3 Things Older Women Should Ditch ASAP

Decluttering of and for the Spirit

3 Things A Woman Should Ditch ASAP

I recently saw a list of 55 household items mature women should throw out. It was a curious grab bag featuring futons, wire hangers, and souvenir shot glasses. Useful suggestions (I suppose), but lacking in deep, meaningful advice we older women need So, to correct that omission, here are my 3 Things Older Women Should Ditch ASAP!

No. 1 of 3 Things Older Women Should Ditch: Guilt (& it’s Kissing Cousin, Second Guessing)

I’m tired of explaining myself. I’m tired of worrying. And I’m flat-out exhausted from my never-ending habit of second-guessing decisions.

Did I do the right thing? Should I have done this instead of that? What if I …? WHATEVER!!! Talk about the road not taken! Poet Robert Frost had nothing on me.

No more!

Enough! I’m done with the late-night agonizing internal dialogues!

I’m kicking guilt and second-guessing out the door. They don’t bring me joy! I’m decluttering my brain!

To those whom I might have — or might in the future — let down. I did/am doing the best I can.

No. 2 of 3 Things Older Women Should Ditch: Our Obsession with Weight

Now I’m decidedly not recommending we throw the bathroom scale out and start pigging out. However, let’s stop agonizing about every pound, cookie, and calorie. Instead, let’s relax a bit and show ourselves a little kindness. Along the way, we can eat moderately, exercise moderately, and enjoy ourselves more.

Also, please do not suggest I eat quinoa and kale. I cannot pronounce the former and I cannot stand the latter! Like I said, let’s practice a little kindness.

Also, let’s agree to cancel our subscriptions to fancy fashion magazines. It’s way past time to move on. Staring at super-skinny, smooth-skinned models is a downer. We never fit into size 2 and 4 clothes even in our prime. Why are we still ogling and “ohing” about overpriced clothes and those unlined, air-brushed-to-perfection faces?

No. 3: Magnifying Mirrors … and Mirrors throughout the House

Mirrors are useful but can be cruel, especially those magnifying ones! Talk about spider veins! I have spider turnpikes and superhighways!

Anyway, my point:

My mother, who bore a startling resemblance to the stunning actress Celeste Holmes, had a simple rule: look in the mirror once a day when you get dressed and not again.

That chic lady adhered to a simple beauty routine. She:

  • Slathered Elizabeth Arden’s Velma Moisturizer on her face twice daily.
  • Had her hair and nails done every week.
  • Never left the house without earrings, lipstick, (and a handkerchief) and
  • To repeat, never looked in the mirror after she applied her make-up.

My mother said she did not recognize the “old lady” in the mirror and that “seeing” her once a day was enough. Nonetheless, my mother accepted her wrinkles with some pride. She said — with a smile — that we kids had given her those wrinkles through worry and sleepless nights, and the rest had come through hard work. And at a time when plastic surgery was gaining acceptance, she felt no need to erase them.

55 MORE Items to Ditch!

As for that original list of 55 items to shed? Most of it struck me as basic good housekeeping, valuable at any age. I mean, seriously, who keeps ratty hair ties, used take-out containers, and smelly shoes? Yes, stinky shoes were on the list!

The list contained impractical tips like consolidating multiple remote controls down to one. I mean, it’s great advice, but for me, unattainable. Who exactly is going to do that consolidating? I’m no techie and since my kids “ditched” me for their own homes, who is available to do my techno-chores? Handsome Hubby? Ha! He’s got the patience of a goldfish!

Some of the advice was surprisingly hardcore:

  • Discard my children’s art projects? I think not!
  • Give away my “prized” stamp collection which “I know” will one day be worth bazillion dollars contrary to what an appraiser once told me? Obviously not!
  • Toss birthday and anniversary cards from Handsome Hubby? I’d much rather toss those take-out ketchup, mustard, and soy sauce packets he hoards.

Actually, I’d love to do that. It’s even on the 55-item-to-toss list. You know what? I’m going to do it! (Just don’t tell HH. If he notices, I’ll say “The List” made me do it!)

Some items were humorous … like shedding a futon and red plastic drinking cups. How many almost oldsters own a futon? And why is the list maker a Solo Cup hater?

The list urged tossing old spices. Here I confess: “guilty as charged.” I possess a drawer full of half-filled spice jars dating back to before the kids hit puberty. It just seems a shame to throw them out. Someday I might need anise and cloves again.

One very nice suggestion I plan to follow: donating old telephones to Cell Phones for Soldiers.

The Decluttering Tip I’ll Never Follow!

And finally, in a recommendation that cut to my heart, the author recommended discarding CDs. No way. Never! I’m hanging on to my CDs until the day I die!

In fact, I’ve provided after-life instructions that I want to be cremated surrounded by my favorite CDs. I know I’ll be a plastic-y mess, but still … I’ll go out as a goldie oldie and simultaneously reduce the massive decluttering task my children will face!

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