Things you should know as you get older #5

Habits are in­grained. After years of do­ing things one way, it can be hard to learn a different way.


a thought on grooming

This piece from Upworthy (posted by a friend on Facebook) is an interesting TEDx presentation by Tracey Spicer in which she speaks about the hours (which amount to hundreds of days in a lifetime) we women spend every single day on grooming ourselves to be on par with society's (somewhat unfair) standards of how an acceptable woman should look.

This talk by Spicer conjured a few thoughts about what standards of grooming I have for myself, and what magnitude of time it takes up for an average woman walking down the street, and how this all adds up to the other things we could have been more productive in.

Personally, I don't think my standards of grooming is that high (I take less than 10 minutes after the shower for everything else outside the shower), mostly due to my lack of patience, but I think even this adds up to the amount of time lost doing other more productive things.

She has a point to it, in that society's unreasonable expectations about how a woman should look is playing into the could-haves of a woman's achievements. I concur. Then again, we all have some 'could-haves' in life which we may regret later on. But I digress.

I think the point is.... it's a matter of balance.

I personally think that grooming is important, up to a certain extent. Everything beyond that is optional and doesn't help that much further. Some people have to groom themselves for hours every week because it's a job requirement (think female flight attendants, models) but I don't think this makes it universally acceptable nor required. Being clean and neat is a good benchmark, and not having to be perfect.

I'm not sure where I'm getting at with all this, especially since I can think of so many well-groomed women who seem to have successful careers and being able to balance both work and family and personal grooming well enough that they put women like me to shame. They set pretty high standards, so I'm not sure if they themselves set the bar high for female grooming, or society at large plays a bigger role (which includes the male gender group). I don't know, but Spicer does put things into perspective as to how many frivolous things we perform everyday which could really be better spent elsewhere, like reading a book, or working out, learn a new skill like sewing, to name a few.

The point is, I believe that we musn't lead our lives anxious/insecure at the thought of how we appear. Learning to be comfortable in one's own skin isn't about caring little (or none at all) about our appearance, or shunning the comments of others who are sincerely concerned, but rather feeling confident of who you are wherever you go, keeping healthy and staying positive.

I admit that I have trouble feeling good about myself and living in my own skin occasionally, but I'll take a lesson from this video and learn that there are other things that I do good at which I can concentrate my time on, because that certainly makes me feel good about myself.


musical trip down memory lane

As I have been assigned the task of being 'DJ' for my sister's upcoming wedding, I have been on the hunt (with the aid of the wonderful Spotify) for yesteryear's top hits, or that of the most nostalgic from the 90s.

I've currently a playlist that has around 50 songs, and I'm still aiming to add another 50 to it before I call it a day and let the queen (i.e. the sister) have a listen and be the final editor of the playlist.

In the hunt for this 50, I think there are a few things I can come to conclude about songs from those years:
-lyrics were more lyrical and less repetitive (read: more meaningful and eloquent)
-music was more musical (i.e. with cooler chord progressions and harmonies without weird, artificial, headache-inducing sounds)
-songs are just more memorable for the simplicity and poetry of the words, without being explicitly so

Maybe I'm partial toward the past (as I've mostly always been), but there's something about songs of old that I can never grow old of. And that's not a bad thing, is it.

Another thing I came to realise when listening to these old songs (by old, they're actually post- my birth year, haha) is that the words I used to sing along to, I finally now understand the meaning of with the experience of age (and a wider vocabulary). And boy, how much meaning I missed in listening to those songs.
I guess I have a greater appreciation for them now, more than a decade and a half later?

Take for example this song, "Affirmation" by Savage Garden:

This song is a gem: every line in the song is an affirmation, most of which I completely agree on. There are so many unique words to this song; I think you don't really get so much of this these days.

Of course, the 90s had its share of lame, cheesy songs, but for some reason mainstream songs then weren't filled with themes of sex, drugs and recklessness as how they are full of these days. I don't think this sets a very good example for the young now, especially if celebrities are glorified for the very lifestyle they sing of.
Hmmmm. Doesn't seem right.

ANYWAY, one day when the wedding takes place, if I remember, I'll share that list here. It's been a great exercise of reviving the good ol' times in my mind.


Things you should know as you get older #4

We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us happy is something to be enthusiastic about.

--Albert Einstein

So much truth, Einstein.