NO RULES

If you happened upon the last newsletter, you read about my move to a small coastal town in Oregon. Living in a small town two hours outside of a major metro area means traveling to the “city” from time-to-time for “services and provisions.” My daughter, Sophia, needed some dorm room gear, and she had a day off of work at her job Sea Level Bakery & Coffee (shameless plug). So we took the opportunity to jump on Highway 26 and head west to Portland, listening to Hoodie Allenand catching up. Here’s part of our conversation:

Sophia: Mom, you don’t look 50. I’m not sure what 50 looks like, but I don’t think you look like it.

Me: Oh yeah I do.

S: Okay, well maybe you do.

In my head: Ouch.

S: But maybe you don’t seem 50 because of the way you act.

Me: Well, I still feel like a teenager and probably act like one. Maybe I should act older.

S: No, you don’t have to act any certain way. There are no rules.

From the mouth of babes (or 18-year-olds). She is so right. There really are no rules about “how to be” at any age. Of course, I’m not going to throw myself on the supermarket floor in a tantrum because I’m tired and need a nap (although I’ve been tempted at times). And, of course, there’s a time and place for everything. But my age shouldn’t define the way I present myself – whether it be my youthful spirit and silly sense of humor or how I may dress, wear my hair, or the things that interest me.

Today I urge you to think about what defines you. What makes you unique and how to thread that uniqueness through everything you do. Think about the fictitious “rules” that may be holding you back from truly expressing who you are. Break them. Because there are no rules.

Fondly,

Jennifer

Get Some Perspective

If you have never seen Lizzie Velasquez’ TEDxAustinWomen talk, you should. Her life, and all she’s conquered, sufficiently illustrate that there are no rules to how you should look, act or perform. Truly inspiring.

Dress Accordingly

I’m often asked to include information about style for women our age. While I’m by no means a style expert, my reaction is: wear what makes you feel comfortable – whatever puts a spring in your step and gives you the confidence to hold your head high. If you can rock a tube top, wear it. If you don’t like to show your legs, but want to wear something dress-like, throw on a pair of flowy pants. There are no rules. My sister turned me on to this site and I look to it for style inspiration and a reminder that I can wear whatever I please.

Be Kind

So let me dial the “no rules” thing back…just a little. There is one exception

– and it applies to anyone and every age: be kind. It’s pretty simple. Always look for the good, keep a smile on your face, say “hello” to a passerby, give someone a helping hand, and listen. Not saying that you aren’t already kind. But when you make it a conscious effort every day, every moment, it’ll define you. I saw Linda Cohen speak several years ago and I bought her book 1000 Mitzvahs. It was life changing.

“Know the rules well, so you can break them effectively.”

– Dalai Lama XIV

And now back to you, Jane.

Interesting news and other things that caught our eye.

Provocative question on Reddit. Some brilliant answers and some that will make you giggle.

A song that will throw you back to 1992 and is the essence of today’s newsletter subject.

The reason behind "the rule" (ahem) to not wear white after Labor Day. And it’s also a great reason to break it. #meangirls.

Got a college freshman starting in the fall like I do? Here’s a checklist of "cool stuff"for their dorm. Curated by college sophomores.

Here’s what Disney characters would look like in our day and age. Please note: some are political and may be offensive to some. Not the intention.

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