60 Minutes Life · Advice for Men · Advice for Women · Creative Life · Dating Advice for Men · Dating Advice for Women · Fearless Living · Feminism · Feminist Culture · Feminists · Graceful Living · Gracious Living · Healthy Living · Joyful Living · Life · Life Lessons · Living · Meaning of Life · Men's Health · Men's Issues · Men's Sexuality · Mens' Issues · Mental Health · Mindful Living · New Feminism · Personal Development · Simple Living · Social Commentary · Spiritual Living · The Art of Living · The New Feminism · Uncategorized · Whole Living · women · Women's Issues

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.

Advice for Writers · Canadian Writers · columns Dating Advice · Creative Life · dating · Dating Advice · Dating Advice for Women · Dating Advive · Dating Love · Dating Over 40 · Life · Life Lessons · Love Poetry · Lovers · Mature Dating · Meaning of Life · on-line dating · Poetry · Poets · Romance Dating · Romantic Poetry · Uncategorized

Love Letters: I Almost Forgot About You

postmanWay past the hour when I should have been asleep, I rummaged through my bedside table looking for a grey and red package that only I know exists.

It belongs to me and no one else. It’s a part of my past that I reflect back upon now and then, and one that I treasure when I feel listless and alone.

Reading, ” I Almost Forgot About You” by Terry McMillan, reminded me of a few people in my past that I have not almost forgotten about, but had completely forgotten about. Thank gawd.

As I rummaged through old love letters and cards, I found myself deliberately searching for that grey and red package. The one that I found a few years ago and read again. Every time I go through it, I cry. These are bittersweet tears.

Decades ago I threw away all of the love letters that my high school sweetie penned. We were grand letter writers back then, and they were special. Alas, they long ago became part of the ecosystem, and hopefully are helping to sprout wildflowers somewhere for a young lover to pick for his beloved.

I still believe in the art of letter writing despite the instant and efficient technology we favour today. I believe in the value of quiet reflection while taking in the written word. It’s a lost art, but I try to tend to it faithfully.

As we stumble through life learning about ourselves, falling in and out of what we often mistake for love, once in a while we catch ourselves caught up right in the middle of it. Once in a while we reflect upon where we are, and we realize then, and only then, the little things that make us feel loved.

This is how I felt snuggled under my fluffy, white duvet. In the stillness of the night, I found the grey and red package and  reread the letters contained within it. Somehow they bring clarity to my life. They put my needs in perspective and remind me not to settle for someone who makes me feel less than…Love can be fleeting if you do not tend it. Like a garden it either grows roots or it withers like tender blossoms after the summer sun tucks itself away for another season.

Love letters can be grand reminders of what you really have to offer in relationship and what you really need. If you have nothing left after a relationship, no letters to remind you of what it felt like to be adored and cherished, I have to wonder if it was really love at all.

A wise woman once told me to pay attention to how a relationship started. If it did not start with affection, romance, and caring, it was bound to end with even less.

Love letters remind us what we love about the person we’re writing to. They remind the recipient that you think of them when they are not there, that they are cherished, and that love, despite distance, remains a true and trustworthy bond.

My little grey and red package reminds me that it’s out there somewhere.

 

Advice · Andshelaughs · Artisists · Buddhism · Christianity · Eckhart Tolle · Girls Stuff · Gratitude · Guy Stuuf · Hinduism · How-To · Life · Living · Meaning of Life · Musicians · Perspective · Philosophy · Poets · Religion · Self-Help · Simple Living · Spiritual Living · Spirituality · Writers

Giving Yourself the Moments

pandaplay
“Realize deeply that the present moment is all we ever have.” ~Eckhart Tolle~

Simultaneously I was voice-dialing my mumster and buckling my seatbelt when I was caught up in a moment.

Not a moment of city-driving-get-the-hell-outta-my-way. It was a moment of, “Ahhhhh…..” As in; big sigh of relief. Big sigh of, “I feel like I’m starting to pull myself together“.

After a long day, feet-throbbing, and 5:00 a.m. starts, I felt good. Satisfied, content, like maybe, just maybe I was ok.

As you all know, life has a way of knocking us around, and shaking our confidence. It also has a way of forcing you to surrender when the only fight you have left in you whispers, “I give up,” and then rolls over, gives your broken heart the finger, pulls the blankie over its’ head and goes to sleep.

Tonight, tired but happy, I gave myself the moment.

I let myself be grateful for just being where I was, simply in the moment. Grateful that I had a mumster to call, a kiddo to go home to, and especially that I have enough courage to keep moving forward.

We can only ever be certain of change, that our emotions can carry us to the most dark, frightening depths of the human condition and the loftiest heights of elation.

When we are in the moment; not anxious of the future or analyzing the past, we realize that it’s ok. We’re ok. Life is ok; As it is. Nothing less and nothing more.

Creative Writing · Education · Entertainment · Girl Stuff · Health · Humor · Humour · Life · Men's Issues · Sexuality · Singles · Spirituality · Uncategorized · Women's Issues · Writing

Being ‘That Guy’

ghandiAs luck would have it recently, I was in a comfortably horizontal,  inebriated state of bliss, tangled in damp sheets next to a younger,  almost completely competent man.

We were spending a little time catching our breath, and contemplating the state of the universe from our newly rejuvenated points of view.

As with most lover-like situations (please see the ANDSHELAUGHS definition of lover) our conversation was much like a jazz- fusion-bass-riff; pleasant, light, and easily forgotten.

As is the case with younger men (again, refer to the ANDSHELAUGHS tribute to younger men), wise women realize that in all likelihood, they won’t be around asking, “Remember when…” with us in twenty years.

Despite the suspect shortfalls, it is always imperative to remain graceful and polite. These lovelies are our guests after all, and should be treated and entertained as such. My one-too-many-sauvignon-vocabulary got the better of me in this case I’m afraid and the truth came out.

I said something along the lines of, ” I certainly don’t want this relationship forever. ” and continued with, ” I’d like a real man in my life who…”. The rest of the sentence isn’t important is it? No. I’d already done damage to my darling man’s ego.

After some discussion about being honest with one another, and clarifying just where exactly we both stand and what we understand with regard to how we relate to one another, he said, ” I never want to be ‘That Guy’. I’m not ‘That Guy’.”

Um, yes sweetie, you are indeed, ‘That Guy’.

You know what I’m talking about ladies, the unique refreshing one who’d chase a woman if he caught any scent of the possibility of getting laid or capitalizing on whatever benefit he might gain from the relationship. That rare species of man spotted only on every-freaking-single-street-corner-of-the-universe. How refreshing.

Newsflash folks, whomever you choose to be in the moment is who you are. That guy, will always just be the stereotypical, ‘That Guy’, because that’s the extent of his behavior in relationship with me. That’s the only guy I’ve ever known him as. Unless he has a spiritual epiphany and has what I like to call, a-come-to-Jesus-meeting with his inside voice, he will always only ever be, ‘That Guy’, whom he proves himself to be.

Knowing what I know, that’s ok with me. After all darlings, if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times, “If a man wants to be part of your daily life, he is.”  I will accept this physical joy while I have the opportunity, and I shall have deep gratitude for it. I shall also have bourbon, maybe a slightly cracked heart, and a sick day if my little wee girl-feelings gets tangled up with ‘That Guy’.

He’s never been; ‘That Guy Who Sends Flowers’, ‘That Guy Who Sends Thoughtful Texts Every Morning and Evening’, ‘That Guy Who Cares How I Am’, ‘That Guy Who’s Dying to Cook Me Dinner and Hold My Hand”.  He’s only ever acted like, ‘That Guy’. Like the bazillion ‘That Guys’ we all know.

I suggest walking your talk and being authentic, even if it’s being an authentic a-hole.

When you tell the world you want great things, but act like you’re not worthy of those things, you never achieve them, whether it be family, career, education or anything else.

So, if you don’t want to be, ‘That Guy’, or ‘That Girl’, don’t. Be who you want to be. That takes incredible courage, and courage my juicy, thick slices of man-steak, is very, very sexy.

 

 

Economics · Girl Stuff · Health · Humor · Humour · Life · Men's Issues · Relationships · Spirituality · Women's Issues

How To Not Suck At Anything

scream nowFirst, just admit that you do, indeed, suck.

Whether you look at the stats, or sit at home wondering where your prince charming is, or continuously hear your teenager’s door slam. Sometimes you just can’t get it right.

Sometimes the key to not sucking is to admit defeat.

Sorta.

Do not admit defeat and then drown yourself in Kit-Kat bars, Fruli Strawberry Beer and fashion magazines. You know, if that’s your sort of thing.

Admit almost defeat. And by almost, I mean hang on and be tenacious with one hand, and ask for help with the other.

Yes, it’s a fine balance my dear ones.

Admit you’ve reached your limit, and then let someone else’s experience, imagination and fresh perspective inspire you.

It’s very difficult to do. I know that, because I’ve recently just had to do that. And it sucked. Hard.

I am very much a type ‘A’ person, a get out and get it done kinda gal.  I have a quiet competitive nature, and when I don’t excel at something, it eats me up inside.

Recently I had to make a very difficult decision. Part of making the decision that I did, involved knowing that I needed help to achieve what I wanted, and what I know that I can.

So, I shall enjoy my white wine spritzers when I come home and close the door on my work day. I will meditate, nurture my body with healthy food, and my mind with positive affirmations.

Hopefully a month from now, having eaten my pride, I will not suck….as much, and I’ll be closer to accepting that I’m far from perfect.

Pour a glass of your best therapist, and listen to a little Frankie Miller…you’re not alone in your ‘sucking at some things’…we all suck sometimes. But you’re going to be ok kid…

 

Creative Writing · Economics · Education · Entertaining · Entertainment · Girl Stuff · Health · Humor · Humour · Life · Men's Issues · Relationships · Singles · Spirituality · Women's Issues · Writing

“Find what you love, and do THAT”

Easier said than done darlings...
Easier said than done darlings…

Yes, it’s just one of the more endearing quotes that plaster my social media walls.

Find what you love, and do that.

It sounds blissfully simple doesn’t it my darlings.?

Simply wake up every day, and do what makes your heart pitter-patter a little bit faster, makes your smile that much more toothy, and your entire aura vibrate to a wonderfully tuned and heavenly, “Om”.

Last week I promised myself that I would dedicate one full hour every day to something that makes my life brighter, happier, and more bearable. I promised myself that I would commit to at least one hour of writing novel number two.

 

My writing fell off the radar in the midst of job changes, sports momming and keeping the lights on. When my writing suffers, the rest of my life suffers.

After all, we are what we think, aren’t we darlings?

When I’m not writing, my imagination swells and puts pressure on the rest of my brain, and I lose my sense of humour, fun and wonder. Instead I get restless, impatient, and fabulously assertive.

I’ve reached that wonderful age where I know what I love, but I’ve got myself in a pay-the-bills rut.

I will share with you my “Love To Do” list, which may inspire a list of your very own.

Be sure to pick one thing to do on a daily basis, and a couple to make sure you do at least once a month.

 

LOVE TO DO

1) Writing or reading anything that contributes to creative thought and unleashing your creative spirit.

2) Drinking red wine in the bath followed by a good girl talk via telephone with your bestie who also misses the days before marriage and kiddos.

3) Lingerie and wild, sweaty, mind-blowing sex with a hot lover. Should you be monogamous, you may need a little tweak from a tall glass of bourbon straight up, no rocks. Oh, that’s just for the change room sweetie. I suggest something much stronger immediately prior to the boudoir. Everyone just looks and feels more sensual when their inhibitions are low sweetie. Don’t be shy, keep pouring…

4) Enjoying the great outdoors. Walking, hiking, running, hell, even sitting on a bench where you can see a patch of dirt. It’s all good.

5) Meditation. When you’re too busy to sit, you may as well quit. Do not do this under the influence of vino or your adult substance of choice, otherwise you may just completely blow your own little mind sweetie.

6) Flirting. Yep, you got it. Just do it. I had believed for a long, long time that I had lost my ability to flirt. It’s true, if you don’t use it, you lose it. Lately I’ve been practicing, and needless to say ladies and gents, there are a few boys out there feeling pretty darn hot. Flirting – it’s a win-win.

7) Taking a day off and having absolutely no set agenda. Nothing, not even plans to get out of bed and put on your sassy little panties. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Just roll out of the sack when you feel rested and go from there.

8) Intellectual conversation that borders on madness. Of course you must socialize in proper society, as this one requires a more sophisticated partner, but I know you have the connections pussy cat. Oh, and something deliciously intoxicating to sip, in order to fuel the madness.

9) Art. View it, feel it, create it. Just DO it. It untangles your perceptions and creates that je ne sais quoi that makes you brilliant and beautiful.

10) Kissing. Lots of it. On the lips. Soft, wet, hard, light, intense, whatever…just kiss and keep kissing like your clothes are crazy glued on and that’s the only way you can connect with your lover.

I hope this inspires a little more ‘you’ time my delicious darlings.

Creative Writing · Economics · Entertainment · Fashion · Health · Humor · Humour · Life · Men's Issues · Poetry · Politics · Relationships · Singles · Uncategorized · Weddings · Women's Issues

Popping the Question Again: Marriage At Middle-Age

I don't think I ever actually took a photo of ...
I don’t think I ever actually took a photo of them together since getting married last fall. Here they are. It’s a matched set from Diana Classic in platinum. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Where to start with this minefield of possible opinions? Likely a bourbon on the rocks and a direct prayer to the universe.

My first thought, when I look deeply into my sensitive feminine intuition is, “Why bother?”.

My obvious second thought darlings, is, “Why not?”.

A recent article in the Style section of the Globe gave a no-brainer instruction sequence to the young lad preparing to wow his girl with a surprise proposal.

I cant’ criticize the article, however, being a woman of a certain age, I got a  kick out of it. First of all, most marriages at middle-age are either a second marriage (or third, or….). Secondly a surprise proposal at middle-age, as romantic as it may seem, really wouldn’t be that surprising.

I mean, come on my cute little rhubarb custard pies, at this stage of the game no one jumps into a life-long commitment without doing their research and talking it into the ground. Nobody with an ounce of common sense anyway.  By middle age, we’ve all taken stock of our resources, have kids, or parents with failing health, and quite frankly, enough attitude to take a round out of a biker bar.

The article went on to discuss permission from parents. Not necessary at middle age. Permission from young adult children – absolutely not, but perhaps a courtesy call, as in , “Heads up dude.”

The Globe article discussed the importance of dressing appropriately. Quite frankly, I hope that by the time I meet a man with enough character to get down on one knee to pop the question that we’re somewhere that fashion doesn’t really matter.  Perhaps in bed. Maybe in the backyard reading the paper. At the beach.  Out for a walk. I’m assuming I will have the good taste to choose s gentleman who is aware of the no socks with sandals rule.

Planning the ceremony? Not such a big deal at middle age. Catered in the backyard. A short beach holiday with our besties. Perhaps at the park under a full moon.

The bottom line is, that by the time you’re middle-aged, you likely have the good common sense to have given your relationship the ‘live-in’ test drive it deserves, complete with flannel, flatulence, flu-bugs and sports vs. chick-flicks on the tube.  Well adjusted men and women  are pretty content with their own company by this stage of the game, so having another person around full-time is testament to their solid character anyways.

If a middle-aged (ok, maybe past middle-aged) man has the kahonas to pop the question, who really cares if he’s sporting the latest style, rehearsed in front of a mirror, or exhumed your father’s body to get permission.  He’s made an attempt at romance, even after the reality of a prince-not-so-charming has taken root.

My advice for popping the question to middle-aged gals;

1) If she criticizes you for your cutesy efforts take the ring back. Real women appreciate your effort, or at least a good laugh.

2) Size doesn’t matter. It matters that you know what style of ring she will look at and know you thought of her.

3) Make sure you two are solid, have talked it to death, and are committed before you pop the question. Don’t scare the hell out of her.

4) Keep it to yourself. No jumbotrons, no popping the question in front of a crowd, no telling the world. Tell your best pal if you need to shake off some of the nervous energy, but other than that keep your trap shut. Announce the wonderful news together.

5) Be near a phone. I know that my friends have a running bet that I will never get married again. If it ever happens, I will be on the horn faster than a mustang on a mare.

6) Be scrubbed and ready to go. Women of a certain age have an, um, er…..well, insatiable appetite. Be prepared, that’s all I’m sayin’.

7) Ignore #2. Go big or go home.

8) Do it on a day when she needs to remember how lucky she is. Crappy day at work – voila. Fixed!

9) Don’t tell her what you spent on the ring. Middle aged women don’t want a show piece that’s going to take you a year to pay off, we want you to have the deal sealed and be a gentleman about it. Shh!

10)  Smile. You’re about to wander into a lovely part of life with a woman who knows what she wants, and you’re him. Congrats!