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

Who Are You, Really?

I recently have started vlogging in conjunction with my weekly blog here on WordPress. Easy for you, you might think. With all of my television background and time spent in front of the camera it should be natural. Yes? No. 

For me, it has been an extreme learning curve. 
Previously, I have been in front of the camera as an interviewer or newscaster. On television and film, I have always assumed my character and perhaps only small parts within that make believe I have found myself. All of this technique and experience is so much different than being just old me. Even on Romper Room I was a teacher and not really myself. 

Time and again I have heard famous actors reveal how shy they really are, or how difficult it is for them to expose themselves as ‘real persons’. I kind of understood them, but now I really know what they mean. It takes a lot of ‘unlearning’ to expose the ‘real me’ in my vlogging efforts.  

All of this brings me to wondering if any of us even in our sixties and beyond know who we really are. Are we defined by our careers, our race or sex, beliefs, age, our talents or our roles as parents, breadwinners, or whatever face or hat we put on in front of the mirror? Is that a reflection of what others see in us as to who we are?

These past few election weeks have been a real eye opener to me. A few Facebook friends that I thought I knew have shown such an ugly side of who they really are that they have shattered the mirror. I have been quite taken back at times. Hiding within the darkness of social media has enabled the worst in some people. Do they honestly see themselves and realize what image they are projecting?  Do they know who they really are?

Previously, I always had confidence in knowing who I am, but vlogging has made me aware that maybe, after all these years I’m not so sure yet.    

I do hope that some of you are further along with that than I am and are willing to help me along my way. Or maybe it is as Shakespeare has said, 

So I am off on this new adventure and learning vlog by vlog. One advantage of talking to myself in front of the camera in an empty room is that at least I know somebody’s listening.

Copyright©Sandra Hart 2016. All Rights Reserved.

A LOVE LETTER TO ALL MY DOO BEES

“Romper, Bomper, Stomper ……”
(Yesterday I went for my annual checkup with my primary physician. At the end of my visit he looked at me and smiled, “When you looked into that Magic Mirror and said my name, bet you didn’t know you were making your doctor happy!” Honestly he was right. At the time I had no idea the impact the TV show Romper Room would have on the 60’s and 70’s children. To add to this resurgence of Romper Room thought, last week on my Facebook feed there I was with 176, 602 thousand likes and growing by the minute. The Do You Remember site posted a picture of me while doing a Romper Room Show back in the 70’s. Don’t know where they got the picture, but that posting reminded me of an article I wrote several years ago for an Internet magazine that has been reprinted over 5 thousand times. Never realized there were so many Romper Room fans out there!)
A LOVE LETTER TO ALL MY DOO BEES
It seems as though in the last few years all those terribly terrific children who grew up with us on Romper Room are now ruling the world and moving and shaking in all-important circles of life.
Those who grew up in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s are today’s power brokers of influence. The are now the bankers, brokers, directors. writers, rock stars and CEO’s of corporations. But they all have the Big Question for me when I am lucky enough to meet one of them. “Why didn’t you say my name in your Magic Mirror?”
When the January 23, 1997 issue of Rolling Stone revealed to the world that my son, Emerson Hart, lead vocalist and songwriter of the band Tonic, had a mother who was the Romper Room lady, I could no longer hide in anonymity. I was dragged from underneath the rock I had been hiding since the 70’s. Since then I have been forced to account for my sins.
Some of these wonderful men and women I have met at my son’s concerts, either thank me, or admonish me for not saying their name in my Magic Mirror. When I explain to them that I tried my very best to name each and every one I could in the short time allotted at the end of the show to ‘see’ all of my Do Bees, but because of the volumes of mail I received each day, I couldn’t acknowledge as many as I would have liked, they pretend to understand, but they are still not satisfied. So if you are reading this and I didn’t say your name, please forgive me.
‘Romper Bomper, Stomper Boo. Tell me, tell me true. Magic Mirror, tell me today did all my friends have fun at play? I see Michelle and John and Bill and…oh, there you are. I’ve been looking for you all these years. I see YOU!”
Excerpt from Read Between My Lines by Sandra Hart ©  
(Sandra Hart is the former Ms. Sandra of the children’s television program Romper Room and is a working actress, award-winning author of “Behind The Magic Mirror” and “Places Within My Heart”and is a motivational speaker and blogger. She lives in New Jersey and South Beach with her husband and is “Nana” to four fantastic grandchildren.)

Making Sense Of Your Life.

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The other day I was standing in the kitchen waiting for my Keurig to spit out that first morning cup of coffee, mulling over why I write a blog when I have so many other projects on my plate. I have been taking several online courses about social media and blogging, so I guess that’s why it’s kind of in the forefront of my thoughts right now.

I woke up with a panic knot in my stomach thinking, wow, time is flying too fast, I still have so many things I want to do. The reality of my mortal clock ticking kind of scared me. Inside my head I’ve never felt my age and I’ve always continued to work in some creative form. But I never ever thought of an expiration deadline before. I’ve never ever thought of myself as getting older by the minute. In reality, physically, I guess I am, but mentally I still have the same kind of whirling dervish ideas I had when I was first building my life and career. The fact that I do have a ‘Sell By’ date that is getting closer and closer, I never gave more than a passing thought about it. Until yesterday.

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It seems that the older I get the stronger the fire within me grows to do something more with my life, when it should be the reverse. It’s kind of an ironic joke on some of us to still have a raging furnace inside; to want to live life to the fullest and not just sit around as a woman over 50 trying to make sense of her life. Are any of you feeling that way, or am I just out of step with the rest of my readers?

I want to ride the wave. This new Internet social networking evolution and ways that we can reach out to one another is so exciting to me. When I see all of these young entrepreneurs, especially young women with families, who are able to build wonderful careers while sitting at home without leaving their nest. How super that would’ve been for those of us who were raising our children in the 60s and 70s. To be able to do something fulfilling like that and still be at home with our children. In that respect, this is a wonderful age for women entrepreneurs. For them, if they know how to use social marketing and tools that are available to them with a click of a mouse or iPhone finger, there is nothing to stop them from being successful.

IMG_0329.JPGGeorgia O’Keefe

Oh, I know you say, look, there were artists Grandma Moses, Georgia O’Keefe and presently actresses Maggie Smith, Helen Mirren, Joan Plowright. They are well over fifty and still going strong. You can probably think of others. And now look at Betty White who is still going in her 90’s. True. But what is the percentage of those who are still given the opportunity to be creative and working at that age. Not very high. But they are there, doing what they love to do. Why not us?

Well, I guess it all comes down to the fact that as a writer, by putting my thoughts out into the universe, I have been able to get this off my chest. Maybe I will be, along with you, some of the lucky ones who can keep going on doing whatever it is they love to do for a long, long time.

It’s good to be young and fearless, sure, but I honestly don’t want to go backwards in time. I’m more comfortable in my skin and am loving where I am right now. So as long as I can remember what I did yesterday, I promise to be grateful. I think I’ll continue to give it a go for as long as I can.

I wrote something in my memoir, Behind The Magic Mirror, that I would like to share with you and that I think is quite appropriate for this post:

In 1972 I interviewed the great violinist Rubenoff. Will Rogers had been a good friend of his and as a token of their friendship Will gave Rubenoff a watch engraved with thoughts he shared with me. The core thinking of what was engraved on the watch is that we go around but once in this life and we had better enjoy every minute of it while we can, because we don’t have the knowledge to know when our time here is over.

A memo to me to keep my fire burning until the last ember.

Copyright Sandra Hart 2014. All rights reserved.

IMG_0330.JPGGrandma Moses

TO LEAP OR NOT TO LEAP

(Author’s note: If you have read my book “Behind The Magic Mirror“, you know I have faced the worst of challenges squarely, but there are other life events that may not be life-threatening, but are very real and immobilizing for many of us.)

Looking back at my life, I would say fear of change has immobilized me more than it should have. Too smart, too late? I don’t think so. I am still in a constant learning pattern in this life and I am about to turn a new page and move on. Both fearful and excited, I am ready to let go and let life show me a better path.

One of the biggest problems we can encounter when we consider making changes to our life is that brick wall we can’t seem to get over. Even though the changes we want to make will bring more happiness by considerably enhancing our lives, self-doubt and fear of leaping over that wall to the other side will still try and stop us in our tracks.

Why does this happen?

Now that’s a million dollar question, isn’t it? To leap is not only the action of leaping, but it is to hopefully hit the ground somewhere better than where you are at that moment. You can’t always gage it perfectly, but in the action of doing, you must not forget to realize that taking the leap is nothing short of an act of courage.

Realistically, most of us don’t get epiphanies. We only get a faint whisper, perhaps just the slightest of
urges. My big whisper, one that changed my life forever came not from within me, but from my mother years ago when she convinced me to audition for Romper Room. So fearful and so sure that I didn’t have any of the qualifications for the television show, I was focused on “what’s next” instead of what was first. I was afraid to believe in myself by holding myself accountable for the opportunity I was being given.

My mother’s whisper taught me that there is nothing more brave than filtering out the chatter (in my own head) that kept telling me that I was someone I was
not. She taught me that there is nothing more genuine than breaking away from the chorus to learn the sound of my own voice. Taking that first leap was nothing short of positive belief in myself. Needless to say, I got the job and it did change my life forever.

I don’t know about you but the ultimate feeling I want before I breathe my last is that I didn’t take advantage of opportunities because I gave in to my refusal to leap forward. My almost missing a life altering opportunity was my wake-up call that shook me out of my complacency. What will yours be? It is up to you to take your own leap of discovery into a new life.

♥♥♥♥♥

Prologue

For those of you who have read my memoir, Behind The Magic Mirror, you are familiar with the story of my life up to and until the year 2002.

I grew up in Steubenville, a gloomy Ohio Valley steel town on the banks of the Ohio River and as a young woman realized my dream of leaving the industrial grime and smoke that I grew to hate.

Attending college far away from home was not only a way out, but also during my years at school, life afforded me a break. I was asked to audition for Bert Claster, the creator of a popular children’s television show, Romper Room, syndicated throughout the world.   This occurrence changed my life forever and I began on a whirlwind of life-changing events that caused me to eventually lead a double life. My public persona was that of a successful anchorwoman, but my private life was one of personal pain and constant terror.

My mind was occupied with a stalker that had threatened my life and in searching for the truth, I discovered that it was my husband, who eventually was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic. In 1980 he disappeared from the face of the Earth, never to be heard from again.

It took me eleven years to sort out the mystery of my husband’s disappearance and to also sort out my feelings when I discovered the truth.

When the ball dropped in New York’s Times Square on the Millennium and we all survived while entering the next century, I knew I couldn’t put it off any longer. I had to tell my story.

My initial plan was to combine a journal that I kept traveling the Nile River in 1984 with the story of my life and the investigation I started thereafter involving Jennings’ disappearance.

I wasn’t too sure that anyone but me would be interested in my emotional evolution during that prior journey to Egypt, so I gave my journal to several of my family and good friends to read. They encouraged me to go ahead and begin telling my story using my journal, but I decided to put it aside and just start telling my story right from the beginning as it was lived.

After years of trying not to think about my life with my husband and his death,  I thought that if and when I made the decision to validate my pain and let go of the anger that there would be a great emotional healing that would release me. That there would be a great catharsis that would set me free.

So then why was I sitting there trying to fight back not tears of joy, but of emptiness. Why was there no feeling of an end for me? An end to my life with him, a severing of the cord for once and for all. He was gone and now I could get on with my life.

But as I sat there I knew there would be no end for me, and no end for my children. How could I not have seen it before? Knowledge gives us power, but it would never give us complete closure. We can never erase the days and years he was a part of our lives. Those memories we will carry forever.

So I have traveled this long journey to discover that in the end to find answers is just part of the closure. And it is not the most important in the trilogy  of finding peace within. It is the confronting of truths and the forgiveness of  trespasses against us that brings final peace and closure.

So that is my story. That is part of who I am. The answers I had looking for closure had released me to another journey that begins for me everyday my feet hit the floor. I can’t wait to see what is around the next bend in my after-fifty road. And I thank all of you who are willing to travel with me as I experience life and living here on this planet we all are lucky enough to share together.

♥♥♥♥♥

Conundrum

What words plea

Upon the page

 To tell my tale

Expose my soul

 So I can feel 

 So you can see

What I know? 

Me.      

♥♥♥♥♥

 ©Sandra Hart 2012