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





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.