Monday, January 9, 2017

Turkey Neck

I read a book several years ago by Nora Ephron called, “I Feel Bad About My Neck”! It was a good book, she was a very funny writer, but at the time I didn’t really relate to the neck part. Around the same time, I would hear men on radio shows talk about older women and their “turkey” necks, and how it made them look so old and unattractive. Pissed off, I changed the station and quit listening to them, but the comment stayed with me!
About 2 years ago, maybe more, I started noticing my neck in photos! Then I started fixating on it and trying to diminish the wrinkly loose skin by standing taller, elongation my neck, and learning how to disguise it better with clothes. But, there it was, the neck Nora Ephron wrote about, on me!!

(Side Note: I just saw this "remedy" for turkey neck!! 😉  )

If you watch the Kardashians or the Real Housewives, you’ll see that they live a whole different life than you and me. Their whole focus is their looks! They spend their time on hair, makeup, full time exercising and cosmetic procedures all with the goal of staying young. It seems that in LA, if you are not young and beautiful, you are irrelevant. The problem is, eventually with enough cosmetic procedures they just look alien, not young. They go too far to be something that they ultimately cannot be, …young!

If you look at magazines, you’ll see perfect people, with perfect skin, hair and bodies. But, you have to realize that these girls are in their 20's, and even then they are photo shopped to look perfect! So, you are chasing a goal that isn’t real either.
Even older movie stars are photo shopped, so you can’t really compare yourself to them. I tried to find pictures of stars necks, and there are some, but most are photo shopped out!
Diane Keaton can have turkey neck, but usually she dresses for it, and occasionally they photo shop it out.  She is still beautiful anyway!

Patti Hansen is a 60 year old former model, and she has turkey neck in some photos, but you would still call her beautiful, right? I would!!

Christy Brinkley’s neck is almost always photo shopped, but occasionally you can see the turkey neck. Of course she is still beautiful!
I started looking for pictures of real women who are older and don't try to look younger.....


(ok, she is a very successful model, but she looks like a gorgeous version of her age!)
...and they are beautiful!
So, I think we need real people as examples of beauty as we age.  Ultimately, I want to be healthy and happy, to have grace and elegance and I want to be a kind and thoughtful woman!
I don’t want to focus on my neck, so I won’t!
In fact, after looking at some of these older beautiful women, including my mother, I have decided that I am going to let my hair go gray. I’m hoping it will be pretty like my mom’s, but if not, I will just get a cool haircut!
There is so much we don’t know when we’re young! We were so judgmental about how people looked, including ourselves! What a waste of time!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Why Do You Have To Be Rude?

Now that I am “retired”, I don’t usually have to drive during rush hour and so I have forgotten how bad it is! But, last spring I was driving to West Seattle twice a day for about 6 weeks during the commute times and I got reacquainted with how bad the traffic is! I noticed that drivers have gotten very rude! They won’t let you merge into traffic, they honk and make rude gestures at any perceived provocation, and it really can be upsetting that you are being treated like this!  It is easy for people in cars to forget that you are a real person.
Usually, it’s the non-aggressive drivers who really piss off the aggressive drivers. They are annoyed that you are an inferior driver, you don’t know how to drive, or you are an idiot!  If you wait to merge, you get honked at for being in their way, if you try to slowly get into the next lane the driver will speed up and block you, and then they scowl at you for trying to get ahead of them!! Drivers try to teach you a lesson or make you pay for a mistake you made by getting in their way. Everyone is isolated in their cars and they forget who they are and they don't care who you are. They seem to become more aggressive and angry when they get behind the wheel. They feel anonymous in the safety of their car, free to be rude and mean.

I was on my way home from a hike to Summit Lake last fall and I was going down the road which is very bumpy if you’ve never been there. A car was coming towards me, so I slowed down and moved over! Now, usually hikers are really nice people, so I smiled and waved as I passed and the gentleman in the driver’s seat yelled out his window to me, “Slow down you idiot!”  What? But I slowed down, I moved over, and I was smiling and waving at him, and still he made me feel horrible! I decided he was just a jerk who was taking his bad attitude in life out on me! I laughed that I almost felt bad, and kept going down the road. Believe me, you can NOT go fast on that road!

I remember getting annoyed at a driver who was driving really slowly and when I finally passed them, I saw that the driver was an elderly woman. I thought of my grandmothers and I wondered if this lady really does not like to drive, but sometimes she has to get to appointments. People probably honk at her and flip her off because I know they do that to me! Can you imagine how you’d feel if a driver acted like that to your grandmother or mom? I started feeling a little protective of and concerned for this elderly driver, and angry at other drivers who were rude to her.  
It really is about realizing that we all are people doing the best we can, why do we have to be so rude? I think about the person who is so angry that I merged in front of them so they passed me with their angry faces and flip me off and mouth words like F*** you!  I wonder if their whole day is ruined by this heinous act of merging! Does it really make you so much later for where ever you are going to slow down long enough for me to merge? I have to admit that when people pass me fast, when I catch up with them at the light,  I smile a bit and think, “Well, that did you a lot of good didn’t it?”

Now that I think about it, social media is the same in some ways. People are free to be rude to other people because they have the anonymity of being online, so they say things they normally would not say to people when they are face to face. Someone made some comments about who I am based on their opinion of politics, and I felt like if they had to say it to my face, or if they really knew me, they would be more civil.  Maybe not, but I really believe that being in a car, or being online, lets people feel free to behave badly.  You are not a person to them so they have no empathy for you.

I really don’t like this aspect of life so I choose NOT to behave this way. Please people, be nice! There's no reason to be rude! And if my mom is out there driving, YOU better not flip her off, or someone out there will do that to YOUR mom!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Who Do You Believe You Are?

It’s the beginning of a new year. I always feel a reset happening with the New Year, because it’s a chance to reflect on the last year of your life and decide how it went for you and think about what you might improve on for the New Year.
I know making New Year’s resolutions is kind of cliché, and there are lots of people don’t like making resolutions because they are unrealistic. I guess they are right, it probably isn’t necessary to make New Year’s resolutions. But, I feel like it is necessary to stop and think about your life periodically, what is working and what is not working, and to make adjustments, and the New Year just seems like a natural time to do it.

So, do you make a list like everyone else? You know, lose weight, eat healthy, and exercise more? I’ve done that before, and sometimes I’ve even accomplished a few of them. They are always things I know I need to do better, but I never seem to want to do them. So I psyche myself up at the beginning of the year, and I quit thinking about it a month later!

I read a quote recently which I think it is attributed to Tony Robbins,
“The strongest force in the human personality
is the need to remain consistent
with who we believe we are.” 
Our personality is how we relate to the world, our styles of thinking, our behavior and our emotional responses, how well we adapt to our circumstances, why we behave differently than others in the same situations as well as our consistency in our reactions. Modern psychology has studied why we react the way we do, they argue nature vs nurture, biology vs circumstances, and all the interplay thereof. It’s interesting to read and learn about, but I think people can change a lot about themselves if they are really motivated to do so.

The reason that quote is so interesting to me is it says we are inclined to do what we do based on our view of ourselves!  So, wouldn’t that also mean that if we can alter what we believe about our self, we could change who we are somehow?
If we believe we are not capable of something, we don’t do it, and therefore who we are is someone who doesn’t or can’t do that.  But if we decide we are capable, and act as though we were, we would believe we are capable, and now that is who we are!  We have improved our selves just by deciding that we can and acting as though we can, and now we are.  It’s like wanting something so much that you keep working on it, even though you don’t always succeed, until you achieve it.
Crystal Peak
Mt. Rainier National Park

One example for me is that I started hiking without planning anything. I did know I would need good shoes and I only knew about one trail, and that’s all!  I just started doing it, and I learned more as I went.  I found the Washington Trails Association website which showed me trails and what I needed to take with me to be safe, and I just kept doing it.  Now I am a hiker! It’s part of my identity, and a part that I am really proud of.
Who do you believe you are, and who do you want to believe you are? It’s just a conscious decision to change who you believe you are. For me, I think I am a person who needs everything to be planned. I want things to go a certain way, and if it doesn’t, I am stressed, and I enjoy it less or not at all. The problem with that is that I ruin a lot of things for myself by thinking that it all has to be a certain way.  I think I want to be a person who is ok with whatever happens, and actually enjoys spontaneity!   So, I am making that decision for myself for 2017. I don’t know how I will change that in myself, but I am making a conscious decision to be easier going, less planned, have less expectation and be more spontaneous!  
Happy New Year everyone!