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For Women Only: Tips For Staying Youthful Looking

Granma-hippieWaking up and checking our smartphones is a sign of the times I think.

I check to see if my kiddo needs me. I check to see what the schedule is like at work, the weather, how many of you read my latest post, and what some small-minded arsehole of a man has decided I need to know about making myself beautiful.

Ok, the last point – I really don’t wake up to read that. I am exposed to it.

This morning, while scrolling through my feed Cheech Marin shared a post that suggested what not to do to stay youthful looking. Some of the tips included;

Do not wear jersey anything

Do not wear long hair.

Don’t wear loose fitting anything, but don’t wear skinny jeans either

Don’t wear chunky, funky frames for your glasses.

Don’t wear a specific shade of pantyhose.

Although some of the suggestions may feel right to some of the women out there, it all felt a little too 1950’s-keep-your-ankles-crossed to me.

And really, Cheech Marin is sharing this? Cheech, I’ve got news for you; grown women don’t give a shit what you think, and perhaps you might take a look in the mirror? Oh, no, I’m not going there and being nasty about his looks. Nope. That’s not what this is about.

Cheech, like everyone else on the planet is beautiful because of his smile, his authentic style, and his way of being Cheech, nothing more and nothing less.

Which brings me to the essence of what I want to say; screw everyone else’s ideas. For instance, I demanded a small piece of chocolate cake for breakfast…

Ok, maybe make healthy choices for yourself so you don’t end up with gout, but do be (doo-be-doo) sure to enjoy this life.

phyllisMy suggestions for staying youthful for women and men;

Don’t let your weight hold you back from anything. Back fat and belly rolls do not mean you deserve to be holed up in the house alone. Laughter and curiosity are healthy, no matter what your size.

Wear your hair however you damn well please, and don’t worry about it all day long.

Make-up: Do whatever makes you feel good. Some days I’m glam, some days I’m  ma’am.

Clothing; Are you comfortable? Yes? Then that’s good.

Pantyhose – do whatever floats your boat – men, women and everyone on the spectrum.

Jersey fabric – absofreakinglutely.

Eyeglasses; You likely will need them as you age. Wear something funky, wear something classic, just fucking wear them so you don’t have to ask someone else to read menus or street signs to you.

Do not be so infatuated with yourself that you miss out on the wonderful world around you. Do not be a navel gazer…

And that my darlings is your list to help you stay youthful. Look outward. See the world, and engage in it. No one cares about your hair, or your panty hose, or the shade of your frames. We do care that you are clean, authentic and kind.

Don’t stink.

Be true to your personal values.

Be nice.

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Posted in Advice for Women, Advice for Writers, Art of LIving, Buddhism, Buddhist Writers, Fearless Living, Graceful Living, Gracious Living, Healthy Living, Joyful Living, Life, Life Lessons, Living, Meaning of Life, Mindful Living, Professional Women, Professional Writers, Simple Living, Spiritual Living, Sprititual Living, The Art of Living, Travel Writers, Uncategorized, Whole Living, women, Women's Issues, Women's Rights, Working Women, Writers

The Buddha at Our Feet: The Wisdom of Annie

buddhist toesBecause life is short, and our intuition is bang on.

That’s why we need women in our lives like Annie.

Annie is my new pedicure professional. She’s voluptuous, has a full-rolling-belly laugh, and swears like a sailor. She also believes in spirits and the unexplainable.

I had stumbled into her shop after having a wonderful massage from another great lady, Erin, my massage therapist. She had just finished up our hour long appointment by rubbing sweet orange essential oil in my scalp on on my face. I looked the full part of a wild woman, and I smelled like heaven.

“Oh my god, it looks fantastic! I thought you had mousse in it.” Was Annie’s response when I tried to explain away my crazy she-wolf hair.

Annie could barely take her eyes off her phone when I walked in, no doubt skeptical about having to deal with another ho-hum woman who wanted her nails shaped just so-and-not-like-that-but-like-this. But both being straightforward and open women, it didn’t take long for us to connect.

Crouched at my feet was a wise-goddess disguised as a blue-collar-service worker.

Sometimes we stumble upon people in our lives that reinforce our own wild nature. Annie is one of those people.

At first, I thought, “Sweet Jesus, save me from the blabber-mouthed fool.” But she kept talking, and I realized that although some of what she said was shocking, it was all true. True to her, true in the world, and deeper than talking about the weather, or how our children were doing so well in school. Annie gets it.

She gets feeling nervous about firsts, body image, the plate full of worries that every woman sits down to every morning. She knows what it’s like to look down and think; I’d rather go hungry than digest this shit, and she carries on. We are kindred spirits.

It is so easy to slip into the Stepford-trap of conformity, of body-hating, of tame language, or wanting what the Jones’ have. It’s so easy to not be satisfied, to crave more, to fall into the trap of feeling not-good-enough.

Women like Annie are few and far between. I have been blessed to have her in my life; a Buddha at my feet.

Posted in Advice for Women, Creative Life, Dating Advice for Women, Dating Love, Falling In Love, Fashion, Health, Healthy Living, Life, Life Lessons, Love, Meaning of Life, Men's Health, Mental Health, Professional Women, Self-Care, Self-Help, Sexual Health, Uncategorized, Women's Issues, Women's Rights, Working Women

Once Upon a Time: Adventures In Plastic Surgery

fairytalecastleOnce upon a time I found myself in a plush waiting room with comfy chairs and glossy fashion magazines…

Today I found myself sitting in a questionably disinfected examination chair, clad in a mint green hospital gown and wondering what the hell is wrong with the world.

You see, I was in a plastic surgeon’s office. Not because I’d requested to have my belly banished, my nose narrowed or my melons maintained. No, it was a mistaken referral which should have been to a dermatologist.

In the waiting room, a screen played images of women’s bodies over and over, giving us all a good 3-D look at the natural flaws that ‘appear over time’. I saw nipples and bum cheeks, lips and noses. Not once did I see a man’s saggy testicles or jowly chops. Not once did they put man-boobs or beer guts in the glaring spotlight.

Nope. It was all women. Every bit of marketing was directed toward women and just how insecure we should feel about our bodies. Every single image dissected women’s bodies and divided us into pieces to be criticized and rebuilt into a singular image of beauty.

manBalderdash. How freaking boring is that? Pass the gin and bring me a man.

With catchy little tag-lines on brochures like, “Never Fear the Mirror”, and  “Love Your Lips”, it was a bit crazy.

The only thing I could think was,  “Fuck off. We’re perfect. Now get me outta here.”

My darlings, you are perfect as you are. Love your body and yourself, nothing less will transform you into a beautiful person inside and out.

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Beach Life: Bathing Suits for the Rest of Us

Sennett-Bathing-Beauties-1915_thumbI bought a bathing suit today.

Yes, I know it’s the middle of Canadian winter. No, I haven’t booked a sun-holiday…yet.

I’m debating the merits of an Irish romp with my sweetheart, or a solo beach holiday.

Either way I’m taking a two-piece bathing suit with me that would have made my mother convulse.

You see, I was raised by a woman who suffered extremely low self-esteem and did her best to pass that little nugget of twisted psychology on to her youngest daughter. That’s me by the way.

I grew up in a small town and lived at the beach. Winter, spring, summer and fall. Summer was my favourite. There was nothing better than swimming in the lake all day, the smell of malt vinegar on the homemade French fries that they sold at the little snack shack that would sometimes be lifted off it’s foundation and dragged with the tide when the spring water was high.

Somewhere out there is a photograph of me grinning a grin so wild and wonderful, that I have held that image in my mind for all of these years. It’s a moment of bliss I remind myself I’m capable of, even as an adult.

There I was, white caps at my back,  standing naked, proudly holding my bathing suit at arms length. My waist-long, blonde, pig-tails tangled with lake water and sand, just daring someone to try and get that wet, sticky bathing suit back onto my body.

I may not have been skinny enough, pretty enough, or worried enough about what people thought about what I wore every day. But I was wise enough. Typical of anyone who suffered childhood trauma, I was quiet and very observant. I was constantly tuned in to the tiniest nuance of mood, just in case.

At a very young age, I came to realize that no matter how thin, how pretty, or how well-turned out they were, there were a whole lot of unhappy women out there. And that unhappiness was ugly. Like, soul-deep ugly. Their fear of not being good enough came out as anger and jealousy, and missed trips to fun places. It stopped them from smiling. IT stopped them from going to the beach, getting their hair wet, or smudging their mascara. Their insecurity overshadowed everything. They  let their tummies and their thighs hold them back.

You see, before I even reached puberty I had decided that fat would not keep me from enjoying the beach. Or the snow, or going out to eat a delicious meal. Later on in life, I decided that fat would also not keep me from making wild, passionate love to the man I loved. Some crazy idea of being not good enough would not keep me from having fun.

Being an average looking woman would not keep me from savouring all of the wonderful bits of life, and it certainly did not make me less worthy of healthy curiosity and joy. In fact, I think this joie de vivre is one of the qualities that make many of us beautiful.

I will never be solicited for the cover of Vogue, nor will I turn the heads of men because I’m the ideal beauty. But I will turn the heads of like-minded people. These are the people who buy big, bright bathing suits, get their hair wet, and laugh with every inch of their sun-soaked, skin.

Buy the bathing suit, not because it’s going to turn you into a model. Buy it because it’s a tool in your tickle-trunk of living fully.

 

 

Posted in Andshelaughs, Beauty, Comedy, Creativity, Girl Stuff, Guy Stuff, Humor, Humour, Life, Living, Meaning of Life, Memes, Quotes, Tuesday, Writing

Tuesday – My Perpetual Nemesis

Tuesdays have always been my  Nemesis, always wanting more from me than I have to give. They are a day that even my university roommate dreaded due to the oddities I happened to drag home with me, either in person or in spirit.

Tuesday – you may be a bitch, but I’m far more fabulous and hard-headed than you will ever be!

bagsarechanel

Posted in andshealughs, Beauty, Fearless Living, Feminism, Fitness, Fitness Inspiration, Fitness Motivation, Girls Stuff, Guy Stuff, Health, High School, Life, Living, Meaning of Life, Nostalgia, Women's Issues

Gym Class Flashback

gymclassThere are few things I can recall being worse at than anything to do with High School gym class. I mean, the shorts alone were enough to make me weep, not to mention the knee-socks.

To say I’m not athletic is to say that Harper Lee is a mediocre writer. In other words, I sucked at gym. Other than basketball, and hitting a baseball, I dreaded that class more than anything, and was so thankful that the high-school-credit-gods decided that one was enough.

During gymnastics class I once did a vault and actually knocked my spotter unconscious with my right thigh. The same girl was victim to a line drive when she was pitching to me, which once again rendered her without response. When she offered to stand up in my wedding, I should have known the marriage was doomed.

Tonight, after a two-week hiatus, I took my chubby little buns off to the gym right after work and hit the cardio class. I hate this class. There is no joyful flailing of flab like Zumba or Urban Rhythms. It’s all very practical and ham-string agonizing.

My first clue that something was up should have been the lack of participants in the room. You see, this gym is busy enough that you have to be banded to attend class. It should have been full, but it wasn’t, and then I saw her. A woman who surely was the doppelganger of my High School gym teacher. The one that generations of students and their parents had nicknamed, “Spade-Face”.

Spade-Face inspired fear in the hearts of all girls with breasts. She was like a drill sergeant in purple and gold (our proud school colours) sweats, whistle and baritone bark included. Just looking at her made me pee my pants a little bit.

So, tonight in my mind, it was “Spade-Face” whom I was at the mercy of, with my middle-aged porcelain white thighs and tailored to fit sports bra.  It was a terrible class. She lost count, screwed up, and had the personality of a torn  gusset from a totally used up pair of panties.

But I made it through, without too much gasping or excessive sweating. I actually felt good when I walked out of that studio.

Spandex – the great fashion equalizer. I may wear a suit all day, and provide ‘expertise’, but when we get to the gym, it’s just my glutes and yours darling, and yours win hands-down.

As it turns out, I really wasn’t that bad when it came to athletics. Nope, like most young ladies who were abused, I just had incredibly low self-esteem, and would rather have worn a moo-moo over my svelte 16-year-old body than have anyone see skin.

Years passed, and I shed the skin of victimhood, to find out that I wasn’t such an athletic anomaly as I thought I was. I loved going to the gym, played squash, and even started running when I was in my mid-thirties. I even have a ‘sports’ injury incurred from competitive paddling. Go figure.

So, with this in mind, I have set some new goals for myself after a bit of a lazy go at living. Wish me luck, and I wish you luck too. This getting older may be harder on the ego and bones, but it does wonders for the spirit when we put it all into perspective.

Posted in Creative Writing, Entertainment, Fashion, Girl Stuff, Health, Humor, Humour, Life, Relationships, Sexuality, Singles, Uncategorized, Women's Issues, Writing

Dear Princess

worldpeacepedicure“The State shall strive to promote those circumstances that will enable the successful pursuit of Gross National Happiness.” So reads the Kingdom of Buhtan’s ninth article of their Constitution.  Sounds pretty great.

Sounds like the sign that should be hanging on the door to my spa, right here in civilized Canada.

Sadly, there is no such sign, and the idea of happiness is a very selfish one inside our once-upon-a-time sacred-spa-space.

Today I made a visit to my spa. You know, that sacred space of femininity don’t you my juicy little plums? A sanctuary of women getting buffed, plucked, polished, wrapped, primped and waxed.

The spa used to be a sacred place of released sighs, silence, and minimal eye contact. It was once the modern day equivalent to the ancient sanctuary of the fabled ‘Red Tent’. Except no talking, just a few quiet whispers between BFF’s.

Alas, like most sanctuaries the spa is no longer sacred, silent or civilized.

Tonight, my visit was longer than usual. Anything over and above my routine waxing and bi-monthly pedicures is considered spa-indulgence. I’ve been in a funk, and with no one but myself to consult on such delicate matters as my own mental and emotional health, I did what we all must do; I took myself for some pampering and much-needed TLC.

My quiet time was contaminated by women who are ignorant of social grace, or just grace in general. To you my dear readers, I give my open letter to the spa Princesses.

Dear Princess,

I can only imagine how difficult it was to squeeze yourself out of your five-million dollar home and drive yourself (gasp) to have your shellac filled and your stubby toes polished. My heart goes out to you. Truly it does.

Do you realize how ridiculous you look with your oversized, designer bag filled with what appears to be very official looking ‘work’ documents sitting on your lap, as you simultaneously juggle your blinged-out cell phone in your chemical-coated talons?

That wouldn’t be so bad, if the rest of us could simply divert our eyes or even focus on the chick flick that’s playing.

But we can’t do that because you’ve got your lips, which look disturbingly like the arse-end of a baboon in heat,  buzzing a thousand miles a minute at a volume Beethoven could have heard above his 5th-freaking-Symphony!

This is a spa, not a public phone booth. You are an adult, not a pre-teen at a pajama party. Stop acting like one.

Oh, and just so you know, the women who work in the spa are people too. The rest of us don’t really give a rat’s patooty if you like your decrepit looking toenails, “Not that short.”

That you have to cover your phone and yell at the woman who is crouched at your feet, less than a metre from your face, is an indicator that you should really pull your rude and demanding head out of your tiara-lined (and likely bleached) bumhole.

Clearly money is no object, and from the look of the rock on your ring finger, hubby could afford to send staff in to help you out. But I suppose that wouldn’t give him any ‘me’ time.  That, or your ‘rock’ is actually  a little stone you picked up at the flea market along with your spray-on tan and hair dye.

Forgive me sweetpea, but maybe I’ve got you all wrong.

You’re not the cultured sophisticate you want us to believe. You’re just like us aren’t you?

Do everyone, including yourself a favour. Leave the phone and the warrior-princess bravado in your ginormous knock-off handbag. Lean back, exhale, and relax. We’re all in this together darling. No one here will let your secret out of the bag.

With much love,

Your similarly stressed out sister. XO

Please share this with your similarly fabulous gal-pals. Mwah!