Colleen Hannegan

Finding the words....and the perfect pair of glasses.


Some things never change~

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It's springtime in Southern California. I know this for two reasons. I'm feeling better energized each morning and I want to make pretty in my container garden.

Seasons here are scant imitations of the dramatic seasons in the eastern and northern states. This year the southern states were besieged by hefty weather storms also, and caught many by surprise with the cold temps and snow. I admire the hearty souls who know how to drive and survive in snow and ice conditions. But I'm terribly grateful  I live right there. The one winter I lived in Seattle, the snow  showed up one afternoon and I had heart palpitations having to drive my car up a slippery slope on the way home from work.

I'm strong in many ways unique to my own personality and ways of being in this world. Living in one digit climate is not one of them. For those who do live where chains are required, I admire you very much for your stamina.


The saying, "The only thing constant, is change", is true for so many turns in our lives. But as I consider working with my hands in soil, and feeling renewal of spring's song and the rhythm my body tunes into these mornings, I realize nature can be counted on to follow it's course around the sun. And we follow right along with it. 

There's a time to plant and a time to sow. And what we choose to plant and sow is always the change. After 62 winters I finally understand. Springtime will always return and I will always want to dig right in.

The happiness that comes to me in welcoming spring and planting beauty to surround me every morning keeps me grounded. 

And that will never change.

Ready for Spring!

Ready for Spring!





Self Confidence.....having full trust in oneself.

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I've been thinking much about self confidence lately. How it's an aspect of our being that's required daily to achieve our goals, find a mate, a job, create art, speak up or choose an outfit to wear. I'm speaking of confidence in the goodness of oneself, your gifts, talents and finer qualities that contribute to the world in positive ways. 

It's needed as often as we need daily nutrition, exercise and to give and receive love. Confidence, from the Latin... to have full trust. So that means, to me, 100% doubtless. 

"I can fly!"

"I can fly!"

Well, I fail on a weekly basis. Some days my confidence levels are on an uber scale of high ratings. Like right now as I write this blog, I feel extremely confident I will get all my thoughts down about the subject and when my final edits are done, will be pleased with my work. I am a writer. Writers write. I know I can do this and I have a gift that oftentimes makes me feel.......yes, confident.

But not a week goes by that I don't have long moments of feeling I'm near empty on my confidence meter. Not just about writing but about anything and everything. I've compared myself to others, I've judged my reflection, I've had too many conflicting negative thoughts in my brain competing for real estate in my gray matter and I end up running on empty in confidence. Over stupid stuff like my nail polish choice, ( I told you it was stupid), and important things like my deeply personal connection to higher powers, ( it's all make believe). I'm way down low if I'm swimming in those waters. Drowning more like.

But when those put downs from others hit me, oh I crumble.  My confidence takes direct hits as if heat seeking missiles were aimed directly at my heart and blasted me to unrecognizable tidbits. Putting oneself out there is a risk every artist, writer, actor, advocate, and suffragette knows well. Comes with the territory. "They just didn't get it," I tell my hurt self. "Stop your sob fest already," my Big Girl tells my self.

An artist can't explain it; the work. The public accepts or rejects and onward we march.

When I read quotes about confidence, many come from actors and writers and citizens of the world who are visible and easily recognized. They are on the world stage in one way or another, so confidence to them means to be sure of themselves in front of lots of people frequently. Millions of people see them and judge them good or bad or indifferent. (Excuse me, but I distrust indifference. Let me know how you really feel! It feels like being invisible when people are  indifferent to  you. I really hate being treated like I'm not here or you can't see me!) That's a Leo personality trait, folks. Having others say you're boring is bad enough, but if you ignore me, oh, geezuz I come unglued. Faulty wiring on my part. But then there is much to adore about shiny bright and gift giving Leo's.....oh I feel that happy confidence coming on! Happy! Happy!

Okay, so back to my discourse on confidence and getting it and keeping it going.

Confidence is not just about being in front of others. To me, it's standing in front of my worst critic in the world, myself, and feeling completely comfortable. As is, at worst and best and all those grays in between.  Liking, loving and enjoying standing right here. Or sitting right here, in front of me or the whole big world. Whatevah! True liberation, baby, if I could just be with confidence every little and big moment I'm here.

Most of us are not on stage, up front, on TV or followed by thousands of readers. Yet, we each  need confidence to have a fulfilling life that is worth getting out of bed for and that's filled with joy and love and great meals, adventure and awesome people in it. I want to feel confident every day and every minute. To have full trust in myself. When I do, kindness follows, as does more fun, more good surprises and goals accomplished...more easily. And prosperity of every sort.

I looked up other words that describe confidence and I was pleasantly  surprised at the variety of words that showed up.

Assurance, certainty, courage, determination, poise, spirit, tenacity, aplomb, backbone, boldness, brashness, cool, daring, dash, élan, fearlessness, firmness, fortitude, grit, hardihood, heart, intrepidity, nerve, pluck, reliance, resoluteness, spunk, sureness.    

Confidence, to me, is more like ConfiDANCE. To confide in myself that dancing through life is so much more worthwhile than sitting in the stands and watching others compete for the prize. No one else can live my life or win my prizes or publish my prose or wear my clothes (with confidence) or send out my love into the world or receive my love that's mine to receive. 

Solid confidence is a deep seated feeling that who you are and what you bring to the party of life is unique and worthwhile. Self doubt is a big fat lie we listen to. Don't listen to that broken record, I tell myself.

So when I consider what confidence is, having full trust in oneself, is to decide every moment if necessary, that I am my own best friend and cheerleader. The other ingredients for a full recipe of confidence would be plenty of humility, kindness, patience and a dash of pizazz.

Because the energy, vitality and good vibrations confident people bring to the world is a place I enjoy living in. 

Even when it's just me, myself and I. Let the party continue.









Seeing Clearly every day~

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The day I left the optometrist's office in downtown St. Louis with my first pair of glasses, and noticed the leaves on trees from across the street, I was hooked. I was in love with seeing my life more clearly. At 8 years old, wearing my sky blue, aluminum cat eyes, with tiny crystal embellishments, my world came into focus. It was the beginning of a life long love of wearing beautiful eyewear  and appreciating clarity.

My chosen path as a eyecare visionary, has included every aspect of the optical business since 1980, including owning my own optical shop for 22 years. From trainee, to lead optician, to store manager of a large optical chain, to ownership, to frame buyer for a multi-OD office and now retail optical consultant and speaker.  Seeing life more clearly, and teaching others what I've learned, has been a joyful journey!

Working in optical is new and rewarding every day because every client walks in needing something unique. No two are alike. The daily delight of how I can help and the reward of guiding others to see their very best has been, in a word, enlightening!

As I move on from the daily retail, into more speaking, teaching, writing, and consulting other eyewear professionals, the larger arena this presents  carries with it, a bigger world. And in this larger view, once again I see even clearer, that people and places and things are all ONE, searching for ways to see the leaves on the trees. And in doing so, discover the amazingly beautiful world we live in.

And what a grand profession for us to be in.

Ode to Modern Eyewear

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To say goodbye to something you love, after 22 years is no easy feat. Today as I scanned over all the names of my clients, I chose a few to call personally and let them know I was retiring from optical after 31 years. And to let them know how much I’d enjoyed serving them the past 22 years as owner of Modern Eyewear. A few of the 700+ clients have been faithful customers since the beginning and had followed me through three different location moves. Faithful indeed.

When I decided two years ago that the time had come to find the right Optometrist to buy Modern Eyewear, I had myself an awesome cry fest realizing I could not carry it into the future; that it was time to sell to an OD who could bring full service to the clients and offer the business the growth needed I alone could not provide.

Through dark and light, thick and thin, sad days and extremely happy days, Mod Eye and I had survived my youth, my stressful second marriage, then expensive divorce, four different Presidential administrations, two recessions, (or was it three), moving the store three times, an IRS audit, a break-in, flooding from three different storms, my turning 40, then 50 and all those hormonal wild rides that came along. My daughter was 15 when Mode Eye opened. Twenty two years later she is the Optician in charge. I became good friends with so many of my wonderful clients and shared the stories of their lives; their childrens lives, the partners who had cancer, the loved ones who died, losing their jobs, finding new careers and sharing  my adventure stories with them about life after 50. So much shared in over two decades. So much love.

I cried then when I thought about how Mod Eye had been a haven from dark days at home, and became my sanctuary and safer place of love and joy and freedom to be my true self with clients. I loved them and they loved me. It’s ok to write those words down and see them in print. For they are the truest parts of me, the healing joy that blessed my life by serving every one who stepped into a very special place called Modern Eyewear.  I helped them see clearly and oh, how they did the same for me, though they may never realize it.

Now Modern Eyewear has become a new place called Modern Eyewear Optometry. The perfect new owners have arrived and have begun to embrace this special place as their own. A husband and wife team, that are as excited as I was the day I opened for business. I recognize in them, the excitement and first time joy of owning your own business and putting your hand to it and seeing what you might create because you feel the call to be an entrepeneur and serve something bigger and grander than anything you’ve imagined before. And you just KNOW you can do it!

My daughter and optician Leah, remains as full time office manager. Over the past four weeks I’ve assisted her and the doctors in transitioning the business into their care. This afternoon, most of the furniture was put in storage so re-design could begin tomorrow. Some things will remain, but most will be beautifully upgraded to create the new look of “MEO”.

As I made the last of my phone calls from Mod Eye this afternoon, Leah having overheard so many of my good-byes over the last month, said, “Don’t cry, Mom! No more tears!” I replied, “No more crying, ” I smiled.  ”That’s all done. I did all that two years ago!”

We both knew that wasn’t true. She and I had cried a few crocodile tears together this past month knowing our sweet days working together were ending. Her tears falling on my shoulder once as she hugged me from behind. “I’m going to miss you Mom. I’m going to miss working with you and seeing you every day.”

I made sure Leah didn’t need anymore help before I left my official duties today. I turned around to look one last time, at the empty walls, well worn carpet and holes in the walls where the cabinets I had used for 22 years had been this morning; now packed away in storage or ready to be disposed of. So much of my life spent within this space. So many wonderful clients and friends that shared all this with me. Such a wonderful life. What was next everyone had asked. Much rest, some outdoor adventure and then, I don’t know. Another chapter yet to be written.

“When a stargirl cries, she sheds not tears but light.” from the book, Stargirl.

This evening my home was filled with so much light. The happiest and brightest light, my Ode to Modern Eyewear.

Happiness is an APP

Featured, Love, Shawn AchorColleen HanneganComment

Word is you can make a whole lot of moolah coming up with an APP everybody needs, (or they want so badly, it feels like a need.) I’d like to propose an APP for free to everyone. It can be downloaded into your thoughts and then copied into your heart and forwarded to all your contacts. It can improve all output of energy and input of ideas. All good comes from it and all bad can’t survive it.


Inside happiness is where like turns into love and sprouts wings of joy and makes all effort at work and play….happier. Happiness isn’t just what happens, it’s how you APPly the happiness factor to every decision at hand.

Perhaps we might answer the question, “What do you do for a living?” with the answer, “I work at being happy!” Happy people DO work better.

Find your happinesapp and plug in, download, share the file, and share the profits.

Author and happiness “expert” Shawn Achor, of Good Think Inc. wrote a book a called “The Happiness Project”. He explains that happy employees are 30% more productive than their unhappy or non-positive co-workers. (No surprise there.) He further explained how success orbits around happiness, not the other way around.

Ahhhhh! That was the nugget of gold I was digging for here….. Your app of happiness, makes all your other “programs” run sooo much smoother. Harness HAPPINESS as your sun and watch success, love, magic, and anything else your heart desires spin happy circles all around you.

Elementary, really--