Stephanie German's article You Can’t Do It All: Live a Purposeful, Prioritized Life struck a cord with me today. I do not have children so I can't relate to that particular ball in Ms. German's juggling act but my arms ache in sympathy nonetheless. We've been saying ease up on the pressure for awhile now, haven't we? Over the last decade there's been much public flouting of second wave feminism's "have it all" mantra and many have been clamoring for a more balanced, less oppressive paradigm but are we just paying lip service to the middle path but not walking it? I think I am. I may acknowledge that doing it all and having it all is unrealistic but that doesn't seem to keep me from unconsciously striving for it, and in the end I fear I'm accomplishing even less than if I didn't try to be so accomplished. My life feels more multi-tasked out of existence than purpose-driven. Too many newly-acquired skills. Too many projects. Too much dabbling. And what's the end result for a Jill of all trades, mistress of none? I suspect for many of us a "have it all" mindset is just fodder for procrastination, because it is more comfortable to scatter one's energies instead of channeling them into one or two directions. It feels safer, but is it? Big payoffs require big risks, and risks require focus. Yesterday, I wrote about my itching for adventure this fall --well the pursuit of adventure takes focus too!
In recent years, pin boards have gone the way of scented candles: fancy schmancy and overpriced. So recently when I wanted one (in another bid to be better organized) I decided to make my own. The plain cork variety just screamed college dorm --so not my scene. I used some decorative push pins and la-di-da decorative paper I had to jazz up a $10 cork board from Walmart:
I use the folds created by the diamond-placed pieces of paper for tucking notes and what-not in addition to pinning items.
Today I salute pin-up artist Alberto Vargas, an illustrator who was instrumental in shaping the "vintage pin-up aesthetic". Sexy, sassy and spirited --that's a lot to convey with pencil and paint but he did it. And when it comes to pulling off the breezy sex-kitten-next-door styles of the 1940s & 50s, nothing's better than channeling your inner "Varga Girl"!
I kept it pretty clean here...but Vargas also did illustrations that, um, left less to the imagination, so to speak. But sometimes leaving a little more to the imagination is far more exciting --especially when it comes to fashion. So remember that next time you nab a slinky vintage cocktail dress or hit the beach in a suit that evokes Esther Williams, Betty Grable, Hedy Lamarr or Marilyn Monroe: a peek-a-boo attitude is what's key, not necessarily peek-a-boo clothing!
Back we go to fashion land to look at one of the most famous style icons of our time: Audrey Hepburn. She is perhaps the ultimate role model for women who long to look chic but don't make much money: her wardrobe was so basic, so simple, all clean lines and wardrobe staples that can be got at any price. A black turtle neck or long-sleeved T, ballet flats, a tailored white button down, just to name a few. Even now, almost 20 years since her death, she remains as inspirational as ever. But I am troubled by what I observe to be a disconnect these days between what she looked like and who she was. It is as though she has been reduced to a paper doll, a commodification, an image young women buy without little thought or awareness of the inner beauty and admirable life of this woman. An entire generation of consumers now walk the earth that have never known Audrey Hepburn as real, a living person whole and three dimensional beyond the charm and polish of Holly Golightly. Thus, I see co…