Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Inspiring older women who refuse to "dress their age"

Tziporah Salamon
Just a quick link to a story from today's Daily Life: Fashion.

I found this wonderful slide show of ladies aged 60s through 90s who haven't seen fit to tone down their very original and lively senses of fashion.  I think these colorful women demonstrate that there's no reason to embalm oneself in sensible, neutral colors and slimming, classic lines.  Unless you want to, of course.

Writer Kathleen Lee Joe says,
"The fashion industry has the tendency to abandon women once they hit a certain age. After slavishly following the trends throughout our twenties, thirties and forties, we become a largely ignored minority once we hit fifty.

As it stands, high fashion is available to younger women at high street prices, but older women – who are probably in the best position to be spending their savings on clothes – miss out. The glossies, but for the rare and obligatory ‘Age Issue’, stop telling you what you should and should not wear once you hit a certain number.

This shouldn’t be regarded as a bad thing, however. As Alison Lurie would tell you, breaking free from the fashions is a strangely liberating process. As you stop subscribing to trends, you stop dressing to please others and start dressing to please yourself.

When I grow up, I want to be a bag-lady eccentric, moneyed old lady – and I look to these fabulous, over-fifty women for inspiration. These women – a few of whom are regulars on Ari Seth Cohen’s Advanced Style and were recently the subject of a Channel 4 documentary – are a part of a growing demographic. They don’t see age as something to hide from, but something to embrace."
And, news flash:  You can see the complete BBC4 documentary here:  Don't miss it.

Dynamic Divorceés, take a look and be inspired.  Imagine what we can do when we're their age!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

"Date 100 men before getting serious with anyone."

I love this blog:  It's called My Dating Prescription:  Just what the doctor ordered . . . to date 100 men before getting serious with anyone.

Seattle blogger Renee Simonsen says she'll be turning the blog into a book.  She's a wicked writer, and don't you love the premise?  At the moment, she's up to man #42.

Reminds me a little bit of my post on 100 Days of Rejection Therapy and doing one thing every day that scares you : ) .

The dating 100 men approach isn't for me, but that's part of my fascination.  She has waaaaay more guts than I do, and . . . well, you'll just have to check out her blog.  Read about her divorce, its aftermath, and The Prescription.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Dining alone: What are your tips, ladies?

Just came across this interesting Huff Post on dining alone.  Then I ran into this story from CNN about how women (successful, attractive, powerful women) are afraid to be seen dining alone. Wow.  Really.

Apparently, they're so embarrassed to be dining alone that many of them skip meals altogether when traveling on business.  The story goes on to talk about the birth of a new business to help women find other women as dining partners, Invite for a Bite.  Looks interesting -- another great way to make women friends.

And it got me thinking.  In the year that I've written this blog, largely on the topic of amusing oneself on the weekend as a single woman sans companions, I've done a lot of dining on my own as well as many nights staying home with a good book or movie.

Hmmm, I started to think about what my top tips would be when dining in restaurants alone.  Certainly not to forget about it and skip dinner : )

1.  Dine early.  It's more fun to get to your destination ahead of the crowd and not feel rushed to make room for waiting diners.  Take your time and enjoy.  After all, you're on a date with yourself : )

2.  Choose a restaurant with wonderful ambiance, music you enjoy, and a welcoming staff.  Food can be secondary to having a wonderful, getting-out-of-the-house experience.  When you choose the right spot, a meal can feel like a vacation.

3.  As Huff Post writer Alyssa Schwartz points out, sitting at the bar is great. You may meet someone interesting, learn something new, or discover a new favorite cocktail on the advice of your bartender.

4.  After trying a new spot each week over the course of a year, you'll end up with a list of favorites.  When you visit your haunts regularly on the same day each visit, you'll come to be known and welcomed by the staff.

5.  Always bring a book you love.  It can be difficult to find time to read when your workdays (and often evenings) are spent absorbed by electronic devices.  It's a luxury to find a few minutes to read a real book, feel the texture of its pages, and enjoy the wonderful smell of paper. 

6.  Think of dining alone as an opportunity to savor a new atmosphere, indulge in new flavors and sensations, and immerse yourself in new thoughts and worlds.  It's far more difficult to do this when you're absorbed in conversation.  Enjoy!

Anything to add to my list?  Please comment!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Dynamic Divorcee . . . on facebook : )

Introducing The Dynamic Divorcee facebook page, where you'll find much more frequent (but much briefer) posts on a variety of subjects of interest to midlife divorcees like me.

You'll find out why, even though there can be moments when it would be fun to be part of a couple, overall, it's beautiful to be a midlife single.

The Dynamic Divorcee believes that we've all spent way too much time beating ourselves up already.  If we're not reveling in every day -- or looking at every day as an opportunity for joy, happiness, and fun -- we're missing out on a chance for happiness that's laid at our feet.

Join me on facebook for frequent doses of a new attitude, and, for personal attention, subscribe to The Dynamic Divorcee.  Workshops and events in the Chicago area, free discovery sessions via Skype (as well as one-to-one coaching packages).

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

What if you're way more beautiful, more open, and more lovable than you think you are?

Be honest.  When you hear midlife women buoying each other up, talking about how great they still look, how powerful they are, and how they still have their whole lives ahead of them, do you secretly think to yourself, "Yeah, sure.  Whatever.  Let's be real."

If so, I want you to take a look at this.

Here's our secret fear:  That we may overestimate our importance, our worthiness, our attractiveness and influence.  But what if we're really doing the opposite:  Underestimating ourselves, and internally reinforcing every slam and criticism that we've ever heard about ourselves.  Sad and self-defeating, right?  Something to stop doing.  Immediately.  Now.  This minute.  Forever.

In a statement about the ad campaign above, personal care brand Dove said:  "Women are their own worst beauty critics.  Only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful ... we decided to conduct a compelling social experiment that explores how women view their own beauty in contrast to what others see."

If you're going to believe one thing or the other, which choice would bring you closer to the outcomes you desire for your life?  Thinking (perhaps) a little too highly of yourself?  Or undercutting yourself with humility and self-doubt?

I think the choice is clear.  What do you think?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Dynamic Divorcee

I'm excited to announce the birth of a new venture:  The Dynamic Divorcee!  It's time for me to start sharing all I have learned as I recovered from my post-divorce odyssey, which has taken me on a journey that I could never have expected.

But it was not until much later that I found so many midlife women shared the same tedious and time-consuming trajectory.  Without quite knowing it, this journey often involved getting themselves back to where they were before marriage:  That place where they were at full power, full flower, and in charge of their destinies.

The Dynamic Divorcee is dedicated to shortening the wandering-in-the-wilderness process and giving you easy, concrete tools to put your emotional life back on track so that you have the desire and ability to take the next steps on your unique path.

Want to know my story?  It's here.

Want to know how you can receive more information about The Dynamic Divorcee:  my e-zine, and invitations to free workshops?  Here you go.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Leap Before You Look

Just a quick note to share an old Chicago Tribune lifestyle piece (from way back in 1999) by fellow blogger Elaine Soloway.

Why unearth an op-ed piece that old?  Because I think that Elaine's attitude is so refreshing for midlife women. 

At a time when it's tempting to play it safe and not incur any further damage, we've been thrust into a situation where playing it safe is the worst thing you can do.

A favorite uncle of mine had the following guideline:  When in doubt, do something.  It's better to make a choice and get moving than to keep sitting on the fence and waiting to be absolutely sure you've made the right decision. 

Or, as Elaine recounts, after making a midlife decision to go back to school, "I made a bargain with myself: 'If after six months, you hate it, or can't handle the pressure, you can drop out. No recriminations.'"

She says that "No 'bad girl, you're a quitter'" is allowed : )

So, if you're stuck and want to get unstuck, you might want to read "If You Leap Before You Look, You Just Might Love Where You Land."

And, if you want more of Elaine, here's her Rookie Widow blog.  Follow along as our spunky septuagenarian heroine gets her affairs in order, sells her house, and contemplates her next act in the hip River North neighborhood.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

What I Did for Valentine's Day: One Billion Rising

I thought that maybe you'd like to see how I spent V-Day 2013.  I choreographed a little bit of flamenco fusion to "Break the Chain," the official music for the One Billion Rising organization's flash mob initiative:  bringing awareness to violence and abuse against women and girls worldwide.

Probably not my greatest achievement in the art of flamenco, but we needed something very simple, with a flamenco flavor, that we could teach to a variety of students and supporters -- many of whom had no previous dance experience.

Here's how it turned out.  My favorite part is at the end where everyone joins in and freestyles.  V-Day 2013 at Union Station in downtown Chicago:

For more about One Billion Rising and why we rose up in support:

And here's a big flash mob group that took place the same day at Daley Plaza:

Taking back V-Day with beautiful women-power.  Love to all!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

That's Enough: Dorothy Love Coates

For the Valentine's Day weekend, I submit for your approval this great gospel tune by Dorothy Love Coates.  If you're not a Jesus-person and your belief is centered on a different form of the divine, substitute that name for Jesus (as I do when I listen to this song).  Or, even more radical:  "I've got myself . . . and that's enough."

Great things to do with inspiring vintage gospel songs like this:  Get your cardio in while dancing and elevating your spirit!  Don't let the dregs of winter (and V-Day) get you down.  Uplevel yourself : )

And, P.S.:  Got some haters in your life?  This should be #1 on your playlist.

Check out the links below for more about the singer/songwriter and videos with more of her music.  Find out why she influenced a generation of R&B and soul greats, including Little Richard, Sam Cooke, and The Supremes.

What word would you use to fill in the blank:  "I've got __________, and that's enough"? 

Here are Dorothy Love Coates inspiring lyrics:
There's always somebody talking 'bout me, but really I don't mind
You're trying to block and stop my progress, most of the time
The mean things you say don't make me feel bad
'Cause I can't miss a friend that I never had

(I've got) I've got Jesus and that's enough
 When I'm sick (he's there) and troubled (he's there)
When I call him he will answer my prayers
 When I'm burdened (he's there) with a load (he's there)
That's when Jesus is a comforter (to my soul)
You may scorn me turn your back on me
He's got his arms wrapped all around me
(I've got) I've got Jesus and that's enough

You know there's been so many times when I didn't have a dime
And didn't tell nobody but my Lord
He heard my plea and came to see about me 'cause he's one thing
I can afford
When you push me down Jesus picks me up
Sticks by me when the goin' gets tough
(I've got) I've got Jesus and that's enough

We're talking about a great emancipator and a heart regulator
(Jesus is) yes He is
He'll make my way brighter and my burdens lighter 
yes He will (Jesus will)
When my enemies attack me, He sends me help
Don't leave me to fight these battles by myself
Takes care of my enemies when they try to get tough
And that's enough

Want more?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Susan Cain's introverts blog

Just a quick line to turn you on to another great blog.  It's Susan Cain's companion blog to her book Quiet: The Power of Introverts.  And, the more I read the blog, the more I question how purebred an introvert I am.

But, it's a fascinating and wide-ranging blog, with interviews of introverts in a variety of fields, book reviews, videos -- a little bit of everything.

If you're someone like me, who'd rather be at home watching a film or reading a book than be bored out of her mind in a group of people with whom you have nothing in common, check out this blog to realize that you're not alone.

The author's Manifesto gives you a quick sense of her point of view.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

the power of introverts

First of all, my new favorite blog:  Single and Happy / The Party of Ones.  Second, how I found it:  Blog post on the book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking, about which I had heard in a Terry Gross interview on NPR.

So, rather than rehash the anecdotes I've already heard about this book, and state the obvious about what introversion may have to do with those of us who prefer hanging out at home to the average date available to the over-40 gal, I refer you to the Single and Happy blog by J. Victoria Sanders.

And, apparently, she's just published her own book, uncannily titled Single and Happy:  The Party of Ones.  She's just 35, but . . . 35, 45, not really much difference, I say.  Yeah, a little more awful as the years go by, but it's a challenging enough lifestyle even at 35 (as I recall).  You'll find a lot to ponder on the Single and Happy blog -- but I haven't run into much (so far) that fit the "happy" descriptor.

Here's an interesting one:  What is the hardest thing about being single?  Check out the responses and see if you agree.

And, if anyone is reading these posts and wonders why she hasn't seen a restaurant or entertainment review on this blog for a while, it's winter and I usually hibernate until spring.  But photos of my first-ever birthday dance party will be forthcoming.  In true introvert fashion, I brought the party to me : )

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Year's Eve with the not-quite-right guy

Here I am on New Year's Eve 2012, on -- what? -- a date.

Although I've meant to write about my experiences with online dating, every time I started a post that veered in that direction, I got so bored that I gave it up by sentence number two.

So, when my long-distance-relationship Mister Wrong of the past five years emerged yet again to darken my door -- and kept coming back during the holidays as a good-faith gesture, I figured that a night out rather than a night at home alone seemed more fun for New Year's Eve.

And it was.

I've found that when it comes to my Mister Wrong, he makes a perfectly fine-for-now companion as long as I keep my boundaries clear, don't let him get physical with me, and keep my head on straight.

I'm fine as long as I don't believe any of his hinted-at-promises (which, at this point, he almost believes himself).  I keep reminding myself something that I've only learned since my divorce:  Yes, some men can retain their trademark teflon properties all the way up to death's door (and perhaps beyond).  Nothing you can possibly do will make more than a passing impression.

No, ladies, don't take the bait that if you only changed about three dozen additional things about yourself that -- aha! -- then, he'll be willing to come through for you.

More from me later on this, no doubt : ) .  But, in the meanwhile, don't take anyone too seriously unless he shows you he's serious.  The right one will have no trouble letting you know.  In the meantime, let's learn from our merry middle-aged bachelor friends -- and have fun.