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.

NASHVILLE NIGHTS | MEET MY SON EMERSON HART

When we have children we hope for the best for them, but truly, even with a crystal ball, we don’t know what lies ahead for them.

Once they leave the nest, they are on their own to chart their own path. We, as parents, just hope their journey is smooth without too many downdrafts and that their flight will lead them to a fulfilling life.

In this blog I am sharing with you a recent conversation I had with my singer/ songwriter son, Emerson Hart, lead singer of the 2x nominated and Platinum awarded alternative rock band, Tonic.

His first album, LEMON PARADE, had 5 top ten BILLBOARD HITS, one of which stayed on the top of the charts and became the most played song on rock radio that year, “If You Could Only See The Way She Loves Me.”

We talk about his beginnings and what it is like to be a a songwriter/singer and musician. I can’t use his music in my videos because of publishing and record company rights shared with him. I have posted below the video he speak’s about and that he filmed in London when Princess Diana died.

Join my conversation with a singer and songwriter on his creative process, his solo career vs Tonic and what is in store for 2019.

Copyright Sandra Hart ©️2018

All Rights Reserved

WHAT IS THAT?!

I recently had a comment on one of my latest videos that said I should be doing ASMR videos. What? What is an ASMR video? I said out loud to myself.

It just so happened that I was sitting next to my 10 year old granddaughter who heard me and without any hesitation she explained it to me 1-2-3. A 10 year old! Just goes to show you how out of the Youtube loop I am! I am a creator who is stuck in my own box.

I do have to add that my subscriber said that my openings are already ASMR, so it should be easy for me to do one. She said the young girls are boring and she has to switch them off.

In case you are in that box with me, here is the explanation of ASMR:

Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) is a euphoric experience characterized by a static-like or tingling sensation on the skin that typically begins on the scalp and moves down the back of the neck and upper spine, precipitating relaxation.

After digesting this a bit, I thought …

Humm… maybe there is a place for over sixty creators like me in the ASMR community. There is nothing like trying to teach an old dog new tricks. Let’s see if it works!

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 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