Having lived just north of Detroit during the 70's & 80's, it was convenient to cross the border into Canada. My parents took us there often because it was a destination my father was well acquainted. His parents would visit and vacation at Point Pelee, Ontario, Canada during the 1940's. Known as being the southernmost tip of the Canadian mainland, it became a place where we would play in the waters and walk along the pointed sandbar.
Not having formal seat-belt laws in Michigan until 1980, we drove through Canada strapped in our seat-belts like animals (we thought). Whenever we'd return safely to the US we ecstatically removed our seat-belts to live in reckless American style.
Dad always drove through Canada when traveling from Detroit to New England and back again. I especially hated the safe seat-belt laws because it meant I had to sit still for hours. Mid-point in the Detroit-Windsor tunnel we would gleefully remove our seat-belts and begin wiggling all over the van. It's really a miracle any of us actually survived childhood.
As teens in the 1980's, we crossed into Canada to partake in their coming of age laws and eat Hawaiian Pizza; a pizza with cool new toppings like Canadian Bacon, and pineapple.
(not originally from Hawaii)
Of course, after 9/11, that all changed. The borders of our mutual countries tightened security for the safety of their citizens. But the love between Detroit and Windsor could never part. The Detroit Marathon still maps between our two countries. It now charts runners over the Ambassador Bridge and back through the Detroit Windsor Tunnel.
My sister, Edy, is an eloquent storyteller. She often writes stories or shares histories about living in a border state. She remembers the Canadian PBS channel broadcasting Sesame Street in French, I remember the hockey games Dad was always streaming via our high-powered TV antenna.
So today, I fondly remember Canada Day as a precursor to our coming Independence Celebration in three days. Oh, Canada, may we always be close friends and always allies.
Reckless Resale has a budding relationship with Canada. Our featured product, Love my Hips jeans & jeggings, are supplied by Nygard International, a clothing design company based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. We fell in love with the product after meeting their reps at our first trade show. A great product, from good people, is always a joy to represent.
Shop our fabulous luxe denim jeans here!
But it soon will be our day to celebrate the founding of the United States. We'll be hanging around the boutique if anyone wants to stop by!
When someone uses the phrase “aging gracefully” I usually cringe. Knowing my limitations and recognizing as Elaine Benes admitted in the “Jackie O” episode of Seinfeld “I don’t have grace, I don’t want grace, I don’t even say grace.” (Actually, we do say grace, we’re not ungrateful, just klutzy.) But having grace? Gaaaagh!
Two years ago it was my dear husband’s time to celebrate this passage. Since that time, I’ve watched him transform from a cool confident state of mind into a man determined to embrace aging with faith, friends and family. Together we decided to engage in living as organically as possible within the boundaries of our responsibilities. Turns out, turning 50 is not as fearful as I thought, in fact, it’s proving to be quite liberating.
Where my husband has turned into a silver fox with his lengthening platinum hair, mine is growing in sporadically with more wisps around the ears and brow than I once found comfortable. I originally began coloring my hair when a young clerk offered me a senior discount at the ripe old age of 39! Now, ten years later, I’ve grown weary of coloring my hair and want to apply the organic life style to the way I style my hair. But I’ve got a secret weapon with a hair stylist that understands my desires and fears. She recently blended in my growing roots with silver highlights giving me the confidence to keep moving forward together, me and the hubby can go gray together.
Something happens to our eyebrows when we age, as least it did for me. Back in college, I had eyebrows to rival Brooke Shields but as I aged, and they continued to grow unruly, I submitted to removing (plucking) any offensive or wayward growing brow hairs. Eventually, my brow line became so thin and adding brown liner looked worse and worse (like painting clown lines across my forehead). Now, I’m in the patient process of letting them grow. As difficult as it was to get started and succumb to the pressure not to pull stray growth, I left them alone. Organically, they began to grow into a defined brow line.
Why do I bother sharing these observations? Because it’s the type of personal editing we all face. Think about all the re-edits you’ve undertaken over your lifetime (young or old). We can’t edit our age, but we can always edit our choices. And the wisest choices are those that help us live an authentic and organic lifestyle.
I have no intention of meeting the conventions of aging within a market that places unrealistic expectations on beauty. Are you in a similar place? Let’s journey this transition together, as gracelessly as possible.
In case you're wondering where to get a hold of these sexy body shapping Jeggings:
Originally published on Story Behind the Cloth as part of their Valentine Self-love party, February 10, 2018.
We like labels. Colorfully embroidered, easy to read, descriptive, labels. Labels can identify manufacturer, origin, fiber content, and, care instructions.
Yet, even when a label is clearly printed with all FTC required elements, can it define the product's quality or value? A wise consumer will be more likely to purchase a product if familiar with a brand they recognize on the label. A valuable brand recognized for its quality.
We often label and define each other and ourselves by perceived identifiable terms:
But do these terms truly describe our environmental, social, intellectual, and sensual needs? Self-Love is providing adequate care to maintain the quality of our content.
Could you create a label that fully describes your content? Would you be able to list all your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs? You can imagine the lengthy list of instructions the label would require.
Our parentage (manufacturer) and place of birth (origin) may be out of our control, but the nurture we received at our origin has a strong influence on our mental and emotional needs.
Self-love gives us the knowledge and strength needed to value ourselves no matter our gender, nationality, occupation, status, or age. When we recognize ourselves as beautiful, intellectual, loving, artistic (fill in your own content here), we are empowering ourselves with what the Greeks called, Philautia.
Philautia is self-love in its healthiest form. It shares the philosophy of “self-compassion” which is the deep understanding that only once you have the strength to love yourself and feel comfortable in your own skin, will you be able to provide love to others. As Aristotle put it, “All friendly feelings for others are an extension of a man’s feelings for himself.”
You cannot share what you do not have. If you do not love yourself, you cannot love anyone else either. The only way to truly be happy is to find that unconditional love for yourself. This self-love naturally affords you with increased confidence, poise, and self-assurance.
Practicing self-love naturally assists you with defining your own personal style, labeled by YOU! Here are some simple steps to help you create a personal style that deserves your own label:
Honestly identify your needs.
Attentively identify the styles that make you look and feel amazing.
When my active, intuitive, and ambitious daughter was in the 4th grade, she entered a music contest. After working to prepare her for the competition, her teacher confessed to having trouble relating to her.
“Well, you know, your daughter is gregarious.” He said.
Despite being a word nerd, I hadn't heard that word used in this context (about a child).
“I’m sorry, what do you mean by that?” I asked.
“You know, she’s very outspoken and likes to be the center of attention.” He said.
As a young mother, I was not sure what to do with that. But I recognized it as his label, not mine, not her fathers, and certainly not hers.
“Well, perhaps she was graced with those qualities for a reason?” I responded.
We never used that word again, nor allowed her teacher to use it.
Many years later, that same girl would take me to visit the ancient British monument at Stonehenge and encourage me to love myself through a, particularly difficult time. She returned the self-love she was allowed to own as a child.
This article is dedicated to her and her loving husband on this, February 10, 2018, their 6th Wedding Anniversary. Without their love and dedication, I may have been lost after that visit to Stonehenge. But with her encouragement, I regained the ability to love myself again and found the confidence I needed to repair relationships, develop my own fashion business, and share my personal style with the world on my mission to wreck, less.
Now, it’s your turn. What's your label going to say?
I have a rare, no, a weird skin condition. I refuse to post pictures of what I've dealt with my entire life that no doctor has ever been able to diagnose, nor treat. It appears to be some kind of hives that constantly itch and break the skin at times. I've had many of treatments that range from the full of allergy testing, more than one treatment of steroids and even UV light application. None of them work.
The past few months have been the worse. BUT I've been able to reduce my physical stress to a livable condition the past few weeks with a constant and liberal application of a Neosporin product.
My FASHION conundrum (and ultimate challenge) is what to wear while trying to let my skin both heal and return to normal. This means no itchy tags or rough seams, no irritating undergarments (I could pass for a 70's bra burning radical these days), and soft and natural fabrics.
I'll post my attempts to remain both stylish and comfortable this week. I'm supposed to go to a couple of movies with my family so let's see how THAT turns out.
What is your favorite go-to outfit when life kicks your butt and you go down and out for a day or two? Comfy PJ's? Fluffy fleece track pants? Warm and fuzzy grandpa/boyfriend sweater?
Here are a couple for sale in my closet just in case you need to add some practical, distinctive and maybe a little unconventional to your leisure wear collection!
Stay warm, stay well, stay reckless.
Many thanks to Alissa Ackerman for nominating me for The Versatile Blogger Award. Alissa’s blog, Behind the Cloth, touched me deeply. She is around the same age as my daughters and her insight into why we make the retail choices we do, intrigued me. I started re-tweeting her insightful posts and one day she purchased from my resale store! I felt that an honor since she obviously takes careful consideration of her fashion choices. Thanks, Alissa!
What is the Versatile Blogger Award?
Here’s a free fun fact about me outside the assigned seven: I love words. I love learning the etymology of a word, I love seeing how words have changed through generations and I love unique ways we use words. This is a challenge for me as I’m not necessarily an academic, so my dialogue should be casual and fun when I sometimes I get caught up on finding the perfect words to describe a product, activity, or service.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, versatile is defined as: “able to adapt or be adapted to many different functions or activities.” Being versatile is an important trait for bloggers to navigate a digital platform, create interesting content and be your own photographer. But the archaic definition of versatile is actually, “changeable; inconstant,” and THAT more closely describes my ability as a blogger. My life changes constantly with the demands of being a mother and wife. Our suburban life is often unstable and readily inconsistent.
So being nominated for this award is both an honor and a charge to keep my work versatile enough to meet the changeable circumstances thrown at us every day. Sharing these facts about myself as an author may help you better understand our "reckless" brand a little better.
I've always been a little Reckless! So here goes!
7 Facts about @gwenbielicki
Some are friends, some are online sellers I met at Poshfest, and some are more experienced bloggers that may choose not to participate, but they were an inspiration to me when I started blogging, so in salute, I nominate them today! I look forward to getting to know all of you better!
Thank you for the opportunity to grow together this coming year and may you find your own reckless spirit while exploring 7 things that make you, YOU!
Gwen Bielicki - vintage style addict, aging gracelessly
Alternative apparel rescued and restyled for reckless women of all sizes.
Join Our List:
sporadic emails announcing rare finds and local events