Our Clothes Are A Mirror Of Who We Are

” She had a womanly instinct that clothes possess an influence more powerful over many than the worth of character or the magic of manners.”   Louisa May Alcott

Our clothes and style are a mirror of who we really are, aren’t they?  When we wake up in the morning what we wear indicates how we feel, where we are going and our attitude about the next twelve hours.  

For men more than women, I think, sometimes dressing becomes routine as soon as their feet hit the floor. They throw on their favorite well-worn jeans, T shirt, slip on flip flops, loafers or old sneakers and are ready to face the world and what is out there waiting for them.

Most women are different animals all together. We plan, organize, accessorize and treat clothes as an extension of who we are. Our clothes don’t actually make us, but we make the clothes our own.  

Copyright Sandra Hart© 2017. All Rights Reserved

The Gift Of Caring

 It was the kind of evening when the wind found every opening in my heavy winter wrappings. There was no escaping the chill that went through my bones as I sat on the deck of the Queen Elizabeth as it sailed down the Hudson River toward the Atlantic and the beginning of our 109 day world cruise.

With my beret pulled down over my ears and scarf wrapped around my neck as high as possible, I leaned against the railing facing the winds watching he magnificent New York City skyline, swimming by so slowly.

Weeks before my friends Lou and Cathy who live in the Village vowed they would add to our send-off by signaling to us from the end of the Christopher Street Pier as we sailed by. 

It seemed a great idea at the time, until our sailing was delayed into the darkness and severe winter weather was moving in. So much for a sendoff, I disappointedly thought. Lou would be working and Cathy would be alone.

As we moved along, suddenly I saw a flicker…a blinking beam of bright light coming from the Christopher Pier. Once, twice, three times. She had come. She had come in the darkness and waited in the cold to wish us a bon voyage as she had promised. Cathy’s life was all about the gift of caring. I will always miss you my dear friend.

Copyright Sandra Hart©2007. From Read Between My Lines: What Was I Thinking.           All Rights Reserved 

Don’t Talk To Me About How Healthy You Are!

Beware! This may be the most depressing blog that I have ever written, but it’s something that I’ve been thinking about lately in my over 50 state of mind. 

My husband gets almost every health newsletter on the market. He reads and believes every single thing in these various publications. I know they’re important and I have gleaned a lot of information from them, but one thing I do know, genetics plays a great big part in our longevity. 

Sure, how we embrace our bodies and our good health has a lot to do with prodding along and maybe extending that lifeline, but the reality is none of us have control over our expiration date.

One thing I know never to do – talk about the state of my health. No one really cares and I may be sharing my exuberance for all the healthy things that I did that day with someone that may not be in such great shape themselves, but doesn’t talk about it. 

It seems that every friend I have ever had who bragged about how healthy they were, are no longer here on this planet. I had a friend who whenever we met for lunch always bragged about how great her doctor check up was and what super health she was in. Well, a week after our last lunch she died of a stroke. 

Another constantly bragged about the amount of supplements he was taking, his healthy diet my hub and and I should follow and his love of tennis. Melanoma did him in.

I have several other examples I can talk about, but I think you kind a get the drift of my thoughts. If you have a trusted friend, or within your family circle that you want to share your exuberance with, hey, that’s OK. But don’t make it general conversation and part of your constant repertoire, because you may be tempting fate. 

Personally I don’t want to hear how many times a week you go to the gym or how many days you run a 5K or what diet I need to follow that is perfect to live into my hundreds. Just leave me alone. I think by this time I am able to manage balancing on my toes near the edge of this fragile cliff of life we over 50 folks find ourselves. I’ll figure it out on my own and hope my expiration date is well into the future. 

By the way, did you read a glass of wine everyday will extend your life? Oops!

Copyright Sandra Hart 2016. All rights reserved.

A Mother’s Thoughts

So came the Captain with the mighty heart;
And when the judgment thunders split the house,
Wrenching the rafters from their ancient rest,
He held the ridgepole up, and spiked again
The rafters of the Home. He held his place—
Held the long purpose like a growing tree—
Held on through blame and faltered not at praise.
And when he fell in whirlwind, he went down
As when a lordly cedar, green with boughs,
Goes down with a great shout upon the hills,
And leaves a lonesome place against the sky.

Lincoln, Man of the People – Edwin Markham

The above stanza by Edwin Markham has always resonated with me because I think, even though it is about Abraham Lincoln, it symbolizes Life itself. I recite it often when I’m challenged by circumstances. We all struggle through the ups and downs and whether or not we can remain steady, or not, differs with each of us, but the reality is, it is a part of living – these hills and valleys that we incur just by being.  
The stumbles used to be easy when I was young.  I would get off of my bloodied knees and continue on, but the older I get the reality is getting up again it’s a little harder. It’s not that I am mentally or even physically weak, it’s just that I know the time I have to recover and open another chapter in my life is getting nearer and nearer and perhaps drawing to a close. The last chapter used to be so far down the road that I couldn’t even see, year by year, the door slowly closing on me.  I love beginnings I just don’t like endings. I never have. 
I don’t like when the book is finished and I have to start over. I don’t like when the theater run is finished and I have to start looking for another job. I don’t like it when the movie or television show is finished and I have to start again -looking. 
The thought that someday there will be an end to who I am and what I’ve experienced in this life is still not something I’m willing to except.  I want to find that miracle eternity pill that I can swallow to keep me around for a long, long time.  They say the next generation, if they take care of themselves,  may live past 100 on a regular basis. I would like to hang around and have that magic life.
Mother’s Day is less than a month away and I think the thought I want to share with my children is to enjoy every single minute of your life and to live it, really live it. Drink in and savor every single moment that you are alive. 
Step outside of yourself, close your eyes and just listen.  Listen to the birds, listen to the traffic, listen to the noise, listen to the energy that is completely swirling around us every single day. Drink that energy in and use it to make yourself a better person. Hug you children and those you love everyday, including this dear old mother. Because the reality is one day the universe will blink, I will disappear, you will be gone,  and it will be too late to live the life that both you and I were meant to live.
Copyright Sandra Hart 2015. All Rights Reserved

10 Reasons Why It’s Not Over At Fifty

10 Reasons Why It’s Not Over At Fifty
Sadly, the down economy has put a lot of workers over age 50 in the unenviable position of needing to find a new profession. Don’t believe that old cliché about middle-aged dogs and new tricks, though; lots of wildly successful people found big success in careers they began after their fiftieth birthdays. Here are just a few examples.
  1. Carole Gardner – Zelda Wisdom products.
  2. Grandma Moses- Artist
  3. Col. Saunders – Kentucky Fried  Chicken
  4. Frank McCourt – Angela’s Ashes
  5. Martha Stewart – Lifestyle
  6. Laura Ingles Wilder – Little House On The  Prairie
  7. Tim and Nina Zagat – Zagat 
  8. Takichiro Mori – Architect
  9. Ray Kroc  – McDonalds
10.  Rodney Dangerfield – Comedian

Although Rodney Dangerfield suffered from getting ‘no respect’ he had self-compassion in common with the many late bloomers who opened another chapter in their lives in their 40s, 50s and beyond. 

Late bloomers. I love that title and have been wearing it since I was 21. I wear it proudly knowing that I can bloom again and again and again. I never thought I had to wait until I was 40 or 50.  Some of us are annual bloomers,  or else have so many creative arms that we are perennial and can open new chapters in our lives continuously. We all are only limited by how many years we have on this earth. 
I think it’s getting better, but there still is a stigma associated with aging. We still live in a closed- minded culture, but there is nothing more fulfilling than taking a negative event in your life and turning it into a positive life-changing situation.
For instance let’s take Carol Gardner.  Carol is the creator of Zelda Wisdoms. At The age of 52 Carol was facing divorce that left her with huge debt, a bleak future with no income, and depression. 
It was suggested that she get a dog to keep her company. She did. A bulldog that she named Zelda and she entered a local contest that was giving away 40 pounds of dog food a month free for the winner. So Carol took pictures of Zelda in the bathtub, with hats on and designed a card with a message that said, “For Christmas I got a dog for my husband….Good Trade, huh?”  She won the contest, Zelda had plenty of food and starting with 24 Zelda Greeting Cards, Carol has now created a multi-million dollar worldwide Zelda Wisdom empire. Talk about making lemonade out of lemons! 
Personally, in my 20’s I started a career in television working for others, then in my 30’s overcame the loss of my husband by taking my television skills into marketing while raising my small children. I sent resumes out for a full year before anyone would hire an anchorwoman with small children in a private sector job. But I never gave up. In my 40’s I remarried and became a television producer and entrepreneur. I woke up one morning just before my 50th birthday and realized how fast life was moving for me and I had yet to do what I always had dreamed as a child – to act on the stage. So at 50 I embarked on one of the most exciting journeys in my life doing  theater,  television and film in New York City. 
Nothing was ever handed to me and I had to work very hard opening new doors for each of these chapters in my life,  but I persevered and I had self-compassion and I believed in the impossible dream – just the same as the 10 above ‘second chapter’ successes.   
When I was 61 I opened yet another chapter in my life by writing my memoir,  Behind The Magic Mirror.  I discovered the process so fulfilling that I  continue  to write my thoughts in books, articles, and on a weekly basis through this blog. 
In the end, I hope that I will be open to other journeys in my life. It is not over until it’s over.  As I wrote earlier, only time here on this planet can limit us. Nothing else. It is never too late to rediscover and reinvent your life. It is never to late to make lemonade!
Copyright Sandra Hart 2015. All rights reserved.