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She was a vision in cream-colored linen and lace. Her hair was contained in a combination snood/beret and her makeup was flawless. She was stunning…and I told her so. “Tank you,” she replied. “I’m 82, and beauty at my age is knowing what to cover up.”

One word came to mind: when. When did this lovely, elderly lady begin to take stock of her body and her looks and adjust and adapt accordingly? When did she realize that exposing too much of her aging body was no longer appropriate? When did she choose different clothing to make the most of the beauty she did possess? When did she begin these sartorial boundaries?

When do any of us begin to establish boundaries and why do we think they carry the connotations of “chores” and “homework” as though creating them somehow infringes on our freedom?


At a Christmas party one year, I found myself next to a plater of snack food that had obviously been dropped from the heavens. It was an orgasmic holiday creation, and even though I knew I was packing on holiday poundage that would take months and chisels to remove, I kept hogging it down.

Across from me was a young child who had found his own plater of manna, but within minutes, his mother appeared with the words, “You’ve had enough.” I asked her if she would please come over and say those words to me.

While it got a good laugh, it again made me think of that word: when. When do we become the adult who can establish those boundaries and know when to say no to ourselves without it feeling like a punishment? When do we come to terms with the fact that we don’t need to eat or


buy everything we see and that fewer and wiser choices are not always such a bad thing?

Keeping it Simple

A friend took a picture of me on a day I was wearing a leopard print blouse. I looked like a small, fuzzy criter that belonged in the giſt shop at Disney. Realizing that I was only going to get fuzzier with time I strapped on the sneakers and began walking. I made no other exercise plans except to walk daily for an hour until I was a sweaty mess because I knew I could do at least that religiously. I made no menus except to say yes to fruit and vegetables, chicken and fish. I said farewell to alcohol, carbohydrates, and my two best friends, Twizzlers and Twixt. I didn’t miss them. I didn’t keep a journal or diary or invest in a personal trainer. I didn’t buy equipment, food plans, or workout systems. I still went to parties and ate out; I just became October 2012

mindful about what and how much I ate. Boundaries By Karen Jessee Watching our Words

We revel in our First Amendment, but we abuse it terribly. We mistake the profane and crude for the profound and enlightening. We forget that the amendment came about so we could make commentary about our government and religion without being hanged or burned at the stake.

And while we do have that freedom of speech, does it mean that we should say everything as it comes to mind? Should we be sounding off like histrionic and hormonal teenagers vomiting a perpetual commentary? It’s an odd combination of narcissism and cowardice, stating so many opinions behind fake names and pictures of animals instead of ourselves. Do we even remember to say please and thank you? In spite of upgraded and expensive way to communicate, “I’m going to ignore you completely and not respond” has ironically become the new “no”.

Several business associates I know have stopped going to business mixers and networking events. Tey’ve encountered too many loud evenings filled with people who didn’t want to listen and were transparently not interested in anyone else. Too many simply wanted to yip about themselves and flip out their business cards. One referred to the whole experience as people standing on each other’s shoulders shouting louder than the person below them. It was more noise than value.

I dropped 9 pounds. I’ve read enough to know that this way of eating and moving is simply going to be the “New Normal” for me.

I’ve established “when.” It’s now.

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