Tips on how to fight off winter blues.
Inaugural Ball Preparation
I was never good at making costumes. My sons used to look at me at Halloween and wonder why I couldn't be like the other mom’s, creating amazing Halloween costumes. What can I say? It isn't one of my strengths. Sooooo, I have the inaugural Ball coming up this weekend and it isn't a traditional Black Tie event. This one STRONGLY suggests a Great Gatsby theme! Flapper dresses! AAHHHH!!!
I have been racing my brain for weeks now coming up with the “flapper look”. I started with the dress and found one online that is current but it has tons of fringe along the bottom. One of my fears was that I would find an old dress in a consignment store and that it would fall apart during the dancing right there on the dance floor. So I went safe and got a cute dress that i got approved by all my friends. The fringe at the bottom is the only thing that ties it to a Gatsby theme so far so I had to dress it up.
I called a designer friend of mine and we went down to the bead district (who knew they had such an area). We were looking for a headband and necklace. After going into 6 stores in a 2 block radius, we settled on a small tiara instead of the headband and then found a long set of fake pearls. The pearls reach to my belly button. Somehow leaving the bead area, we went into a Zara store and while looking for current treasures (there was a big sale at 70% off) I found a beaded purse that looked “Gatsby-ish”. It was perfect!
So, I felt good with my finds and started to relax. This was 10 days ago. I should have gotten to the shoes right away. My thoughts were that this ball will be so crowded, that the top part of my costume would be seen more than my shoes. I did look in stores 10 days ago for shoes that would work but didn't find anything so I turned to the web. I found some at DSW of all places, with a round toe and a strap on the top of the foot and I ordered them. They are still not here!!! I am having to go to plan B. Since I leave on a train tomorrow down to DC, I am going through my closet to see if any will work that are even close. I have a cute tan pump with a peak toe and rounded front that will work. I don't want to buy a pair of ugly shoes that I will never wear again as there isn't much space in my New York City closet for them anyways!
I am banking on the thought that while people will take the suggestion of the Great Gatsby look, they can’t go too overboard, right? I also know that I am not going to have a limo whisk me right to the front door because of security so I need to have a shoe I can walk in for some distance!
Today is the day to research the hair and make up and go get a manicure and pedicure. I am going for the nude colored nail polish and researching the lipstick color. I am packing a curling iron and lots of hair spray and bobby pins to get my hair out of the way for the tiara. No one had long, blond hair flowing back then, so it is going
Wish me luck on my “costume". I think I will enjoy the event and hope that I will fit in while not looking too strange.
Stand Your Ground
When I first moved to NYC at eighteen, I had come from a small town and a quiet family that didn't argue much. Coming from a small town, I didn't know the meaning of fighting for space. Growing up with no conflict in my home, I didn't learn to stand up for myself the way other people had to, coming from either a bigger family in a smaller house or a family that loves to argue. Yes, there are families that love and thrive on arguing!
I was timid to say the least moving from my little hometown to the big city. I was also timid jumping into a new business that I didn't understand. My only photos taken of me growing up were simple ones where I didn't even know that I should be doing certain things to make the photo look better. I had also not really worn make up and I had long, straight hair that I left alone.
When I started working as a model in New York City I found that I stayed quiet a lot and just watched and learned from the experts in my business. I slowly learned what to do in front of the camera and how to put on my make up and do my hair and I became more confident. When I would hit the streets to either go on a casting or a new job, I found that I was always letting other people go by on the sidewalk and stepping aside anywhere else there were people fighting for space.
Years have gone by since then and I find myself back in New York City. I am back to stepping aside for others thinking I am being polite. No one seems to care. I find that I have to tell myself that I have a right to my space on the sidewalk and that I don't have to step aside or dip my shoulder in order not to hit someone. I have found that when I stand my ground, at the last minute people make way for me. It is a struggle though as my tendency is to not fight but to give way. I am finding it empowering to keep my course on the sidewalk and to not make the effort to give others more space.
You may come from being raised differently than me. Maybe you don't get the stepping aside thing. I find that some people don't even know or care that I let them go first. They expect it!
So, as a Christian woman, what is the right thing to do? My struggle is feeling that I am good enough. I always seems to come down to that. I have to tell myself that I don’t have to step aside for others but that if I chose to, then I am doing it for me, so that I feel better as a person. Who knows, maybe being polite will pay off!
Coming out of Christmas Happy!
Christmas ended up being different this year after being divorced for the last 3 years. I came back to the town I last lived in while married and raising the kids. I have moved around to different cities to live in the last 38 years since I left my parents house to move to New York City to model, so I didn't have solid traditions. Once I got married though, at 25, I always had my husband or kids with me to take care of and celebrate Christmas with.
This year, everything was different as I was single with no husband and grown children with lives of their own. It was hard to come back to a place with so many memories, especially at Christmas time. I wanted to be with family though and 2 of my 3 sons were here as well as my sister and my parents. I have been divorced for 3 years and this is the first Christmas that I have been strong enough to come back to all the memories.
If you have not been through divorce you may not understand what I am talking about but to all of us who are trying to rebuild a life after divorce, coming back can be difficult. To "get though" Christmas, I found that I had to prepare to be alone for some of it and not really have any expectations as I knew I didn't want to be disappointed. I was trying to guard my emotions.
I came down for a week and ended up staying at 3 separate friends houses. Focusing on that right there makes me so grateful and blessed that I had those options opened and friends who cared enough to see me even though I moved away and our friendships changed.
I tried to see my sons as much as I could and work around them and their schedules this past week. I recognized that I raised them to be independent and if they were busy, I chose to feel confident that I raised happy, healthy kids who had a life instead of feeling neglected by them. I want them to have their own lives. I didn't want to put pressure on them just because I was down for a visit. And it was Christmas. It ended up working out really well and I had a great time with both of them.
Christmas can be such a tough time for so many. I learned to enjoy each moment and situation as it comes. To tried to make plans to see people but also to understand when schedules change. It is a matter of being comfortable with yourself no matter what and to focus on the real reason for Christmas. It isn't delivering presents or getting them as much as it is celebrating the birth of Jesus and the love of family whatever the situation. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas also.
I have learned so much since moving to New York and I wanted to share some of it in celebration of 2016 coming to a close.
I find that I am happy and thriving in the heart of New York City even though I am such a nature girl and animal lover. I do like to get out of the city at least one weekend a month for my sanity. It seems to ground me and let me be able to enjoy NYC all the more.
I look back on 2016 and am amazed at myself for the big LIFE steps I have taken. I wonder why I am not only okay with the big life changes but really happy and thriving. So I asked myself what I have learned in 2016 and why learning is so important to me.
I find that I need to grow and learn new things to stay happy. I find I do not want to be stagnant. I left my small town where I grew up just two days after turning 18 to move to NYC and start a new career. Two days after that, I hopped on a plane to Rome and Paris for the collections with Harpers Bazaar. Just days after that I had my first magazine cover for Harper’s Bazaar Italia. That was a busy month! The whole 18 years before that I had been existing in comfort; the same town with the same friends and stores and neighborhoods. How could I just take off and make such big life decisions at 18 and be fine with it? I actually do not know the answer to that but I not only survived, I thrived!
I look back at all the people I have had the privilege to meet since I moved back to NYC this past summer. In the last 3 months, I have met the most creative, interesting people who are genuinely kind and caring. I have met people with different beliefs than I have from numerous countries all over the world and find that they are easy and wonderful people to talk to. I also ma able to approach beggars in the street and have conversations with them and treat them like real people. I used to be scared of them!
I don’t seem to mind putting myself into new situations by attending events alone. Last night I walked into a ballroom at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel for a Policeman's Charity Ball. I was unaccompanied but meeting the friend and his wife who was putting the event on. I met many new people and enjoyed myself and found that I was okay and I could still be happy alone. I wanted to be with people helping out the charity event instead of being home.
So, I have learned that I don’t need a man to make me happy. I love people. I love to grow and learn. I try to find the good in others. I can’t wait to see what 2017 brings my way. How about you?