Health, Health and Beauty, Inspiration, Organization

Sentimental Clothing: Why Do We Get Attached to the Clothes We Wear?

Why do we get attached to the clothes we wear? I want to preface this blog to say that I originally started writing the draft last September so some of the ideas might not apply right now but I wanted to leave it pretty much as is, as sort of a time capsule. I realize that the title now has a different meaning as well.

Last September – Pre-COVID-19

I decided to go through my closet today and bagged up a lot of clothing to donate. I ended up with quite a few bags as I have not really purged in quite a while. I have eliminated here and there but this was different. There are certain clothes that I have hung onto because it reminds me of a certain time or event or trip in my life. I decided to let those (most of them) go today. Many of them do not fit well anymore. I did take pictures of them just so I could remember them if I want to. Even though I go through this process from time-to-time, some of the items still end up back in my closet.

I question why I develop certain attachments to things. I have costume jewelry that my mother-in-law purchased for me when we were shopping together that I really don’t wear often but it reminds me of her as she is deceased now. Even if I don’t wear it that much, I want to keep it to remind me of our time together.

Clothing is one thing, among other things, that I attach meaning to. I wore some things during the times when my kids were small (and I was, too) or I wore another piece on a trip I took or perhaps there were special occasions attached to other pieces of clothing. Even though I may not be able to wear some of them anymore, I can still think about the times I wore them. If I decide to give that top or pants away, taking a picture of it is a good way to remember it as well as trying it on one last time.

Time to Let Some of Them Go

There are clothes that I really loved wearing but now some are stretched out or damaged so it is OK to let them go. And of course there are always new clothes and styles to buy. Generally, more often than not, new clothing purchases begin to grace the closet come while older clothes are worn less and less. I think this time I want to create space for clothes that I know I am eventually going to buy. I know that I place a lot of emphasis on clothing but clothing that I love and feel good wearing makes me feel good. The problem I have lately is that my body is changing as I get older and I can’t just pick up anything off the rack and have it look good on me.

The recent trend of a less-is-more capsule wardrobe which consists of about 37 pieces of clothing is kind of intriguing but I am not quite there yet. I don’t think I want to be that extreme but I do want to love every piece of clothing that is in my closet. Some clothes, usually the one’s purchased from Nordstrom have graced my closet space for up to 15 years. There are a few pair of pants from Nordstrom that have withstood the test of time and that I can still frequently wear after 15 years!!! They are not completely in style but they are stylish enough.

Now – Post-COVID-19

Clothing is probably the last thing I worry about when quarantining. I am not working, I don’t go out and I don’t feel like dressing up much. Comfort is king. I miss wearing my clothes!!! I know I can wear them at home and I may just have to start doing that.

I ask myself: What is the purpose of particular types of clothing? In the business world and the world in general, we dress to present ourselves in the best light. Why don’t we do that in the confines of our own home? Why is it so important to look good in public? I liked to update my wardrobe periodically to keep up with fashion. Most of the clothing that I buy is usually timeless pieces that can last until they wear out. Sometimes I buy cheaper items that are only meant to last for a few seasons.

The Psychology of Clothing

I have been wrestling with this attachment to clothing. In a practical sense, clothing is meant to keep us warm and dry but has developed into the way we see ourselves–the way we portray ourselves to society or the way we would like to be portrayed. Clothing as a social marker can often indicate social status or a certain personality type. The evolutionary aspect deals with clothing as a way to influence a mate.

We have different clothes for different activities. When at the office, we dress in business attire, at a party something more dressy. The weekend usually leaves us in work-out gear or comfortable clothing. I suppose the quarantine just feels like one long, long weekend.

Since the quarantine, I have not gone through my clothes because I am hopeful to live “that life” again that allows me to dress for the way I am going to conquer the world that day. In the meantime, any clothes that might make it to a give-away bag are just sitting in the corner until the resale shops open again.

The new way of living encompasses safety and comfort.

You might as well enjoy it. Quarantine living is relaxed living.

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Facebook has a new device called Portal to make life easier connecting with family and friends. It will make connecting with loved ones a snap as it does not require an app. All you need is a Wi-Fi connection.

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Health, Inspiration, Mind, Soul, Body

COPING WITH COVID

If you are like me, you’ve probably gone through every emotion right about now, trying to wrap your head around COVID-19. Some of our responses are how the virus has affected our lives and others are a response to the people we care for and who help us go about our day to day lives.

First, it started with just believing this was just like any other flu. Then a couple of weeks ago we were asked to begin distancing ourselves from everyone. Now, with many ill and dying, we are asked to refrain from our normal way of life with practically no outings except to the grocery store or perhaps a doctor’s appointment. Many people are still working and those on the front line in hospitals and serving the community are heroes and saints.

At the beginning, since my work as a temp for the school district went south with the school closures, and social distancing started, it almost felt like a guilty pleasure, to be able to stay home and hang out or work on projects or blog. No commitments, nowhere to be, tasks completed with ease, almost like a stay-at-home vacation. The reality of life has a way of catching up when opening the mailbox to retrieve the latest bills.

The only window to the outside world has been television news, Facebook and Twitter and very infrequent trips to the grocery store. Of course, frequent calls to family and friends are a boon to having some semblance of normalcy in or lives even if we know in the back of our minds that we won’t be able to ignore the fact that we might need to remain physically distant.

Public gatherings, including church services and Mass are all going on-line and what I am finding is there seems to be an influx of churches and businesses getting into the social media “business.” Perhaps it’s becoming the “new normal,” at least temporarily. I am in a Lenten frame of mind, so I suppose less is more right now for me and I am tending to view a smattering of what is offered online.

I have all of these ideas for projects or blog posts but it almost feels like I am out of my element as worry and stress places a toll on energy. Since my husband and I are empty-nesters, we used to eat out occasionally, but now with dining in, we have been taking turns cooking so it doesn’t become so monotonous. I fear for the retailers and restaurant owners.

I haven’t mentioned anger, probably because I haven’t experienced that emotion yet. When you are grieving, you run the whole gamut of emotions over time. I think, as Americans, and I am sure all those around the world, are still trying to gain an acceptance of this silent killer because we are still in shock and grieving our former way of life, at least for the time being. We do and will have to grieve this as many things will be missed or altered-graduations, weddings, birthdays, sporting events, church services, classes on college campuses, dining out. In the end, perhaps we will gain a new appreciation for what it means to be an American with our many luxuries and freedoms as this is the greatest country in the world.

Some things you can do to cope with COVID.

  • Talk to those in your immediate family or call a distant family member or a friend. There are also numbers you can call in your community.
  • Remember to give your immediate family members space and ask for space if you need it.
  • Try to stay in touch with the outside community, be it your church or other organizations through email or phone, Skype or Zoom.
  • Take frequent walks in the neighborhood or local park if there aren’t too many people there. Many of the national and state parks are closed.
  • Listen to music, dance, jump rope, get out of bed and get dressed.
  • Try to watch the news just briefly and limit time with electronic devices, unless, of course, it is your job to be on the computer.
  • Do something for someone else, whether you mail a package of cookies to family members or donate on-line or volunteer (with precautions) which leads to a sense of purpose.
  • Hold those you love in prayer or intentional thought. Have you ever received a phone call from someone you recently had intentionally been praying for or thinking about?

Shop Amazon Warehouse Deals – Deep Discounts on Open-box and Used Kitchen Gadgets

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Health

The Importance of the Posterior Chain

Hold that plank!

Ok, during the holiday season, I took the Christmas boxes which held the decorations out of the garage and could feel that my stomach muscles were weak lifting the boxes!
How can this be!? The boxes are not that heavy. I have let myself and my core get out of shape.

I decided to get back to the gym. I normally lift weights but decided I needed a good stretch to begin the new year. I opted for the yoga class. At yoga class this morning there was a substitute instructor and he was very detailed and explained what muscles were being worked and gave detailed instructions on how to achieve the correct posture and what to look for to achieve the goal of the posture which is either working the muscles for strength or stretching. This really made sense to me.

My yoga practice over the years has been spotty at best but I am familiar with many of the postures. The substitute instructor really explained, in detail, the posture for downward dog and forward bend (this instructor called it forward fold) to where I felt the most control I have ever felt doing these yoga poses. He also brought up the posterior chain and explained that it is not the abs that are as important for core work as is the posterior chain.

I am really glad I went today. I saw on the gym schedule that there was going to be a sub and was leary about spending the time with someone who might not be what I was looking for. This instructor was formerly an airplane engineer for a major company so I can see where all the detailed instructions were coming from.

What is the posterior chain?

The posterior chain is the powerhouse of the body and acts as a foundation of our body where all the largest and most powerful muscles are located and are responsible for holding you upright all day long. Our body is a mountain and our head sits atop of it. Since many jobs are sedentary where we sit most of the day, we begin to reap the problems that come with that, namely, lower back pain.

The posterior chain are all located on the backside of the body and includes the muscles that run from your foot, up through your calves, along the back, through your seat, lower back, along either side of your spine and finishing under your skull.

Posterior Chain Muscles

  • Calves
  • Hamstrings
  • Glutes
  • Multifidus
  • External Obliques
  • Erector spine muscles
  • Trapezius
  • Posterior deltoids

At the bottom of the page there is a link to click for the yoga postures that I use the most. During the positions for the plank and the downward-facing dog, try it with your hands turned slightly outward, legs together and gluts pressed together. The instructor stressed that the plank is not a push up. You can also do a plank with your elbows on the ground like the models pictured above.

For the forward fold, hang the hands down in front of your feet, toes turned upward and fingers curled around toes. This move is actually quite relaxing

The hips take the brunt of the bodies weight (we are a mountain)and the spine sits atop the pelvis. Downward-Facing Dog is a yoga pose that works the flexibility of the hips, and stretches the calves, hamstrings, glutes and muscles along the spine. To start, come on to all fours. Place your hands under your shoulders and your knees hip-distance apart. Curl your toes under. Lift your hips up and back, working to create a triangular shape with your body. Relax your head in between your arms. Hold this stretch for three to five breaths. Do not practice this pose if you have a shoulder or wrist injury.

Just with any new exercise regimen always consult your physician before beginning.

Web link with yoga postures below.

https://www.healthline.com/health/posture-exercises

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Health, Health and Beauty, Mind, Soul, Body

I Wore a Face Mask and I Liked It

Renewing Regimen

I don’t normally use facial masks but a sample facial mask packet arrived in the package of an online order for a different product. I gave it a try and I liked it. I don’t remember the brand but it was a light-weight mask and my skin felt truly luxurious after I applied it and rinsed it off. It reminded me of applying mud masks when I was a teenager. I think it was a fad then–at least for teenagers. There is a benefit to taking care of our skin as we age.

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Masks aside, my absolute favorite skin care product is Yon-ka which I have used for a number of years. The Yon-ka toner which the company calls lotion is what I live for in the morning! The toner is infused with essential oils and paired with the Yon-ka moisturizer for my skin type keeps my skin feeling its best. Occasionally, I get a Yon-ka facial that includes a hydrating mask. If any men are reading this wondering what a great gift for their wives might be, look no further than an esthetician’s chair. I don’t get a facial as often as I would like but when I do, I go for a Yon-ka facial. The essential oils in the products take me away and the deep hydration is pure heaven! Plus, the facial uses steam to help deep-clean pores. If you are interested in using steam look for a classic European facial and better yet a Yon-ka European facial.

The tried and true

A new year skin care ritual that is easy to perform at home and that I take great comfort in is my skin sloughing regimen. Whenever I tell anyone about it, they get a big kick out of the word sloughing, but honestly, when one takes a bath to soften the skin, the dead skin cells come off more easily, especially if using a towel that is a little on the “rough” side. Towels that are line-dried have this quality or not using fabric softener also works. Since the weather is dismal and the flurry of activity before, during and after the holidays has me feeling a little spent, this ritual gets me revitalized to take on the new year in all its’ newness. Time to clear the old skin away, the old clothes, old papers, old mindsets. etc.

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Health, Humor, Travel

Getting Caught in the Rain and Encountering Bigfoot

When is the last time you deliberately got caught in the rain? We were at Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum, Washington. The weekend we were there proved to be more like “Raincadia” vs. “Suncadia.” All in all it was a pretty good weekend weather-wise.

The mornings were peaceful and our room was on the ground level so we could just walk out of our room and overlook the hills streaming with wisps of fog that were so beautiful. Also, out our back door were the 1000 steps to the river below. It wasn’t actually 1000 steps like the sign indicated but it was a good number seeing as we were panting on our way back up.

Right out the back door of our hotel room at Suncadia Resort
“1000 steps”

At the resort, there are many activities–hiking, swimming, golf. We chose to take a walk. When we started out the weather was decent, even sunny, and the fall colors were starting to come on. An hour into it, dark clouds spelled impending rain was rolling in but we chose to forge onward. It began to rain and we were getting soaked. We eventually took shelter under a pine tree for about 1/2 hour. Time seemed to stop then.

The rain stopped and we headed to the golf course lodge for a glass of wine by the warm fire and then eventually back to our room. The same day we headed into Roslynn, WA. You may remember the television show “Northern Exposure” which was supposed to be based in Alaska. It was actually shot in Roslynn, Washingon and I immediately recognized the signature mural on the town wall and a quick google search confirmed that this was the town. There were other people also taking photos in front of the wall but the town and show, I believe, have been forgotten. There wasn’t too much else going on. I suppose it was that way in the show, too.

We carefully walked down the steps that led to the river and on the way at each landing were interesting facts about local wildlife and a casting of their footprints in the cement. They even had a casting of “Bigfoot’s” footprint. What a hoot!

Bigfoot print

I would definitely recommend this resort, especially being so close to Seattle. It is comfortable, clean, and close to nature. It is a good place to relax and catch up on life.

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