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.
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?
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
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?
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:
There 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!
My Complexion Loves Chamonix:
By Pamela Lutrell