Announcing a new direction for Over 50 Feeling 40

Pamela Lutrell of Over 50 Feeling 40

I hope that the headline announcing a new direction for over 50 Feeling 40 captured your attention.  I have so much to say that it is difficult to get it all in one blog post.

Most of you know that I am a busy-bee.  Since I began this blog ten years ago, I have always worked two jobs.  A daytime professional job and an after-hours blogging job.  It created an Ever -Ready -bunny that never stopped and even wore blinders to some of life around me… because there was simply no time beyond work and family.

Then along comes COVID-19, and everything changed.  Suddenly, I am at home and faced with dealing with everything at home that has been neglected for quite a while.  Thankfully, I do have Mr. B with me and we are tackling many of the home “challenges” together.  There will be more about what we are doing later.

But, the pandemic hit higher education hard, and my work situation still may face some changes. I am preparing for different scenarios.  So, I began to take the much-needed time to scrutinize the blog…which really meant scrutinizing me.  This blog started as a way to document all that I learned when I went through a reinvention at age 50.  I had actually been living and experiencing results of the reinvention for seven years, before one of my best friends encouraged me to write it all down and start the blog.  I loved sharing with others around me everything I was learning, and she said…go one step further and write it!  So, I did, and a new journey began for me…one I have thoroughly loved.  Once the blog began to gain readers, it was where my heart lived…other work was just a way to provide income.  The blog has been and remains my passion.

 

Original Logo for Over 50 Feeling 40

LOOKING AT ME WITH NEW EYES

Since the blog has been based on my story with the intention to education and inspire other women going through mid-life and beyond,  I needed to revisit and evaluate my story.  In a nutshell, I let go of me (my appearance, my health, my well-being, my likes, my desires…everything) during my late thirties and forties.  I ceased to be a priority in my own life.   I stopped caring about everything on that list and I gained an excess of weight, which I still struggle to get rid of today.  There were harsh, critical voices in my head during that time…one was my own mother…and I allowed them to shut me down.  I also began to compare myself to other women who were mothers of my children’s friends and I believed I could never measure up…so why try. 

This attitude took me all the way to my 50th birthday where a wake -up moment…a slap in the face…grabbed hold of me and I snapped out of the funk that had controlled me for years. This was 17 years ago, and I have changed a great deal about me, and who I am…all in good ways. The reinvention was awesome and much needed.  But it lacked a goal…a vision…an understanding of my past influences and where I was headed.  I have sensed for so long that the reinvention was not complete…there was more to the journey.  But, I did not understand what that meant.

 

SO, WHAT LIES AHEAD?

Style Books recommended on over 50 feeling 40

To appreciate where I was and where the blog has gone, I have recently re-read every book which guided me in the beginning.  There were about 5-6 books which have been my “textbooks” for reinvention/transformation and which spoke a language that resonated with me of the woman I desired to become.  Though different authors, they all had similar themes.  Recently, I began to log the key words, phrases and messages shared in these books; as well as,  in a new one I just completed.   I am a journalist and have been most of my life…so I dive into something with the intention to research and discover the “real story.”  To become a student of the life I desire to live.

One word I glossed over in the beginning but kept jumping off the page at me during the second read was ELEGANCE.

 I believe I read past it before because I also believed I was so far removed from it.  I was not raised by elegant women.  I wrote a column in the Huffington Post years ago about a woman I admired as a young child and how taken I was with her from her wealth, to her kind heart, her demeanor, her service and to her dress.  Yet, in my ignorance, I saw wealth as a key component of this woman’s charm.

My mother and father’s families were hard working East Texas families.  However, they also were uneducated, bitter, some alcoholic, abrasive, and (though lower income) they were in many ways, selfish. One worked a farm.  One worked an oil lease. My mother’s father was physically abusive, and I really do understand that her own issues were derived from her past.  Nevertheless, during my childhood, I became a reader to escape from all that was going on around me.  My best friends were books and in many of those books I met the type of woman I desired to become; yet, thought I never could because of my own heritage.

For most of my life, I completely believed elegant women came from elegant families and, most often than not, those were wealthy families. To be an elegant woman was as unobtainable to me as a young girl who wishes to be an actual Disney princess.

As I reread and studied recently and logged thoughts, I had another “AH HA” moment and saw that what I have desired all along…was to become an elegant woman.  I have really wanted to break the mold and live an elegant lifestyle (a life well lived) and be a woman who is all about elegance in every way….to possess that special je ne sais quoi women of elegance appear to all have.

Because I did not fully understand what my reinvention was about, I have taken some wrong turns in the road and not stayed strategically on a journey with a destination in mind. 

In the comments a week ago when I asked you to define elegance, Diane said,  “I am not sure if elegance can be learned or if it is just there.”  I have been pondering the same question. By the way, the comments on THIS HOW TO DEFINE ELEGANCE POST are really good and I encourage you to read them…and please continue to post your thoughts as well if you did not participate then.

 

WORDS FROM A WOMAN I RESPECT

Tish Jett book on over 50 Feeling 40

After I became a blogger, I began to read Tish Jett’s blog and her book Forever Chic.  I contacted her once about the mention of a chocolate she featured, and she not only told me how to find it, but she sent two bags of it from France for a group of high school young ladies I was mentoring to enjoy.  From that moment forward, she won my heart. 

In Tish’s most recent book, Living Forever Chic, she discusses elegance and creating a life well lived in detail.  She acknowledges that becoming a woman of elegance is much easier if you are raised that way, but also believes it can be learned.

In looking at where I was, and where I want to be, I am now going to make this my new goal.  After a reinvention 17 years ago; blogging for women for ten years; and now about to reach my 67th year of life, I am publicly acknowledging that I want to become a woman of elegance in the time I have remaining on this earth.  I want to plant it daily in my lifestyle…cultivate it…and grow it throughout. 

My new feature is called Cultivating Elegance.  I will weave this into my posts and have a feature post every Friday with new insights, and if I can pull it off a video once a week.(at least that is the plan) I will tell you what I have done right so far…what I have done wrong so far…and how I am making changes. I do not believe I am trying to change the person I am…in fact, I believe a woman of elegance is who I was meant to be, and my upbringing delayed it! I do not see that as an arrogant statement since I have changed my views on what true elegance really is. This is also about my legacy and how I want my grandchildren to remember me. What impact will I have and leave as I go through this life?

Role of grandmothers on over 50 feeling 40

The elegance I will write about will not look like the royal family, or first ladies, actresses, or any women of wealth; but rather will be cultivating elegance for a typical woman’s every day life.  So, if you are looking for images of ornate palaces or Paris runways, you may be disappointed.  But if you are looking for inspiration…I plan for this to be the place.

Therefore, the new blog experiment becomes… Can any woman of any age, background, or income level learn to cultivate elegance?

I hope you will stick with me and in fact share this journey with others and we will see where this goes and if I can really reach the goal. If you are one who is skeptical and believes elegance cannot be learned or is a birthright, then I encourage you to stay, because I will admit it over time, if I am failing! Please ask any questions you like or make any comments you like.  I hope this will open a plethora of new discussions.

The mission of my blog will not change: “Over 50 Feeling 40 exists to inspire women over 50 to look and feel their best…to strive to be women of strength and dignity…and to enjoy every single day of life…one day at a time.”

In essence, this mission statement represents the same direction as this new path to cultivate elegance and I just did not see it before.

 I believe there is an ELEGANT WOMAN inside of all of us.  We just need to be ready to purposefully tap into her.  Come join me on this journey…there is a lot to learn!

For those who believe in off season sales, there are some amazing prices at H & M and I put several finds in today’s slideshow…remember with any of these brands if you go through my slideshow to the brand website and purchase anything, I will get a small commission.  THANKS!!!

Also, today is the last day of Talbot’s big sale…click through any of these fabulous finds to go to their website and shop!

 

KEEP SMILING, EVERYONE!

JUST A NOTE:

Pamela Lutrell for Goli GummiesThere are several ways that I generate income through this blog in order to cover business expenses and give myself much needed income.  Purchases through the slideshow links is one way, ads on the page is one way and a new way is through ordering or re-ordering the GOLI Apple Cider Vinegar gummies through me with my GOLI LINK HERE.  Again, if you are not familiar with the benefits of apple cider vinegar, you should speak with your personal physician.  My husband and I are sold on the benefits and I am proud to represent this product.  I am going to leave this at the bottom of my posts so that when you, friends or family would like to order you can use my link.  Thanks for the support.  This is a great product; as well as, the ones below!

Mr. B and I love our meals from Sun Basket!

Sun Basket on Over 50 Feeling 40

 

Sun Basket is a delicious, easy, fun home delivery meal plan

 

My Complexion Loves Chamonix:

Chamonix on Over 50 Feeling 40

 

All natural, plant-cell technology skincare

 

By Pamela Lutrell

102 Comments

  1. I will go back to read that post. I missed it when I was on vacation. I am excited to see where this goes and what we can all learn from it. I think I can spot elegant women when I see them, and it is their “presence” that speaks to elegance, because in almost every case, I know nothing about the woman or her lifestyle, income level, life story…none of it. It’s definitely something that you can sense, however, the elegance. I’m glad you chose to post about this, because like your reinvention journey, this one is equally as important and of great interest. I’m looking forward to learning how to become more elegant right along with you!

      1. Pamela Thank you for being so inspirational.
        I love reading what you have achieved as it gives me hope.
        Would you mind sharing the titles of the books that have given you new direction.
        I know you said there was around 4 or 5.
        Good luck on your new new journey…though I think you are elegant now.

        1. I will have the book titles in tomorrow’s post! Hope you can stop by then…thanks, Helen!

    1. Pam

      Ok, I’m going to try and not be snarky as you are so nice. I see Mr. B is helping with projects at home. Keep him busy there and reduce his impact on the style of your hair. He doesn’t realize a woman looks silly trying to wear her hair like a thirty year old. Your newer hairstyle makes you look with it, and matches the sharp outfits you choose.

      1. OK, Mary! He is liking the way it looks right now…so I think this length is a keeper! He did shave his pandemic beard for me, and I do value his opinion.

  2. I am very excited about your new journey and being and being a part of it! Can’t wait for your “elegant” posts! You are an inspiration!

        1. So sweet, Arlene! I am a work in progress and believe I have a ways to go…but we will do it together!

  3. Years ago, when first married and living in Germany with the Air Force, I read a column in Glamour. “If you think you are beautiful, you will project this and others will think so too.” The same goes for elegance. or whatever you want to project. I used to say this to myself when dumpy or homesick,etc and invariably it would help cheer me up.So that consciously or unconsciously I would project a better me than I was feeling. Now here I am reading and reacting to others blogs. I really enjoy yours,early in the AM,your voice resonates well with me. So which ever direction you find yourself going. go for it! save some for those of us who are well over 50,but enjoy hearing from you.You bring up topics we might not bring up with friends, but are better for thinking about it during the day. Stay safe.Best wishes for your new direction!

    1. Thanks Susan! The blog will not be that different…just more elegance weaved in and a Friday focus! Thank you for being here!

  4. I loved reading today’s blog on aspiring to or to find elegance. When I look at you in photos throughout your blogs I DO see elegance! It’s there !
    For myself, no. On my put together days I’m more quirky chic. But then there are days I’m just a mess!
    Could it be that you exude elegance but cannot see it in yourself, Pam? Maybe?

    1. I suppose that could be the case, Paulette. But refining is always a good thing. I just know that I am a work in progress and have much to do. So glad you are here.

  5. I enjoy your blog so much already- I can’t wait for this new direction and look forward to it! I hope you have a fantastic day!

  6. Very lovely post — you are quite a writer! So appreciate reaching out to over 50 and beyond women, as few publications in print or online address this audience. (Odd, as most or quite a few of us have worked for a long time and have a little more time or $ then we did in our 20s or 30s. Also a few gray hairs (until salons open) a few little more pounds, hah, so appreciate your humor and tips. Good luck on your next chapter for this blog.

  7. Reading today’s post was like seeing synchronicity for me! I too have been striving to live my life with elegance. I am finding that I am calmer in myself & more forgiving of others. And those around me seem to appreciate all that I do to enrich not only my life but theirs also. I’m greatly looking forward to following along on this journey with you!

    1. This is exciting, Wendy! Please share with us all you learn as well. So happy to have you on the journey with me.

  8. This sounds so intriguing and I am excited to take this journey with you. I look forward to having you guide me to find my “elegant” self. I actually found myself sitting up straighter as I read…baby steps towards more confidence, which to me is part of being elegant.

  9. I believe elegance is a state of mind and how you choose to live your life, with grace and kindness. You can dress it up, you can dress it down, but it’s always there. You just have to have confidence in yourself.

    1. Well, I do have confidence in myself, Sandy. I just want to refine some areas and see if I can obtain what I believe elegance is all about. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Pam,
    I can’t wait to get started!! God bless you in this new journey. I plan to be with you all the way! Thanks.

  11. I am so excited for you and for me and for all your readers. This is going to be an exciting journey. One I’m privileged and honored to be a part of. Thanks for inviting me along.

  12. Hi Pam. I’m following you from Shanghai China. I’ve loved your blog and your posts on FB. I too am over 50 feeling 40 and starting a new path a a midlife coaching. I too was raised in a home where education wasn’t valued and alcohol was. All of my life I was drawn to elegant women and wanted to be one. I’ll follow your journey and I’m excited to see where you go.

    1. Thank you for this comment, Monique. So happy to have you here and share you own experiences from Shanghai!

  13. I am intrigued by the concept of elegance. At the beginning of this year, I decided to become more intentional in my life. I will be following your journey and adding what works for me in my life. Thank You for sharing.

    1. Thank you, Conda…intentional is an important word for elegant ladies… I will look forward to hearing what you have learned as well.

  14. Ever since your post asking about elegance I have read the comments several time and I have been evaluating my life also. I am making changes to the way I “am” and the way I do things. I am looking forward to following your new journey, I’m sure I will learn from you. I am going to pick up the Tish Jett book and see if I can find her blog.
    Thank you for this new journey it will be exciting!

  15. The authors who write about French Chic style and elegance and how to acquire it have always intrigued me. There seem to be many facets to it, and I’m thrilled to make the journey with you!

  16. Kudos to you Pam, for baring yourself the way you do here on the blog, revealing your very personal journey, and for inviting all of us along to learn, explore and share. Have a beautiful Monday. 🌼

  17. I love this direction you’re taking! It’s wonderful that your self-reflection at this time has led you to something you’re passionate about. I can’t wait to come along on this journey with you and do a little of my own self-reflection.
    Thank you for giving me a lot to think about and I’m looking forward to continue reading with new excitement and purpose!!!
    Have a beautiful Monday!

  18. Great post! Looking forward to seeing what you present in the blog. When you are confident in yourself, you can be whatever you want. After my last big move from the east coast to the west, I wanted to redefine my home to a more simplistic, less cluttered place. I found myself doing the same thing with my wardrobe. I’ll be 69 in August and still growing.

  19. Fantastic blog today, Pam. Hopefully we can all find our elegance along with you! I believe being our very best selves every day is a start.

  20. This is going to be an interesting journey for me. I also would like to be “elegant”. I just don’t understand what that means to me! Do you have any examples of women in public you consider elegant? I always thought beauty and wealth to be necessary parts of being elegant. Alas, I never thought I could work towards this goal. I also wonder if an introvert like myself can ever attain this quality. I will be very interested in following you on this discovery for “elegance”.

    1. I believe you can obtain, Virginia. We will do this together. It will be a series of baby steps, but we can do this. I am convinced more than ever before that wealth is not necessary…we are all beautiful, so we got that part!

  21. I am so excited to follow along with you. When I was growing up I had one aunt who I would definitely describe as elegant, but since I was a girl growing up on a farm and had to help out with all that entails, I did not think that applied to me. I have aspired to be elegant, but have been put down as ‘putting on airs’ in the past. Now I realize that it is the person saying that that has the problem. I am eagerly awaiting your posts on this and your journey. Thanks and good luck to you. Also, I will have to find a way to include my love of jewellery into my journey with you.

    1. I still love my jewelry, Diane! Pondering my style decisions for the future. So glad you will be here!

  22. Would you please tell us the books you reread? A good Covid project! I believe that one aspect of elegance is trusting and enjoying your path in life. You are well on your way!

    1. Thank you Anita! I will put links to all of the books at the bottom of tomorrow’s post. I am not certain if they are all available, but we will see. Also Tish Jett’s latest book is linked within the blog today! Thanks for asking.

  23. There is so much food for thought here. As we readers watch you grow into yourself, perhaps we will be inspired and helped to find our true natures also. Women seem to spend much of their lives subsuming their own desires to others’ needs. Finally, we don’t even know what we want, let alone how to achieve it. If you guide us toward self understanding and actualization, you will have done us an immense service.

    1. I hope we will all enjoy the journey and learn much, Sue. A reader on Facebook just said she believed that elegance has been lost and needs to be re-discovered again. I agree! I hope we can all do that together.

  24. Your thoughts reminded me of ‘the transformation’ with Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady.😊
    And I believe Audrey Hepburn was an example of elegance in her life…an attitude.
    I believe it can be learned and cultivated! Yes, it is easier to do when the dna and tools are there but it is available to all regardless.

    1. Yes! I will be the Eliza Doolittle of the Blogosphere…singing the rain in Spain already! Thanks for the support, Robin!

  25. I’m looking forward to your journey toward more elegance in our lives. I will follow along with great interest and renewed memories of my grandmothers who, as I look back, were definitely elegant!

  26. Hi Pam, the link to the book Living Forever Chic isn’t working. Looking forward to your new content!!

      1. THANK YOU, Terri..it is working now. Worked last night..not sure what happened. But it is there now!

  27. Loved your new ideas about elegance. I am fortunate to have been raised by a true “Southern Belle: in Louisiana where yes mam and no sir are still required of our children. Elegance to me is a strong but soft spoken well mannered woman that you don’t want to get on the wrong side of. Good manners speak of elegance. Service to others when least expected speaks of kindness and elegance. Integrity and faithfulness contribute to elegance. The smallest acts of compassion and love are elegant.

  28. You are the first blog I read every morning and I’m ready to start this new path with you! So exciting.

  29. Tish Jett and Marie-Anne Lecoeur are my favorites!!! I’m eagerly anticipating this part of the journey.

  30. Oh, I love the sound of this new direction! Blog reading was getting “old” for me and I am looking to find something that catches my “me” and this sounds interesting and stimulating indeed.

    1. I hope it will be, Ann. Friday’s will be officially Cultivating Elegance posts, with little tidbits strewn in between. I really hope to get the videos underway in July.
      Thanks for the encouragement.

  31. I grew up solidly working class. My mother so wanted an elegant (think Grace Kelly) daughter. She got me, a funky, creative, down to earth, jeans type. She finally got an elegant DIL. Impeccable manners, pearls, cashmere, wool trousers, good leather shoes. Everything understated and expensive. She thought DIL was a snob. Go figure.

    1. Elegance comes in many ways…and kindness is a big part of it. I am learning it has little to do with the outside and more to do with the inside.

  32. I’m a retired RN. Years ago, I had an elderly patient who lived in a penthouse in downtown Seattle. She was very wealthy, worldly and educated.

    Her apartment was furnished with unique and beautiful objects from her travels around the world and had an almost 360 degree view of Seattle and the surrounds. I was so amazed by it all, I asked if I could take a moment just to take it in. She smiled and said of course.

    She showed me a few of her favorite things, including a stunning chandelier hanging over her dining table. She told she loved that piece and it’s twin hung in the Smithsonian.

    I said “Amazing! I have one just like it in my kitchen!” We both started laughing at the humor of it.

    She was funny, intelligent and kind. She was the epitome of elegance. But not because of her wealth, etc. It was because she was GRACIOUS.

    Elegance is graciousness and graciousness is attitude, and attitude can be learned.

  33. I have always liked “elegant” clothes. When I was in 7th/8th grade, I filled steno books with dress designs that were classic but too sophisticated for a 12-14-year-old. I just realized that the dress I wore to my granddaughter’s wedding three weeks ago was very similar to a design I drew in 1959! When you are a young mother, you don’t have a need for “elegant” clothes but when I did need something “nice” I always went for classic looks. What you wear is only one aspect of “elegant.” It’s also how you carry yourself and your overall attitude. Stand up straight, smile, be gracious to everyone, and remember that age is just a number! I”m looking forward to your new feature!

  34. What an exciting fun journey you’ve chosen to take yourself on in the next chapter of your life! If you believe elegance is partly a state of mind, you’re already on that path! I’m anxious to read all about it and hopefully, find many tips to apply to myself. Is it Friday yet? Let’s go! Best wishes it turns out just as you’re imagining.❤️

  35. Hi Pam, I am excited about the new direction for your blog. In many ways, I feel exactly like you. I always felt I was elegant but lacking the direction needed to solidify these feeling. Cannot wait for Friday blogs. You are a blessing to me.

  36. I love how “real” you are and enjoy your blog. We must be close in age, I’m turning 67 in a week. I think the grace that comes with elegance, in my humble opinion, is also what the world is in desperate need of these days. I look forward to this new journey and am thrilled to ride along on it with you.

  37. I am so excited by the direction you have chosen to take your blog. It is so timely as to where I am in my life. Thank you for your thoughtful teaching and knowing when it is time to take a look at where you would like to take your life. Thank you for allowing us along on this ride. You are an elegant lady!

  38. I am looking forward to following along on this journey. The phrase “a life well lived” is one that has always spoken to me. I think we in America place so much emphasis on wealth that we miss what it means to live well, & that it has very little to do with being wealthy.
    One of the ladies I admired most when I was a child was my aunt. Her home & life was far removed from mine. I always aspired to be like her when I grew up, & at 65, I still haven’t achieved this yet, but I still have hope.

    1. I hope one day, my grandchildren will speak of me in the way you speak of your aunt, Becky. We are all a work in progress!

  39. Pam: Notice this post has more comments than any of the others. We all want to be better or we would not read blogs, etc. that are primarily about style and lifestyle. You have your own elegance and grace; we see it in your work. We like your new goal but we also like you as is!

  40. I always read your blog, Pamela, and enjoy your words and the comments from others.

    I’m now in the process of reading Michelle Obama’s “Becoming” and think she chose that title for a perfect reason; we are always in the process of becoming. There really is no finished “goal”…consider that perspective as you proceed in this somewhat new direction..((: )

    Each of us might want to be moving in a new direction, so may the “lessons” you share give us a clearer path towards it.

    (Btw: I am decades past 50 and my new direction is learning to be easier on myself…how wonderful it feels..! ((: )

  41. Thanks for taking us along on this journey. As many others have said, you already have an elegance – I’m so interested to learn more and going along with you. And just maybe I’ll learn some ways to become more elegant as well. Looking forward to this!

  42. WOW. You have PROFOUNDLY affected me with this post, Pamela. I’m going to need to re-read it a time or two, and then go back & read the post you did on elegance (& all the comments), which I skipped the first time. And I am also going to have to reassess & redefine the very word “elegance” for myself. Because I’ll be honest: I’ve always disliked the word & everything it represented to me & the last thing I’ve ever aspired to be was “elegant”. It & “lady-like” were the bane of my life when I was growing up.

    I was raised by elegant women: both my mother & grandmother were very British, very elegant in dress, word & deed, exquisitely mannered, well-educated, very “proper”. And to me, a rebellious child of the 60s & 70s, the whole thing was nothing but a straight-jacket, an excuse to keep women in their socially assigned roles as mothers & wives (the only vaguely acceptable jobs were teacher & nurse). My mother tried her best to turn me into an “elegant young lady”, but I was a tomboy who loved hanging out with my dad & wanted to be an engineer like him. I was contrary, stubborn, argumentative, out-spoken, pretty much fearless (meaning I couldn’t be threatened into behaving), did not like to be told what to do & had zero interest in getting married & having babies. I came of age along with birth control & pantyhose, became a women’s rights activist, loved bad boys on motorcycles (married one, in fact), got a degree in engineering & spent a life-time avoiding any hint of the curse of “elegance”.

    And now here I am, reading your post & thinking, gee, maybe it wasn’t elegance I was fighting against at all, but a lot of societal strictures & structures I incorrectly applied to the word. Because a lot of what you & other readers are defining as “elegance” are very much the ideals I live my life by & would like more of.

    My poor mother & grandmother, whose lives I made a misery at times, must be laughing their heads off.

    1. Wow, Janet. Such an interesting comment…that I am also going to re-read and think about! Thank you for opening up your life and sharing.

  43. By your writings, posts and responses I think you are elegant and a person that is very thoughtful and kind.

    Looking forward to seeing how your mission evolves and what I can learn from you. I have always thought the Jackie O emitted a high level of sophistication. Would love to dress like she did. She always seemed so proper and elegant.

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