President Kennedy

Hurrah – It’s December!

I am really hoping we can go back to being fabulous this December.  That means understated but caring buying, sending good wishes by any means possible and respecting any approach to celebrating the religious or non-religious meaning of the ending year, and the start of a new one.  And of course, enjoying the heck out of YOUR traditions from stringing lights to giving to charity.

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November can be a cruel month.  Remember November 22, 1963 and President Kennedy’s assassination?  Of course you do.  It is a classic, tragic, shared boomer memory.  President Kennedy’s death united us all.  And much of what we began to understand as “fabulous” was defined by his young widow’s grace and dignity in her own, and the country’s, loss.  Jackie was a woman many of us began to admire greatly for her public restraint and calm.  Of course she was devastated, but she was private in her grief.  If social media existed, we can’t imagine Jackie sharing anything but short poignant statements and calls for healing.

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This November’s election was the shocker of our political lives.  Whether you are a Trump or Clinton voter, things this month have been tense, weird, and more than a bit confusing.

I never prayed so much for help to NOT SAY what I so desperately wanted to say; and, for the wisdom and guidance on what to say to my friends and family no matter how they voted. I had a few harsh words with one of my closest friends which I quickly regretted. A few minutes on social media demonstrated that standards of being elegant, restrained, and otherwise fabulous were much less common if not non-existent.  Seeing some “reactions” to events this month, made me, the eternal optimist of human positive behavior, feel fabulousness was perhaps a lost dream that our own daughters, nieces, and grands would never be able to emulate.  Yikes – November must end!

But wait, there’s more – as they say on infomercials. My business partner called to tell me he had been injured over Thanksgiving weekend, on the mend but in pain.  A member of my family who shall remain nameless had one of those dysfunctional family holidays that may win Bill and my annual prize for the most ridiculous family event in 2016.  A close business associate shared that her company was turning upside down with a complete new CEO and team — she’s the CIO trying to keep it all working.  Being fabulous? Taking things in stride? Seeing humor and hope in every event – however odd, hurtful or just stupid?  November has tested us.

But, as noted, I am THE eternal optimist.  I believe we CAN be fabulous again this December by getting quiet before all the hoopla and listening to our higher selves whisper to us – ‘it is all OK’.  We need to remember fabulous women we admire – from Notorious RBG – the Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, to the shining star Jennifer Lawrence, who keeps showing Hollywood that women do deserve the same rewards as men, and are still at full speed fabulousness.  There are women being fabulous in business, non-profits, politics, fashion, and just leading ordinary lives.  What they all have in common is calm, grace and a focus on what they can control; and most importantly in this self-important, post-truth time, not taking themselves too seriously.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Jennifer Lawrence

Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Jennifer Lawrence

My dear friend Betty and I spoke this morning.  We agreed it is time to “think local” and get involved – seriously involved – in what matters to us.  That and of course, continuing to try to feel great, look great, and give thanks for all our blessings – while having a sense of humor about ourselves.  People who lack a sense of humor and can’t laugh at themselves will never be fabulous.

I never thought I would be looking forward to the rush: writing too many Christmas cards, shopping and trimming the tree. Whatever the world is up to, I am not reading about it as avidly as I did pre-November.  Rather I am sending light and prayers to help situations I cannot control.  Then I sit down and have a great glass of wine, alone or with friends – and strategize about new ways to keep being fabulous in December.

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Here’s to tinsel – shiny but completely uncomplicated!  And Netflix, thank God we can binge watch series’ between stressful moments.  Happy December everyone!!

Patty

History lesson from the Cuban Missile Crisis

It was 50 years ago today — October 22, 2012 — that the Cuban Missile Crisis was going on. I remember being both confused and a little scared in my eighth grade class. Taught by a firm but gentle nun, there was much desire to keep us informed without scaring us out of our wits.

Those were some non-fabulous days — at the time I was thinking about…what else? Becoming a nun. Oh my. My parents often reminded me of that when I was in my 20s being a ‘where have all the flowers gone’ girl and thinking: so many boys, so little time. But I digress.

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Current events were frightening and nothing to joke about. Men in suits talked on TV — the news was serious, the subjects serious and the tone somber. I felt that somehow, something really bad could happen — but if God forbid it did, we could get under our desks and ride out the storm. We were a million miles from 9/11.

When I reflect on this day, it makes me wish that my granddaughters had easier times to grow up in. No, not easier, just more sugar-coated and protected. Things were CONTROLLED. That was okay when you were ten years old…I think. Not sure that we know how we would have felt if the events back then were surrounded by 24/7 news and instant breaking this and that. But I can’t help but wonder if all the constant commotion in today’s world makes it HARDER, not easier to know when things are difficult or challenging. When everything is important, nothing is.

When people were quiet, somber and talked in serious tones, we knew it was important. Living life in a bit of a bubble allows the slightest change to seem like a big deal. Maybe we can all learn a lesson here to make fewer things a big deal in our own lives. And refuse to overreact to the many events happening daily that are in retrospect very minor.

We can’t bring back the bubble. But we can focus on making sure our country and others have the best leaders possible. In the end it was President Kennedy who made things “work out”. And it’s going to be the same today — no matter what is happening; our leaders help us through or make us worse off. Now that is a history lesson that reminds us why we are all voting soon. And why, no matter the times, some history lessons are worth remembering — like the value of voting intelligently.

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