On dogs and diamonds

I am certain all of you have heard the saying “Dog is man’s best friend”. Also, “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend”. Au contraire! I do love beautiful jewelry, but give me a puppy any day over a diamond.

A dog. A dog is a warm little waggy body that loves his/her human more than anything else–except, perhaps, food. Although food is momentarily distracting, attention comes right back to the human once the food is consumed. They wag all over when you come home, when you praise them, when you give them a treat. They cuddle with you at night and give you sweet, sloppy kisses. If you are in a bad mood or sick, they still love you and want to be near you. They will listen to your rants and hold your secrets close. They will come to your defense if they sense a threat. A dog just simply loves you, no hesitation or convincing needed.

Diamonds take thousands of years to form and are dug up from the cold earth. Although beautiful, they can be worn by anyone and are often passed on to another person. A dog becomes yours and is forever faithful and would be brokenhearted to leave you for another.

As I get older, I realize that diamonds and other store bought items are nice to own. I like beautiful jewelry and clothes. But, my dogs– they have given me so much pleasure and unconditional love. I think that with age comes the realization that life is so much more than things. It is about the giving and receiving of love. Especially when that love comes with waggy tails and sloppy kisses.

If a choice was given to me, although diamonds are beautiful and desirable, I will choose a dog over a diamond any day of the week. I have been enriched by every dog I have had in my life. So, if given the choice of either a puppy or a diamond, it will always be the puppy. Beautiful but cold or adorable and cuddly, no contest.

Perhaps I will buy my dog a diamond or buy my diamond a dog. Better still, I will put a diamond on my dog’s collar and enjoy both. She won’t care and won’t love me any more because I gave her a diamond. Perhaps that is the point. We love for love alone, not for the diamonds we get along the way.

on comfortable shoes, red lipstick and colorful scarves…

I had a young woman come into my gallery a few days ago wearing heels at least four inches high. I do understand the compulsion to wear the four inch heels, I have shopped in them before. I loved this one pair when I bought them and, as a young person, traveled with them to Seattle. Not only were they high heels, but they were toeless and had no backs–basically, flipflops with four inch heels. I was very impressed with how I looked in them when I left our hotel to walk the city. However, coming back to the hotel while carrying my shoes was not so impressive. For the rest of our stay, I donned some wonderfully comfortable walking shoes. I am now a believer in comfortable shoes. It is almost a religion for me. I still have a few of those instruments of torture in my closet and am occasionally tempted to wear them. I just have to visualize walking into a beautiful hotel lobby carrying my four inch heels to remind me to reach for something comfortable. I think when a young woman wears four inch heels while shopping, people just smile and think how cute she is and it is just the inexperience of youth. For an older woman, people are not smiling and think it is a lack of sanity.

I have been reading lots of Facebook posts and articles in magazines about makeup for the older woman. At about twenty five, I discovered red lipstick. These aforementioned articles about makeup suggest changing to more neutral tones as you age. I have tried other colors, but I always feel like I am being unfaithful to my true self. I can’t help but wonder what that says about me. Now, of course, I have to always start with lip liner because of these little lines that suddenly appeared around my lips overnight (seriously, overnight!) that cause the red color to bleed a bit. Because of the lip liner, sometimes my lips are fuller on any given morning because of a slip of the hand in applying it. So, some days I have accidentally larger luscious red lips. I will always wear red lipstick, even when I am one hundred years old. I have a feeling that my hand will be less steady at that age. I will be a very old woman with giant red lips!!

Scarves. I have always seen older women with beautiful scarves around their necks. I have bought many of them over the years and put them away in my dresser and forgot them. Young women wear scarves, but for a different reason than their older counterparts. As we age, not only do we need more color around our faces, we also have these lovely necks that get wrinkles and saggy skin overnight! Seriously, overnight! Now, many scarves are hanging in my closet. I hope by wearing them, my neck will be magically improved.

So, here are my recommendations for aging gracefully: wear comfortable shoes–with some bling if possible. Wear your favorite color of lipstick. Buy lots of beautiful scarves and wear them. Carry yourself with dignity and pride, knowing that you are not going to be walking home carrying your shoes. You are going to have great lips even if they are occasionally more plump. And..you will finally get your money’s worth out of the amazing scarves you have hoarded for years.

Growing older is a journey we all must make. I say let’s do it with flair!!

On reincarnation…

I have been thinking about my lives. Not the traditional thoughts on reincarnation, but from this one lifetime. My lifetime. Although remaining in the same body, my mind and my perspective has been altered numerous times begging the question “Did I really do that?”.

Looking back, it seems that about every 5 to 10 years, new lives have unfolded. Being born in a small town, moving to the city, going to college, getting a job, getting married, traveling, losing loved ones, moving back to a small town and opening a business, caregiving, and now I am moving into a new incarnation. Semi-retirement.

I am wondering what my “new life” holds for me. I will say that I have not loved everything in each incarnation of myself, but for the most part, I have learned from them. I have become stronger, less fearful of what the next day will bring. I have learned that humor goes a long way in tackling some of the hardest problems. I have learned that love can get me through anything. To quote a cliche, I have learned “not to sweat the small stuff”. I have learned to accept myself as a flawed but wanting to be better person. I have learned that is it okay to be sad and to mourn loss. I have learned that the simple act of going outside and holding my face to the sun gives me great joy. I have learned to appreciate all my lives and to be grateful for the opportunity of having them. As for this new life, I am curious what adventures await. We shall see.

I am wondering if possibly I could actually do a trade for a new body??? This one has a lot of mileage.

On rainy days

Ready for sunshine and warm breezes, gray skies not cheering me up at all. With all the happy songs written about sunshine, can you think of any happy songs about cloudy, rainy days? I googled it! There are dozens of happy sunshine songs and only a handful of happy rain songs. At least 3 of those are suspect. “Pennies from Heaven” sounds happy, but it is not really talking about happy rain, it is referring to pennies falling and turning them into something good. “Listen to the Rhythm of the Falling Rain” is for reminding me of the fool I’ve been. “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on my Head” is about talking to the sun.

I understand pennies falling and I can use those. I already know about the times I have been a fool and need no reminder. If I was playing in the rain with Paul Newman and Robert Redford and B.J. Thomas singing in the background, I might could be happy just talking to the sun without seeing it.

From my early teen years, to mid forties, sun worshipping was part of my daily devotion. I could not wait for Spring and sunshine to come, always ready with my suntan lotion, bathing suit and towels. Getting a tanned body early on was most important so I could be assured of looking fabulous in shorts or sundresses and the anticipated trip to a beach where I could show off my carefully acquired skintone. Of course, there was the occasional day of over cooking, uncomfortable days of recovery and the shedding of skin.

Although I still enjoy sitting in the sun, working in the garden and going to the beach on occasion, I now cover as much of my skin as possible, wear hats and use SPF 30 sunscreen. The sun is still my friend, but, just as with some human friendships, I have been left with reminders of those sun worshipping days with some unpleasant memories and, specifically from my relationship with the sun, brown spots and occasional bumps or moles for the doctor to see.

Hopefully, with age comes understanding. I still love the sun and it makes me happy. I understand that the rain is necessary for everything to thrive and grow and I really think someone needs to write more songs about being grateful during the rainy days.

On being the best

In our culture, much of our time is spent “besting” others. You know what I mean–having the best business, wearing the best clothes, having the best car, having the best hair. We must look our best, be on our best behavior, put our best foot forward and on, on and on. I do not disagree with the idea of wanting to be the best or putting all of our bests forward. I do believe, however, that growing older is giving me the opportunity to appreciate all the bests in others.

For me, having the best hair was not an option. At least, not an option for me until I came to the conclusion that to have the best hair, I needed to buy it. And buy it I did. I had great hair–the best hair. About a year ago, I decided to let my own hair grow out and see what was under all this gorgeous store bought hair. Lo and behold, I actually had hair under there and it is curly hair! It had been 25 years since I even gave my real hair a chance, and, over that time, it curled itself!!

Now, I have the best hair!! Perhaps not the best in thick. Certainly not the dark rich brown it used to be. Now it is gray, white and a tiny bit of dark brown. But it is all mine! It loves the wind, it just dries on its own without much styling. Stand me next to the woman with fabulous thick and straight “model” hair and, as it turns out, I am perfectly fine with that. I can honestly say, without jealousy “You have the best hair”. For me, the hair I have is the best for me. That is all that really matters when it comes to being the best, don’t you think? To know that we can get to the best for us as individuals whether it is with business goals, personal goals, possessions, relationships, appearances……………or hair!

I am learning to accept my own best, without tiresomely comparing myself with others. I think, that part of growing older and becoming spry–is learning that things don’t always turn out the way you expect and that seeing the best and acknowledging the best in others is the absolute best I can hope for. At this, I wish to be the best.

On language skills

I am a reader. A reader of books, of magazines, of newspapers, of the dictionary, of tomato soup labels. If it is in front of me and has writing on it, I read it. I have loved words as long as I can remember. Growing older, my love for words has not changed, but the ability to pull them out of my brain at exactly the moment I need them has. You know those moments. When a quick response is required. A quip to put some upstart in their place or descriptive words to define a moment. Perhaps this difficulty has always been there and I am just noticing it more. This morning is a perfect example. The word was “subterfuge”. Perfectly fine word and exactly what I needed at the moment. One hour later, I have the word but no need to use it. Too late!

Now, if I could just remember how to pronounce it……………