Prioritize You

Why is it that most us (women over 50) are so damn practical? It’s not really even practical I’m thinking, but utilitarian. If it doesn’t cook something, clean something, make something faster (or slower) or easier – we won’t spend the money on ourselves. We’ll spend the money on someone else, but not ourselves, unless it is “practical”. But guess what!! If you don’t prioritize you – no one will. And, while maybe not EVERY time – but sometimes, you SHOULD be the priority.

  • Girls night out TWICE this month!
  • Choose La Perla over the Jockey.
  • Take that trip to visit your college roommate – solo.
  • Put the wash off one more day and sit outside, enjoy the gorgeous day, and read a book.
  • Get a massage (manicure, pedicure, take a yoga class…)

Why do we think these things aren’t important? Because we won’t DIE without them?

That’s bullsh*t.

No, we’ll live; but how fully? How fully and how well can we live if we never prioritize ourselves? Don’t give me the “but I don’t have any money” line. It doesn’t need to be expensive to prioritize yourself– and besides, I believe we are able to do and have much more than we realize or believe. We have to quit the “Yea, but…” routine.

Fill Yourself Up

As I post this, I was to have been en route to New York City. Alone. Because I want to. I’m cashing out points for the flight and points for most of the hotel. But, I’m sure I would have made the trip with or without points. I may have stayed with a friend or two rather than the hotel and waited for a bargain airfare. It only matters that I make a trip to NY every other year, or so. Being in NY, visiting my friends in NY fills me up.

Something else I’ve decided recently – maybe because of the aging, or maybe I’m just slow to evolve – but, I don’t want to wear Jockey, Hanes, or any other practical underwear any more. I want to feel feminine, for me. It’s not that no one will see if I’m wearing nice undies – I will see. No one else needs to see or even know… well, no one but Kurt (and Pablo). (I’ll keep a couple of practical sets for those gardening, house-cleaning, sick-in-bed days…) Whether I’m wearing jeans and a t-shirt or a nice “party dress”, I want to wear feminine, silky, underwear that will NOT hold up in the wash. Yes, hand washing is a lot more work and yes, feminine, quality lingerie is more expensive, but it feels good to wear beautiful, quality ANYTHING – even when no one (except Kurt and Pablo) sees it.

Whatever it is that fills you up, makes you feel good, it’s important to make it a priority. Because it’s through you, how you treat yourself that others learn how to treat you.

Don’t Talk Yourself Out of It

Thinking about my trip to NY (which has been rescheduled for May 7 – 12 due to, yet another Nor’easter) spurred me on to write this post. I caught myself thinking how selfish it was for me to take the trip, what should I make myself accomplish while there to make the trip worthwhile, what should I sacrifice later to compensate???

Snap out of it!  This kind of thinking is just Bullsh*t.  I know I’m fortunate. I also know I’m a better, more fulfilled person when I recognize and prioritize being a better, more fulfilled person.

I dare you to do the same. It doesn’t have to be a week in NYC or an expensive set of lingerie. How about taking the afternoon this weekend to visit a friend you’ve been missing? Or, take a nap? Or, going to see the movie Lady Bird (coz you know you’re SO doesn’t like chic flicks…) Or – go sit under a tree and read a book.  … or go to Paris with us (We have 1 confirmed and 2 reserved… That leaves 2 spots, for sure.)

Whatever fills you up. I dare you.

Let me know.

Following Your Dream

Are you really following your dream or just playing around? The Tevas Diva once again learns something important from her husband.

Barb here.

How Committed Are You to Following Your Dream?

When EW and I set sail in 2010, heading down the US Coast to Florida, the Bahamas, the Eastern Caribbean and beyond, he said, “My dream isn’t just to go sailing. It’s to go sailing and meet people to play music with.”  The thing was, he had never played music with anyone before this. He had (still does) a nice Martin guitar and he took some lessons and played around with it, but he’d never done much else. I have to admit that I was skeptical.

EW was everything but. He was optimistic, determined, and willing to be wrong out loud in front of an audience, and committed to following his dream.

Making Music in the Caribbean

EW with Tim on bass and Peter Bonta on keyboards. Water Island St. Thomas

EW didn’t get much going until we reached Grenada in 2011, where many boats anchor for hurricane season and where many crew members or captains play music or sing. There were a plethora of guitarists, one or two who played saxophone, folks who played banjo, mandolin, ukelele, percussion, harmonica, and more. There were others who had lovely singing voices, and still others who simply loved to sing. (One is not a requirement for the other.) EW met a fellow cruiser, Peter Bonta, who became a dear friend and a mentor. Peter was a retired professional musician and he loves to teach someone who truly wants to learn. EW spent hours on Peter’s boat and more hours practicing aboard out boat. They both participated in the frequent music jams.

When we all sailed up to St. Thomas, the music continued and Peter got EW to step up to the mike for Open Mike Night at Tickles Pub. Later, we had Sunday music sessions in the Tree Tops with professional and amateur musicians gathered for potluck Sunday meal and hours of music.

Following Your Dream May Require You to Ignore “Facts”

EW made music with others all throughout the Eastern and Western Caribbean—aboard various vessels, on the beach, on the docks, and (amazingly) as part of a guitar/bass duo in a dockside pub in Panama.  Frankly, I love hearing him play and I love hearing him sing—but I have no illusions that he’s going to make any money at it. He plays here with professional and amateur musicians at jams and open mikes. He loves it. He learns new music, joined a contest, and works at it. All the while imagining himself playing for money.

Frankly, I thought he was delusional. (And that doesn’t make me a bad person. I am realistic about his talent. He plays guitar much better than he sings, but there are some songs which he can sing very well.) He just keeps at it. Keeps pushing himself. Takes advice from every great musician he meets and uses it. He keeps at it. It’s his dream and he is following his dream.

On St. Patrick’s Day, EW Achieved His Dream

St. Patty’s Day is HUGE in St. Augustine. It’s more like St. Patty’s Week. Since it was on a Saturday this year, it was even bigger. Every Irish establishment downtown opened from 9 AM to 2 AM (no kidding) with music most of the day. So this one Irish place 8 miles south of town evidently didn’t book their talent early enough. They had a great local troubadour starting at 9:00 but no one scheduled before. One of EW’s music friends plays mostly a Celtic repertoire and was engaged to play from 4 to 9. He is not a professional musician and didn’t want to sing for 5 hours alone. Frankly, he called a bunch of people before he called EW, who generally plays no Irish songs. EW was the only one available so they worked out some songs.

Yes, I went and sat through the whole thing. We support following your dreams. Yes, they totally mangled a couple of songs. Yes, they were a bit rough and (in my humble opinion) played some songs much too slowly. No, they didn’t learn “Danny Boy”.  Still, they played for 5 hours, each taking a solo 20 minutes while the other rested. EW’s solo stuff was not Irish and he rocked it.

The musicians were so wound up that we ended up at our favorite local bar until 1:00. Following your dreams is stimulating.

So, Here’s the Thing: Following Your Dream is Terrifying

What if you fail? What if you embarrass yourself? What if you struggle and struggle and struggle? What if you stand up and make a whole bunch of mistakes out loud in front of an audience?  I asked EW this. Here’s his answer:

“I’m just going to have fun and do my best. If they don’t like it, tough.”

There you go. No excuses. Go for it. If they don’t like it, tough.

Oh, and with tips, they each made $106.00.

My Dream

I am a professional writer, earning all we need to continue fulfilling all of our dreams.

What’s your dream? Just claim it, go for it, and work for it. (As Lynnelle is with the Divas trip to Paris in October.)




UFOs—Unfortunate Clothing Option

EW and I have a secret phrase when we see someone wearing a wildly inappropriate outfit. I’ll whisper, “UFO,” and tilt my head to indicate direction; EW will usually say, “UFO—Unfortunate Clothing Option?” and look.

Yes, it’s judgemental and snarky. Yes, I am sometimes ashamed. And yes, I have also been guilty—often. So pot, meet kettle.  (Also, as the thumbnail shows, even icons are not above committing a UFO. Sorry, Michelle.)

Barb Here

Did you always “get” fashion? I did not. This led to a whole lot of UFOs.—

Some of us are born with an understanding of fashion. At the very least, others of us soon understand what clothing looks best on us. And then there are those, like the 7th grader who proudly bought a new pair of flared jeans with white snaps and a COOL wide patterned blue and red vertical stripe. And then wore them to school to find that one of the actually cool kids had the same pants—the kicker? These “men’s” pants had also been purchased by one of the cool boys in my class, who was mortified that the awkward, inches taller, blond “smart girl” was wearing the same slacks he had proudly donned that morning. (He went home and changed at lunch.)

I really liked those pants. And frankly, they looked better on my long legs than they did on his shorter ones. I think I continued to wear them and always heard a few snickers. With my long legs in a small town, I was wearing women’s jeans long before it became popular.

My Wardrobe Has Always Been Hit or Miss

I can look fondly at some of my high school choices, like the wide-legged laced-up-fly jeans which  I wore with a ribbed navy-blue turtle-neck body suit. (No flab at 16.) I’m sure there were other things I wore that were flattering, but not the puffy bright yellow ski jacket or the round ski goggles. That outfit had “bug” written all over it. (Again, a shorter person figures into this story. The photo I remember is of me and my frequent ski partner, Wanda. She may have reached 5’2″ to my 5’8″. Our T-Bar failures were legendary. Still, she looked cool on the slopes. As for getting dressed up, for some reason, this strawberry blond, who now despises pink, wore just that color to two semi-formals in high school.

Even though I’m older and wiser and have been able to state for years what types of things look good on me, I frequently mess it up. There have been days in every year of my life for which someone could look at me walking down the street and say, “UFO alert!”

Why I Envy Lynnelle and Others Like Her

Here’s the thing—well two things:

  1. It makes Lynnelle’s hands sweat to pair down her wardrobe because she actually likes and looks good in most everything she owns. (Though she still doesn’t need 9 pairs of black pants.)
  2. She also knows that when she must seek a new outfit, such as a “beachy floaty dress”, that a) she’ll find one fairly easily and b) she’ll have shoes that match the freaking dress. (No, I did not gloat at all to hear she had left those raspberry Louboutins at home in error.) (That’s not a joke. I’m a friend. I did not gloat.) Do note that if I had left my shoes home in error, I would not have had another pair of heels to wear in their stead and would have had to buy some sequined or raspberry flipflops.

I, however, frequently feel that I have nothing to wear—and I’m frequently right. While I have some good things, there are too few of them. I know what I can expect to look good on me, but cannot find it and settle for what I can find.

This Dress With its UFO Color

I purchased this dress because I truly had nothing to wear for Jeff and Barb’s renewal of vows in St. Thomas. I paid too much for it. The style is lovely on me—though I’d rather the deep V neckline wasn’t quite that deep. The color– not so much. Yes, it does have “Barbara Blue”, Teal, and a lovely Green. But it also has way too much yellow. white lime green, and orange. It was not a flattering dress for me. Come to think of it, that pattern of fake quilting is horrendous. What was I thinking?

This dress is today’s offering to the give-away pile. I love the style and the length. I need this dress in “Barbara Blue, teal, bright navy, or turquoise. Heck, I need this dress in at least two of those colors and maybe black.

This dress has got to go.

Two Takes on a Capsule Wardrobe

Lynnelle is working on de-cluttering and adding a select few items when she’s done.

I am working on de-cluttering and making a list of the what I need and the styles/colors/sizes that I will accept. I know what works. Until I find it, I will keep wearing what I own. In a year, there will be no UFOs-Unfortunate Clothing Options in my locker or drawers.

That is my pledge to me.

(Oh, god. I may have to wear the same thing over and over and over again. Talk about a small capsule!)

Wish me luck.






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