The Sunny Skeptic: “A Reinvention Can Gain Attention”
By Crystal Dervetski
So you’re swimming along and trying to meet new people, but sometimes it still feels like you’ve hit a snag or that you’re in a rut. This is the time of year when everyone’s New Year’s Resolutions start to tank. Perhaps it’s time to think about trying a personal reinvention. I know it can be a frightening consideration, but reinventing yourself can be a great way to get a fresh perspective, and can help people see you in a different light as well. Here are some tips for reinventing yourself that will not only make you feel better about your personal style, but may also benefit others. Since we know atheists are often (wrongly) criticized as not being charitable people, these are a few simple options for helping yourself and others at the same time.
Maybe you’ve had long hair for 20 years, or always had the same hair style, and it’s just part of who you are. Consider cutting your hair or changing the way you fix it. If your hair is long and in passable condition, think about donating it to a charity program that makes wigs for persons living with cancer. Locks of Love, Wigs for Kids, or the Pantene Beautiful Lengths program are just a few options. Go to a reputable hair salon and talk to them about what you think for a new hairstyle. Any good stylist will spend time with you and look at photos, talk about your face shape, lifestyle and how much time you will want to spend on styling your hair.
Do you still have a favorite shirt or pair of pants from your high school days, even though you graduated 15 years ago? You need to change your style once in a while, and, quite honestly, although everyone is impressed that you still fit into your tapered, stonewashed jeans, they look awful and are like a neon sign that you’re both old and weird. If your clothing is still in good condition, consider donating it to an organization or thrift shop. You can research organizations in your area fairly easily, just look them up and call ahead: ask where their shop proceeds go. (I personally donate items to a shop that employs adults with disabilities, and all of the proceeds go to their work program.)
Don’t forget, if your item of clothing is in bad shape, you can recycle it. Don’t just throw it in the garbage! A good example is Wiper’s Recycling in Maplewood. Wiper’s recycles old shoes into biodegradable oil spill clean up kits. They also recycle all forms of clothing. Visit them at www.wipersrecycling.com. You can also find information online about your local waste management programs; chances are you can place unwanted clothing directly into your recycling bin for pick up, but find out for sure before trying this.
Are your eyeglasses tired and not too flattering? A person’s face is obviously important in communication with others, and I’m sure you’ve all heard it said that the eyes are the window to the soul. While I’m sure none of us believe that, we have to believe that eyes are obvious focal points when talking to others. If your glasses are outdated or not in great shape, they may make you look older than you actually are. Consider investing in a new, more modern pair. Your old glasses should definitely be donated if at all possible. Did you know that people in developing nations might have to pay the equivalent of 3 months salary for a pair of glasses? Many thrift stores and eyeglass chain stores have drop boxes to donate your used glasses, or go to New Eyes for the Needy, where there are addresses where your old glasses may be shipped: www.neweyesfortheneedy.org.
Have you cleaned out your home and done a total reinvention, but now have a lot to give away? Consider Freesharing.org or Freecycle.org, online communities that allow you to give away (and get) items and notification of items. I would recommend that you opt out of getting emails as they are posted, and just get a once a day or week report, as it can fill up your inbox quite quickly.
For other recycling tips in your area, visit www.recyclemoreminnesota.org.
A reinvention can be scary, we often hang onto something old out of fear of change. Really though, what do you have to lose? If you’re smart about a reinvention, you only stand to gain and you may have the added bonus of being able to help others at the same time. A change can do you good.
Comments? Email Crystal D. at firstname.lastname@example.org.