What People think of Me is None of my Business

This is the biggest truth I have lived by. Nothing else can affect your life in such a negative way as paying attention to what people think or say about you. Not only is it a waste of time, but it’s a waste of energy. It cannot do you any good and can cause untold heartache.

When we are young, what our peers think of us is all important. Especially during your teenage years, nothing can unsettle you more. The sad truth is that peer pressure has become outright bullying. This is causing an epidemic of suicides among young people and that is scary.

Now, why is this??? Simple, everyone is too concerned about what people say or think about them. Everyone is very much involved in the lives and actions of everyone else. Bullying is just an expression of this preoccupation. Of course that is my opinion and many will disagree. That is fine.

People would think I am simplifying the issue. That could be true, but all I want is express this idea I have come to accept. It may help. Parents should teach their children that acceptance is not always a good thing. Being yourself, being true to what you like, love, enjoy and who you really are, is the secret of a life well lived.

From a young age, children should be taught to love themselves. Accept themselves because fretting about anyone’s opinion is not healthy.  It all start with parents, guardians, mentors, teachers.

Most importantly, we must lead by example. If you live your life according to your true self, your children (or any child in your life) see that and they could learn early that we are all wonderful in our own unique way. They do not need to succumb to the pressures of others to be happy. You can show them, please let’s all make an effort.

I believe we have let go of our children way before it is time. This applies to the children who are trying to cope and to the ones making it difficult. They are both paying excessive attention to what other people think of them, what they say about them. Let’s teach them this doesn’t matter as much as they think.

Psychologists are trying to find the cause, helping those affected deal with the problem. That is as it should be. Unfortunately, we forget that it is the people closer to them who are the first responders. They are  the ones that can see, act accordingly and save the day. They should be the ones being prepared and ready  to handle the problem.

I have never been one to pay too much attention to what others think. Most of my life I have marched to the beat of my own drum, dance to my own music  so to speak. I never belonged to school clicks, I got involved in what I loved, had little interest in what others did, had no patience for people who thought they were oh so important.

Growing up, I was lucky enough to have parents that accepted me for who I am. Doesn’t mean they agreed with everything I said and did…..far from it. I very often got into trouble. Still, they were there for me and I am most grateful. Looking back, I think I felt safe being myself, it was fine to be my own person. It made a great difference.

Finally, I want to reinforce this idea: “What anyone thinks of you, is none of your business“. Apply it to your life, work on living your life as you want without bothering about what anyone thinks. Believe me, it will make you happy!!!

Dress like you are having Fun!!! (Part Two)

IMG_4200Here I am, a woman of a certain age, having fun again. Life is short, I don’t need to remind you, so there is no time for deeley-daly. After all, thinking too much can take the joy out of living. Just go with the flow.

IMG_0657Moving to Miami, more than a decade ago, was not easy. Making new friends, changing my lifestyle, embracing my new home, all came slowly. Needless to say, this gave me time to explore a few ideas. I wrote a book Here, started two blogs, traveled more and let my hair go grey. Most importantly, I enjoyed choosing my clothes once more!!!031_31

281884_10150265571164670_2322063_n                         Getting in touch with my inner style maven was a gradual projection. Remember I had spent a while just pretending I had to adhere to rules. Of course, you would think I should have known better.  I am sure I did, but ignored the feeling for a while. What a faux pas!!!

IMG_2468This is how it went. Slowly, I went from brunette to blonde. As my hair got more and more grey, I lightened it. It was a riot, since it not always turned out the color I wanted…….but, I could have cared less. It was fun!!!

IMG_4023Then, I changed the color palette of my wardrobe. Needed to get the right background for my new look……this was hilarious. Can you imagine? Shopping as a new person to dress yourself as a new person. Have to admit, it was a great experience. Besides, retail therapy can only help with whatever is ailing you!!!11245509_10153410853541802_2516595544563633616_n

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I thought my body had changed enough, but was I ever wrong. My walking routine became a once-in-while effort, there were new restaurants, new cuisines to try…….all this took a toll. I gained weight!!! It was all I could do to keep within my clothes size.

Unfortunately, losing weight and keeping an exercise routine gets harder as we grow older. What to do. It took time and effort, still not back to my ideal weight……I am still somewhere between pleasantly plump and svelte. After all, I am short, five pounds can look like twenty.IMG_4093

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Well, my legs are still holding, I reckoned, so short skirts and cropped pants!!! Hats, chunky jewellery and brooches, high heels and elegant flats, scarves were added for good measure. After all, the point is to have fun….and all of the above can help you with just that. No comfortable clothing…….unless it is also stylish…….my only rule!!!

IMG_1531.JPGWe are individuals, but sometimes we tend to follow the herd.  I figured, that out there we can find kindred spirits that can help us go back to the right path: we are unique and we must not forget that if there are rules, we must not be tied down by them.IMG_1617.JPG

With that in mind, I joined a couple of sites for older women. Besides advise I didn’t always follow, there were conversations with women that were interesting, centered, sure of themselves and fabulous!!!! It was educational.

As we grow older, we tend to over think our choices in everything. We listen to others and forget to listen to ourselves. Somehow we DSC00124convince ourselves that we need to look our age. Whatever that means!!!

-4Not me, not anymore…….I feel better than ever in my skin. I can and do wear things I love and things I find  flattering. Mostly, I wear what makes me  happy and I am having fun!!!

2014 and How to keep your Resolutions!!!

It’s a New Year and as in every year, we make resolutions. We tell ourselves that we have been given the chance to start over and make things work out this time around. Unfortunately, it is a small minority sticking to their resolutions. I often wondered why…such good intentions and nothing to show for them at the end of the year. There must be a reason, I said, and what I found was: we take the big picture, trying to carry out too much and failing in doing so. Try one thing at a time, one day at a time.

There is also that we are not taking the real meaning of the word into consideration. I might be absolutely wrong on this one, won’t be the first time. Still, a small voice tells me I might be unto something this year. What are resolutions, after all? Here is the definition:

res·o·lu·tion
ˌrezəˈlo͞oSHən/
noun
plural noun: resolutions
1.
a firm decision to do or not to do something.
“she kept her resolution not to see Anne any more”
2.
the action of solving a problem, dispute, or contentious matter.
“the peaceful resolution of all disputes”

It is fairly clear, isn’t it? Resolutions are good intentions, aims we mean to meet….but wait….there is another meaning. Resolutions are actions of solving problems!!! Now things get clear. We need to take action to achieve, we need to act to solve. With this in mind, let the New Year begin.

Writing things down always helps me. Making lists is still very much a part of my life, let’s write what we want from this New Year. I don’t know about you, but I believe we must know what we want before we can have it. If you don’t know, you will wander aimlessly, wasting time and energy.

Please do not write things like: I want to lose weight, I want a new job, I want to travel. Being vague will get you nowhere. Be specific: I need to get in shape, so I am signing up for yoga or Pilates this week. Same thing applies when you want to travel: I will visit my friend in Holland in the Spring. Then start making this possible: investigate ticket prices, dates you can go. Or if you want a new job: how much you want to earn, are you ready to get into something you really love? Make inquiries about the possibility of changing jobs. Be positive and do your research!

We also tend to ignore our inner selves. We don’t pay attention anymore to what makes us happy. That is a big mistake. Our younger selves used to take risks and try new things. Nowadays, we are more serious and cautious, more careful….and not happy!! Listen and make yourself do small things at the beginning: change your hair color or get a new haircut, buy that dress that makes you feel sexy, treat yourself to a manicure and pedicure. A visit to the salon will do wonders for your self-esteem, I should know. The new me is going grey and my hair has movement and shine. Have a drink with a girlfriend on a week night…small steps. Follow your intuition.

In this time and age, we tend to be so negative. Always focusing in what is wrong with our lives, with our jobs, with our family…..maybe it is the fact that what is wrong is what sells. Everyone focuses on the negative. Toss all that: how about finding out what are you doing right that is making you healthier? or what is happening in your life that is making you happy? Seems nobody is interested, well, you should be. Sit and write these positive things. I am starting a diary about the positive changes I will be making this year and how my life becomes better!!! I will be sure I keep up my Gratitude Journal. Remember the craze about this in the 1990s? It was a brilliant idea, we should start the trend again!!!

Finally, remain in the present. There is nothing we can do about the past, except learn from it!! Some of us just don’t want to look too far into the future, it can be uncertain. That is true, but we can do things now to shape it to our advantage. Take time to get to know what you want, it’s never too late. Trust yourself and follow your passion. Enjoy every day and every moment. This year is a blank book, fill it with the best stories you have written yet and keep making memories…..