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Shift in Beauty Movement

This is the post excerpt.

An Invitation

I have been told that I have to “Shift my idea of what beauty is”and I would like to invite anyone that recognizes that today’s views of beauty are one-dimensional, and wants to change the way beauty is viewed, to join me on a one year journey, of changing the way I see myself and others.  I plan on sharing my daily struggles with daily exercise, moods, set backs, situations and triumphs, while shifting my view of beauty, and embrace being in my late 40s, moving into my 50’s in the most graceful way I can.  I recognize that it is a huge blessing to get older, and it’s unrealistic to strive to look like the airbrushed TV personalities of today. What I can be , is a positive “inspiration” to women who may be struggling with something similar, and draw a community of all kinds of Beauty.

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6:15 AM Weighed in on Monday at 165 LBS

I head out the door and tell myself I will not stop on this jog.  I will complete the mile and I am very proud to go past the mile marker. I am out of shape and out of breath.I will walk home to pick up my best friend, my black and white Havanese.  Her name is Truffles, and she is pure love.I come back home and it’s time to head for work.  I own a small car lot with my husband, newly opened in late february.  Yesterday I left early to get my hair done.we were meeting with our blended family, and i spend most of the week stressing on how I look.I need to shift this, I know.I reflect on how it went and I am pleased that I have made progress on accepting a compliment and joining in on pictures.  My stepson graduated firefighter.  He thanked me for coming.  That meant a lot to me.I had a bold, conservative red dress on, not a color I would have normally sported, but somehow it called to me when I was looking for possibilities in my closet.

It Has Been A Week

This morning I decided I cannot continue to jog on the streets of my neighborhood. Though I feel great that I have conquered my breathing and stamina as I jog, I cannot take the risk of my knee giving out and postponing my progress.  I spent the week icing it and got a knee brace, but it is a persistent pain.  I pack a small bag to take to the gym and decide I will start my days on a knee friendly elliptical.  It is an uncomfortable setting as I am easily embarrassed, as though people are watching my clumsy attempts to try a new machine.  I decide to snap a quick picture of myself in the entrance to the bathroom, hoping no one walks in as I do it. I have made progress in the first week.  I can feel my clothes loosening its grip on me, and the scale confirms at 162.8 that I am making the proper efforts to achieve a healthy weight. My fitbit also keeps me in line with daily activity, while MyFitnesspal helps me with accountability of nutrition.  I do not want to become obsessed, I just want to succeed. I am not ready to share pictures yet.  That would require me to be brave, and put myself completely out there, when I don’t even know how this one year journey will end.  In the meantime ,I am formulating a new “picture of the inside” of myself, shifting what beauty means to me.  It’s not just the outward appearance. It’s what shows through from the heart.  How you accept challenges around you. It’s standing out despite what’s going on in our society. It’s making a difference.  I look forward to sharing some of that as well in my future posts.

 

Pleased to Meet You

I was given an assignment today, but before I can even address it (3 goals for my blog) I am to frame them around, ” Why do I write this blog?” Just over a year ago, I was feeling pretty low self esteem. Approaching 50 ( shy over a year away now) I’d go shopping for a size 14 or 16 depending on Women or Miss size. I got frustrated that I was being directed to a whole different section in a department store, or not even find a size in boutique like stores. Then in day 4 of my writing, a young man offered to bring his model girlfriend to do a commercial take on the business I run with my husband, starring my husband AND his model girlfriend.  Then I realized this was the year the last of our kids graduate high school and are leaving the nest.  I’d spent years on the role of mother and wife, and left the workforce for 7 years now. In each case tears flowed and self talk ensued.  So I decided to create this blog to find purpose with what I want to view myself like for the rest of my coming years, and to help other women who may be going through similar turning points in their lives. The title  Shift in Beauty hints that we need to change what our idea of beauty is. I write mostly on the daily word prompt  once or twice a week and connect it to whatever might be going on at the moment.  So what are my goals?

Well clearly this is not a blog that is meant to generate money, or I would be homeless. What I would like is to make connections with the great women out there, that may find themselves in the same place. I’ve written about my one year journey of eating healthier and making exercise a part of my life.  I’ve written about aging and redefining myself.  I’ve written about  experiences from the death of my sister, to my groovy time machine.  I’d like more views and comments on my writing, along with learning about guest bloggers. As of now if I get 10 views on a writing piece, I’m thrilled.  I’ve muddled through a year now and managed to get 41 followers.  Imagine if I knew what I was doing! Finally, I’d like to get more comfortable with social media and learn to use it to my benefit. I don’t even own a face book page.  Is it possible to gain an audience without one?

So if you stopped by, I am pleased to meet you.

I Should Be Committed!

About a year ago I made a commitment to write as a way to let a small voice inside of me echo out. One that says, I matter and I’m relevant even though the traditions I grew up with are fading. I’d like to think I can be of comfort to women out there going through the same kind of thoughts.

Perhaps someone out there is going through a divorce. I often think it’s so easy to get married and join everything together, but to divorce is like trying to rip a piece of thick paper up neatly in the absence of scissors. When a marriage fails there’s a great deal of pain involved and self evaluation. Your sanity definitely gets questioned, such as my play on words in the title:) Though I divorced over a decade ago, I can still feel the hurt and empathize with anyone going through it. The good news is, once you finally get it all settled, there will be better days ahead. Your vision will focus from a very blurry state to a very clear state.

The title of my blog is “Shift in Beauty” for a reason.  I believe for women, the events that present themselves in our lives such as aging or divorce can cause us to question our beauty.  My Day 4 Post  gives good insight to what really started this blog. Today all that seems to matter is how you look and how well your selfie comes out. And as we age we are to look inside for our beauty. That’s a very difficult concept for me to adjust to, and I have actually had to work very hard to embrace it. I spent a year on a weight loss and strengthening  journey, and though I have succeeded at weight loss, the strengthening is still in process. But in that process is self discovery and re-evaluation.

What I am finding out is that I keep surprising myself, pleasantly.  And now that I am an empty nester, I find myself setting new goals and actually moving in  the right direction to attain them. That is a great, great feeling. Can I look in the mirror and tell myself that I’m beautiful?  Truthfully I have never been able to, and continue to heal wounds from my first marriage, but  I should have never have relied on anyone telling me I am. It should come from me. And it may. I might have to redefine what beautiful means to me, because what I am learning is that beauty is fluid.  It changes as we change. We just have to be willing to look beyond the exterior. We need to be committed to go deeper.

Post note: Still maintaining weight loss. Getting active definitely lets me eat a little more freely.

me at yosemite

 

 

 

 

My Very Groovy Time Machine

Hollywood Bowl
Dead and Company Concert

Places can be like time machines.

First stop, L.A. No big deal, we’ve been there before and did the cheesy tours.  But this time we were going to the Hollywood Bowl to see John Mayer and the Grateful Dead. As soon as we stepped out of the car, we traveled back in time to Woodstock. People in very colorful, psycodelic shirts, long flowing hair and groovy glasses walked about in a mild, happy trance.  Once in the stadium plumes of “loud smells” as my son calls it, fired off. The bowl glowed in vibrant colors, and then, John Mayer walked on stage.  I never knew he was so talented, and diverse a musician. And then, the crowd greeted the rest of the band whose many, many songs they grew up with. The couple in front of me euphorically lip syncing and snapping selfies while beach balls kept bouncing our way.   The whole package was a step back in time.

Next stop, Yosemite. The ride up the mountain area was a step back in time as well. As we approached the final stretch we were greeted with a prairie setting of long blond grass swaying, a train rolling through and an innocent group of baby goats. We were delighted when spotting whimsical, squirrel like prairie dogs darting about.  Being from Florida, I will admit, I felt uncomfortable making our way up to elevations of 6,000 to 7,000 feet on single laned roads. We got to our home base- a quaint town called Mariposa. Being of Spanish background, I know that means butterfly. This little town was established in 1850 and is dotted with small shops, restaurants and churches on hilly roads. We wanted to take advantage of the rest of the day and I was surprised that Yosemite was yet 45 minutes away, but as we went on I can see why. Again one laned roads along curvy mountain sides. The drive was well worth it.  A step back in time, and no one can spoil it! Not even the hands that have spoiled so many natural settings because of progression and greed.

Entrance to Yosemite
Entrance to Yosemite
Rainbows at Yosemite
Bridal Veil Fall

Our final night, we ate at the Gold coin back in Mariposa. A final treat, great live music from a one man band with a great selection of old cover songs. I savored the moment as a parent and traveler, or should I say “time traveler?”

 

Post note:

This trip was a graduation trip with my son.  ( I believe if the finances are there, every parent should take their son/daughter on a trip at this age.  They are young adults, but when they graduate college or go on to what they choose, there’s no guarantee they will have the luxury of time or even desire to travel with you, as their life truly begins.) I wanted this trip to be memorable, and I believe it was. And as I shared a few pieces ago I wrote a poem in honor of my son, who has come into his own, writing and producing music. I envisioned different things for my kids but as the saying goes, ” You make plans and God laughs at you.”

“FLIGHT” by natalie giasullo

I knew a boy who grew up to be a man

Of quiet strength and peace, he had an angel in his hand.

He had a gift of a smile that made the stars cry,

And the spirit of a dove, he discovered he could fly.

He didn’t have to listen and get approval any longer,

Disappointments and losses would make the man stronger.

It’s my turn, you’ve had yours, I’m gonna fly to the Sun.

But I’m smarter than Icarus, I’m gonna LIVE to have fun!

You can’t melt my wings, I’m in control of my flight.

I’m not afraid to fail a few times, cause I’ll get it right.

Winter comes quickly, ask any old soul…

They wonder where their youth went, lost sight of the goal.

Lost track of the time, lost time of the track-

Everyone knows they’ll never get it back.

 

I’m gonna pack my guitar, and play Life a song.

I’m gonna enjoy my springtime, and Life will play along.

And when Winter comes, I’ll stare him square in the eye

And I’ll just strum my guitar,

and continue to F-L-Y!

Just me and my angel and my new life ahead

I’ll never wonder “what if” of the life that I led.

I left behind kindness, a smile and a song

I didn’t waste my gifts, I passed them along…

Case at yosemite

What Love Leaves Behind

Image result for pictures of love

Everyone goes through the temporary moment of grieving a loss. It’s incredibly painful, trying to fall asleep as tears stream down the sides of your face. It’s dark and solemn and yet, strangely beautiful. Love is something that cannot be proven by science, but it’s there.  It’s proven by what it leaves behind.

I had a loved one die while holding my hand. That’s my memory anyway. It was probably the hardest day in my life. She was very sick and was in the hospital yet again.  I was with her just getting through another day. Oddly enough, each evening as we tried to fall asleep, we’d recall times of long ago, and laugh a little. One night I recalled how my parents would give us an elixir for stomach aches from a local Cuban pharmacy.  Amazing how it really stopped the aching right away.  Maybe it’s because it had a slight bit of opioids? My parents started going to commercial pharmacies after that. But it’s laughable now, or it was on one of those nights we were talking before falling asleep. But one night, she had trouble breathing.  I’d call the nurses, and one propped pillows on her lap for her to lean forward on. Suddenly the machines started beeping and she was rushed down the corridor to a better equipped room.  I looked into her eyes, she was scared, I was terrified.  Her last words to me were to call her husband. I did and came right back to her.  I held her hand, I was told I could stay then it all happened so quickly…she was intubated.  I heard her gasp, her eyes wide and full of fear. I held her hand as long as I could. That was the last interaction I had with my sister.

“Time heals all wounds,” but leaves scars behind. Thankfully the pain is temporary. Under the scars there are warm memories of summers with our kids growing up before our eyes and home based happy hours. My adult kids and my adult nephews now, look back and I see the warmth generated when we revisit those days.

Before starting treatment, she spent quite a bit of time putting photo albums together for her kids. Today, I have hundreds of photos in my phone, as we all do.  But to me there’s nothing like a hard copy photo to frame, display and remind us of a loved one and a memorable day. They are also a trace of legacy and background…roots.  I have a small collection of family black and white photos. I just love these because they spark wonder. Each frame is an invitation to meet family members I never met, if only through stories.

I am a person that loves to create. Believe it or not, I am already planning what it is that I am creating as gifts for Christmas this year.  I’m not sure what I will be creating just yet, but I do know it’s going to involve photos.  After a loss, after time passes, photos are all that we are left with. They serve as reminders. I will admit as I have in past writings, that nostalgia can hurt. But they only hurt me.  My kids love seeing photos of themselves when they were children. When people come over, they wander through the photos, smile and find interest in them. They ask questions and lead to some great conversation. They honor the people not with us anymore. They end up being what love leaves behind.

It’s Time to Fly!

This poem is dedicated to all the young people out there, finding their place in this world.  I recently discovered my son had a talent- guitar player, composer and singer.  He just started but I can see his passion for music. It’s a turning point in his life as he goes on to college and decides what he will do with the rest of his life.

Casey coffee house

“FLIGHT”

I knew a boy who grew up to be a man

Of quiet strength and peace, he had an angel in his hand.

He had a gift of a smile that made the stars cry,

And the spirit of a dove, he discovered he could fly.

He didn’t have to listen and get approval any longer,

Disappointments and losses would make the man stronger.

It’s my turn, you’ve had yours, I’m gonna fly to the Sun.

But I’m smarter than Icarus, I’m gonna LIVE to have fun!

You can’t melt my wings, I’m in control of my flight.

I’m not afraid to fail a few times, cause I’ll get it right.

Winter comes quickly, ask any old soul…

They wonder where their youth went, lost sight of the goal.

Lost track of the time, lost time of the track-

Everyone knows they’ll never get it back.

 

I’m gonna pack my guitar, and play Life a song.

I’m gonna enjoy my springtime, and Life will play along.

And when Winter comes, I’ll stare him square in the eye

And I’ll just strum my guitar,

and continue to F-L-Y!

Just me and my angel and my new life ahead

I’ll never wonder “what if” of the life that I led.

I left behind kindness, a smile and a song

I didn’t waste my gifts, I passed them along…

“Beauty Light”

I don’t care if you think I’m weird

Just cause I don’t fit your def of

What beauty ought to be

It’s not  pink lipstick, or high heels

Treated hair and what I wear

I can always do that stuff, but it’s just not me, I don’t care

And when I’m good and ready

I’ll find someone free of thinking that way,

cause he’ll see where my beauty really plays

deep inside of me, and it’s simple and free

I won’t get tangled in fighting the rhythm of time

While all the ladies struggle and fight to keep their shine

they’ve mistaken all these years for the falseness of beauty

Then I’ll be the one they wish they could be, cause I’ve always been me.

Inside I’m beauty and love, strength and peace

And time can’t deteriorate that, it will never cease.

I’ll pass it on to my girls, created in love

Don’t get caught up in trying to please and compete

Your beauty will shine through and defeat

the idea of what it should be

And you’ll lead others to rethink and redefine

Then I’ll know I’ve done right by you,

because my ” beauty light” will have shined through.

 

 

 

 

 

Behind every beautiful thing, there’s some kind of pain.” ― Bob Dylan

Hey mom. I remember sometime in high school or early college, I told you that I thought depression was just people being whiny, even though I knew you were dealing with some.  I’d just like to apologize for that.  Someone that I spent a lot of time with in the theatre department took his own life last night and no one saw it coming.  Just wanted to take a moment to tell you that I love you.

My daughter sent me that text just a few days ago.  This is not the first time in my children’s young years that this kind of tragedy has brushed into their lives. When my son was in 8th grade, a classmate had also taken his own life.  You wonder what can be so bad, that that’s the only solution you can come up with. I remember being at  Christmas Eve mass and I was handed a free book. So as I read through it, I remember reading that Bob Dylan’s grandmother used to tell him to be kind to everyone because you don’t know what they are going through. I thought about that.

How very true that is.  We just seem to bump around day to day, lives softly brushing by one another as we make quick judgements on the mother with an unruly child, or the disheveled person at the grocery store, or the aged person driving way too slowly on the road. There is a show out there on Netflix that has just surfaced and it’s all about suicide.  The creators say it’s not supposed to be easy to watch and that we should watch it with our kids. Well I think they are wrong.  Why would I want to coddle and encourage that topic with my kids? I realize that it needs to be addressed, but weekly?

There is something seriously wrong with our society. Just look at the selection of reality shows out there.  Look at what’s happening on social media, where murders are being recorded and people are actually laughing in the background.  It reminds me of the Roman times where people would flock to an arena to cheer on as someone was killed.  Sometimes I just sit and try to think of how we can fix this.  Mark Zuckerberg is hiring thousands more employees to sift through social media to pull inappropriate postings, but honestly, I don’t think there’s anything you can do when there’s a live feed filtering through.  My 18 year old jokes to me that his children will have flip phones.  I think it’s a good idea. Hind sight is 20/20.  When phones came out with cameras, they should have had regulations in place where kids in elementary and middle school could only have a flip phones at school to call in case of emergencies and after school communications with parents. And if there parents wanted to spend yet another 200 on a camera phone, fine, but not in  school.  With these devices at a very young age, we have promoted addiction, and desensitized our youth. Movies have ratings ( and don’t get me started) alcohol has an age restriction, why not these devices? I’d also love to see packages bundled where you don’t have to accept the channels that conflict with your values.

So what is the fix? I don’t know. What I do know is we need to slow down and challenge ourselves to put down our devices a little longer each day and take an interest in our neighbors. Friendships and relationships need to be nurtured, but it requires paying attention. And a lost art needs to make it’s way back. The art of listening and taking in another person’s opinion without knocking them to the ground figuratively.  They seem like small steps to take.  I think it’s worth a shot. And who knows, someone that may be considering doing the unthinkable, may change their mind, and figure out they do matter, and they in turn may be able to help others.

” Be kind to everyone because you don’t know what they may be going through.”