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Women on the Move: Charlotte Poetschner

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My main purpose in blogging about style for blind and vision impaired women is to share my love for, clothes, shoes, jewelry, accessories, hair and makeup. By imparting what I know it is my belief that anyone can be stylish.

Secondly, though dressing and presenting ourselves well is great there are many layers to each of us that I felt important to present to the world. Dispelling misconceptions on blindness and vision impairment is a goal that many of us are working hard to achieve. My contribution to this goal is writing about blind and vision impaired women who are intelligent, strong, independent, capable and beautiful.

While blogging can sometimes feel like a very solitary venture every once in a while we get confirmation that we are making a difference. Emails I receive from blind and vision impaired women are so uplifting and it occurred to me why not share some of them here.

Sunflower via Pinterest
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Charlotte Poetschner sent the following email a few days ago and we were able to connect via Skype for a very good conversation. Charlotte has a wonderful sense of humor that came through so clearly I felt as if I were talking with her.

“First of all, thank you for the blog. It’s been fun, and motivating, and helpful to wander around among your posts.

Just so you have some clue about me, I’m a fifty something, non-geeky, woman who has been totally blind since 1986. You might think I would have figured out how to do “it” by now (“It” being the blind thing.)

I had a professional career as a Presbyterian minister serving small churches for twenty plus years. I’m now taking stock trying to sort out what God wants me to do next and part of that, I think, will be a make-over.

The reason I stopped working…or rather paused from working…was that I somehow managed to lose ground on the adaptive techy stuff. I wasn’t getting much help from rehab people and I didn’t even know there were little gadgets that could tell me the basic color of things. On clothing, I’d gone the simple route with couple of pairs of shoes and one black bag, truly boring, safe, clothes. Okay, it wasn’t quite that austere, but you get the idea.

The other thing that has changed in my life is that my personal fashion consultant (i.e. my mother) can’t travel to where I live now that my dad has died. That was five years ago. And, yep, it’s pretty lame that a woman of my age needs her mom to help with the closet.

Now, to be fair, my mom is extraordinary. She grew up without a dime, but, together with her sisters, learned to eyeball clothes in the store windows and then sew them for herself. She designed her own wedding dress and when she was in her thirties she worked with an Italian dressmaker learning more about design.

Colorful bouquet of Autumn flowers in a clear vase. shades of yellow, orange, green, brown, red and a little purple.
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She modeled clothing for different events well into her early seventies. Every time she goes out the door, she is gorgeously put together by every comment I’ve ever heard from many, many people over the years. And still doing it at 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighs 125 lbs. (Drat her, she works out at least three times a week!)

Meanwhile her daughter, that would be me, the girl between my two brothers, was a total tomboy who could barely sew a pillow case and I hated standing on a chair while mom pinned up the hem on some dress or other. I love my mom dearly…deeply…but I sort of have an inferiority complex about fashion. Yet…still wish I could turn myself out in style.

Large grouping of fall flowers in orange/yellow, burnt orange, burgundy and green
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Like you, I am losing weight. That, by the way, is a tip I figured out by accident. Put the weight loss language in the positive. “I am losing weight” rather than “I’m trying to lose weight.”

I mentioned to a friend that I was describing my weight loss in this way. Then she told me that when she worked as a bariatric counselor—I hadn’t known she’d been one—that getting the mind to think in this positive way helped people achieve their goals. She also mentioned mental imaging of your current weight, then counting backwards slowly as you are working out.

As I was figuring all of this out, my brother sent me some link to a piece on how the mind/brain connection has been researched in terms of dealing with addiction, especially food related habits. Seems bumping the brain chemistry into its higher functioning (instead of the dopamine level where we reach for the carbs or the candy) helps keep people from grabbing the Twinkies. My brother had no clue at the time that I had just started my trek toward losing weight by exercising and changing some of my eating habits.

Phew…this was long. Mostly sent all of this background stuff because I wanted you to have a clear idea about how your blog is proving to be so encouraging to another woman on the journey. Your honesty, your compassion, your humor, your descriptions of items and ensembles—it’s helpful and fun and…oh, here comes a word I have a love-hate relationship with—inspiring.

Soon…if my version of JAWS lets me…I’ll post a comment. Your blog is definitely one that I hope will live long and prosper. Prayers for you this night…just lifting you up to God and asking for you to be bathed in a deep, deep sense of God’s cherishing love.”

Peace- Charlotte Poetschner

Charlotte, thank you for your words of encouragement, it’s a pleasure getting to know you and we must keep in touch.

Have a wonderful weekend!

“Flowers don’t worry about how they’re going to bloom. They just open up and turn toward the light and that makes them beautiful.” ~Jim Carrey

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8 thoughts on “Women on the Move: Charlotte Poetschner

  1. Every word I said about your blog is so true. And the encouragement women are getting from reading here is related to the positive language I was talking about—the language most of us, or at least me, need to learn how to speak to ourselves.

    Another tip I learned—one that feels weirdly good—is to take up the habit of complimenting yourself. No, not out loud! Just a silent verbal “Good girl! Great job!” when you take a walk or finish a work out session or do that chore that’s been on your list for weeks. Most of us are better at doing the opposite. It’s also one of the reasons I like reading Steph’s stuff. She’s honest about her struggles, but keeps affirming and encouraging all of us. Thanks, Steph!

    1. Oh Charlotte, you’re gonna make me cry sniff, sniff. But seriously thank you. I get tremendous encouragement from my readers,.

  2. Thanks for sharing her story and for encouraging us to think positive and image the positive. “I am loosing weight” that sounds cool. I shall remember that from now on! Have a great weekend!

    1. Thanks Liz, Yes, I especially noticed the positive language and told myself today “I am losing weight”.

      You have a great weekend as well.

      1. I am totally losing weight too!!!! thanks. Today I woke up more energized than ever! I am not turning back, ever!

      2. Congratulations!!! That’s great news!!

  3. ’his is the best fierce Fridays blog I’ve read yet. The interaction shines through like a ray of sunshine.

    1. Yes, Sherri if you think this email is something talking with her is so refreshing. I laughed out loud at how she described her mom being her fashion consultant and doing exercises 3 times a week. Geez I wouldn’t be able to keep up with her pace LOL.

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