September 24, 2012

Aloneness

The White Mountains


I awoke on Saturday morning to a day to myself. I don't think I have had a day like this for over 21 years, since becoming a mom. For certain there have been days since then of being alone, but this day stretched far and wide, and I knew that is was just the tip of the iceberg in this new chapter of my life. And surprisingly, it felt like heaven.

Always for me, aloneness has not necessarily meant loneliness. I am an introvert at heart, with an extroverted wing that creeps out every now and then, like a bird leaving its nest, only to happily retreat back into its little oasis.

I've been waking in the morning, for way too long, to our sun filled bedroom, only to be distracted by the grimy screens and windows that surround me. "Today is the day!", I thought. "It is finally time to clean them. I can't go through another winter not having better light." Getting this accomplished, with NPR's classical radio on in the background, you'd think I had won the lottery. Hot fudge sundaes? Good lovin? Nah. Such short lived wonderfulness, compared to clean windows!

From here, I went for a run, and came home to wash all the woolens in preparation for colder weather.

Sometimes I wonder if I am one of the simplest people to walk this earth.

Not really, but maybe some of you know what I mean.

September 19, 2012

Thinking About Love



On Saturday night we went to a house concert here in town at the home of some friends. They hosted singer Amy Correia. Just last week her new album You Go Your Way was named “Album of The Year- Singer/Songwriter” by the Independent Music Awards. Pretty great considering Bruce Coburn was #2 and the judging panel included Tom Waits and Keith Richards. She sang a slew of great songs including the one above called Love Changes Everything.

Love really does change everything.

The concert lifted my spirits as we are officially empty-nesters now. Our youngest began her gap year in Guatemala last week where she will be interning at a school in Guatemala City until the holidays. Having traveled to an orphanage in Nicaragua three years ago, I have a feel for what she could potentially encounter while there. This made it especially hard to let her go. The first night she was gone I awoke to pee, and as my feet touched the cool floor in the darkness of the night, it hit me how empty our house has become. All I could do was cry myself back to sleep.

I am however finding some positive things about being an empty-nester. For instance, it's been almost two weeks since I've grocery shopped and no one is complaining. Yet. But I'd trade this in for having my babies back in the nest in a second.

Two other things:

If you'd like to read more about our trip to the Nicaraguan orphanage, click on the tab "Nicaragua" at the top of Lines of Beauty. It's a long piece, which I wrote as therapy upon our return, but the photos are worth having a peek. If you read anything, read the paragraph that I starred about Dole Foods, and perhaps the last paragraph about what made the trip worthwhile.

The other little tidbit is that I was interviewed on a lovely blog in Norway called A Butterfly in My Hair a few weeks ago.Many thanks to Vibeke for finding me, and for helping to share my mission here on Lines of Beauty.


September 13, 2012

Aging Gracefully with Yoga


This week's beauty is Paige Pellegrino who was a classmate and a friend of mine in high school. The interesting thing is that Paige found me when she accidentally came across Lines of Beauty, not through an alumni list or Facebook. Paige is an artist, a Thai Massage Practitioner, and a yoga instructor. Her website is Willow Grace Yoga.

Paige has this to share about growing older:

"Being 50 something is FAB. Well actually, it’s more about feeling comfortable with the skin I'm in. I'm 51 and wouldn't change a thing. Who wants to go back to 29? Not me. I'm not saying there aren't days that I don't feel great, and lack confidence, but being 50 is wonderful. 

We have permission to finally say NO! We know what we want, who we are, and how we want to spend our time. 

Six years ago I stepped into my first yoga class and fell in love. I've trained at one of the best yoga centers in the world; Kripalu, located in western Massachusetts. Teaching and sharing yoga has kept me grounded, and focused. Teaching yoga to special populations has rewarded me with gratitude that I couldn't buy if I wanted. There’s richness in doing what you love. 

The trick is bringing this yoga stuff off the mat and into my life. Accepting myself as I am; flaws and all, with no strings attached. Sometimes judgment and insecurities do pop up, but in that case, a few breaths, a few time outs, and I'm good to go.

As a woman in her 50’s, I've found the most important thing for me is to laugh and have a bit of fun. Learning to poke fun at myself is the best medicine. My grandmother lived to 103!  Her secret was a little giggle at the end of each sentence. Why not go through life happy? To be honest, a little red wine goes a long way too!

I've learned to embrace every flaw, every wrinkle, as a messenger to who I authentically am. Every little wrinkle tells a story that I wouldn't trade for the world. I intend to go through this aging process as a natural part of growing into who I am supposed to be. No botox for me baby! No judgments, it’s just not how I intend to grow. The gray hairs are starting to sprout little by little. Will I color? Of course. Will I wear make up and lipstick? You bet your ass I will! 

On the serious side, the most difficult part of aging is losing those that we love. We are slowly beginning to lose grandparents, parents, spouses, and friends. I lost my father to cancer last year which has been one of the hardest things in my life. But that is life. It’s all a reminder that things don't last forever; that things are born and that things eventually end. Life does go on. So I shall continue practicing “50 Something Awesomeness” and living out loud! 

Thank you Paige for being this week's beauty. XO


September 07, 2012

Nothing



This quote is from the book The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz that my good friend Cindy gave me years ago. It's resides in the bathroom and is such a collection of wisdom. I love this quote especially because how many times every day do we have the opportunity to take what other people say and do personally? And the truth is that nothing really has anything to do with us. It's a hard concept to grasp but boy is it true.

I am spinning like a bottle over here. One of my part-time jobs right now is design coordinator for a construction project that Tom's company is doing. I am in charge of pulling all the tile, fixtures, and lighting concepts etc. together for the homeowners. I'm purchasing with abandon as we come down the final stretch.

We are also preparing  to send our youngest off on her gap year and our oldest back to college.

On Wednesday we will officially be empty-nesters. I kind of dread it..I hope it won't be too sad... I hope that we will be pleasantly surprised, and we'll enjoy it.

I'm not feeling too optimistic about this however right now.

I love the dinner table with their voices in the evening.

The humor, the intellect, even the conflicts sometimes.

I won't miss the mess around the house, or the worry when they are out too late.

I will miss squeezing them and inhaling their sweet smell as I do.

As I drive through town I notice other empty-nester homes.

Wondering if our paths will ever cross again.

The parenting years go by in lightening speed.

Not really noticeable however,

until they almost

slip away.