February 28, 2021
February 21, 2021
|Photo by Caroline Fernandes|
All on zoom of course.
Going into it, I imagined it to be the worst birthday I'd ever have but it turned out to be my favorite, even though processing some of the roasts has taken time to do, as I anticipated it might.
My take-away is that going forward, I need to take better care in not embarrassing those around me by being and expressing myself, without a filter.
I am a free spirit who has always lived in a bit of a bubble, so my work to be more conscious of my effect on others, is now laid out before me.
There is a back story to this of course.
When I was in college at BU (Boston U), the school gave out metal buttons that some of us put on our jean jackets. The buttons said "Be You".
I was more than knee deep in an eating disorder at the time and surrounded by many new personalities & cultures that confused me, about who I was. But more importantly, I no longer liked being on the swim team, and the pressure, and confinement of being on an athletic scholarship.
I started therapy for my eating disorder, quit swimming and the "Be You" button, became my internal motto. I told no one. But I knew deep down that if I was going to find my way to health and happiness, I needed to start being myself, as well as discover more parts of me, that I hadn't yet met.
I needed to find my compass.
And there began my focus on being myself and not worrying, or caring, about what everyone else thought.
A life process this is.
I also had the added pressure of growing up with 4 much older siblings, which was kind of like growing up with 6 mothers and fathers, instead of just two. This was both a fortunate thing but also sometimes hard.
So here I sit, as a 60-year-old, still making my way, but feeling more like myself than I ever have, thank goodness.
Time is clearly running out.
At age 46, my daughter took the photo of me above in Costa Rica. At the time I didn't like it of me at all. It was much too raw, naked and serious.
Now as my skin continues to droop all over my body, I have new appreciation for the photo and for what it captured!
This sounds familiar I'm sure.
Happy belated Valentine's Day to you all, my dear readers,
January 22, 2021
January 02, 2021
Happy New Year to you all. We've rounded a corner and here awaits, a new road and maybe even a bit of magic perhaps? 👀
So I began to make a list:
December 26, 2020
November 29, 2020
- Love is the answer to everything.
- Fears are just stories we tell ourselves.
- Breath into stress. Breath into everything.
- The only approval I need to have is my own.
- If it costs me my peace, it's too expensive.
- Be where I feel most alive.
- Don't allow my light to get dimmed by someone else.
- Tears are my strength.
- Be with whatever is and watch it disappear.
- Notice tension in my body and breath into it to release it.
- Get unstuck for the need for security.
- Do things that scare me.
- Be the brick, not the sponge (very helpful when around disfunction).
- Disease ( dis-ease) = not being able to release anger and not being able to forgive.
- I don't abandon myself for the needs of others.
- Listen carefully to my internal compass.
- Enoughness is the seed of love.
- Be with what you fear and watch it disappear.
- Say what I am afraid to say.
- Lead with the truth.
- Fall in love with the unknown.
November 28, 2020
|Photo by Carin Ingalsbe. Iron Mt, another beautiful spot.|
First of all, a belated Happy Thanksgiving to you all. It was one, I believe, that many of us will never forget, as we continue to be pandemically challenged. I love this term, that I've borrowed from someone who I am in a relationship with. You'd think it would be all over the web but when I googled it, I hardly found any mention of it which surprised me.
Recently I celebrated the one year anniversary of fracturing my 5th vertebrae, trying to move a stackable washer & dryer. I know :-( But I am well healed with the help of my great chiropractor, CARMEN GOULET and committing to strengthening my core thank goodness.
Secondly, I've been continuing to swim at beautiful WALDEN POND, where I have been swimming since early May, because of pool closings. The only thing is, now the water temperature is struggling to reach 50 degrees. If anyone had told me, before the pandemic hit, that I would ever be swimming in water this cold, I would've said, "Absolutely not!" When my kids were little, they could barely get me in the water, unless it was a steaming hot day.
And now, this crazy cold water swimming that I am doing...
(Did I just say that?)
....is crazy good!
It is scary, euphoric and exciting (with a head-to-toe wetsuit on of course)
And it's made me very curious. I've been going down the rabbit hole and reading all I can about the HEALTH BENEFITS of cold water swimming (and showers), which includes, reducing inflammation.
I don't know how much longer I can do it but I do know this- I don't want it to end.
People swim Walden all winter unless it freezes solid. Last winter, pre-covid, they even cut a swimming channel in the semi-ice, through the middle of the pond. I was like WTF?
But this was before we all became pandemically challenged and changed up our reality. It's interesting how this has happened, for all of us, in different ways, as we continue to gather and instill coping strategies.
I hope this post finds you and your loved ones well. 😘😷😘
October 31, 2020
And Happy Halloween!
Hopefully we are in the dawn of a new era in just a few shorts days. I imagine most of you have seen this music video that Barabara Streisand made about Trump in 2018, way before Covid hit and we saw more of his true colors.
A president who lies AND doesn't care about people. It can't get any worse then this.
Also this week, I wanted to share this funny, but not so funny, anti-Trump ad, that is much better entertainment than many of the things I'm seeing. Click HERE if you'd like to see it.
Sending love out into the world as always, WITH FINGERS CROSSED!
October 25, 2020
September 26, 2020
September 19, 2020
Most of us are probably familiar with the Reminders App on an Iphone.
This little app has revolutionized my life. Because of it, gone are the post-it notes on my mirror, doors and car dash board- as well as those scribbled in ink on the back of my hand.
August 28, 2020
In Covid, many more people have naturally been struggling in one degree or another with depression. It's a crazy ass world we are all walking in. I was telling a friend lately that we all just need to keep walking each other through the mess.
Literally and figuratively.
I believe that most of us are searching for a grounding cord in a very big way.
The good news is that our bodies are a reservoir of chemical resources that we can tap into at any time to feel better and we sometimes forget about this. We're all natural chemistry sets that don’t cost even a dime.
However, on the other side of the coin, is that it is often helpful to just allow ourselves to feel blue. Putting our arms around the darkness helps us to move through it, rather than trying to push it away. A mental health day on the couch isn't a bad thing.
Also this week, a short Covid article that helped me to better understand why I like to talk to people, even strangers and people I barely know.:
Have a good weekend my friends.
August 22, 2020
As we all move along in a new life, evolving with covid, and we traverse the hills and valleys where it takes us, I’m grateful that some of the coping skills that I harnessed in the few hard years prior to the pandemic, continue to nurture me.
The virus won’t last forever but it’s not going to go away until everyone starts taking it seriously.
Someday, it will be in our rear view mirror and I’m very curious what we will all then see in front of us.
Given the current political situation, there are so many rabbit holes I could go into discussing right now, but this post is intended to be a relief from our fucked-up crazy political climate. The most positive thing I can say about politics is that hopefully we are on the brink of a great awakening. I pray.
July 31, 2020
July 27, 2020
I've been feeling a little out of sorts lately with not enough down time or time to be creative. Feeling like I am on a bit of a treadmill and putting out too many little fires, even in Covid.
I imagine you might know what I mean.
So I stopped myself last night and pondered what I'm yearning for besides more downtime and creativity and it prompted me to make a list that I have never made before or have even thought to make.
I thought I could make a list of things that make me happy. Like dancing, going to the beach, holding babies, human connection, touch, reading a good book...knitting...chocolate...swimming. Blah blah blah. That's easy to do. But what I was trying to uncover was a list of experiences that I've had throughout my lifetime that were truly rich and made me feel alive.
That had real substance.
Experiences that made me feel like I am in love but don't necessarily have anything to do with another person.
This took some time. It prompted me to slow down and remember moments that have been golden.
Not storybook golden, or anyone else golden, but just me golden.
It turned out that many of the things that showed up on my list were experiences that involved discomfort in terms of doing something that I was afraid to do. Experiences that made me feel vulnerable but I was able to get to the other side of and stretch beyond my comfort zone.
Some of the other things on the list I would put in the "self-help" category. Times when I have stumbled and needed guidance. Sometimes, a boat load of guidance.
Interestingly, some very sad times are also on the list. Like losing my parents, celebrating their lives and cleaning out/selling my childhood home.
The other interesting thing is that only one of the vacations that I have ever taken is on the list.
This was a big ah-ha.
Lines of Beauty is also of course on the list.
So thank you for continuing to stop in and read what is on my sometimes wacko little mind :-)
June 30, 2020
June 25, 2020
make much out of little,
embrace the warmth of our ordinary days.
Life unfolds as a mystery,
an enterprise who’s outcome cannot be foretold.
We do not get what we expect.
We stumble on cracks, are faced with imperfection.
Bonds are tested and tightened.
And our landscapes shift, in the sunshine and in shade.
There is light.
Look for it.
Look for it shining over your shoulder, on the past.
It was light where you went once.
It is light where you are now,
It will be light where you will go again.
~ A favorite quote from Call the Midwife
May 30, 2020
The week before covid hit, I passed my oral exams, after a year+ certification process with Coaches Training Institute, to be a health and wellness coach.
I've been working on my coaching website since then and it is finally up and running (almost). I'm still working on a Powerful Quotes page that I thought of to do. With Instagram and Pinterest in our lives especially, there are so many good quotes to choose from it's unbelievable.
CLICK HERE if you would like to see it!
May 09, 2020
Happy Mama's Day and love to everyone.
Whether you are a mother to your own, or a mother figure to someone in your life, or even a mama to a beloved animal, we all certainly know the role of being a mother in some way.
I was thinking how since the new world of covid has arrived that many of us are experiencing mothering in new ways. Especially those who are caring for ones that are sick or in need of help or those giving extra love to people on the front-line in the medical world, so that they can get up everyday and do their heroic jobs in an unprecedented way, in this unprecedented time.
A shoutout of gratitude to all the helpers big and small!
Enjoy the beautiful video above on this day.
April 29, 2020
April 11, 2020
529 POSTS later, I still get excited about having this online notebook to solidify my thoughts, on not just the process of aging, but more importantly, on life itself.
There have been some stretches however, when going through challenging times, that I have considered ending Lines of Beauty. I am so very grateful though that I didn't.
The blog has oddly become a dear friend to me.
Early on, I was hyper-focused on how many weekly hits the blog was getting but then decided that I needed to simply write, just for myself, and that anyone who happened to land here and found resonance with what I was sharing, was icing on the cake.
Thus for many years now, I rarely ever look at the blog's hits and stats.
However, today I looked back to MY VERY FIRST POST and was shocked to find that it has been viewed 28,094 times.
Something about this makes me feel good.
What is it that the shrinks say?
That more than needing to be loved, we just desire to be seen and acknowledged...
So if you are reading this, thank you.
I hope you all are doing okay out there.
For myself, I continue to begin each day, during this time of covid-19, as I have the last three difficult years, with two questions:
How can I take care of myself today?
What needs to be done?
Maybe ya'all are doing something similar?
In celebration of Lines of Beauty, I leave you with 10 THINGS FOR KEEPING A SOLID CENTER, as well as a video, which I especially love the humor of, because the only thing my mom ever complained about her aging body was her "crepey neck."
Thank you so much mama for not being a neurotic aging mother...
Happy Covid Easter and Passover 😯
Sending love out to all of you,
March 31, 2020
March 28, 2020
|Photo by Caroline J. Fernandes|
I've been thinking about writing this post the last few weeks, as my thoughts keep fermenting, as life continues to morph, into the unknown.
For now, I'd like to set aside the devastating health tragedies and sorrows, the crippling financial impact and Mister Agent Orange.
Just for a minute,
in this unprecedented time, as we try and move forward, without any answers or frame of reference for a pandemic.
Suddenly it feels as if the world is shrinking, this virus being the greatest unifier and equalizer ever. We are all in a shake down, living life upside-down, together.
But yet apart.
I love that we are more dependent on each other than we have ever been. As moral support, dropping food off at doorsteps, saving each other from the abyss of boredom. Not to mention the incredible sacrifices those on the front lines in the medical world are coming forth with.
Life is changing every day, asking all of us to do less, give more and live very differently.
Life is asking us to rethink and I find such beauty in this.
A good friend of mine shared, "We always want the situation to change, not realizing we were placed in it, so that we may change."
What a disorienting situation this is but there is so much that is being illuminated. So much that we are facing as individuals and as a collective, as we face this global crisis.
To evolve perhaps into a new way of being together?
What if we became curious with this alone time and had no mission other than to experience being? What might we find in the quietness, not just in the night, but now in our days?
What if a true purpose is found in this new space?
I believe this pause is filled with opportunity. Not the opportunity to get the taxes done or finish a book or master something, but the opportunity to get comfortable in our uncomfortableness. The opportunity to be without a path forward, for the first time in our lives.
All over the world people are slowing way down and reflecting.
To perhaps what truly matters.
I've been lying on my bed and just staring up at the ceiling some mornings. I actually became so still the other morning that I saw one of the lilies in a vase next to my bed, spring open. This I had never seen before, except in time-lapse photography.
So what does it all mean?
I don't know.
All I know is that there is some crazy good things going on in between all the heartache, personal struggles and anxiety.
Good things that we haven't been able to see and live nearly as well, until now.
People singing & playing instruments for each other across alley ways, skies less filled with gas fumes, wildlife benefiting, strangers giving their phone numbers to the elderly, so that they may have someone to call in need and the burst of art and creativity that is exploding everywhere.
All over the world people are looking at their neighbors and the people they pass on the street, in a new way.
In a new light.
Perhaps this is all as it is suppose to be.
Sending love your way,