Feel-Good Make-Over

I binge-watched Queer Eye over the weekend. If you don’t know the show, it started back in 2003 and provides a team of experts who transform the life of someone nominated for a make-over. The current team includes five wonderful personalities: Bobby (interior design), Karamo (culture), Antoni (food), Jonathan (hair/grooming), and Tan (fashion). This latest series (#6) started production just as the pandemic took off. It was finally able to finish and is now showing on Netflix.

Fab-Five-Formula

While formulaic, the show never fails to bring a smile to my face or touch some part of me I share with the person who is the focus of the episode. It inspires me to take a look at my wardrobe, hairstyle and attitude, and consider what I might want to change.

The show has become bolder in how it explores gender, beauty, and race, all the while revealing the universal experience of needing love and approval.  Seems many of us hide behind baggy clothes because we are afraid of being judged, and don’t take time for ourselves because it is “selfish”. Quite a few of us don’t spend time cooking because we either never learned or it’s just easier to eat fast food.

I thought it would be a good exercise to apply the Fab-Five-Formula to my world at the start of 2022. Maybe it will give me direction and motivation to make necessary changes and carry them through this new year.

Culture (Psychology)

I am coming to terms with several issues related to self-esteem and being worthy of having love in my life. I have been a widow for many years now. I miss my husband very much, but he would be the first to be encouraging me to get my company off the ground and not hide behind my grief. I know that I have valuable information to share with folks about aging better and aging well. It’s time for me to put myself out there.

One of the challenges of starting a business during a pandemic, and at this stage of my life, is that there are real challenges to overcome as well as the ones I construct in my own mind. I am needing coaching, advice, and consultation with folks who understand business, fund-raising, and sales. I don’t always know who to turn to or how to find the experts I need.

I am getting better at asking for help, although I am attached to my fantasy that my knight in shining armor will come resolve all of my problems and I will live happily ever after. Should that not be the case, I really do welcome coaching and consultation from knowledgeable folks on how to set up my business.  If you think you can help me, please let me know!

Fashion

After a lifetime of shopping in the “Chubby” section of clothing stores, I have a deeply ingrained belief that I don’t have a sense of fashion and that my body needs to be covered up rather than shown off. I have kept to that belief by continuing to wear stretch pants and shapeless tops that hide my lower and upper belly bumps. I have to admit, it is easier to hide behind comfort than to risk being “seen”, especially since I don’t feel all that good about my physical appearance.

The pandemic fit my wardrobe nicely. I was able to purchase new clothes at the click of a mouse, have them delivered to my home where I could try them on without fear of being judged, and if I didn’t like what I saw, I could just send the items back. Based on what I am learning from watching Queer Eye, this is a recipe for continued frumpiness, not the challenge to my psyche that I need to discover (uncover) my innate 68-year-old sexy CEO look.

I am loathe to give up my stretch pants and comfy tops, but I do recognize that changing costumes and/or putting on a new uniform DOES make a huge difference in self-esteem and makes a powerful impression on others. I doubt I will ever wear high heels, but pumps just might be in my future. As for accessories, I have always delighted in gold and pearls, so if any of you out there have extras you want to share, do give me a call!  And, if you can help me with clothing ideas, let’s go shopping!

Interior Design

Even before I watched the incredible changes that can be achieved through color, organization, re-arranging, and getting rid of stuff that is the magic of Queer Eye, I was feeling restless in my nest. I am an only child of an only child and I have inherited some very lovely antiques and heirlooms which I have cared for out of a sense of duty and delight. But I don’t have any children to give these objects to and, in terms of today’s taste, these objects are anything but à la mode.

I have fantastic artwork, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I have beautiful antiques, but they no longer bring me joy. I have multiple settings of silver, china, and crystal, but rarely entertain, and certainly not in numbers greater than four!  Still, I am loathe to just let go of these things, as I know they have value.

Letting go of them brings up feelings of guilt in that I am somehow breaking a covenant and disappointing my ancestors. Finding new homes for these objects takes way more energy that I have. So, I surrender and just sit amongst the ruins. Having said that, please know that I am open to suggestions and assistance in relocating, distributing, and sharing my bounty with others.

Food

Unlike so many of the Queer Eye nominees, I have no problems in the kitchen. I LOVE to cook. I also love to eat. Over these past pandemic months, I have succeeded in trying several new recipes, resorting to comfort food (carbs, carbs, and more carbs) much too often, and discovering that my concept of a quarter of a cup and the actual measure of a quarter of a cup are wildly divergent.

What I learned about myself is that I cook for four even though there is only one of me, and I eat for four even though there is only one of me. An early childhood message of preventing children from starving in Africa by cleaning my plate plays a role here, I am sure.

Seriously though, cooking for one is very challenging. Not just in terms of frequency of needing to go to the store, but also in the fact that no matter how many people I cook for, I have to clean up. Not having a partner to share in the chores lowers my incentive to cook. The result is fast food or frozen entrées. This, combined with a lack of desire to exercise, has left me with added weight and disappointment in myself.

This brings on a torrent of “should haves”, which further depress me and I resort to my tried-and-true strategy for soothing myself, eating!  Truly a vicious cycle. I had great success in addressing my eating habits when I used Noom to take weight off before my hip surgeries. It is clear I need to return to this. ‘Nuff said.

Grooming

It is only in the last few years that I made a promise to myself to see that I have a good massage at least once a month, get a pedicure regularly and paint my toes yummy colors, and have my hair styled.

I am blessed to have found a masseuse who is a true healer and who has restored my body after two hip surgeries. I am having more challenges in getting the rest of me attended to as I would wish.

I am happy to say that while my hair is thinning, it currently boasts a rather sexy streak of gray that I have fun with. The best hair stylist I ever had up and moved away and is happy as a clam in an entirely new career. Finding a replacement is as challenging as finding a new husband.

Having a pedicure is still a joyful experience, even though the health and safety issues arising from the pandemic have created the need for some very unique accommodations. I am grateful for the adaptability and persistence of the businesses offering these services.

I now wear make-up more often than ever since I am on Zoom for so many things. I am learning how to highlight my cheekbones and cover-up my wrinkles and having success with this!

Moving Forward

I am hopeful that I will gain skill and experience in the coming year in each of these areas. My make-over is certainly achievable, with or without the Fab Five. I do need support in learning to how love and accept myself, and welcome your insights, contributions, and ideas. If you know of resources that will help me launch and sustain my vision of Five Pillars of Aging, I welcome your sharing those with me also. If you are available, let’s do a spa day or get a pedicure!  And by all means, take me shopping!  I’ll have you over for a meal, and we can enjoy just being together.

Here’s to a satisfying 2022!

3 comments

  1. Thank you for sharing your inner exploration of self in many dimensions.. I liked the pants paired with a lovely top gently flowing over flesh, fluid and attractive. Your shoes often amazing. Upgrade your tops for every day use and top of the line for special days. It will be good. What is important to me ..valuing myself as being and the gift I am to self. I connect out of that space often. Reno of appearance and dress, sifting through years of home collection of things. Only the most precious needed now. Pass it all on. Vision for yourself and home….Implement slow and steady. You want the external to reflect the blossoming within. Good to do at this stage. There is only now. the past is over. So let go.. and add on. Wonderful to celebrate with you your intention. I have had to do that work . There is an element of offering true honor. Blessings as you go. The fab 5 make it look obvious and easy with a whole crew to do the hands on work behind the scenes.. So.. enlist help , paid or freely offered. All this is more than a new year resolution, rather a firm clear intention.. You deserve it, Mary. Have fun even in the hard parts. A support partner in this endeavor holding your intention and organization would be good. Also paid or otherwise. Good luck,Mary and blessings as you go. Love, Barbara PS I am glad to be a phone consult if you would like.

    1. You are a woman of great taste and I heartily accept your offer! Expect a phone call!

  2. ms mary-glad to help on the business end-26 years of success has paid off-simple, easy practices anyone can do-with or without expensive mentoring. my phone is the deluxe version- accepts/makes calls. it shall be a pleasure to chat. don’t let the old you control the current experience. best advice ever given: go for it.

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