For 30+ years, I started my day by preparing to go to work (as a high school English teacher). The routine associated with that ‘getting ready’ phase in my day varied over the years, dependent upon children, energy level, spiritual needs, my first period class, and even diet (as in what am I supposed to eat today?).
Once I was ready and I arrived at school, I was blessed to spend time with like-minded people. So many of my socializing needs were met by simply being at work. In addition to professional discussions and ‘discursions’, I got to fill my “What color is that lipstick” and the “I love your shoes” tank as well.
It was indeed the best of both worlds. We all got dolled up for school (most days), and we enjoyed the dolling up of others- or at least I did. My favorite thing to do is to sincerely tell someone how nice she looks, friends and strangers alike.
The point? In semi-retirement and wagon circling mode, I have become Chloe of the Swamps, and I think I am invisible.
On those occasions when I am making an honest effort to ‘get ready’, it is as if I have 10 arms swirling around my head with an angry, resentful blow dryer. I sometimes feel I have become the English teacher with eyebrows at different levels and lipstick outside the lines.
The time has come to re-work the wardrobe and re-do my summer uniform. I need to be in the yard, and I need to be out and about periodically.
*I am going to get a few more hot colored polo styled shirts at Target and pop the collar- a la Lana Turner.
*I am then going to get a new plain, black (and a white) baseball cap at Wal Mart (because I love how they fit).
*I am going to wear big silver hoop earrings and a bunch of silver bangles if I leave the house.
*I have my black Reef flip flops, that are like walking on a mattress, to coordinate with my black baseball cap, and I am going to continue to collect cropped pants/capris (name dependent upon your generation and level of sophistication- at one time I think we called them pedal pushers).
*In honor of my mother who warned me often, I am going to use my moisturizer (including sunscreen), and I am going to ‘bring it down onto your neck Laura Ellen’.
This is not high fashion, rocket science, or world peace. This is life on life’s terms, out exploring, or in my yard sweating each glorious day.
It is simply what my grandmother called painting the barn.