Thursday, September 29, 2011

Becoming Beauty-full

Warm water ran slowly
over my hands as I washed
dishes and dreamily 
took in the view outside.
Blustery winds rattled
the windows, leaves
hurtling down against
a crazy-quilt backdrop
of yellows, reds, oranges
and greens.




The flowers in my planter
boxes, bent by the winds,
bobbed and swayed as if to say,



Hey, what happened
to summer? and 
Heck, I wasn't expecting this!



Sort of like growing older.

When you are over 40,
you are technically moving
into the autumn years of your 
life, if you think about it.
Via
{Heck, what happened
to summer?}

{Heck, I wasn't expecting
this...or this....or this!}

And while we consider
leaves to be beautiful when
they are changing colors,
drying up and blowing away,



in human beings

not 
so
much.

Which is why the beauty 
marketplace is flooded with
every anti-aging product
imaginable.  We want to
continue seeing our outside
beauty in a half-full, rather
than a half-empty sort of way.



I ordered the latest catalog recently
  from the British company Toast.
It came last week and while waiting 
in the car line at school, I flipped 
through it, savoring all the yummy 
fall wools and tweeds.

Toast
I turned page 51 and stopped
in my tracks.  A model stared
back who was entirely different
than any woman I had seen in
catalogs here in the USA.  I
found myself grinning from ear
to ear.....

Toast
For the first time I could picture my
 older self in the future, daring
to love every wrinkle, every gray or
 white hair and staying in step with
fashion; not fading away like last
season's autumn leaves if I pass 
on Botox, plastic surgery, etc.

Toast
I got varied reactions from others
when I shared this picture.  Sadly,
like me, most had to do a double-take;
 that's how rarely we see a model of
this age.  One didn't like her long hair
and others weren't comfortable with 
the natural photography or her
thoroughly modern look.

Toast
Me?  I want to hug her.  I want to
hug Toast, too, for having the vision 
to see her as beauty-full and not
beauty-less.

One of my favorite models in the U.S.
started modeling when she was discovered
at age 49.  She is now 60 and makes
up to $25,000 per day for her work.  
Her name is Cindy Joseph and you may
recognize her from numerous
print and television advertisements.

Via
This former make-up artist has her
own line of cosmetics which she created
with the less is more philosophy, believing
that a lighter touch is more enhancing 
 as women get older.


Via
She also has a blog, which I found to

be inspiring, comforting and upbeat.



Via
Aging is really just another word for
living.  Life continues to be a magical
and fascinating adventure.  My passion,
my feelings, and all that I am are intact
and functioning.  The concept that aging
is becoming less in some way is really the
antithesis of what happens.  One becomes
 more and more as life continues.

~ Cindy Joseph


Via
So, as autumn blows both literally and
figuratively into my life, I am making a
conscious decision to celebrate the 
physical loveliness of my generation 
and those who started the journey 
before me, affirming and living
Cindy's positive manifesto.

Will you join me,
Beauty-full?

xx
Suzanne


Linking to






Monday, September 26, 2011

Silver

Too many people
miss the silver lining
because they're
expecting gold.

~ Maurice Setter

From New Hope Beading
What is silver?

the element designated Ag

precious metal, used
for coins, jewelry and other
beautiful objects

a name used to confer
high honor or status


Today my husband
and I celebrate our
silver wedding anniversary.

25 years

Even I have to pinch
myself after typing that.

25 years

Silver moments that have
melded two hearts 
into
one
life.


Silver is

seeing
each other as 19,
when the rest
of the world recognizes
our true age.


Silver is

sharing
both good times
and bad ~

that tiny first apartment

tears over negative
pregnancy tests

a kiss on the Eiffel Tower

the diploma from
grad school

the death of dear ones

the birth of our babies


Silver is

wanting
to spend time with each
other more than anyone
else, even if we are doing
our own thing, side by side.

And {his} stated goal
of making me laugh ~
a really good laugh ~
every.single.day


Silver is

believing
in me, our family
and our dreams
and working so very
 hard, always,
to make them a
reality.  The weight
of the world on
shoulders that bear
it resolutely.


Silver is

showing
love in small
gestures, every day....

putting gas in my
car when it's low

rising to make coffee before 
super-early flights and always 
sending him off with a hug

letting the other have
that last square
of chocolate : )


Silver is

being
imperfectly ourselves ~

crying at sad movies
breaking into song

acting silly, grumpy,
tired or happy, 


knowing we are loved,
for keeps.


Silver is

encouraging
each other to explore
individual as well as
common interests; to
have our own friends
and separate adventures,
knowing that it enriches
the rest of our story.


Silver is

looking
past the petty annoyances,
the areas where we don't
always agree and deciding that the
  positive outweighs the negative,
every time.


Silver is

knowing
we will be in each
other's corner,
always and forever
and no matter what.

This type of silver
cannot be bought or
sold, and was only
earned after 25 years
of
being
us.


{I love you, Mr. Privet,
from the bottom of 
my heart.}

Thanks to all of you
for celebrating silver
with us!

xx
Suzanne
















Thursday, September 22, 2011

It's All Clear

Clarity
clar-i-ty [klar-i-tee]
noun

                        1.  clearness or lucidity as to perception
                            or understanding; freedom from 
                            indistinctness or ambiguity.
                       2.  the state or quality of being clear or
                            transparent to the eye; pellucidity:
                            the clarity of pure water.


mid-14th century,  from Old French clarte',
from Latin claritatem, clearness, 
from clarare, make clear. 



Have you ever had a word
that keeps finding its way into
your conversations, almost like you
were meant to hear and ponder it?
For me, that particular word recently
has been
clarity.


Today at yoga, 
there it was, 
again.


Headstands will help bring you clarity,
declared our teacher.  It benefits many
 systems of the body, including
your skin.


I am afraid to do headstands.


To send my legs shooting over
my head, towards a wall that I
know is there, but seems miles
away, is {crazy I know}
scary to me.


On the drive home from the yoga
studio, I considered clarity.  How
can doing something that frightens
me bring freedom from indistinctness
or ambiguity, when, in fact, I am
more than a little ambiguous
about the pose itself?


Then it dawned on me.  Perhaps
turning my world upside down and
experimenting safely with something
that creates fear will not only be 
healthy for my body, but will help me 
to see other things in my life from
a different perspective; a new
and unfamiliar angle.


A fellow yogi and our teacher, holding her up!
Sometimes we get caught in
patterns or behaviors and stop
truly seeing where we are and
what is around us.  We sort of float
through our days on auto-pilot.


I don't want to be on auto-pilot.


Life is too precious a gift for that.



I try to combat the blinders by keeping  
a gratitude journal, by seeking out
nature as I walk my dog, by singing
exuberantly to the car radio, and
by trying to really notice little details 
as I go about my day....


the shift of autumn's light
the earrings on the lady at the post office
the smell of fresh laundry as I fold it
the music of my children laughing
the comfort of a hot cup of tea
the enthusiasm of colleagues in a meeting


But perhaps to be in the state or
quality of being clear, I have to
do more than just take note.


I have to shake things up.
Drive home a different way.
Try new tastes.
Take a class to keep learning,
stretching and growing.


Do a headstand?


It's a start.


What do you do to step out of
your comfort zone and gain 
mental clarity?  


Please, pull up some floor.

I'll be the one upside down, against
the wall, surrounded by pillows.




For me, the greatest beauty always
lies in the greatest clarity.
~ Gotthold Ephraim Lessing


xx
Suzanne


PS:  The Fairy Hobmother,
representative for that generous 
British company who has been
busily spreading love around the 
blogosphere, recently sprinkled me
with magic dust!  After reading my
post on Operation Smile, she made a 
generous $50 donation in my name : )


If you have a wish that you'd
like granted, just leave me a
comment letting me know what
it would be, and she has promised
to consider making it come true!



photos: 
my yoga class &
little details I love,
by me