Teaching an old dog new tricks..

old dog

Anyone who owns an animal knows how long it takes to teach them “new tricks..”

..but they will also tell you that nothing comes close in difficulty to breaking old, bad habits.

The same holds true for humans.

One of the surprises of middle age has been that the process of learning and unlearning hasn’t stopped.  Like lint, I have picked up quite an assortment of habits over the years, some of which have served me poorly and need to be addressed.

Lucky for me, my “play-doh-ego” is still soft & malleable enough to be remolded.  It’s a challenge, but I love the idea that at 54 I am still a work in progress.

So in answer to the question can you teach an old dog new tricks and break a few bad habits?

The answer is absolutely yes, if you are willing.

grow

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photocredits:Pinterest

 

 

 

 

New Eyes..

Sometimes you stumble upon simple but powerful truths that demand both attention and application.  This was the case as I read a quote from Marcel Proust tucked into the editor’s commentary in my latest issue of Savannah Magazine.  The real voyage of discovery, Proust wrote:

Is not in seeking new landscapes,

but in having new eyes.

Hang with me on this one..but it just so happened that I had to cancel a consultation with a plastic surgeon  a few hours before I sat down to read..so I couldn’t help but place this quote smack dab in the center of my midlife experience, which includes ever increasing anxiety over the wrinkles under my eyes and the droopy skin on my face and neck. That was why I had the consultation with the surgeon on my calendar in the first place..I felt I was ready to invest in new “landscaping.”

Let me be honest..

It bothers me and makes me feel sad that I am aging so rapidly and poorly.   Don’t get me wrong, I fully acknowledge and understand the reasons  why it’s happening- my life so far has been an amazing “ride” ….most of it in a convertible under the sun!

And yes, I’ve heard all the lectures about inner beauty being more important than what’s on the surface… and I get that too- I do!

Other than how my face looks, I really feel great at 54. I feel good about my life, I feel good about me, I feel good about everything.. so it’s not some deep, hidden psychological issue I’m tangled up in..it’s just simply my old, saggy face that bums me out.

Now I will say that one of the deterrents to my pursuit of “new landscaping” is what others have done with their “yards.” In fact yesterday a picture popped up of one of the Kardashian girls who quite obviously re-landscaped her lips..again. This girl is like the reverse of Michael Jackson with his nose..he kept wanting smaller and smaller..she is obviously all about bigger and bigger.

What does this girl see when she looks in the mirror ..besides her XL smackers? Does she ever think she’s gone too far? Does she sense how close she is getting to a comic book caricature of her former self? Does she need what proust describes as “new eyes?”

biglip

And she’s not the only person with money and access to the best physicians who has taken it to the extreme.

ps1

ps2

ps3

Why does that happen? Is renovating your face like renovating your home where an improvement in one area highlights the problems in another leading to more and more and more work until you ultimately run out of stuff to fix or money to pay for it.. or both?

Which brings me back to Proust’s quote again.. the part about seeking new landscapes. I mean, when I look at myself in the mirror these days, I feel I’m ready for something new..not new as in different, but new as in what used to be..

..does that even make sense?

Is it even possible?

Or does the pursuit of that which once was,

inevitably lead to us into a maze of strange landscapes we don’t recognize?

sav

I just don’t know anymore.

Maybe the answer really is in having new eyes..

less critical eyes..

grateful eyes..

that, and a jar of this amazing, new wrinkle cream I saw on Tv… 😉

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photocredit:TheGloss,www.pinterest.com,www.nytimes.com,I AM Addicted To You

 

 

OH, OH, OH!

Went to Michaels Craft Store the other day..

Did I miss the “end of the world” memo?  The shelves were completely stripped bare of Christmas decorations..just a few boxes of balls and lights remained. What on earth is going on??  If the grocery store looked like that I’d be in a total panic!

Good luck if you didn’t pick up your artificial tree yet.

As I stood in a Depression era soup length line to check out my one roll of wrapping paper, I was struck by a few thoughts. (Women do this..we daydream about how we can run things better..)

#1- I think when it’s super busy, stores should just give everyone whatever coupon they got going on at the time. These coupon apps are GREAT, but not if you have to first turn on your phone to retrieve it or any other issue that takes more than three minutes…

Just give her 40% off one item already!

#2-If there are twenty people in line, don’t ask for e-mail info, zip code or if anyone wants to get on some frequent shopper program or sign up for your store’s credit card..they might say yes, and there will be a riot ..I’m telling you.

#3-Don’t over wrap. Those mason jars are on sale for 99 cents each…they probably cost Michaels 5 cents.  Each jar doesn’t need to be thrice wrapped in tissue paper.  The lady is going home.. not to the Middle East…in a car, not on a camel.

#4- There should be a strict limit on how many small things you can buy, like felt. The lady in front of me had about 79 slices of the stuff, each one with it’s own unique price tag. That’s ridiculous. Either establish a limit of ten, or just put all that little stuff on a scale and weight it like slices of cheese.

#5- Lastly, make sure the people who put up your sample decorations know enough trivia about Christmas to recognize when Santa’s being misquoted..

oh

but then again,  when I saw this I had to laugh..

it really was perfect.

 

 

Dangerous Discounts

buck

Half way through making Japanese meatballs for a Christmas party we’re having today,  I realized that the brand new bottle of cooking Sake I’d just brought home from the store was expired. I know, I know..those expiration dates are probably totally bogus, but it made me mad that the grocery store sold me this stuff when it was past its “best if used by” date. (Heaven knows how long that bottle was sitting on the shelf – ew.)

Anyway, back to the store I drove only to discover that the rest of their bottles were expired as well. I dragged my pouty old self over to the wine department to see if they sold actual drinking Sake-and they did- for three times the price, in bottles twice the size I needed. 😒

I picked up a few additional items that I had forgotten on my first trip earlier that morning and approached the express check-out.  The teen working the register was bubbly and friendly, asking me if I’d found everything I was looking for. “Yes” I lied with a sigh as I swiped my card and he waited for the machine to spit out my receipt. With one dramatic swooshing motion he tore the tab, read the bottom of it and made the following, LOUD announcement:

‘You saved $ 4.00 today m’am and your senior citizen discount is $ 1.50!!’

WHAAAT?!?!?! 😯

Once I picked my (obviously sagging) little chin off the floor and composed myself, I smiled politely, signed the paper and shepherded my wounded ego out into the parking  lot. I flopped into my car and twisted the rearview mirror hard left.

Senior citizen..??

..do I really look that old???

Yes,

why yes I think I do!

Look at those crow’s feet,

that frown line,

that “number 11” etched between my eyebrows,

that droopy chicken neck..

that kid…

THAT KID!!

Saved me a buck and ruined my day!!!!

He’d better watch his step,

that little whipper snapper..

carelessly handing out those savings

all willy nilly

to those who don’t qualify

…yet!

He’s dealing in some dangerous discounts

that little..

that little….

discount dealer.

Not every “almost senior”

will handle his faux-pas with the graciousness

 class

and humor

that I did.

Lucky for him I was able to manage my emotions

only suffering a temporary jolt of depression..

..nothing that couldn’t be cured by

taking a swig or three out of my ridiculously large bottle of Sake.

Senior citizen…indeed!!

Full of Thanksgiving

gratitude

Sometimes, I am simply overwhelmed by gratitude. It swirls over me like a warm, frothy wave, caressing my soul with sparkling thoughts and precious reflections. In these moments, I see my husband of 33 years, my kids, family, friends.. I feel the comfort of home, taste food prepared by loving hands, hear my pastor’s words of wisdom, inhale the scents of the season..and yes, in these moments, I swear I still look like that chick in the picture. 😏

gift

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photocredit:Pinterest

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sharing Autumn

If I had to pick my favorite colors in all of nature, it would be these..

crim3

And if I had to pick one of my favorite things in life, it’s receiving unexpected pictures from my (grown) kids letting me share in the little (and sometimes big) things going on in their lives..

or even just a pretty sight they come across- like this.

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photo credit: My daughter, using her i-phone! 😀

My favorite things..

are old and worn..

My go-to jeans with thinning white knees,

jeans

my bible with its taped on cover and  fragile pages,

bible

my moccasins with holes at the toes.

holes

Wear is symbolic..

of being valued and well loved.

old

I once had an old house coat that had been washed so often the butterflies printed on it literally disappeared.

I used to joke that they flew away.

butterflies

So I guess it makes sense..

that I’m more comfortable and content as a 54 year old than I’ve been at any other age..

eye

And yet..

and yet..

for SOME dumb reason..

I keep trying to get my face to look like a brand new pair of tight leather pumps. 😕

tight

 

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photocredits:eighteen and life,Fox News Magazine,123RF.com,Pinterest,Cut Out + Keep,Huffington Post UK