Life doesn’t begin at sixty but the beauty does

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I can remember thinking I would never make it to sixty. It seemed like some mythical number off in the distance. Of course, back then, everything in life was hard. I worked hard, I played hard, I was raising my little girl all on my own and I remember thinking every day ‘I’m tired’. It was also a time when I looked at my grandparents and foolishly thought sixty was old. Let’s fast forward that constant moving time machine….sixty is far from old

At sixty, I’ve learned a lot things, wisdom I wish I could have embraced in my twenties and thirties. But here’s the thing, wisdom, really great wisdom, is rarely understood or followed when we are young. We need to walk through a little (or a lot) of hell to truly understand the wisdom.

My younger me had to pack thirty-six hours into a twenty-four hour day, seven days a week. I had do do everything right away. I was afraid to miss anything going on, everything had to be perfectly right all the time. I rarely went to bed before midnight, if I was lucky. Now, I’m content with a good nights sleep and nap in a sunny place on a beautiful day, and a good book. The work, the phone calls, the cleaning, the laundry? It will get done in due time. Our children grow up fast. They don’t need us later, they don’t need to hear in a minute or tomorrow. They need us now while they want to spend time with us. Parents too. If you are blessed to still have your parents with you as I am, take the time with them, listen to their stories. I love hearing about their youth and the history of their lives.

My younger me collected too many things. The house, the cars, the toys, closets full of clothes and shoes, the latest and greatest gadgets. So much stuff…too much stuff. Now, I treasure simplicity. I can’t relax when there are too many things around me. I’ve spent the last year letting go of a large portion of this stuff. I’ve decluttered, sold or donated so much and I still have a ways to go. I’m having fun repurposing treasures I’ve rediscovered. It’s amazing what a bit of paint and a sander will do to what I used think of junk. The old jeans I’ve kept in the back of my closet all these years? Some funky fabric and the art of embroidery, which my mom taught me when I was a kid, have created a masterpiece.

My younger me blindly believed the family and friends I love would always be there. I’ve cried so many tears learning the hard truth on this one. I thought I have time…lots of time but the reality is, life can change in an instant, in the blink of an eye everything you hold so dear can change. I could be sharing a glass of wine and some laughter one night and the next day? My friend is gone forever. Accidents, unexpected illness, it happens to all of us. I hate goodbyes. I always have, but it happens. Every day is precious. Every laugh, every hug and every story shared…is a gift. Don’t throw it away. Work will always be there, but family and friends may not.

My younger me worried so much about how I looked, the weight I gained or lost, was I dressed right for the occasion… I worried about other people’s opinions of me and did I fit in, was I good enough, smart enough, pretty enough. Would I ever meet the right guy, find love again and settle down. I stressed over so many things that really didn’t matter. Now, when I look back, I have to laugh. At sixty? I honestly don’t give a damn. I am who I am and it you don’t like it? It’s not my problem. Your opinion of me isn’t my business. I work hard, I take care of myself so I can do the things I dream of. To me, a few wrinkles and grey hairs are a beautiful story waiting to be told. I’m too busy living my life and loving those I choose to be a part of my world, than to worry what others think.

Life isn’t a race. I don’t need to cross a finish line or finish everything I start. Life is about living. It’s takes many of us years to figure that out. Experiences and people matter so much more than things. When I look back over the last sixty years, I have few regrets and lots of wishes and dreams. The biggest thing I would have changed was time wasted over things that really didn’t matter. My biggest lesson was learning to trust that little voice inside my heart telling me when to go for it and when to let go.

My life has been a journey, an amazing journey filled with wonderful people and incredible experiences. I’ve experienced heartache and pain from the loss of so many loved ones over the years. Yet those I’ve loved are in my heart everyday. My mind is a movie projector of memories. I can close my eyes feel the presence of the ones who have moved on. I’ve had adventures and lived dreams that many haven’t been able to experience. My life has been a blessing in every possible way.

The beauty of it all…is it isn’t over yet. Turning sixty doesn’t mean I’m getting old, it means I am looking at life in a different way. No matter what is happening around me, I choose not to live in fear. I have sixty years of learning and I have faith. My dream is to be able to make a difference in the lives of those around me. To make their worlds shine a little brighter in some way. God has a plan for me and he isn’t done with me yet. That little voice inside of me is still talking.

XOXO……

Sidney

Be the change you want to see happening around you. Live your dream, it’s never too late

Have You Started Breathing Yet?

Paradise

I planned on using this forced time off to finish up an entire list of projects… In my defense, I managed a few. I started off good, after the initial shock of being told I couldn’t work, shop or visit my family and friends. Rooms got painted and the garage finally was cleaned out. Organization is moving like a tornado through the whole house which is filling up the garage again, as the donation sites are still closed.

I can’t remember if it’s Tuesday or Wednesday, if its seven weeks or eight weeks now or when I can go back to work. Remember, salons are not essential. (I’ve been watching all you policitans on TV and I can tell who is visiting back-door-Betty for hair services.)

What I have not minded is sleeping in once in a while and allowing my body to rest. Taking my dogs for walks two or three times a day. Catching up of Netflix, (There are some really strange things on Netflix friends…really) and reading. I also appreciated being able to stay home when I woke up last week with a toothache. The dentist offices were still closed and it took until Monday afternoon to get an appointment. Now it’s a week’s wait for a root canal. That’s over seven days of living on antibiotics and heavy pain killers all because everything is closed. It’s a crazy world out there.

Social media is filled with angry people offering their opinion. Open up everything, stay home, stay safe. I see both sides. People are scared and emotions are high. Not everyone is in the same boat during this storm. Some are petrified of getting the Covid-19. Others are scared of losing everything they’ve worked their whole lives for and both sides are screaming at each other. I’m watching the worst come out of some genuinely beautiful people. To be honest, that scares me most of all

Life has always been hurry up, push it harder, work more, I’ll do that when I retire, someday… How many of you are thinking someday is now? While I’m staying home, I might as well plan some trips to places I’ve dreamed of. I know it won’t be next month but it’s going to be sooner than someday.

I’m taking a step back here. What is the most important? Do a little research, there have been quite a few pandemics. Some were in my lifetime and I heard nothing or very little about them. We survived. According to this article, there was a pandemic going on during Woodstock.

Woodstock Occurred in the Middle of a Pandemic

Yes its life changing and yes, things are going to be different, at least for a while. We will get through this. Have a little faith and a whole lot of compassion.

Just be Kind.

XOXO

Week Four

Has it really been 4 weeks? I had to go back and check my calendar and it is. It’s been a little over 4 weeks today the Governor proclaimed my job as a stylist non-essential and the salon closed. Two weeks have turned into a month and still counting. It’s a day by day thing.

The first week, I found myself living in denial. Like so many others I know, I went through the motions. Everything and anything to keep busy. I made to-do lists and checked out paint chips. I drew up a game plan for my gardens and cleaned out the closets. I kept telling myself this will over soon…give it a week…it’s being blown way out of proportion. Then REALITY HIT.

Now we are into week four. At the advise of a very wise friend, I quit watching the news. My routine became disinfecting the house every morning and then again before I went to bed. I love my steam mop. A little water mixed with essentials oils works wonders. I walk the dogs and try to attempt my yoga practice at home, with the help of those same rambunctious dogs who think downward dog is their signal to jump on me. I read, I write and I pray

My thoughts turn to those who have some major health issues, those who suffer with depression and those who are all alone and can’t see their families during this shelter in place. And I pray. I pray because, for the most part, I’m doing okay. I miss seeing people and hugging them, sharing a glass of wine and good conversation. I don’t think about the what ifs…seeing a doctor or having a condition that requires constant medical attention. When my mind goes down a dark path, I think of the many blessing I have been given every single day. I pray for those who are not as lucky.

I believe, in time, this too shall pass. There will be terrible losses. The pain of losing loved ones. The financial stress that is going to take months, if not years to recover from. Life as we know it is changing and changing fast. Don’t dwell on it because, let’s be honest, getting angry or freaking out will not change it. I want to believe I will come out of this stronger than I was before. I want to believe I won’t take for granted the simple things, a hug, a family dinner, a sailboat filled with friends and laughter and a bit of wine on a Sunday afternoon.

I’m grateful that we live in the age of technology where we can have video chats with our families and friends, my grandchildren…When I’m lonely, I just have to pick up the phone and make a call.

This pandemic is changing all of us, every single person on earth is being impacted in one way or another. That impact can be good or bad. It’s up to you. I’m choosing good. I’m choosing hope

Living In The Hysteria

I never imagined the COVID-19. I’ve watched the movies and I’ve read the books but never in a million years, did I think this could become our reality. I’ve stared at the news in shock, the videos of the beaches packed with spring breakers, I’ve driven past the playgrounds filled with children, climbing on the jungle gyms as their parents gather together discussing the pandemic…what are they thinking?

I can’t say I’ve barricaded myself behind locked doors with my curtains closed, not yet anyway. I’ve been out a bit, helping a friend whose business is still open, (The salon is closed until the 27, maybe longer) I’m running up and down a million steps hauling cases of product, wiping down counters and cleaning floors. I’m doing what I can to help. I’m blessed because there’s a roof over my head and plenty of food to eat. I have family and friends calling to see if I’m okay and if I need anything. I’m checking on others to see if I can help them too…

But I’m scared. I’m scared for the elderly who may not understand what’s happening. Can you imagine what it’s like for someone with dementia when suddenly no one can visit them and they are shut off from everyone they still remember? I’m scared for the children who want to know why they can’t go play with their friends. I’m scared for the sick, the homeless, the ones who suffer from anxiety. For the hospital staff and the delivery drivers, the sales clerks and the people who are stocking the shelves. I’m scared for ones who are not taking this epidemic seriously.

COVID-19 has no discrimination. It hits the young, the old, every color, every race, every religion and economic background. I get it that it’s hard to stay home. People are scared, they’ve lost jobs and the market is sinking. But jobs reopen and the market rises. Isn’t life more important than things?

I’m glad I have my faith to cling to in times like this. God never promised things would be easy. There will be loss and there will be suffering and hard times but through it all, he is with us. It’s when the hope dies, we are in trouble. We can’t let that happen.

Give yourself a break from the constant mayhem of the news. Open a window or step outside in your yard, breathe in some fresh air, play a game, read a book, finish a project you’ve been putting off, pray and then pray some more. Drop a basket of food off on the doorstep of someone who is shut in. Coloring books and crayons for the kids, loan out some books or DVD’s from your collection. FaceTime, Skype, call, text, e-mail to your family, friends, neighbors…We’re all going a little stir crazy about now and knowing there are people who care about us, about how we’re doing during all of this makes a huge difference.

COVID-19 is going to change every one of us in some way. When this is over, I want to hug people a little longer and a little tighter than before. I want to work harder towards my dreams and desire less in the way of stuff. I never again want to take life as we know it, for granted.

So today I’m praying for patience and calm, for empathy and understanding. While I’m doing that, I’m cleaning out the closets and the drawers and the boxes of stuff I’ve, yet again, accumulated. I’m simplifying and giving that which I don’t need to others who might. It’s going to be rough for a while and helping others is what helps myself. God tells us to come together in tough times. While we can’t do that physically right now, there are ways. Sharing, communicating and the simple act of kindness will go a long way

Wash your hands, sanitize, social distancing and stay home…and above all else…be kind and pray. We’ll make it through this together.

Life is a gift

It’s been one hell of a year, don’t you think? I feel like it flew by me in a blur. One minute I was making my list for 2019 and the next?…It’s 2020.

To be honest, I’m ready for 2019 to be over. It’s been a hard year, one of loss, learning the hard way and way too many good-byes. If I’ve learned anything in 2019 it would be don’t waste time. Time refuses to wait for any one of us so don’t waste it. If you have a dream, go for out. Make a plan and start working towards your goal. If you don’t like where you live, move. If your job isn’t doing it for you…get another one. If your tribe doesn’t have your back? FIND A NEW ONE!!! (This last one is a biggie) Surround yourself with people who support you. Life is hard enough and we needs friends in our corner who believe in us. Life isn’t about working ourselves to death, trying to get ahead. I’ve been there. All that does is give us more medical bills because we’re not taking care of ourselves.

Take an honest look at your life…what’s working and what is not. 2020 is the year of letting go, it’s a year of changes. It’s going to take work and it’s going to take time, good things always do…

Self care, kindness, letting go, minimalism and organization, dreams, simplicity, magical… These are just a few of my words for 2020. By downsizing to what is truly important to me, my surroundings, my commitments, my wants and needs…I am gaining a whole new world.

So take care of yourself, live life for you instead of living the life others want you too, fill life with what you love instead of just things and most of all…take a step towards your dreams. Own them and go for it.

2020 is going to be a big year

Remembering 2018

2018 has been a year of discovery and a year of loss. A year of meeting so many wonderful people and saying goodbye to old friends who should have had so much more time.

It’s been a year of perseverance and a year of learning who I am, of how strong I can be and how much I have to give of myself to others. I’ve learned that when my heart seems to be depleted, God fills it up even more than I could have dreamed of so I can keep giving…and God is always there, even in the toughest of times.

People pass through our lives every single day. Some last a lifetime by our side, while others may come and go. Yet each person you meet leaves an imprint whether we understand it or not. A smile from a stranger, someone holding open a door, or the eyes of a child looking up at us in awe. Every person we meet leaves a part of them in our hearts.

2018, I lost some beloved friends, some I knew well and others, not so much, But with everyone of them I cried because it hurts to say goodbye and I will miss them. My life was blessed because of them. Tragedy, illness and aging..it happens but it still hurts.

2018, I met so many wonderful people I am honored to call my friends…

I love them.

2018, I wrote and published two books with more to come. I’m following my dreams

2018, I’ve learned I have been blessed beyond anything I could have dreamed of. My parents are aging and having some issues, my mom has Alzheimer’s and each day I can spend helping her fills my heart. My parents gave so much to their kids and now, It’s my turn to give back. It’s a blessing. Peter is a miracle. I watch each day as he struggles with ALS, always smiling and always giving. To be a part of his life is a gift and it makes me want to give all that I can. God keeps filling…

2018, I’ve learned what’s important.

Give more, worry less, live, laugh, love…Hug your family and friends, tell them how much they mean to you. Don’t feel guilty, try your best and above all else…

Follow your dreams.

Love each day because tomorrow isn’t a guarantee.

May 2019 be magical

Love, Sidney

Thank You for Giving

This time of the year gets really crazy. I work long hours, go crazy trying to clean up every corner of my house, decorate everything in sight, shop for the perfect everything…

Until I reach a point of exhaustion and the holiday season becomes a blur.

Actually, it started the beginning of October when I decided to do the Last 90 Day Challenge. Instead of starting the first of the year, I’m ending my year more organized…or at least I’m trying.

For Thanksgiving, I shopped last weekend, cleaned during the week, (a few leftover dust bunnies are welcome to join the party.) I prepped what I could last night and then curled up with a book.

The only reason I’m up this early now is because two puppies love to go outside by 5am and chase the wind.

But I digress, Thanksgiving is a time of reflection for me. A time to look all around me and recognize that my life is very blessed. I am surrounded by love, I love my work at the salon, helping people look and feel beautiful. I’m one of those lucky ones who looks forward to going to work every day. And I’m following my dreams…

This year for the holidays, I not buying…I’m giving. I wanted a chance to make a difference somehow, somewhere.

I’m spoiling a ten year old girly girl who loves make-up and unicorns. Just imagine what I can do with that!!! I’ve never met her but in my heart, I know I will make her Christmas a little better.

Or the toddlers in Texas that I’m knitting soft-squishy teddy bears for. I wish I could hear their giggles when they discover those bears under their tree on Christmas morning.

A single mom out east, struggling to save enough to give her kids a dinner, a family out west who just bought their first house and unexpectedly, both parents were laid off a few weeks ago. I can help make a difference.

I am so blessed in every possible way. I need to share that. Opportunities to give are everywhere.

It isn’t about what we have…things are just things. It’s about what we can give.

Imagine a world where each of us takes the time to make a difference.

Thank You for Giving

XOXOXOXo

Dear Younger Me

There are some things I wish I would have been told when I was young, things that could have made such a difference in life.

Don’t grow up yet… I was always asked what do I want to do when I grow up? What’s your plan? What college? Everything seemed to be about the future, everything. I didn’t even know what I want to do the next day. I just wanted to be a kid and have fun. I changed my mind a hundred times as to what I wanted to do as a grown up. So enjoy being a kid, it’s honestly going to be the best part of your life… and the easiest.

Be your beautiful self…Don’t let anyone put you in a box and label it. You don’t have to be like everyone else. Your dreams don’t need to be organized by someone who knows better. They are yours! No one gets to tell you what to dream, not your parents, your friends, your boyfriend, no one. I heard way too many times, my dreams were dumb, unattainable, crazy… For a long time I listened and I wish I hadn’t. Look in the mirror…YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL and YOU CAN DO ANYTHING YOU SET YOUR MIND ON!!!! It takes time and it takes work. But never let someone tell you it’s impossible.

It’s Okay to start over…Your mistakes do not define you. Mistakes are roadmaps, stepping stones. We all make them. It’s how we grow. Starting over is saying we are strong enough to change direction, open to a new challenge and that we love ourselves enough to give ourselves this gift.

You have to love yourself first and foremost…That is not being selfish! Being guilted by someone in our life is not love. Guilt is destructive and the beginning of the end in a relationship. Listen to your inner self. If something doesn’t feel right? Don’t do it. Believe me, you’ll be thankful later.

You won’t die if someone breaks up with you…You may feel like it for a few days. It’s hard and it’s emotional but it won’t kill you. Healing takes time and believe me, in time, and in every single case, I was grateful later on. Remember the song.’Thank God for Unanswered Prayers’? Ah huh!!!!!!!

AND THE MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL?

YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL, YOU ARE SMART, YOU ARE KIND, YOU ARE ORIGIONAL AND YOU CAN DO IT ALL IF YOU REALLY WANT TOO.

XOXO

It’s a Miracle

Today is a miracle.

Today is a celebration.

Today…Jesus rose again.

We were given a miracle, the gift of forgiveness. Everything in the past has been wiped clean and we are new.

So what are you going to do with your gift?

The world is kind of messed up these days and it’s up to all of us to make a difference.

I think it’s time to spread that forgiveness Because the very best kind of a gift… is a gift that can be shared.

Imagine a world where differences are embraced, where the sick are cared for, the depressed are hugged, the lonely are told they are loved.

Imagine a world in which the children can play outside without fear.

Imagine a world filled with peace.

Everyone Has a Dream

We all have dreams. Sometimes a dream can be as simple as a day in the sun or walking on a beach somewhere peaceful. Other times, a dream could be of a house or a new car, a dream job, an awesome partner to share your life with. Big or small, we all have them and they are important to us. What’s even more important is what we do about them.

It takes time, perseverance and a lot of work to make some of our dreams become reality.    We save, we work overtime, we learn new skills…When a dream is really important, we find a way to make it happen.

The thing about a dreams? They belong to us. They’re our dreams, no one can take them away.

Dreams can change over time too. My dreams as a child and as a young adult are far different from the dreams I have now. As a little girl, I dreamed of a yellow bike with a basket in the front and of writing fairy tales about far away places, and of a little white puppy to call my own.

As a young adult, I dreamed of becoming a stylist and owning my own salon, of having a family and a house with a swing-set in the back yard, among other things.

Now, I dream of long walks on the beach, spending the cold winter months someplace warm, watching my grandchildren grow and enjoying everything around me, a more simple life.

I was thinking about my dreams the other day. It’s been a lot of work and a lot of sacrifice at times but… I still have that yellow bike hanging in my garage, (the basket fell apart years ago.), I am the proud owner of two little white rescue puppies who love to cuddle every day. I have the most amazing daughter, along with two beautiful grandkids and a son-in-law who I wouldn’t trade for the world. I have my house and my gardens, I had the business which I sold because it was time for a new dream. I’ve traveled, I’ve loved, and I’ve written it all down. It feels wonderful.

Dreams are stepping stones in life. Each one you accomplish brings a new one into your heart. It’s how we grow. Dreams keep us moving forward, they keep us alive, and they give us hope.

Oh, and that fairy tale I wanted to write as a child? It’s called Shattered Pearls and it will be available April 3.

Dreams really do come true

Shattered Pearls BN