February 21, 2021

My 7th Decade Begins

Photo by Caroline Fernandes
Last week I turned 60. I celebrated by inviting my two families to roast (or toast) me and dance to rock & roll.

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.

Gratefully.

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,

 💘 Louise

 

January 30, 2021

January 22, 2021

The Blow-Up Bra

In celebration of our new administration this week, I bring you a little humor and a true story.

Yes, a blow-up bra, inflated with something as simple as a straw. 

No bike pump needed.

Below, 94-year-old Betty Jenkins, tells her story about how an inflatable bra, that her mom gave her to wear, actually blew-up, in a most inconvenient place.

Imagine if they had something similar for a guy. 


I also love this animated version of her story:


The Blow-Up Bra (a handmade animation by Manual Cinema with audio story provided by StoryCorps) from Manual Cinema on Vimeo.

January 02, 2021

A New Year Begins


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? 👀

We shall see.

Already I feel like there is going to be some new magic happening on January 21st when agent orange leaves office. 


A few months ago, I began wondering, like many of you I'm sure, how the hell I am going to survive this winter? 

What do I want to have done when I come out the other end of it? What is going to keep me content & occupied during this time? 


So I began to make a list:


* Dig out my big pile of journals from the basement, dating back as far as 4th grade and read them.

* Go through my file drawers and chuck all the info that I no longer need.

* Cozy up my home more by wallpapering one wall in my bedroom (I bought the wallpaper several months ago and there it has sat), buy new textiles and whatever else catches my eye.
 
* Continue swimming as long as I can outdoors. I just ordered a much thicker wetsuit and I'm curious how far into the winter it will take me. Walden Pond may freeze but the bay in Boston, where I swam today, won't. Cold water swimming gets less scary and more euphotic the longer I do it. There was a great article about it keeping people sane yesterday in the NYTimes, if you're interested, HERE.

* I have been playing a beloved game called SETTLERS OF CATAN online since Covid hit but I want to find a new game to play online with my sister. Does anyone have one they can recommend? I'm thinking Scrabble as one idea.

* Continue to strengthen my core to support my healed, but once fractured, 5th vertebrae, from a year ago.

* Complete the 12-week book/support group that I just committed to, THE ARTIST'S WAY.

* I also might want to take an online astrology class but maybe this will be too much right now.

* Get out and snow shoe, ski and ice skate.

* Meet my kids for walks & skating in Maine.

* Keep peculating on a story I want to pitch to the NYTimes & gather the courage to send it to them (it’s not about my 32 year long marriage).  

* Read more.

* Finish knitting the sweater I started when Covid hit.

* Pamper myself. My favorite way of doing this has always been massages but I can at least take hot Epsom salt baths and do other things like get my haircut.


One last thing this week-

I was sent a helpful article recently from Ten Percent Happier called THE LONELY WINTER. Truly helpful & comforting.

We're going to make it through this.

We're going to make it through this.

In peace, until next time,

Louise