Happy Leon!

Happy Leon!

Leon is the holiday that marks the half-way point until Christmas. That’s right: there are exactly six months left to do your holiday shopping.

Leon, BTW, is Noel spelled backwards.

P.S. Happy birthday to my sister-in-law. I hope it’s a great one!

 

I’m In the Wrong Body

I am a short woman. And, like the famous teapot, I am also stout. I’m built like a fireplug. A keg.

I purchase most of my clothes on line or from catalogs, for a variety of reasons (but that’s another blog post). But many plus-size catalogs are meant for Amazon women, not teapots.

My sense of style is more suited to C3PO‘s body type than to that of R2D2, which I more closely resemble.

Every article of clothing I absolutely love and adore is designed for tall people. Capes. Fabulous hats. Clothes that drape.

And few things are proportioned using common sense: The cuffs on the sleeves of the rain coat I purchased are at knee level. Just because I’m big around doesn’t give me gorilla arms.

Most plus-sized clothing designed for short women resembles furniture upholstery. Yes, I love going to Day Job dressed like granny’s favorite overstuffed chair. It’s a wonder no one has sat on me.

But then, what should a tea pot wear except a tea cozy?

Make Life Beautiful

Today is National Make Life Beautiful Day. What a wonderful idea.

A random act of kindness.

Smiling at a stranger.

Laughing with friends.

Come on! You can do it. It’s your little corner of the world. Make it beautiful.

 

The Sound Of Silence

Shakespeare wrote: “It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing.”

Paul Simon wrote: “the words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls
And whispered in the sounds of silence.”

Thomas Carlyle wrote: “Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves.”

We, as a society, have forgotten silence. Humans need silence to recharge our minds, reconnect with our intuition, and hone our creativity. Stillness reduces stress.

Studies suggest that chronic noise increases the body’s production of cortisol, also known as the ‘fight-or-flight’ hormone. Elevated levels of cortisol can cause high blood pressure and heart disease, possibly increase abdominal fat, and impairs mental performance.

When was the last time you sat without music, without your computer humming, without TV, without speaking?

  • Try your morning routines without the radio or TV. Save the weather and traffic reports for later. Morning is when cortisol levels are highest, so silence when you first wake up helps start the day right.
  • Play music only when giving it your full attention. Don’t use the radio as background noise while you cook, clean, or putter around your house.
  • Turn off the TV if you’re not watching.
  • Walk. Leave your mp3 player at home. Observe what is going on around you.
  • Eat in silence. Focus on the flavors, textures, and colors of your meal. You may find yourself eating less while increasing your enjoyment.
  • Silence breaks, especially if you work in a noisy environment. Even if you have to sit in your car for 10 minutes, try to find a place where you can be quiet and absorb the silence around you.
  • Silence your technology. Periodically turn off the ‘bells & whistles’ on your gadgets as a reprieve.

Listen to the silence.

 

 

 

 

Old Maids

Old Maids–spinsters–were one of the favorite tropes in the Gothic romances I read in my youth. Women too poor, too unattractive, or too socially unacceptable were labeled old maids and “put on the shelf.” If they were rich. If they were poor, they became paid companions or governesses, or burdens on their families. Or they were locked up. In Gothic romances, the heroines always found true love.

But fiction isn’t life.

A woman doesn’t need a man to define her. Nor does she need a label. What is a man who has never married called? A bachelor. No stigma there. But Old Maid? It still carries a pitying connotation.

So why is there such a thing as National Old Maid Day? Many internet sites try to put a positive spin on the origins of the day, but in truth, women were expected to give up their own hopes and aspirations to care for ailing parents or younger siblings. Sacrifice was demanded from them.

Here’s an interesting article from 1917.

I think this is  one holiday that can fade away without a sense of loss.