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It’s Never Too Late to Change Your Life

Barb Here

It’s not too late to change your life.

I believe that because I believe it’s not too late to change my life, and I’m working on that change. Every. Single. Day. So I believe this to be true for all of us: If you are healthy enough to undertake your chosen new path, then it’s not too late to change your life. There’s a caveat to this: Having never completed a marathon, I’m not embarking on one now; nor am I going to begin a career on stage or learn to sing. Some things are impossible but I believe anyone can change their life for the better, I believe that anyone can successfully turn their life—or some important part of their life—in a new and better direction.

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Why Is a Heroine a Heroine…Your Heroine?

Barb wrote a nice post …… about our heroines and everyone being someone’s heroine, which made me think of the definition of the word. A heroine doesn’t need a cape, nor does the word mean “a super-woman who saves your life and/or the universe”. While the aforementioned may be true in the movies, IRL, my favorite definition of “heroine” is: A woman admired or idealized for her courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.

How fabulous is THAT!?!

Colonoscopy in a Box. Sounds Interesting, No?

As my mother-in-law used to say, frequently, “Getting old isn’t for sissies.”  That goes double when one contemplates screening for colon cancer. Note, this is NOT for the squeamish. Which I kind of am—squeamish, that is. In fact, I probably wouldn’t read past this paragraph, if I hadn’t written the post. If you’re eating, or don’t like reading about icky bodily function stuff—DO NOT READ MORE.

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Our Forty-Days of De-Cluttering is Nearly Over. How’d You Do?

We pledged to get rid of one item a day for forty days. For the Teva Diva, this meant a bag of stuff every week. I also found yet another new method of folding clothes. For me, storing things more neatly is is as important as getting rid of stuff.

Barb Here

Getting Rid of Stuff

I’ve been getting rid of stuff and during our 40-day de-clutter project have filled and removed three bags from the boat, plus I’ve taken assorted single things ashore to give away. I’m happy, but not done, and will try to take a 15-minute break every so often to walk away from the laptop and toss something or clean something.  Actually, I’ll commit to getting rid of stuff or tidying for 15 minutes every weekday. Call me on it.

While most of you don’t and will never live on a boat, some may take up the RV lifestyle, travel more, or simply downsize into a smaller space with less storage. I am often amused by the “Tiny House” movement as I believe that we cruising sailors invented this years ago. (We have met many who set sail 40 and 50 years ago, and I am delighted to follow in their wake and learn from them.) Still, we who live-aboard can learn from all the newbies on You-Tube.

Storing Stuff Neatly

Here’s my problem with the Kon-Marie method: I have been able to fold clothes nearly as well as she does, and freed up a lot of storage space for both me and EW. However, things don’t always stay folded. I travel ashore in the dinghy with my laundry bag and found that my compactly folded shorts, shirts, and pants frequently came undone on the return trip. Plus we have shelves made of netting to promote air circulation. It works great, but isn’t perfectly flat, so things can roll together and the neatly folded items come undone.

Recently, a Japanese folding video showed up on my Facebook timeline and it beats the Kon-Marie method all to heck. Plus I don’t have to “show each item my affection”. (It’s a Zen thing.) There is, just one small problem with the new method.

Yes, I am sure some of you (particularly Lynnelle) are rolling your eyes after watching this video. EW certainly did when he put his clothes away after the last laundry day.) But it works. Stuff isn’t wrinkled and stays folded. (Yep that’s a pair of jeans in that tiny roll.)

I can assure you that this is easy, things stay folded, they aren’t excessively wrinkled, and they take up much less space.

The Problem (Particularly with a Capsule Wardrobe)

So, once we have gotten rid of all things that don’t fit, aren’t useful for our lifestyle, or are the wrong color, most of us will end up with a capsule wardrobe consisting of many things that are like our other things. (Think of Lynnelle’s 7 pairs of black pants.) (And yes, I know she has a great closet and hangs her pants, but it’s a good example.) Once you roll up your items, it’s difficult to see which pair of black pants, or white t-shirt you are pulling out to wear. Now, again, for most of you, this just means you will have to re-fold the wrong item (which can be a pain).

However, I shower onshore and have twice discovered that I had packed the wrong black jeans and the short-sleeved white t-shirt instead of the long-sleeved one. Plus, EW and I have volunteered at a few music events and received the same t-shirt. So, when I fold the laundry in this fashion I can’t see the size of the shirt when I get back to the boat. It’s a tiny problem, but it can be a bit of a challenge. EW would not be pleased to find a too-small shirt in his shower bag.  Ah well. we are a work in progress.  This week I will fold EW’s T-Shirts so that they are a bit wider than mine. That works in his drawer and will help me assign them correctly back on the boat.

Confession: When I first started using the Kon-Mari method I placed a rectangular pattern in my laundry basket. The short side was the width of my folded knit shirts, the longer side for EW’s. At right, you’ll see some of my clothes: one brown sweat pant, three short sleeved t-shirts, one blue dress, and one long-sleeved tee. How neat is that?

I’m Committed to Getting Rid of Things and Storing Them Neatly

Yep, our 40-day project has allowed me to reach a new level of commitment. So far, I’ve not tossed anything we need and the closets and drawers are looking much better. How are you doing?

As for the “Featured Image” I’ve actually been using Martha Stewart’s sheet folding method for years. Fold both sheets and all but one pillowcase, and insert them into that pillowcase. Voila!

You’re welcome.

 

 

 

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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.)