Your Tombstone

I am known far and wide (in my own family) for my potato salad.  True.  Megan said she didn’t like anyone else’s, but she tried one bite of mine and loves it.  Lori agreed.  What a recommendation!  I argued long with my oldest son to be able to serve it on Mother’ Day, and he only conceded when I promised I’d share my recipe.  In full disclosure, I admit everyone over 13 loves it.  Don’t ask the littles.

If you carved your own headstone, what would you etch for eternity to see? I think taking inventory on a regular basis constitutes good mental hygiene.  Here’s what I hope I am known for:

  • smiling with grandchildren
  • super good waffles with sleepovers
  • friendship with peers
  • service for God
  • being a camper at heart
  • ever a mama bear
  • best potato salad known to modern man

Printing this list and taping it to a mirror offers me a daily reminder of what’s important to me.  A Calvinist might consider my barometer shallow, but I freely admit that being a human being isn’t easy.  Some days I aspire to just this much.  No more.  I leave perfection to those better than I.

And my potato salad?  Perhaps it’s time to spill the proverbial beans, or potatoes, in this case.  You can find my secret recipe under any Hellman’s label, but I offer it here for my oldest son, who I am sure never reads my blog.  Megan, don’t you dare write it down and give it to him!

  • 5 pounds red potatoes, boiled and chopped with skins intact
  • one onion, chopped
  • six hard-boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped celery (which Levi won’t eat so I don’t add)
  • 1 cup Hellman’s
  • 1 teaspoon sugarAutosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

I encourage you, dear reader.  Take stock.  Etch your tombstone onto your mirror (use pen and paper.  It’s easier.)  Be known for what matters most to you.  If you aspire to perfection, go for it.  If you, like myself, just celebrate surviving some days, don’t beat yourself up.  I think every tombstone ought to tell a story.  What’s yours?

What is Truth?

Charcoal.  The proverbial chunk of coal pressed into a diamond leaves centuries of untold drama in its wake.  Now I don’t care if that’s urban legend or gospel.  I like it, so I accept it.  These days truth depends on what newspaper you read or which commentator you listen to on television, so I feel free to believe anything I want.  I believe coal becomes diamonds, and I have no facts to dispute it.  I barely survived chemistry.  Four times.  You have no idea how sad I am to admit that, but it leaves me free to believe the very best about the lowly lump of coal.

What I do know about charcoal, however, excites me.  Did you know that charcoal can, all by itself, pull at least a thousand times its weight of impurities from your skin?  Charcoal serves as a natural filter, lifting toxins from the aggregate form.  In a mask like Cackle Spackle, it lifts oil, dead cells, and debris to clean your pores and make your face squeaky clean.  That just plain makes me smile.

You see, take away the jewel-toned packaging.  Take away the cute name.  Take away the competitive pricing.  What remains cleanses, purifies, detoxifies.  It is a high quality product.  I tried Cackle Spackle, and let me just tell you this: If you are 68 going on 69, you do not need this mask.  It lifted dirt, cleansed pores and residual oils.  Probably all the residual oils I’d been storing up for a rainy day.  Afterwards my skin was D-R-Y.  I need a gentler mask.  Envy This, a caffeinated mask, hits the spot for me.  But masking?  The truth is, everyone ought to mask.  Yes, that means you!

 

Empowering Women (and men)

Tip Tuesday is a common theme in Perfectly Posh.  We spend a lot of time helping each other figure out better ways to run our businesses.  Unlike corporate America, where people claw their way to the top, brown nose, vie to get attention and steal the credit whenever they can, Posh pits you only against yourself.  Requirements for advancement are clearly laid out and there’s no glass ceiling, no limit to how many can succeed.  We can all succeed.  Every business owner gauges her own successes, maps out her own path, and competes only against herself.

I like cooperation.  I thrive in a sisterhood of friendship and mutual support.  And in that spirit of support, I decided to offer you my top five tips for being happy at 68.  I consider happiness a bar of success.

#5  Decide to try.  Engagement means exactly the same thing in business and in life as it means in romance.  Put the ring on and commit to your business, to your goals, to what makes you happy.

#4  Decide to smile.  Life’s vexing grievances are better swallowed with a cup of pleasure.  Seriously.  Show some teeth whether you feel like it or not.  I find that the smile ushers in the joy, not the other way around.

#3  Decide to train.  Yup.  Be a life learner.  Pick up new ideas.  Learn a new language.  Study a new topic.  Find a mentor.  In some way, every day, every single day, learn something new.  You’ll be happier sharpening your mind.

#2  Decide to serve others.  Simple, really, just serve people.  Make something easier for someone around you.  If you work with someone, help that person succeed with no sense of self interest, no hope for personal gain.  Just serve someone.

#1  Decide to be consistent.  Daily effort.  Ten minutes or two hours–you decide the amount of effort, but doing something daily to meet your personal goals elevates you in the standings of life.  That consistent effort yields satisfaction, which makes you happy.

Want to work with me?  I’m full of ideas, and I love sharing them with my team!  Go to http://www.madaboutposh.com and click on JOIN.  empower women.JPG

 

Debris

Scraping the debris of life requires concentrated effort.  Sure, I can sail along ignoring issues for a long time, but eventually life looses its fizz and feels flat.  Anxiety mounts. Something feels wrong.  It takes a mental backhoe to dig down to the bedrock of hurts and issues too long ignored.

A daily scrub of introspection eliminates all that.  Yes, just taking time each day to look at my heart and mind circumspectly, leaning against a heavenly measuring stick, keeps my soul squeaky clean.  I like to add some Bible; I’m a huge fan of the Psalms.  The trick lies in finding time.  I am seldom alone, and all these people in and out of the house insist on talking to me!  When the boys were growing up I often hid in the bathroom.  Now that I’m old I pretend I’m napping.  Sometimes it works, but don’t tell them.

I love a scrub in my shower as well.  Posh does scrubs really well.  Eco-beads, bits of loofah, seeds…all kinds of organic action work together to exfoliate and cleanse.  I get those annoying little bumps on my skin–keratosis pilaris if you want the medical term.  A Snarky Bar eliminates them.  Try one.  You’ll thank me later.

scrubby

The Itty-Bitty Things

Ray Kroc, a founder of McDonalds, is credited with the phrase “getting the itty-bitty things right,” and establishing a school for flipping burgers.  It may be urban legend, but I like the concept.  Human nature takes its cue from a constantly degrading universe, and all too often, failure to set goals results in little failures in the things that matter most.  That ability to choose to do better and be better rests as the hallmark of being a human being.

Stated another way, “good enough never has been and never will be good enough.”  Perfectionism is not a trait anyone who knows me would ascribe as one of my personal qualities.  Nevertheless, in some things, I do set lofty goals for myself.

In business, not in housework.  In cooking, not in baking.  In service, not in play.  I believe I can be exceptional in the things that matter most without being consumed by the insane notion that I can be perfect in everything.  Be exceptional in the things that matter most to you.  Set priorities.  Give the things you care about a lion’s share of your attention and effort.  See a difference.

In a past season of my life I worked as an RN.  Professionalism became a byword in our education and training.  It colored my everyday philosophy of life.  I wanted to be a professional mother.  A professional kind of writer.  A professional business owner.  And I plan on never retiring from that!  Getting the itty-bitty things right, from customer service to working with colleagues forms the basis of my business creed. If this resonates with you, join me!  I’d love to work with you!  Yes, I’ll be 69 this year, but I can use that life experience to leverage myself into a better life situation.  So can you.

join me 2

Function or Form?

Surface.  The skin’s surface memorializes a remarkable tale of our life’s adventures in laugh lines, worry lines, and a myriad of “imperfections.”  Spending a week in Paris, a city where the surface, the presentation is everything, prompted some introspection.

In everything from food to fashion to architecture, the French care as much about the facade as the function.  Grand on a scale beyond measure, the superficial assumes gigantic proportions.  And yet, what I loved most about Paris was all that lay underneath.  Subtle seasonings.  A shower the size of a walk-in closet.  The shape of things.

Life is more about what goes on at the cellular level than what we create as a portrait of ourselves on the surface.  Keeping it basic.  Sustaining health.  Being real.  That’s what I love about Posh.  We talk a lot about “naked face” and achieving a healthy skin that speaks volumes about the state of the body underneath the surface.

Skincare is basic.  Cellular.  Healthy.  Cosmetics are surface, illusory, presentation.  The building blocks of healthy, glowing skin include a good facial cleanser, a weekly mask, and moisturizer appropriate for your type of skin.  Drink lots of water.  Apply sun block.  Covering up my life’s journey is the farthest thing from my mind.  Being healthy and being real epitomizes my life’s aspirations.  Let’s talk…I’ve got you covered, in more ways than one.  (See what I did there?  LOL.)

The Sun is Not Your Friend

How did we slide from shiver to sizzle so quickly?  We left for Paris with snow in the forecast and came home to a sauna.  Spring simply failed to show up.

This weekend we sweltered through five soccer games.  It occurred to me, part way through Saturday, that I own a business with sun block in the moisturizer…and guess who forgot to put it on?  You know, it only works when it’s on the skin.  I learn that lesson again every year, never expecting it to be hot so soon.  I’m a slow learner.

block it.JPG

The bottom line is really very simple: the sun is not your friend.  I know gals love that glistening golden look, but there’s more than one way to get that glow.  Fake it Till You Make It, applied regularly, creates the look safely.

No one thinks melanoma lurks in their future, except me, of course.  I grew up in an age when everyone slathered on sun tan lotion and headed to the pool for the day.  It was like frying chicken on concrete.  I suffered through at least one doozy of a sunburn every year, often two or three.  One year I had blisters on top of blisters, and the doctor wanted to hospitalize me.  I obviously get checked for skin cancer on a regular basis.

But other women, the ones who don’t think they will ever be diagnosed with skin cancer, need to take the threat seriously.  Men have the highest incidence of melanoma as they age, when those years of working out of doors begin to catch up with them.  In short, these two products are perfect for everyone this season of the year!

 

 

Quiet Earth Would Have Loved Posh

Now, no judging!  I freely admit we’re hooked on old Westerns.  They’re short.  There’s always a clear cut protagonist, with good versus evil blatantly discernible.  We honestly don’t mind black and white television.  At the inception of our nation we were blessed with colorful moral giants like Washington and Madison.  Now heroes pale in comparison.  Our world seems turned inside out.quiet earth

And watching them, I can’t help but notice how spoiled we are as a nation, how spoiled I am.  My grandparents and great grandparents all lived simple lives.  And me?  I live amid time-saving gadgets galore, with more furniture and comfort than any generation before me.  Do I appreciate it or take it for granted?  You know, since I happen to be writing this piece, that I favor counting my blessings.  I love our comparatively simple home, deficient closets and pea-sized kitchen notwithstanding.  But I’m a simple person.  I mean, I go bananas over all the new Posh.

I’m addicted to the colorful packaging, the delightful scents, the cute verbiage.  The re-emergence of the Beach Blanket BFYHC is something the Posh girls campaigned for, because we love that coco-nutty scent.  The new snarky, packed with bits of loofah, tickles my fancy.  And the new scrub!  I’m in heaven!

My mom loved to tell the story of me running through the house, clamoring to see “Quiet Earth.”  No one knew what I was talking about, until Hugh O’Brien appeared on the screen one day.  Yeah, I love simpler times, and I love the idea of simplicity…but I live in the 21st century, and I need my Posh!  You know what?  Quiet Earth was something of a ladies’ man, and I think he’d have liked it too!  You can find it on my site.  Go to http://www.madaboutposh.com and click on hand creme.

beach blanket

MerMagic…or in other words, lighten up!

mermaid.JPGThe new Posh line tantalizes my senses and my imagination.  Mermaids!  Shimmer and glimmer.  All things cool and bubbly.  Actually, I never wanted to be a mermaid.  After all, I can’t swim.  I know.  I took swim lessons many a summer, but always dropped out when I got sunburned.  I excel at holding onto the side and kicking.

That doesn’t stop me from being a Posh mermaid, though!  A sparkling face wash, a shimmery scrub–wowsers!  Here’s the thing.  We take life too seriously.  We need to lighten up.  Posh keeps me smiling while offering me the best skin care on the market.

Intentionally smile today.  Tell a joke.  Put a grin on a post-it note memo.  Skim right through those Facebook texts screaming about the next scandal, and post instead something that edifies.  The mood in America fluctuates between gloom and volatility, and you never know what will spark the next hullabaloo.

It’s up to you.  It’s up to me.  Intentionally lighten the discourse and the burdens of those around you.  In turn, you’ll feel a lightening in your own soul.  I may be just one person, but I will be one person who lightens my own little corner of the world.  I just happen to do it with style and glimmery Posh.  Want some?  Go to http://www.madaboutposh.com.  mermagic

The Fabric of Life

It used to be the norm.  Multi-generational families were common, and still are in other countries, especially in Europe.  In America we got away from that dynamic and our culture shifted into rugged independence rather than being inter-connected.  We accepted teenage rebellion as a norm rather than the disease it truly became, a harbinger of separation and distrust.

Along the way we lost something, something really valuable.  Grandparents pass down family history and mores.  They reinforce parental values.  Blending fosters emotional health and purpose for the grandparents, while it creates a cocoon of support for the littles.  My own life was enriched by a grandmother who taught me to knit, by in-laws who taught me frugality, by a mother who taught me perseverance.  Parents scurrying off to work and then trying to keep a household running in the evening can’t squeeze it all in between supper and bedtime.  Turn to grandparents to fill that missing link.

Owning a business is a great way to keep the fabric intact.  Many grandparents babysit, but I suggest turning part of that time into a purposeful, multi-generational endeavor. Littles can help, developing a work ethic as they enjoy time together.  Seniors on fixed incomes benefit from all the perks of a side hustle.  Of course, I sell Posh–but choose something that fuels your passion.  Turn a hobby into income, or join a direct sales network with all the support built into it.  The wide world beckons you.  Beckon a little to be part of your venture!  Everyone wins.  (If you wish to join me, go to http://www.madaboutposh.com and click on JOIN.  I will contact you asap!)