Fashion for 50: Crossbody Purse

In my mid-50s, I’m having the most fun that I’ve ever had with clothing. This is most unexpected as I thought by age 40, I would be wearing puffy sweatshirts with goofy illustrations. But as the marketplace has become more global, I don’t have to always leave my house and go into a retail store to buy clothes. Hallelujah! Since I have a body (short and squat) that’s “hard to fit” in the U.S., I’ve been mail ordering items from Japan and custom-fit clothing from specialty companies.

Since I don’t see anyone like me (in other words, not a model) posting clothing and accessory purchases, I thought that I’d use this blog to occasionally post fashion.

Today is a new crossbody purse that I think will serve all my needs. I’ve been going small for purses these days. I’ve discovered that I can find things much easier when I go small. I just need space for a thin wallet, pen, lip gloss, cell phone and small calendar book (yup, I still use those). I saw the Waverley, the crossbody travel bag offered by Lo and Sons, and thought it would be perfect for my needs. It arrived today. Excited! You can take the straps and adjust them four different ways. I’m probably going to stick with the crossbody option, but it’s nice to have options.

Lo and Sons Waverley

The T-shirt is from a Kishi Bashi concert. Year of the Tiger!

The Essential Story

(August 2018)

WRITING WEDNESDAY: I had one essential story that I wanted to tell before I died–how the atomic bomb touched people like my Japanese American family. Through my Mas Arai mystery series, I feel that I completed this mission. So now what? Through nonfiction and journalism pieces, I’ve been committed to tell the stories of Japanese Americans, whose existence and histories were in danger of being completely erased during World War II. I know that in some ways, this is a narrow interest but it’s a deep one. Being a young baby boomer, I feel that I can clasp hands with the ones who are now gone but who I knew well and those born after the 1980s. For me, I know that I’m most aligned with my writing mission when I’m not fixated on fame and fortune (but still financial sustainability is still important!) but more on my purpose.

Sweet Concentration

(May 2017)

WRITING WEDNESDAY: Writing as a long fulltime profession is exhausting. Mentally as well as physically. The latter may come as a surprise, because aren’t we just sitting in a chair typing? But the thing is, when you write you have to be 100% engaged in your work. If you’re not, it shows. Without exception, when I’m a bit confused about some historic event in my nonfiction work and try to gloss it over, the editor swoops in with her green TrackChanges comment bubble (this has replaced the red pen) with questions. I can’t fake my ignorance. And in terms of fiction, you have to completely inhabit the point of view of your characters. Whenever you take a slight misstep and merge in outsider mode, the curtain is torn open.

This required mental concentration affects our bodies, not to mention all the promotional traveling after our work is published. So we have to take care of health, which means regular (now daily for me) exercise and eating well. These days, I’m discovering cooking and eating simple foods at home is the best. I’ve fallen in love with apples — not with the cheap kinds because something with the wax and pesticides makes me feel ill, but with the kind of fancy ones. I’ve graduated from the Fuji to the Honeycrisp and then the queen of them all, the Envy. They cost, but are cheaper and healthier than a $7 cone of handmade ice cream. I roast a whole chicken once a week and spinach, not lettuce, is my go-to for all things, including salads, because it holds up well and is so versatile.

And sleep. Sleep is so important, too. I’m one of the lucky ones who doesn’t usually have insomnia problems. Sleep eliminates the junk in my brain’s trash folder.

My writing process starts with good food, exercise and sleep. Writers have produced masterpieces while abusing their bodies, but that kind of output usually can’t be sustained in the long run.

Doable Regular Practices

On my front door with blue painter’s tape, I’ve stuck a hand-written note to myself: “Doable Regular Practices.” It’s not a long list and ranges from doing strength-training and using the Water Pik. Although I’m fairly good at meeting writing deadlines, for most of my life, I’ve neglected other maintenance practices, whether it involves my body or my surroundings. It’s weird, while I see invisible work projects, sometimes I can’t visualize the physical mess¬†around me. But I’m over 50 now, and I can’t continue going on this way. So I’m simplifying my life, making time for maintenance or regular practices. I guess you can call it self-care, but I don’t like to necessarily characterize it that way. I know that some of these things needs to become a habit, a way of life. And in incorporating these practices, my creative life will be extended. If I add anything new to my list, I know that something else in my work life needs to be eliminated to make room.