Living With Gusto

Are You Wearing Your True Colors?

when I am an old woman I shall wear purple


Today is my birthday!! I thought it quite appropriate to post this today, since I am entering a “milestone” birthday this year–that of receiving Medicare. Yes, this lady right here is turning 65 years old today!! I can’t believe it. Because I am waaaay too young at heart to be 65!! Right? That’s what living with gusto and passion will do fer ya!! Ha!


The above picture is an excerpt from a poem written by Jenny Joseph in 1961 when she was 29 years old. You really should read it all. This poem became Jenny’s most popular one even though she wrote all her life and won several awards and published numerous poetry books.


Perhaps it gained popularity because it speaks of women doing what suits them instead of what others expect of them. A freeing thought to women of the 60s and continues to be even now.

Our clothing standards for “older” women (whatever that means) have loosened some in the last decades, but conquering societal expectations on women is still a struggle. So here is my take on this idea of what to wear:

I’m older—I guess—and I enjoy wearing purple and many other colors. But how I most want to clothe myself is by wearing the honest, true version of my own essence. Not someone’s idea of who I am, not anyone’s opinion of how I should behave, and certainly not another person’s idea of what I should be. Who’s with me?


Age has given me perspective and wisdom. Navigating through difficult times—suffering because of wrong choices, persevering through grief, loss, and change—as well as experiencing wonderful and joyful things like parenthood and being loved, will do that for you.


Age has given me guts. Guts to break free and throw out all that isn’t truly my authentic self. Age has liberated me. I finally got tired enough to call it quits. I couldn’t take care of everyone else any more. I couldn’t be what “they” wanted and demanded. And good Lord, why should I be? How does allowing someone else to frame my character, personality, and behaviors honor myself or my Creator?


As with most of us, the reduction and dismissal of my true self started at an early age when I began believing lies about myself. Experiences in my young life caused me to feel “less than” and that was the filter I used to interpret what people said about me. I heard words and perceived behaviors that convinced me I was, indeed, less than I should be.


For the record, when we hear something, we must accept it and agree with it before it can become truth to us. How we feel about ourselves, often determined early in our lives, affects that.


As I got older and began to dismiss other’s opinions and expectations, and tasted the freedom of determining my authentic self, I’ve discovered lots of treasures in my character. I’m not really those awful things people said about me. I know that they were lies. And I’m fervently hoping that you, too, will make the same discovery of truth.


So what about that purple? Please wear whatever colors make you feel alive and vibrant! But, most importantly, clothe yourself in the dazzling radiance of your perfectly true self.

And, darling, won’t we SHINE!!



I wrote this for the Women2Women Michigan Magazine. You might really enjoy reading the whole magazine online, as it is FULL of great articles for and about and by women! Here is the link to read the free magazine: W2WMichigan Magazine

Love and hugs,

Passionista Mimi





Living With Gusto

A Beauty Experiment

Creams, lotions, injections, surgery,

new clothes, exfoliation, fillers…

What if everything you need to feel more beautiful is INSIDE you?

Watch this video before you read further.

 It totally intrigued me and prompted this post.

Feeling Beautiful Starts in your mind


So what do you think? Have you ever just decided to believe that you are beautiful? Imagine if what these women experienced could happen to you! Did you notice how their facial expressions became brighter and more open?

It has been said that the most beautiful thing you can wear is your smile. The reason behind that is it lifts up everything about you. Maybe it starts with a smile. And then it grows to being more positive, and then it grows to feeling better about yourself, and finally to realizing that you are, indeed, a uniquely beautiful person. Aren’t you tired of media telling us we are not–unless we buy their products, or wear their clothes, drive their car, and on and on until it just makes us sick. Yes, sick. That we would hate our bodies, and how we look, to me is like a sickness.

If you seriously dislike your appearance, there are small things you can do to alter that. A good haircut, for instance, can make me feel like a million bucks! And don’t forget makeup. Currently, it seems to be the decision of many women to go without makeup, and that is great if it fits their lifestyle. I know that I feel better with at least mascara and lipstick. And when you highlight your eyes, your face automatically appears brighter and more open, which are positive traits when communicating with others. Visit the makeup counter at department stores for free makeup consultations if you’d like help with this.


Anyway, I digress…what if we hate the physical traits that we were given? SO not cool!! How sad to hate what makes your lovely face uniquely yours! Thankfully, being my age has given me a sense of freedom about how I look, though I now fixate on my wrinkles-ugh. But I did go through agony (yes, agony) about my appearance (nose too long, chin too round, etc). I have never fit the popular image of what was beautiful for our culture at the time.


I grew up with Twiggy (a model from London, aptly named, very popular in the seventies) for goodness sake!

Decades before the anorexic models we see now.

And have I mentioned how I felt about my body? Really, really not good! Sadly, I realize from photos that I WAS beautiful as a young adult and just did not accept the fact. I kept comparing and judging and hating my appearance. Because I wasn’t the petite cheerleader type (I was 5′ 10″), didn’t have the surfer girl blonde hair, didn’t have boobs, did have hips and thighs, and on and on. WHY do we waste our energy disliking, instead of owning, our beauty?

A lot can be learned from “people watching”. Perhaps you have seen her–the woman who carries her head high, has a confident stride, has an open expression on her face. She acts as if she owns the world. She has confidence. You can believe that she feels beautiful. But as you look more closely, her looks and body are ordinary. Not eye-catching by any means. It’s more in her attitude and how she carries herself. Perhaps she is thinking, “I’m beautiful and I know it!”

On the other hand, you may have seen a woman with head down, eyes downcast, scurrying mouse-like through the crowds, her hair covering most of her face. And when she looked up so you could catch her full face, she was quite lovely. Maybe you thought to yourself, “Why does she hide her beauty?” {I am very aware there are many reasons a woman may hide and I address some of these in another post (}. But apart from that, it might just be that she doesn’t like her looks so she keeps them covered.

Changing one’s idea of personal beauty can take time. Part of it is habit. Your brain just follows the habitual self-criticism it always has, perhaps even modeled by generations of women in our lives. Most of us struggle with desiring a better-looking face and/or body. But what if….

we began the habit of realizing our beauty and thinking as if we are! (Because you ARE!! I know it from a very personal moment with God in 1991 when He told me:

I Have NO ugly daughters

and I never forgot it.)


How would your life change if you realized you were beautiful? If when you walked through the grocery store your head was high and there was a bounce in your step (I know, this seems like pure fantasy, because…the grocery store?)

Ok how about this? You are looking for a special dress (aargh this one trips ME up!) and you just can’t find one that is perfect for you. Instead of thinking “I’m just so ugly, out of shape, have a stupid body” we think, “I know there is a dress for me to match my amazing personality and awesomeness. I’ll just need to keep looking.” I actually pray about finding clothes. I think God realizes how traumatic it’s been for me! (He helps me too!)

Or as you sit at your job you remind yourself that you are beautiful and it makes you smile? Or you go into a party or a meeting knowing that you are awesome and you sparkle? (I know this works first hand because people comment on how happy I seem, or how nice I look. If you want to get noticed, act happy and smile a lot!)

To form the habit of loving ourselves and actually liking the way we look will take practice. You will need to accept that you are awesome, amazing, unique, and quite lovely. Toward that end, I encourage you to repeat daily, several times,

“I am beautiful and I know it!”

and then let me know how it goes! I’m eager to hear from you.

Happy day, beautiful one! Love and hugs, Passionista Mimi



I’d love to read your comments/suggestions/experiences! Please take a moment to leave a comment. I look so forward to reading them!