My beloved grandmother turns 86 years old today.
In a world where everything seems to be more complicated, faster and riddled with choices, I thought I would share some clarity from a woman who has seen A LOT go down in 86 years. Here are some of the things I learned from The Amazing Frances:
Find a signature fragrance and love it forever – My grandmother is a life-long fan of Estee Lauder Youth-Dew. It’s the beauty ritual to which she remains loyal all these many years later. Youth-Dew is HER fragrance, and to my knowledge has been applying it regularly for over 50 years. The power of a signature fragrance is a calling card that will last you the rest of your life. She and Youth Dew have had the longest relationship of her life.
Find an amazing partner and love them forever – Dating is hard, but I hold onto the vision of my grandparents dancing around the living room, going out at night and laughing until they cried. My grandfather would do anything for my grandmother and proved it time and time again. Those of us who are single have issues with guys texting when you live in the same city. My grandfather wrote my grandmother love letters and they lived in the same house. Folks, at the end of the day, relationships are not that complicated: Great love makes people do great things. Settle for nothing less.
One good coat, one good handbag and good jewelry are really all you need – My grandmother still has this amazing trenchcoat from over the years that STILL looks amazing when I see it. The handbag? Simple but rather timeless. But her RINGS are a whole other story; gorgeous, sentimental pieces that are her fashion signature. She has an emerald ring that literally turns everyone green with envy. Invest in good pieces and decades later, they will continue to serve you well.
Take care of your body – She’s said many times that if she knew she was going to live this long, she would have taken better care of herself. I don’t have to explain this, but you have no idea how long you’re going to be on this earth and the body you’re in is the one you’ll be with until you leave this place. Eat right, exercise, get rest, watch excesses and generally treat your body right.
Remain independent as long as possible – When I asked her this morning what advice she could give to the younger generation, she said, “Hang in there and don’t let anyone do for you what you can do for yourself.” Even in a more frail state, she’s fighting tooth and nail to remain independent as long as possible. What she means for the rest of us is not to surrender your personal power and authority easily. Don’t let others make decisions for you. YOU decide how you want to live and then go live that way.
Happy Birthday, Grandma. I love you.