So. Advice. Giving and Taking. Yeah, like THAT works so well, right? But… y’know… sometimes maybe it works a bit down the line. And, this isn’t so much ‘advice’ per se as it is ‘this is some stuff that is working for me – maybe some of it will work for you’.
So. without further ado, here’s my stuff (whattayawannabet this just turns into Musette’s Musings 2.0?)
- Write your own obit (this, courtesy of my bfffe). Wait. whaaaaat? Okay, here’s the thing: Who matters to you? Who are the people who have most impacted your life? I’mo go out on a limb and say it’s probably NOT your 2nd cousin, once-removed, whom you last saw in 1993, at his first (of 4) weddings. Yet most (99%) of the obits I read will list family right down to the last nanobot – but won’t list your bestie (who knows everything about you, right down to your allergies and your PIN) – as well as which exes should be invited to your service), or your colleagues from work with whom you’ve spent the last 30 years (minimum 40 hrs a week). Betcha you don’t know the name of your 2nd cousin once-removed’s grandkid (by his 3rd wife’s daughter) – but you know everything about your colleague’s cat! See? Speaking of that, if you write your own obit, you can talk about your cat. And, let’s face it – who knows you (and your cat) better than you!
- Know when to STEP BACK! It’s weeding and final planting time at Jardin de Musette and I have been working like a lima bean, trying to get it all done. I spent 7 hrs yesterday weeding and planting…. and when it was done, I realized: I am really not liking the garden right now. I’m tired and it’s become a neverending chore. Yesh!!! I Said It! So. Gorgeous day today – and guess what? I’m spending it inside, getting this post written and swapping seasonal clothing. I figure those weeds will be there all week – but if I step back from the garden for a day or so, I will come back and remember why it is I love gardening. Right now I ain’t feelin’ it. So. Whatever it is that brings you joy – if you’re not liking it right now, step away from it for a mo’. It’ll come roaring back, joyous AF, in a little bit.
- Letters. Actual writing of letters. March sent me note cards to augment my already extensive collection of stationery and we laughed at the fact that one of the few things I have trouble letting go of is a thing that is specifically designed to let go of: stationery. In my youth (waaay before the Internet and email, let alone text) I loved writing letters (on my Crane’s peach-colored paper with white border – so chic) and would thrill to the sight of a personal letter in my mailbox – and yesterday, I was gifted with just such a thrill again; a friend had responded to an email with a very long, detailed and thoroughly enjoyable letter! The pleasure of reading someone’s handwritten thoughts, imagining her sitting down and taking the time to actually WRITE! Now, I realize that isn’t for everyone, nor should it have to be, but if you are a person who enjoys writing, I urge you to revisit this dying art. There’s something to be said for taking your time to compose a handwritten letter. I wonder if it will come back? I hope so.
- Wear comfortable shoes. I don’t know what that means to you – and it’s nunnamybidness. Just… whatever shoe you put on your feet should feel good. I know women who wear stilettos as if they were house slippers! But if the shoe doesn’t fit, don’t wear it! Lemmetellya, the older you get, the more you cannot fool with your feet. I’ve never been happier that street wear has made wearing Big White Sneakers chic! And Blue! Green! Hot Orange! Oh, mah DAWGS!!!
- Do you. Really. Marianne Williamson never lied when she wrote ‘your playing small does not serve the world’. But! What does that actually mean? What I think about this quote (and the fear that it addresses and the stress it can cause) is that people often confuse this with Being a Star. And that’s not it – at least not to me. It’s about being as true to yourself as you can and surrounding yourself with people who embrace and encourage that in you, whether it’s Being a Supermodel or Being a Dogwalker. I said ”as you can” because there are some practicals – not everybody is an actor. Or a designer. Or a singer. Some of us are in construction. Or insurance. And we’re happy as lima beans to do that work – and we know we can’t do it in Kabuki makeup and flowing capes. And maybe it’s your rent career that pays for you to do the thing you love on your off-time – and maybe you DO NOT HAVE A PASSION! – you just want a nice, pleasant life. DEW EEET! I’ve had waaay too many people tell me ‘you should be doing X’ because of my demeanor (it usually involves something in the theatre or fashion world) – what they don’t realize is I would be in the back of a SWAT van in about 30 minutes, were I to work in an Industry I love (but really don’t like the people I would have to work with). Or completely bonkers clients. Garden Design: OMG. GD clients are FIENDS! wanting fruit trees or roses to bear 4 hours after they’re planted (why did you plant that STICK in the ground? I paid you to plant an ORCHARD!!!). So, for me? It works best that I have a rent career that I like okay, that pays well, so I can go have some peace and quiet in my garden. And no, I am NOT going to go run the Lyric (which has been suggested on more than one occasion). Those opera divas are MANIACS! So. Figure out… not so much who you are (sometimes that is too stressful)….. but what works for you!! I live in Podunk because, having almost lost my big-ass house in Chicago, etc, I acknowledge that I am (at least currently) very happy to be recovering in this little Podunk town, in a little shotgun shack. If we ever get a handle on this pandemic, I can get on a plane to Paris . I don’t need to live in Paris – I can be Paris, right here in Podunk. Ymmv – just figure it out. and….AND!…. while other people’s input is valuable (and it is, sweatergawd) – at the end of the day, you’re the one who has to either lie awake, tossing and turning … or sleep like a lima bean. Which leads us to……….
- Last one: Sleep. Okay,I’mo say it: I’m Old AF. Meno/post-menopausal. And just crawling out of a very stressful decade. For that decade, sleep was… iffy. And like Ms Mitchell says “don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone’…. truer words never written, especially when it comes to sleep. Get some. I do a LOT of breath work, pre-snooze and take all the precautions against a restless night (no devices glowing, warm shower (my own perfect solution), empty(ish) stomach, a bit of yoga for sleep. I said it 8 years ago – and it still rings true to this day (for me): Sleep is the New Sex. Now, if you’re 20, prolly not. But if you’re 50+, be honest: Sex (with no good sleep afterwards) or a Fabulous Night’s Sleep. I know which one I choose. Sorry, Idris.
- OMG! I actually did it! I gave y’all advice! LOL! Nothing you haven’t heard before (okay – maybe the obit is new ) but I hope it will help you get through your day a bit better. I’ve been working HORD! on being a bit more mindful, relaxing a bit (knowing that stressing isn’t going to change anything except my heart rate)…… I’m not always successful, but it’s really interesting how much…. easier… my daily life is, now that I follow my own advice!
- Any Advice for Musette? BRING IT! Would love to know what’s guiding you these days. (a quick tutorial on how to get rid of the last two numbers wouldn’t go amiss, either 😉
- Okay, now I’m just messin’ witcha!