What middle age does to a woman

Our story so far: My husband and I bought an old Methodist church with the intent of converting it into our dream home. Weeks of demolition revealed the bones, and now we were working on mechanicals like plumbing and electrical.

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Chapter 13

Besides playing office as a child, I treasured my Fashion Plates. Fashion Plates was an artsy toy from the late 1970s that allowed you to design your own fashions with interchangeable plates embossed with outlines of shirts, skirts and pants. The young artist, or designer, would rub the embossed shapes to get the outlines, then color in the clothes with fashionable colored pencils. Voilà! A new fashion design! I was a fashion designer!

When I began earning money by babysitting, nearly every dollar went into my fall shopping fund. I pored over magazines and catalogs, spent days shopping at malls to find the trendiest fashions and created details plans of what I would wear every day to impress my rivals at school.

I grew into a 5-foot-10 woman who could pull off a wide variety of looks, and I filled every closet I ever owned to overflowing with my fashionista finds.

But when I turned 50 and acquired a muffin top and wrinkles, spending money on beautiful clothes and dressing my aging body became, well, less satisfying. It became clear I could no longer pull off miniskirts and sleeveless tanks and body-skimming shapes.

So maybe that’s why I became transfixed with dressing my home. I enjoyed the creative thrill of combining various pieces into a unique look, and when I showed it off, I didn’t have to suck in my gut.

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Tomorrow: How to create a style guide for your home. Read about it here.

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