Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Hiatus Time...

Down time is where we become ourselves... a hiatus that passes for boredom 
but is really the quiet moving of the wheels inside that fuel creativity.                
                                                                                                      Anna Quindlen*

Good Morning...

OldBoldandBeautiful.Life was birthed in December 2016.  It's been a grand ever-expanding journey that will continue after some down time.   With August upon us --  the time is ripe for just that.

In the meantime, cheers and blessings for sunny days and playful times.  See you in September....Blair


Friday, July 21, 2017

Customer Service Meltdown

"You know what I have noticed? And this is really sad. 
Flying first class is less scary than flying coach. 
They speak to you and they're so nice to you and they want to help you... "   
                                                                                                          Hope Davis*

My AT&T saga continues. I have received multiple AT&T bills for my upgraded bundled internet/telephone service. I dial their 'Customer Care???' center and speak with someone in the Philippines. After 20 minutes on the call with no resolution, my 'evil twin,' Brunehilde, takes the reins. Not a pleasant scene. Tomorrow we'll try again...

Afterward I went online and googled 'helpful tips for customers calling off-shore call centers.' Rather than helpful tips for customers; what came up were helpful tips for call center employees to deal with irate callers. What also came up were youtube videos making Brunehilde sound like a saint. As I listened to one of the youtube calls (Customer Service Meltdown) – it made me laugh, it normalized my own frustrations, and made me see a part of myself that is difficult to embrace and accept.

It goes back to a basic need we each have that is to feel 'seen, heard and understood.' Technology has made many things easier, faster, more efficient – yet, I believe, it may also be damaging our humanity toward one another. 

Technology alone is not to blame. Corporations code of ethics today is 'profits over people.' When people become secondary to dollars – humanity definitely takes a back seat... This has created a ripe environment for the selling of luxury... So next time you want to be treated like a valued customer --  purchase that first-class airline ticket, stay at that five-star hotel, visit that five-star spa and you will not only feel 'seen, heard and understood' but be made to feel 'extra-special' as well...



Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Feeling Blessed

A Buddha is someone who finds
freedom in good fortune and bad.

A friend of mine takes issue when she hears from others “I feel blessed.” It is something I voice at times and perhaps it does convey an arrogance of special dispensation from the Almighty above...certainly not my intent.

However, as I reflect more on this and what it means to me to feel blessed – it is when I feel tuned into God, the Universe, Spirit. I experience gratitude for the Breath that breathes me. In this space I recognize all my needs are being abundantly met and I am satisfied. There is nothing I want and nothing needs to be any different than it is. So it is true for me – feeling Blessed is my connection with Spirit.

The times I am not consciously tuned into Spirit are painful times. Times where I experience: fears around financial resources, envy for those, I believe, have a 'better' life experience, overall dissatisfaction and disappointment with my life at 70. In essence, I experience a disconnect from Spirit.

As human beings we want answers, we want certainty, we want control -- and good times let us believe we may have this; and bad times tap into the realization we don't. This reminds me that the journey we travel presents joys and sorrows.  Joys are easier to behold than sorrows. But both are necessary...

The lesson for me, once again, is to welcome the good, bad and ugly and remember, as best I can, that all life experiences are blessings in our journey toward wholeness...


*A fifth-century Indian Buddhist monk

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Friday, July 14, 2017

Teen Angel

Good habits formed at youth make all the difference.”

Today, as I was standing at the counter of CityMac, our local Mac Apple Store, a young girl standing next to me tapped me and said: “You're pretty.” Needless to say it made my day – big time. Her mother added “You know that's a real compliment coming from a teenager.”

The teenager wisely responded: “If you think something nice, why not say it.” Something I practice as well. I recall twenty years ago while living in Santa Barbara, there was an old Greek woman who swam at the same pool I did. I considered her to be exceptionally beautiful. One day I saw her in town and told her: “You're an incredibly beautiful woman.” Her immediate response: “Don't be foolish; I'm an old woman.” Today, at 70, I understand what she was feeling.

As old women today, many of us wear our years extremely well. In my opinion, there are many more beautiful old women than there are old men. Perhaps it is because as women our appearance is one thing that has been historically valued about us and thus we have taken better care of ourselves.

Receiving this compliment from a young teenage girl has rekindled my hope for the young generation of girls coming up. If one teenage girl can recognize an old woman's beauty; perhaps one day all older women's beauty will be recognized and acknowledged within our culture.

We shook hands and I thanked her. Another little angel who has touched my life...



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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Play On...

“I still get wildly enthusiastic about little things...
I play with leaves. I skip down the street and run against the wind.”
                                                                                               Leo Buscaglia*

Recently a friend sent me an article about happiness (thank you, Susann). While the ideas expressed were not new, they were a nice reminder. Not being a saver I read and tossed it. However, I continue to reflect on one aspect of the article: play.

Three years ago I left my chosen profession. Since then I feel I am once again in graduate school as I engage in multiple classes to explore my creativity. All wonderful... All encourage progress and competency. All get me out of my comfort zone. All require hard work, goal setting and responsibility.

OldBoldandBeautiful.Life was birthed in December 2016 and two blogs have been posted each week since January 2017. OldBoldandBeautiful.Life has gotten me into the regular practice of writing which has been great. It also requires hard work, goal setting and responsibility...

Back to play. By definition play is an activity for enjoyment and recreation and does not include hard work, goal setting or responsibility. All this has brought to my awareness that what I want more of in my life is play.

To stimulate my play muscle I've booked a four-day play adventure in New York City. Substantial financial involvement is a piece of this play adventure with which I struggled until I bit the bullet and booked the flight and hotel. My beliefs around money inhibit me from spending it on something frivolous...and a play trip in New York City, in my mind, falls into that arena. But as a friend of mine recently said: “At our age; money is no object.”



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Friday, July 7, 2017

Hair -- The Crowning Glory

If I want to knock a story off the front page,
I just change my hairstyle.”
                            Hillary Clinton*

My hair began going silver in my twenties. By my forties it was vibrant white at the temples with the rest being salt and pepper. I never colored it until a person I respected said: “You're too young to have grey hair.” Three months of covering my grey was a hassle. I chose to claim my 'Silver Power,' wore my grey hair proudly and never colored my hair again.

Until...a year ago when Larry, my hairdresser, began highlighting my hair with funky colors: purple, green, blue, fuchsia. Each day strangers stopped me to say: “Love your hair.” I responded with “Thank you. It's fun!” It felt great to be noticed again – even if it was just because of the funky colors.

Woman who drastically change their hairstyle, I admire. I believe them to be courageous, open to new experiences and free from clinging to the same old way of presenting themselves to the world. Today, I am one of those women I admire.

Yesterday, as I sat in Larry's chair, he announced: “Let's do something bold.” Today, I have a super short pixie cut. And, I like it!

Yet, the question of what will others think lurks within my psyche. Unlike with funky colors, no one has stopped me on the street to say: “Love your hair” and I don't expect they will. The question and lesson for me is – 'Can I trust and rest solely with just my experience and opinion of this new bold haircut.' Time will tell...


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Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Beatriz at Dinner -- A Film

Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power.
We have guided missiles and misguided men.”
                                                                                           Martin Luther King, Jr.*

Spoiler Alert: If you plan on seeing the film; do not read.

Beatriz at Dinner – A Film

Beatriz at Dinner presents a sparring match between Beatriz, a new age massage therapist/healer and Doug Stroutt, a wealthy, powerful real estate developer a la Trump.

Due to unforeseen circumstances Beatriz is invited to her wealthy client's planned dinner party.
Attending the party are the client, her husband, another couple, Doug Stroutt and his wife and now Beatriz. After a few glasses of wine, Beatriz aggressively professes how healing, kindness and compassion do more for the world than the real estate development Stroutt does in the name of progress, growth and jobs.

Beatriz expresses the views people have had throughout time.  Views professing there is enough to go around for all to have their needs comfortably met; but that money and power take precedent over developing a world where all sentient beings can survive and thrive. Stroutt early in the film states people listen to him because he is rich and powerful; Beatriz is not – so her words fall on deaf ears...

Beatriz makes her exit and the film gives us two different endings. The first is Beatriz' fantasy of picking up a razor-sharp letter opener, stabbing and killing the Stroutt character – you cannot kill an idea by killing the person who embodies it. The final ending shows Beatriz walking out into the ocean never to be seen again – embodying the impotence of the disenfranchised in the face of wealth and power...


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