Category: Discovering Me! Discovering You!

I think it is important for you to know something about me such as who I am, what has been my journey and how I made the decision to start this blog. I want to share the journey I have traveled so far and how I came to be the me that I know and love today. I find it extremely exciting and invigorating to meet other women and learn their stories. This section will share the stories of our lives – not just mine. It is not that I think my life’s story has been so different than millions of other women out there but it may be just different enough that someone will read it and find comfort or inspiration in the “sameness” or just see it as inspiration to look at your own journey and how you became the wonderful you that you are today. I hope that other women want to share their stories as well.

Each day is a new opportunity to learn something new. It can be a new word, a new recipe, a new language – every day in every way we are learning. Maybe we are coping with the loss of a job or a loved one, dealing with a serious illness, helping our children or something that impacts the way our lives used to be and is not forcing us to learn to make the most of our lives as they are in our new reality. Maybe we have entered a new phase of life like retirement, parenthood, returning to school to pursue another degree, taking a dance class or swim lessons. Every day in every way we can learn and embrace something new. Together we can keep learning!

In Life at All Times – Go For It!!

G         Be grateful for what has come before because it led you to this day.

O         Be an original because there is only one you.

 

F          Be fearless in trying new things for only then can you learn.

O         Be optimistic because a positive attitude is the best way to start the day.

R         Be radiant exuding love, joy, happiness inside and out – it’s contagious!

 

I           Be imaginative so that you can find new solutions.

T          Be a teacher by sharing your knowledge and experience but most of all by your example.

For each of us to bring about a change in our world and have the most influence on the world around us, we need to be the people we want to see more of in the world.  Can you do that?  Think about it!

Did You Hear? No Jeans Over 37!

A British survey by CollectPlus said that after age 53 we should give up wearing jeans.  The reason they cited was not because we look bad wearing them but because it’s harder to find a pair of jeans that actually fits and I guess the stress is too much for us more mature women.  Really!

To that I say, keep trying!  Don’t give up!  It is not about the label. It is not even about the price.  It’s all about the fit.  Persistence and patience is what is needed.  Once you find that pair that fits, buy two or three pairs to be sure you don’t have to go through that again any time soon.

Do like I do.  The important thing for me is to fit my derriere, thighs and inseam.  So I find a pair that fits those areas and then take it to my favorite alterations shop and for a small price I have the waist taken and then I have a perfect fit.

Fashion is a lot of things to all of us. It is personal.  It is practical.  It is the face that we choose to show the world.  It is a statement of our feelings about ourselves or, in some cases, about others.  And sometimes, it’s just a pair of jeans.  Now bathing suits . . .

Let’s Take on the Journey Together!

 JOY is yours to find in every day – large or small, it’s there.

OWN your past, your future, your failures, your successes for it all goes to making you the you that you are.

UPLIFT  by being a positive force in your own life and in the lives of those around you by listening and encouraging their dreams – inspire hope!

RESPECT yourself and those around you.

NURTURE  by encouraging and caring for others so that they do not give up on their own journey to lead their best lives.

EMBOLDEN  yourself and others by being a person who builds and strengthens the confidence and  courage of those around you.

YES as in “Yes I can” when you find yourself facing of a challenge or when someone tells you that you can’t.  Let that be your mantra!

Let’s All Join The Circus (for a day)!

That’s me (upper center) sitting with the kids!

I was looking for a new adventure and why not join the circus! At least visit the Circus Arts Conservatory (the “Conservatory”).  As I child I never liked the circus. animals doing tricks – not my thing! Clowns – we are talking a much longer post and some therapy to get over that experience!

After attending a fundraiser where students from the Conservatory performed on aerial silks, I thought it was awesome and decided to give it a try.  So, I mustered my courage and attended my first session (gasp) sitting among the 8, 9, 10 year-old girls and one brave 19 year-old.

Watching those girls scramble up the silks and stop midway to drop into splits, back bends and just generally act like slippery wet noodles bending, folding, curving and straightening out, I started to rethink my choice of classes but decided to soldier on – I can do this! I am older and stronger albeit not quite as flexible any more.

Yes! I can do this!!!!

My turn came and OMG! What I thought was my superb upper body strength quickly vanished and I was holding on for dear life! Imagine having two or three young girls under the age of 10 encouraging you by shouting “You can do it! One more climb! You can do it!” Boistered by their encouragement, I went hand over hand holding on for dear life for what seemed like forever then I looked down and realized I was only about 5 feet off the mat!

I am doing it!

Nonetheless, I felt victorious! High fives all around! My world looked good and I felt good! We had so much fun despite the differences in ages and abilities. We were all there to try, do our best and have fun!

The point of this foray into the world of circus arts was to step outside my comfort zone and try something new and daring but in a manner that was safe and fun. I have no desire or delusions of ever being an expert at this but I am sure there is a fabulous woman somewhere my age or older who is indeed an expert and to her I say “You go, woman!”

It is good to challenge ourselves mentally and physically whether it is hiking in the hills and mountains of Sedona as a dear friend of mine does, swimming laps in a pool like my sister or walking 10,000 steps a day like my FitBit™ friends and I do.  Sometimes the challenge can be just the opposite – figuring out how to slow down each day, be still and find happiness in that stillness. It is in our challenges that we grow stronger and learn more about ourselves. Have you challenged yourself in some way lately?  Physically? Mentally? Think about it and then go for it. There is no time like the present!

 

My Life With Dogs

170 lb Leonburger, German Mountain DogOK, those of you who know me well can close your mouth or get up off the floor where you fell when you saw this photo of me with a 170 lb Leonburger German mountain dog.  For those of you who don’t know me as well, let me explain.  All of my adult life I have had this all consuming, irrational fear of dogs!  Big or small, dogs of friends or strangers – all would send me into hyperventilation, heart palpitations, cold sweats and just generally activate my fight or flight response (usually the latter)!

When I was much younger I was bitten by a dog twice.  It may have been nipped or grazed, but in my mind as I the older I became, the more the offense continued to grow until I no longer know if I was in actual danger of being ripped to shreds or merely nudged along.  Rather than take the risk, I kept my distance.

We are talking serious fear here!  I never ran track and field but I distinctly remember jumping a four-foot fence without touching it to escape a snarling charging terrier (or some similar tiny barking creature) who was just probably coming to say hello.

I don’t know how to use these gloves!

Now many people mistake this fear for a dislike of dogs.  That is not true.  One can like dogs and have a healthy respect for them while keeping one’s distance at the same time.  I know this because I have done it successfully for years.  But this time, I had to pull on my big girl panties and be brave.

Be my friend, too!

He was sitting there at the Farmer’s Market with his brother (yes, there were two of them seemingly blocking out the sun).  Both very docile and almost smiling.  As I warily circled them, he followed me with a smile and seemed to whisper “I know you are afraid but I am a nice guy – come here and see.”  After about 15 minutes of checking each other out and with his two-legged friend encouraging me as well, I approached and he melted in front of me.  Yes, the smile on both our faces is real!  We became friends.

Does it cure my phobia?  Not sure.  He may just be the exception to the rule.  But for one day, I felt that we truly bonded!!  There comes a point in our journey where we have to trust and be willing to challenge long held fears.  Then just maybe, maybe, we can put them aside.

Come and join us! We can play like this all day!

Let’s Talk About “Housewives”

Like most people with down time during the recent holidays, I did some binging and channel surfing.  In the way traffic backs up on the side of the freeway where there is no accident because others are drawn to look, I could not help but stop and look at one of the reality shows about housewives of . . . you name the city.  I will admit it was not the first time but it will be the last time.

I can understand the appeal to some extent – seeing the glamorous lives of others.  Stepping into another world full of money, jewels, beautiful clothes – the houses, the cars, the endless parties, luncheons – what’s not to love!  Not to mention the perfect hair, the perfect teeth, the perfect bodies – how could you not want that?  How could you not want to live in that world for an hour at least once a week?

But look a little deeper.  The so-called friends – friends?  Really?  In that short period of time, I heard women calling other women (their friends) every derogatory, degrading, ugly curse word you can think of – repeatedly.  I heard women gossip and talk about each other changing their tales to match the occasions and get maximum effect from the group de jour.

Who is watching this stuff?  What are we learning?  I am all for mindless entertainment from time to time; however, while certainly mindless this should never be classified as entertainment.  Our young women and young men are watching these shows.  They are learning how to worship the dollar and that their bodies are a work in progress to be surgically molded and sculpted rather than loved just as they are.  They are learning that in order to have any value you must devalue others.

                     

Girls, boys, young women and young men need to see women as strong, smart and bold and learn to be the caring, supportive, leaders of tomorrow.  Reality shows do not depict reality at all.  It has been said that in the very act of watching, the observer affects that which is watched.  On these shows, women are encouraged to misbehave for ratings; however, by doing so they diminish us all.

Let’s remember that we are all examples of womanhood to the women who follow us.  Female – strong, encouraging, supporting, loving friends, mothers, sisters, aunts, and mentors.  Whatever we want to be, let us do it in a way that lifts us all and not get pulled down just to get higher ratings!

 

Why I Still Send Christmas Cards

Yes, I am one of a dying bred – people who still actually mail Christmas cards.  Not only Christmas cards but birthday cards, anniversary cards, “Hello” my friend cards, “Thinking of You” cards, etc.  Yes, I am doing my part to keep the paper card industry thriving in this country.  Well, that’s not exactly the reason.

On holidays and special occasions, I think there is nothing more special than knowing that someone took the time to pick out just the right card and then took more time to send that special card you. Don’t get me wrong.  I truly appreciate every eCard that I receive.  But for me, I send paper cards ninety percent of the time.

It is much easier to send an eCard, group email, Facebook post, Tweet, Instagram message and any of the other social media or electronic messages that are available to us.  We can do that without thinking.  But a card that you can open with anticipation, read and re-read over and over again is special.

There will come a day, I am sure when I will succumb to the convenience and cost savings of the world of social media.  But for now, I prefer to continue to reach out and spend a little time with those I may not seen for a while but whose friendship I still hold close.

Merry Christmas to everyone – however you get your message out!

 

 

There Is Good In Every Day!

There is a saying that has been around for years.  It’s been embroidered on pillows, quoted in books, used in movies – so long that I am not sure who said it first but it still resonates every time I hear it.  It goes “Every day might not be good.  But there is good in every day.

Like many sayings, they are intended to inspire and uplift us but over time we become dulled to its meaning.  This one is worth revisiting.

Even on our worst days, we need to remember that we all have bad days and it’s OK.  The challenge is to try to not let the bad days outnumber the good days and that can be a huge challenge for some of us.  When that happens, we should always challenge ourselves to find at least one good thing about each and every day.  It will lift us and make us grateful for the day regardless of how bad it seems to be.  You might be surprised.  If you find one, you can find others and before you know it – the day is not so bad after all.

Everyday I consider my first first good thing, my biggest blessing of the day is when I woke up.  I get a chance to start all over again with a new day.  We all do!  Perhaps there was a physical, mental or emotional problem that zapped all of our strength and will power the day before but today – we get a chance to face it again and maybe accomplish a little more and find the strength to keep moving forward.

Sometimes, I just go outside and sit in the sun surrounded by the orchids or I volunteer at Girls, Inc. and see the smiling faces of the girls and realize how good the day really is .  We need to find that one nugget inside of ourselves or outside of ourselves that, no matter how bad the day seems, will make us smile and say to ourselves that today is a good day and I am the good in this day!

 

 

It’s Not Just About The “Try” – It’s Also About The “Do”!

Star Wars character – Yoda “The Empire Strikes Back”

In a lot of ways, our society has become comfortable with the try as being the best that we can do.  How often do you hear “I will try my best” or “just try it” or, when something did not work, “I tired my best?”  As we get older, trying is not enough.  If you go through life just trying, it could mean that you are reluctant to make the commitment to really invest yourself in whatever you are attempting to do.  You are holding back so that if you are not successful no one can say you failed because you tried – you gave it your all. The question is did you really?

A lot of times we are afraid to make a full commitment and we spend our time making a plan.  You can find yourself so bogged down in the planning that you never move forward.  Everything in life cannot be planned and no matter how elaborate the plan, we cannot predict the future.  There are so many reasons our plans may not unfold perfectly.  This fear of not being able to plan everything from beginning to end can stop us from moving forward and fully committing.  Then we get stuck in just planning and trying without every really doing that which we want to accomplish.  This applies to relationships, that next job, the new business, a new adventure, or just getting through the week.

As that great philosopher of our times, Yoda, said “Do.  Or not do.  There is no try.”  Make the commitment to move forward and not stand still or hold back.  Think about saying to yourself I will do this rather then I will give it a try – you may find yourself getting there faster!

Leaving Home – At 65 Years Old!!

Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

A lot of people spend their entire lives living in the same city where they grew up.  In some cases, living in the same community only a few doors away from family and friends.  I did the same.

A lot of people go off to college and then settle elsewhere not returning to their hometown but deciding to strike with their new found independence.  I went away to college as well but that away was less than 12 miles from my home.

That’s me with the big yellow truck!

As I looked at what I wanted to do and where I wanted to be for this chapter of my life, I realized that there was time for yet another great adventure – leaving home and living somewhere else.  After giving a lot of thought to where, we decided to make the move to a Florida.  Let the adventure begin!

Of course, such decisions are fraught with some heaviness and even a little guilt over leaving family and friends.  But help them understand why you are leaving and they will support your decision.  Most important, don’t make the move to run away from something because you will only take it with you.  Rather, run towards something – a new beginning.  Think of the possibilities that await you.

Baltimore Inner Harbor

The people you love, the friends and family you have known all of your life, those who have fed your soul, lifted you up, supported you and helped to make you who you are will always be there and will remain a part of your life – like that air you breathe.  You will be there for them as you always have been even if it is at a distance.  Sure some of the  spontaneity of last minute gatherings will be lost but the relationships will continue to grow and be a part of you forever.  It isn’t about being easy.  It is about making the effort and being present no matter what form it takes.

So hold on to your past, hold tighter to the present and jump into the future with both feet on the ground dancing in the rain.


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