Fierce after 50

Like most mature women I know, I have an uneasy relationship with mirrors in department store fitting rooms. While trying on clothes, I scrutinize my body like a roadmap, noting the topography of my lifelong journey. I can still spot traces of post-delivery stretch marks and joint replacement scars, not to mention those newly acquired age spots that can’t quite pass as freckles. But that’s OK.

Last week, I heard Cat Stevens’ “Miles from Nowhere” on my car radio. The tune was a favorite of mine in high school, but its lyrics resonate even more now:

     Lord my body, it’s been a good friend / But I won’t need it when I reach the end.

unnamed-1Throughout six decades, my body has been a very good friend indeed. It has endured years of dancing classes, playground accidents, and skinned knees. It was hit by a car; it gave birth to one spectacular son. It has survived blood transfusions, several bouts of skin cancer, and two hip replacements. 

I was in much better shape in my twenties, yet I constantly compared myself to other women. In those days — and even on good days — I believed I fell short of our culture’s impossibly high standards of fitness and beauty. Thankfully, maturity broadens and reshapes our view of physical perfection (and not just our backsides). 

On the road to aging well, it also helps to have a few inspiring role models to light the way. While researching pro-aging topics for my monthly columns in Michigan Prime, I’ve happily discovered a whole new world of female fashion bloggers who are rocking their late forties, fifties, sixties, seventies, eighties, and beyond. I’ve only scratched the surface, but here is a short list of my favorites:

Advanced Style

Brenda Kinsel

Fabulous after 40 

FASHION SHOULD BE FUN

The Middle Page

More than turquoise by Jamie Lewinger

Style at a certain age

Stylish Paradox

Susan after 60

Tamara Beardsley

THAT’S NOT MY AGE

Une femme d’un certain age

DSCN0029No matter how old we are, those of us who love fashion want to see ourselves mirrored in magazine spreads, ad campaigns, and fashion catalogs. We want to see clothing modeled on women close to our own age — in all shapes and sizes. Despite the fact that our demographic wields considerable spending power, we’re consistently overlooked by most fashion editors and advertisers. 

That’s why I’m grateful for mature fashion bloggers. Flaunting beauty, courage, and confidence, they remind all of us that we, too, can be women of style as well as substance.

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Top photo: That’s me with my husband, Doug, both in our sixties. We’re posing for HAP’s Balanced Living magazine — our first cover shot.  

Paying it forward

IMG_2891There are times when friends and loved ones need more than a get-well bouquet. In this month’s issue of Michigan Prime, I share ways to offer your help and support during an emergency or a serious health crisis. The column appears in the print edition of the magazine (delivered with your Sunday Detroit Free Press) and online here, on page 3

Celebrating 12 years of “Writing Home”

DSCN0180My story collection, Writing Home, celebrates its 12th anniversary this month. Published in 2005, the book is now in its second printing — and available in a Kindle edition.

Written during the years I worked at home while raising my son, Writing Home has been called “a love letter to home and family life.” Some of the columns first appeared in the Sunday Daily Tribune and The Christian Science Monitor, while others were published in national magazines including Reader’s Digest, Better Homes & Gardens, Mary Engelbreit’s Home Companion, and several popular anthologies.

I’m especially proud of the fact that — within the first year of publication — I sold enough copies to donate a few hundred dollars of my proceeds to organizations serving the homeless in my community. Along the way, Writing Home has been honored with several awards, too, including one from Writer’s Digest and another from Midwest Independent Publishers Assoc. But the real rewards, for me, come from the readers who tell me how much they’ve enjoyed the book over the years. Thanks to you, dear readers, it continues to sell in local stores and workshops. I have pulled the title from Amazon, though you can purchase used copies there. 

Local shoppers: Writing Home is always in stock at the Yellow Door Art Market in downtown Berkley — an absolutely wonderful shop specializing in Michigan-made art and products.

The life-changing magic of chucking it

BeginThe start of a new year is the perfect time to de-clutter our lives, whether we’re cleaning closets or ditching toxic habits and relationships. In the January 2017 issue of Michigan Prime, I discuss what we can learn from our millennial kids about being less attached to all the stuff we’ve accumulated over the years. You might be inspired to clear out your own attic! Click here and flip to page 3 to read the column.

Wishing you all a happy new year!

 

Making peace after the election

IMG_1854
As we gather together for the winter holidays — at office parties and in the homes of our relatives — we’ll all be walking around a huge elephant in the middle of the room. The elephant’s name is Politics.

Chances are, a few of your friends, colleagues, and loved ones didn’t vote for the presidential candidate of your choice. Can you remain cordial and keep the peace? That’s the topic of my column in the December issue of Michigan Prime, delivered this Sunday with your Detroit News and Free Press. Flip to page six to read the column in the online edition.