meaningful life

No Longer a Thrift Store Snob

No Longer a Thrift Store Snob
Me and G – Happy Spring!

I posted this picture as my profile photo and within minutes I had several likes and comments – guess it is a hit – and it prompted me to write about my hat and where I got it.

I almost didn’t buy the hat. I was at the check-out counter at St. Vincent De Paul’s the other day where I saw it as I went to buy my some other items. I picked it up once. Then put it back. I love hats, but sometimes feel funny wearing one.

But that hat was determined to go home with me…I swore I heard it calling out to me. Just as the clerk rang in the last item I bought, I quickly grabbed the hat and put it on the counter. 

I’m glad I did. If I wear it once it certainly didn’t break the bank at $4.49. But I have a feeling I’ll be wearing it often. I adore it!

And to think I used to be a thrift store snob. I wouldn’t have been caught dead in one when I was in my 20s and 30s. But then in my late 30s, feeling like something was missing in my life, I began to think about what a meaningful and creative life would look like for me.

I no longer wanted to be in the corporate world. I wanted more freedom. I wanted to explore what it was that would make me happy and bring me more joy.

This meant making different choices because my income was no longer what it was. I admit that I do love clothes and I like to look nice. So now instead of purchasing three items that would cost on average of $75 or higher at a department store I normally walk out of a thrift store with a bagful for about $30.  In fact, I bought three cute tops, a pair of shoes, and this hat for $27 and some odd change.

My taste in clothes have changed too. Oh, how I used to love all the designer brands. But these days there are just so many others things in life that are important and mean more to me. 

So I’m glad I bought the hat…and I’m really glad I’m no longer a thrift store snob.

As for Miss Gidget, I don’t believe she has quite the fondness for hats as I do, but lucky for me she humors me and puts up with it.

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Kindness and a Chuckle from a Stranger

photo: Wikimedia Commons

As I pulled into a parking space at the grocery store today, my tires crunching over the ice from rain that froze overnight, I noticed him. An older man, possibly in his mid-to later 70s, walking toward his car. He stopped, looking over at me, as if waiting for me to get out of my car.

I noticed in the backseat of his car a beautiful dog, which looked to be a Carin Terrier.  I smiled.

Once out my door he said, “Are you okay to walk across the ice? Or I can assist you and you can hold onto my arm.” 

I said, “Oh, I think I’ll be fine. But thank you.” 

“You are welcome,”  he said smiling, and then added, “You sure do look nice today.” 

I sensed he didn’t mean any harm, but was just having a little fun flirting. “Oh gosh, thank you. You are sweet,”  I said.  “Is that your dog in the backseat?” 

He said, “That’s my girlfriend.” 

I chuckled. “She sure is cute.”

He said, “You see, my wife allows me to have three girlfriends. I have two girlfriends at home who are my hunting dogs and this one, she is my puppy dog girlfriend.” 

Chuckling once again at his humor, I said, “You have a very nice wife and you just made my day.” 

He said, “Well you made my day, too.” 

And on our way we both went.

I smiled practically all the way through the grocery store. And I thought about how when I was younger I would have looked away, worried that this man was weird, strange or wanted something from me.

He was harmless and just wanted to talk and in doing so, he truly did make my day with his kindness and sense of humor. And heck, even if he was flirting a bit…I thought, more power to him.  He is alive and well and making the most of his life — gotta love that!

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Looking to the New Year. Living a Life Uncommon.

Looking to the New Year. Living a Life Uncommon.

Looking ahead to the New Year, I’m filled with hope, excitement, and yes, some nervousness and fear. From all indications of what I’ve observed about this particular mix of emotions of the past, this signals I’m on the right path and exactly where I’m supposed to be.

With Christmas now gone, I’ve realized I moved through it much easier than in the past. I believe in part it’s because I’m much better at letting go of expectations. I also believe it is because I have a much better perspective and understanding of who I am and what is important to me. Though I know I am never complete in this process, and I am a work in progress.

In years past, I’d have to have the whole week between Christmas and New Years just to re-group and find my way back to center. Where as this morning, I was eager to get back to my writing cottage and work on details for a Women’s Creative Sacred Soul Circle I’m forming for the winter months.

This is somewhat new territory for me, but something I’ve had a vision of for many years. There are many workshops I’m giving thought to while also keeping myself in awareness mode of not filling my plate too full, like I can tend to do. But I’m feeling very called to stay in a centered, sacred space of my own, fully engaged in what I’m feeling pulled toward….even when I don’t always have a clear picture…but putting my trust into the fact that a master plan is already in the works.

While workshops for women are my main focus for this year, I also want to stay dedicated to my blog because it’s a place that I’ve really come to love. While I thought I’d continue work on writing another book, I’m feeling called to table it for the time being. Though I will simmer in it and save nuggets of wisdom I find or that run across my brain, writing them down and collecting them in a folder should the time come to write that book.

I’ve realized I was struggling with letting the book idea go for now because I had mentioned it in my latest book, Wisdom Found in the Pause that it was something for my readers to be on the lookout for. It’s always a feeling that I’ve disappointed others if I don’t finish what I said I thought I was going to do. But I’ve realized holding onto something just for the sake of not wanting to disappoint others means I only really disappoint myself and more importantly, it blocks me from moving forward.

I continue to want to lead a life uncommon. What that looks like to me is continuing to do my own inner work, encourage that in others, live a life of creativity and less stuff, take some short jaunts away in our van we are in the process of converting to a camper, collaborate with my friend Rachel on future Talking Sticks workshops, and other workshop ideas we have in mind, a possible online collaboration workshop with my friend, Dawn of Animal Voices, and also volunteering to help with geriatric miniature donkeys coming to LaValley Equine Sanctuary this spring.

The other reason I feel it is a life uncommon is that I think too often we push aside our intuition and let fear get in the way, thus losing out on doing what truly matters most to us.  Everything I’ve written about my New Year ahead feels so heart centered and is coming from a place that feels true and right…and most of all it feels incredibly meaningful to me.

And as my mom eluded to in a note to me this month that when she looks at me she still sees a little girl trying to figure everything out and get it right, but she also sees the strong individual I am letting her light shine and spreading it out into a world that can sometimes be gloomy.

And she’s right…It’s important to me to try and make a difference in this world. I’ve come to realize that it does not have to be something grand and big…it just has to come from that sacred place within me. Because when it does, it by default does make a difference…it’s that positive and bright light of following your own soul’s wish, which it desperately wants for you to do, that you begin to live a more fulfilled life…and when you do, other’s who wish for the same will see that and want it too.

So my focus for the New Year is to continue to follow that true, inner light of mine, provide a sacred space through workshops for women to help them open to their soul’s whispers and inner light and to keep writing here on my blog. I also look forward to learning more about donkeys and being open to what lessons they will no doubt have in store for me.

It’s my hope that you will continue to return to my blog time and time again and that I can provide you with inspiration and encouragement to live fully into who you are and not only seek out, but truly live a meaningful life that is right for you.

“If you trace our roots to the very essence, you find we are all connected. On a deep level I am a tree and birds perch on my arms. In the Land of the Imaginative Heart, I am connected with spirit and earth.”

~Laura Hollic, soul artist

Photo above by Kevin Thom. Makeup by Rachel Duff. Costume, model Laura Hollick.

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