental toll of manufacturing. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, it takes 700 to 2,000 gallons of water to grow enough cotton to make your average cotton T-shirt. Buying used is one way to opt out of that process. We can’t know for sure the conditions under which the clothing was produced, but we can know for sure our money isn’t going directly to a company that profits from exploitative labor practices.
When you do buy used, make sure you look for clothes that you’ll hold onto for the long run. Look for durable, quality fabrics and manufacturing (and avoid trend pieces) so you won’t have to toss them when they fall apart or you get bored with them. According to the EPA, Americans discard approximately 13.1 million tons of textiles a year, and only about 15 percent of that is reclaimed for recycling. The rest goes straight to the landfill, where it releases methane and harmful chemicals.

To Be, Or Not To Be

I often talk about genetics here in my blog. I don’t know, but the older I get and as the years go by, I see my children growing up finding their spaces in life and now my grandchildren doing the same thing. It is really so evident to me that somewhere along the line we have inherited this either great or cursed creative gene that keeps us square pegs in a round hole.

My oldest is a flight attendant and while waiting between flights doodles beautiful designs on her notepad and can’t wait for her days off to create on her many online accounts.

Now the middle child is quite brilliant, works in the legal field, and is very creative like the rest of us. A great photographer, artist and sometimes journalist, she is also extremely adept at math, yet at times struggles with organization and budgets. What does that mean? Are both sides of her brain fighting for dominance when performing tasks? One side asks, “Should I buy it? Do I really need it?” While the other senses it is just too beautiful to resist. 

My youngest is a gifted singer, songwriter and performer who uses his talents as a storyteller through his musical lyrics and melodies. His left brain is screaming to let it alone! 

Well, what about that  creative brain of ours, the right brain?
The right brain is referred to as the analog brain. It controls three-dimensional sense, creativity, and artistic senses. 

 The left brain is referred to as the digital brain. It controls reading and writing, calculation, and logical thinking. 
I hate spreadsheets. They give  me a headache. In school I tried to stay away from as many math classes as I could.  While my middle daughter was taking advanced calculus, my other children agreed  a hundred percent  with me. Does that make us analog people and not her? 

What do you think? Is it possible to have a balance of both right and left brain without a dominance of one over another? Or is it a constant tug of war if you are born with a little bit of both. 

 

Okay, numbers are not my forte, but I still am very good keeping inline with what I want and what I can afford. But in truth,  my life has been saved many times because my left brain usually is strong enough to override the financial foolishness fueled by my artistic senses. But within that realm my left brain feels sorry for me and reasons a logical way to satisfy my artistic side. It knows.  Within its logic mechanisms it realizes  I would actually whither away without this part of me being fulfilled.  

So  I guess in the end both my left analytical and right creative brain are daily fighting the tantamount Shakespearean question, “To be, or not to be.”
  Today, that is what my Saturday life over fifty is thinking. Well, somewhat.
(Authors note: during the period of writing this blog today my toilet has developed a serious ghost flush every five minutes, the fire signal in our complex of town houses was set off in a loud screaming cadence sending my Lhasa Apsa, Sofi, running to her safe haven under my desk and my computer died. No part of my brain is willing to troubleshoot toilets and computers this lazy Saturday.)

Copyright Sandra Hart 2016©. All rights reserved

La La La

The streets are relatively empty here in my neighborhood. Snowbirds have gone north and many of our permanent residents are traveling during the SoFi summer months to escape the heat. In all the years that I’ve been coming to South Beach this is the first summer I have ever spent here and I’ve discovered how it’s interesting that life changes with lightly traveled sidewalks that are usually filled with foot traffic and intercontinental languages filling the space around me. The once crowed outside café tables are vacant. Hungry souls are still here, but they are dining inside enjoying a temporary respite from the heat. 

Sofi and I take our walks a little earlier in the morning and on the way home sometimes stop at our favorite little café for a croissant and cappuccino. I usually fill my time waiting for my morning coffee scanning Facebook on my iPhone.

All of this reminded me this morning about an article I recently read about the psychological effect Facebook has on people. Looking at my Facebook’s posts by friends one would think that everyone has a perfectly happy life, busy doing things, enjoying experiences we wish we could have, and leading a la la life. 

The idea that everyone else is living a utopian life but not us, well, it’s kind of depressing, isn’t it? Thinking about this I clicked on my home page and reread some of my posts, and it’s really true. I am so guilty! It sounds as though I’m living a la la life. The image I’m projecting is that everything’s is la la every day. That is so not true, my friends. 

As we all know, real life is not la la all the time. The reality is that my life is just like yours – full of ups and downs. Arthur and I are getting older and we have lost most of our dear friends. It seems that we are always getting calls with news about the people who have been important strings to our past have gone. A piece of our souls are slowly being eaten away by time as months and years roll by.

Last year the one pill I take. Only one pill. It was changed by my new doctor and the new beta blocker put me into the hospital with AF (atrial fibrillation) for 56 hours and I had to be converted. Certainly not a Facebook event.

Then my oldest very active, young and healthy daughter was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, my middle child who devotes her life to helping humans and animals by no fault of her own, due to torrential rains and delayed contractors cutting her crop, lost an entire field of hay planted to feed the rescue horses that she has taken in and kept from certain death. Money out of her pocket down the drain and no way to replace it. 

https://www.gofundme.com/feedahorses

 All of these are just small hick ups in our family in the scheme of things, but this is real life. No one ever, ever has a Facebook life, believe me. Ever. 

Even if the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence believe me it’s not. There are weeds in there just because this is the way the real universe works. 

The challenge is to look for the small beautiful moments every day and focus on each sunrise and sunset as being a special gift. Don’t pass a small flowering tree without taking in its beauty. Don’t pass any stranger without a smile and nod. It just may be the emotional medicine they need at that moment.  
Never ever under estimate the value of positive thinking and how it radiates beyond us to others. And for heaven’s sake don’t believe everything you read on Facebook. As my son wrote twenty years ago, life is a Lemon Parade. La La is only a reality in music.

Copyright Sandra Hart 2016©. All Rights Reserved

Truth Be Damned


Where oh where has my country gone? Where oh where can She be? The America that I am watching in the news and in the social media posts I have been reading these last few months are not mirroring the America I have known. It’s not the America that I have been proud of. Not the America that nurtured me. 

America is lost. America is broken. Crazy glue is polarizing the nation . We have become stuck together in groups defined by religion, ideology, sexual preferences and color. Cultures have stopped embracing each other. Our proud heritage as Americans of being ‘a melting pot’ seems to have disappeared. 

As I have often written, I was so lucky to grow up in one of the most culturally diversified communities in this country and nothing other than moral discrepancy, honesty and truth, would divide us. We were of all backgrounds, all colors and faiths and traditions, yet we were excepting of one another. There was no other way we lived our lives.

 

That said, I really have to be honest with you, today, even at the highest level, those moral compasses, honesty and truth, seem to be virtues that no longer matter. It is so disparaging and so horrible that we have come to this point where virtues don’t seem to be valued. Whatever people can get away with that’s what goes. Truth be damned. There is no personal accountability, nor any court of reckoning for deception and dishonesty today. A lie is a lie, is a lie and habitual. How can we even think of rewarding this behavior? Have we lost our collective minds?

There is no white washing of dishonesty and any acceptance of such immorality as ‘the norm’ is taking our country down Alice’s rabbit hole and a dangerous slope of no return. It’s a very disconcerting picture. 

There is no doubt America has significant challenges ahead. We have to get our heads on straight. We have to have a call for tolerance and respect for all peoples; including the brave men in blue who devote their lives to protect all of us. 

There are still bridges to be built and we have always been a nation of builders. A nation of good Samaritans with compassion for all peoples. A nation of proud patriots. 

It is my opinion, my friends, we have to bring back respect for trustworthiness and honesty and diversity before we run out of time for any type of reversal. 

Copyright Sandra Hart©. All Rights Reserved.

Living A Life Of Purpose

Living A Life Of Purpose


When  my children were growing up our house was home to a myriad cache of animals, four- legged and otherwise. I think the only creatures my salary was not feeding were those without legs and crawled on their bellies.

Dogs, cats, water fowl, rabbits, gerbils, turtles and birds, both wild and caged, were given TLC and a haven in our home. After a long day at work, I was never sure to whom or what I would be feeding and giving a forever home when I opened our front door, kicked off my high heels and threw the keys on the entry table.

I admit, my three children and I are all animal lovers. My daughters drooled ‘dog’ and ‘horse’ when letting their parents know they were getting the hang of expressing themselves as humans, but honestly, I point my now over-fifty finger at my middle child, Alison, for the menagerie on Ballinswood Road. Her first word relating to a four-legged creature (that should have been a red flag for sure) was an omen that her family then and now would have to accept her compassion for animals big and small.

Today, five decades later, Alison is still caring and giving shelter to rescue animals on her 75 acre thoroughbred farm, Tower Hill Farm, near Lexington in Paris, Kentucky. It’s a family affair – the three of them working as a team, she and her children giving a home to retired race horses, fostering dogs through the local humane programs and caring for and nurturing their own horses and pets.

A single parent of two active teens with a full-time job, I touch base with Alison daily on my iPhone, finding her most often in the barn late at night caring for the horses after a long day at work, followed by chauffeuring her children to and from their sporting activities. The phrase ‘a farmers work is never done, from sun to sun’ rings true for my daughter. Her passion for animals and caring for abandoned creatures sets her above and beyond most. Out of her own pocket she has been funding this humanitarian cause for years, because it is what she was called to do.
Veterinarian, farrier fees, feed, hay and other related expenses for these rescues are all a part of Alison’s humanitarian efforts to save these beautiful animals from the reality of being sold off at auction for slaughter to meat/dog food industries, or sold to medical industries for experimentation.

With all of the chaos and hate around us in the world that is out of our control, I would like to see something positive happen that IS within our grasp right here. Right now. I have set up a
GoFundMe account to help these animals in need and to assist Alison in proving a safe haven for others as well as these horses and foster dogs in need of a deserved forever home.

If we can assist Alison by raising at least $2,500 for hay for the rescue horses it would be a great support for these beautiful animals who don’t deserve to be cast aside.

Thanks ever so much

Sandra Hart
Hay For Horses Go Fund Me Account won’t you please donate now.