Tag Archives: self esteem

My Middle-aged Closet

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A few weeks ago, I celebrated my 53 birthday.

Life looks different on this side of fifty, I can’t deny that, and all of us over on this side know that there are lots of negatives to growing older. We could talk about hot flashes and achey knees, or about needing to have reading glasses in every room in the house, but I’d rather look for some good things about middle age. There are some…really…if you take the time to recognize them.

In fact, the other day, while cleaning out my clothes closet, I had an¬†epiphany about this very thing. You may think this is a rather strange place for a self realization, but I often do my best thinking while organizing.ūüėä

Anyway, what I realized is that the contents of my closet have begun to represent what I want out of life In my middle years.

Stay with me here.

There have always been clothes that have ended up in my closet for the wrong reasons. Maybe I bought it because I was under a deadline to find something and had to settle, or maybe there was a really great sale and I couldn’t pass up a bargain. There are things I own because I ¬†caved to the opinion of a fellow shopper even though I knew the item wasn’t quite me. I will also admit that my frugal (cheap) nature occasionally ¬†causes me to buy something less flattering, rather that pay for a more expensive version. What I’m getting at is that there is a lot of crap in my closet that I simply don’t like. I used to just hang on to it all thinking that someday it might become more appealing.

Not anymore. All those ruffled blouses that are so not me (I’m more of a jeans and tee shirt girl), are out the door as well as all those scratchy, uncomfortable clothes that I bought because they were in style at some point. ¬†There will be no high heels, or big colorful jewelry for me no matter how cute they look on other people.

I will no longer wear anything that doesn’t feel like me. You know what I mean. We all have clothes that we put on and instantly feel at home. Clothes that make you happy. Clothes that make you feel confident and comfortable in your own skin.

What does this have to do with life over fifty?

Simple. At this age I feel much more comfortable with who I am and what I like or dislike. I don’t care so much about fitting in now. My younger self was notorious for altering opinions and views just to maintain the status quo. ¬†I wasn’t secure enough to just be ME.

Basically, I’ve been trying to do the same thing in my life as I’ve done in my closet- just keeping the things that I really love and that represent who I am these days. Gone are the friends I never really had anything in common with. Enter all those people who make me feel like me and whose company I really enjoy. I want to do things that I actually enjoy doing and not stuff that I feel like I should¬†be doing. I’m going to ask the questions, whether they sound silly or not and, I’m going to try new stuff whether I look silly or not. I’ve found that being embarrassed isn’t such a big deal anymore.

It’s a very liberating feeling- this streamed down life. Clean and clutter free.

Just like my closet.

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Redefining Talent

A few weeks ago there was a lot of discussion in the media regarding Miss Colorado’s unconventional performance in the talent portion of the Miss America pageant. ¬†Kelley Johnson, who is a nurse, came on stage wearing scrubs and a stethoscope and presented an original monologue about her experience working with an elderly patient she called “Joe”.¬†I hadn’t watched¬†the pageant but after reading all the comments going around I looked up the video to watch online. Here is the link in case you want to check it out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYoCW1DQWQE
Personally, ¬†I ¬†like her style. In fact, I think we could take it even further. ¬†The term “talent” in Miss America and other pageants has been pigeon-holed into meaning some kind of performing art: singing, dancing, baton twirling, whatever. Why? These are bright, interesting women who wish to represent our country. Why do they have to sing well to do that? I’ve heard young girls here in town say that they can’t compete in our local “Miss” pageant because they “have no talent”! I bet that there are just as many “Miss America” wanna-bes thinking the same thing. What!? Everyone has some kind of talent, they’re just thinking of it the wrong way.

Here’s an idea…Let’s change the “Talent” portion of the pageant into the “How do you make your mark in the world?” portion. Then each young woman could perform, tell a story or make a video showing what she is passionate about, something that means something to her and the world around her. Maybe it would be dancing or singing or playing the piano but it could also be volunteering for a cause, caring for the environment or saving and enriching lives the way Miss Colorado does. If we do that, perhaps our daughters would idolize teachers and nurses and chefs and engineers, and beauticians the way that they idolize Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande.

What do you think?