Maybe I never was a "Summer" -- color season switch

Friday, October 12, 2018


I've been experimenting with a radically different look for me.

Just as the natural world has gone from summer to fall, I have been making the same transition, from Summer to Autumn.

Way back in the '80s (remember Color Me Beautiful?) someone told me I was a Summer.  So Summer I've been. Cool, dusty shades of pink, lavender, blue. Lots of soft grays, dove, rose. Soft, elegant, lovely. I loved it.

But did it love me? A couple things happened recently that made me wonder.

I was with some friends buying silk scarves last year when we were together in China. I held up a lovely soft pink scarf and turned to show my friends.

"That color does nothing for you," one remarked. I was taken aback. Pink is my favorite color! Reluctantly, I put the scarf back, feeling a little miffed. But I did file that bit of information away and wondered.

Then, on three -- three -- separate occasions this summer when I was in Sephora and MAC, salespeople mentioned my light olive or warm skin coloring.

What?! Summers (like Winters) have cool coloring.

But come to think of it, I do have a greenish cast to my veins and gold in my eyes, two indicators of a warm coloring. And my natural brown hair had reddish-gold highlights in it, not ashy highlights (a cooler coloring). Because I've always liked the Summer colors I think I just ignored these things.

Now I'm not saying you shouldn't wear what you love. But again, does it love you? I started testing colors against my skin and realized that the cooler Summer colors were washing me out.

After doing some research, I decided I might really be an Autumn, probably a Deep Autumn because of my gray hair. (Your season doesn't change when you go gray, but you may move to one or the other end of that season, introducing a little coolness. So I think I'm a True Autumn, but I'm trying out the Deep Autumn because it's a little cooler, closer to Winter. I'm going to that end of the Autumn spectrum rather than closer to Summer, a Soft Autumn, because that season includes lighter colors. I think the darker colors look better with the gray hair. Hope I haven't confused you!)

Anyway, what all this means is that I'm all of a sudden wearing all the colors I never thought I could wear. Rust, olive, and goldenrod. I never thought I'd see the day when I'd wear any shade of yellow! And red, another color I've never worn.

from Pinterest

I've even switched out my nude/pink lipsticks for red and raisin. Now that's a huge change.

And pulling out my old gold jewelry and wearing that rather than the silver I've worn for years and years.

I haven't spent a lot of money. I just went to Target and picked up some solid color tees in Autumn colors just to try them out. I wanted to test out this new season before investing too much in it. I picked up some warmer and darker lipstick from CVS.

I feel like I look more alive. And I've been getting compliments.

And do you remember my last post about how I'm tired of being "nice?"

Well, all of this color change kind of fits into this idea. Bear with me here.

Pink and pastels and soft colors (the Summer season colors) seem so "nice," don't they? Red and rust and olive and yellow seem a little stronger, a little more assertive. Food for thought, right?

Now, I don't mean to say that if you wear pink you're a pushover. Or that "Summers" are too "nice." I just mean that maybe if you're dressing in the wrong colors it can affect you in a negative way. Maybe all those pastels just didn't quite fit me not only because of my coloring but because they didn't fit my personality. They were maybe tamping me down, draining not only color but strength from me.

Hopefully, this doesn't sound too out there, but I really think color affects us. And it could work the other way too. If you're wearing dark, dark colors and have a naturally buoyant personality, you may wonder why you feel tired and sad. Maybe you should be wearing bright, happy colors.

The lesson here I think is don't be afraid to shake things up. To question what you've always done. To think outside the box and do something different. Just to see. You might be surprised.

Just for fun, wear a color you've never worn. Try a very different color lipstick. See what happens.

For me, I'm sure liking this new look.

*******

And in super-happy news, I'm going to be a grandma (first time!) in January! Yay!

I'm tired of being nice

Thursday, September 20, 2018

I've been thinking about this for a long time. In fact, I think this is the title of my next book. It's such an important topic, and one that I suspect just about every woman can relate to in some way or another.

First, let me define what I mean by "nice."

I don't mean that I don't want to be kind, compassionate, or generous. I hope I am those things, and certainly want to continue to cultivate them in my life.

But I'm totally done with being "nice."

"Nice" is:

  • always acquiescing to others
  • not voicing your opinions because you're afraid of others' reactions
  • people pleasing
  • allowing others to dump on you; putting up with rudeness
  • not speaking up
  • being afraid to say "no"
  • always scanning the environment, making sure you aren't displeasing or offending anyone (and, of course, you don't want to be purposefully offensive; I think you know what I mean here)

Many of us, especially of my generation, were raised to be "good girls," expected to be nice and polite and accommodating. Of course, much has changed, but old habits and ways of thinking can be hard to change.  I'm way better than I used to be regarding all this. I had to be; being "nice" contributed, in part, to a worsening of depressive symptoms, leading to a major depressive episode I experienced some years ago.

Met this wonderful llama at a lavender festival this summer.
Do you think he cares what anyone thinks? No, he's not afraid to be his own, delightful self!

A lifetime of being "nice" can lead to all kinds of problems. Repressed anger, frustration, depression.

And we may end up squelching or tamping down all the wonderful, quirky, fun parts of our personality. The strong and ambitious parts. The creative and adventurous sides.

An interesting idea occurred to me recently. I've always thought I was an introvert. I based this on the fact that being with people usually wears me out. Instead of being renewed and refreshed after spending time with people, I'm usually exhausted and need some alone time. This, I've read, is characteristic of an introvert.

But what if I'm so busy trying to be "nice" and kind and understanding and a good listener, etc., etc., that I'm just worn out? What if I spend so much time worrying about what others are thinking and feeling that I don't just be myself? All this trying to be the "perfect" person, the person you think  people want you to be, is exhausting.

(Of course, this is why we all need close friends, friends that we can be ourselves with. Thank God for them!) 

So how do you counteract this tendency to be "nice?" Some ways to start could include: 1) start saying no to things you really don't feel called to do (remember that not every need is a call); 2) give yourself permission to express a differing opinion, respectfully; 3)learn to speak up when someone's being rude or taking advantage of you; and 4) walk and sit and talk with confidence (and fake it 'til you make it) -- you are greatly loved by the One who made you.

We may feel we are being rude, selfish, or bossy when we step out of the "good girl" role. No. We're just being reasonable, confident, adult people. It takes practice, but don't you think it's time?

What do you think? Is this a good book idea?

Finally (sadly) getting rid of my (high) heels

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Wedges are usually easier to wear than stilettos, but at 4 1/2 inches high,
this pair just isn't a good idea anymore. So sad.
I might have posted a while back about getting rid of my heels. I might have thought about it, but I just couldn't bear to part with them. I love heels. There are so many gorgeous ones out there, and I would wear them every day, even to the grocery store, if they didn't hurt so much.

But, facts are facts. They really are killing my feet. I was at a wedding this summer and was practically hobbling by the end of the evening.

Both have 3 1/2-inch heels. You'd think the block heel would be more comfortable, 
but I think the thin strap at the toes did me in at the wedding.

Then a couple weeks ago, I fell in our church parking lot. Thankfully, I wasn't hurt. I hit a patch of crumbly asphalt and down I went. I was wearing wedges (not the ones above), which you would think would be more stable, but they were tapered to the heel as I later discovered, and so more susceptible to wobbling.

So I came home, gritted my teeth, and packed up all my lovely heels (3 inches and higher). I'm not risking life and limb! 

So now what do I wear? I don't like athletic shoes. Or ugly old lady shoes. And flats hurt my feet (weird, huh?), so they're out.

I'm thankful fall is upon us, because I've always loved my booties, and I think they look great dressed up or down. They're super comfortable, flat or with a 1- or 2-inch heel, which I can handle.

I have found a couple pair of very comfortable and cute shoes from Jambu. I've been wearing them for the past three summers. Even walked the Great Wall in China in them as they were more comfortable than the walking shoes I brought.

The Jambu shoes are the red ones. I've had three pair of these shoes, one of which I completely wore out. Sadly, they don't seem to be making this style anymore. The boots are Lucky Brand. So comfortable and I think they're cute.

But what about a dressy shoe? The 1- to 2-inch block heels and the kitten heels out there can look matronly sometimes. Do you all have any suggestions?

I had a dozen or more pair of heels. But I don't need to replace all of those. I really only need a couple pair of dressy shoes, for events. Low-heeled sandals and booties will be my go-to for every day.

How about you? What do you wear on your feet?
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