When we say goodbye
How do you say goodbye? If you had 24 hours left to live, who would you want to visit and what would you want to say? This event just happened. I was honoured to be allowed to say goodbye to a dear person in my life recently.
After suffering from Parkinson’s for 20 years, the pain is no longer tolerable. We went to say our goodbyes. What do you say to someone you shared life’s biggest moments with? Pat was there for me when both my parents passed and I was there when she lost her sister and her both parents. A common thread in our relationship was dealing with loss and finding the silver lining. Until it was now her time. What do I say?
I say the same things I would want her to say to me if it was my turn.
What she meant to me, what she added to my life and how much I was a better person for knowing her. Pat did share that it meant everything to her to hear from the others in her life that she meant something and to hear it while she was alive. The expression “don’t wait to tell someone you love them” was never so obvious. The focus of her stare was intense and time was so precious. Say what we must and then touch. I rubbed her hand. I held her hand. I assured her she mattered to me and would not be forgotten. When you don’t learn a lesson there is a fable that says; a little pebble is thrown, if you don’t pay attention the same lesson is told but a rock is thrown. If you’re still not listening, the rock will be a big old boulder. Until you learn the lesson it just keeps getting in your way.
My lesson, tell the ones you love, “I love you.” You never ever know what the next 24 hours brings and nothing, nothing else matters but love. To share it. To give it. To receive it.
When we started our cosmetic company 30 years ago it was with four people. We all felt like family. Pat was one of the four. She was family.
Our first Christmas party was just us, but to get dinner reservations we needed six people to reserve a table. We invited my parents to make six of us. They were simple times. And with reflection, probably the very best times.
When I had my last conversation with Pat and we recalled our fond memories that Christmas dinner was top on the list.
It’s not what we buy or get for each other, it’s the time we share with each other. Thank you Pat for reminding me.
Goodbye Pat, I will see you on the other side.
We are all human after all
We are all human. What that means to me is it doesn’t matter who you are, we are all fair game to have the good, the bad and the ugly happen to us. Where am I going with this? I just had lunch with a dear friend. One thing led to another and it was shared that her son had some addiction issues. It was then that I felt very comfortable to share my story with addiction issues in my family. As simple as that. We had a bond. It took us to a new level in our friendship and a deeper connection. I like to say, pulling back the curtain, showing our true self. I was reflecting on a recent post I saw of Christina Applegate. She was sharing her recent diagnosis of MS. My heart sank and I needed to find out more of her struggle. Why did I feel the need? I feel that we connect with others when we see ourselves in them. I have adored her as an actress and gained incredible respect and admiration after hearing her story battling breast cancer, years ago.
We all know someone in our life who has had cancer and she did it publicly and showed the human spirit sharing her story. The good, the bad, the ugly. So again, it was through her sharing her recent diagnoses that she is connecting and helping us all: Be brave Be vulnerable Be honest When life gives you lemons…sometimes it’s really hard to make lemonade, or want to drink it. The power, wisdom and strength comes from watching others and seeing it can be done. We all love a good underdog story. Oprah: grew up poor, Black, female, in Mississippi. She just knew she wanted to teach…and does she ever have an audience. Kobe Brant: “Hard work and dedication will get you there.” Practiced everyday at 4 a.m. before anyone else was in the gym. Steve Harvey: “Never give up on your dream.” Slept in his car for years, homeless, and got a break at the Apollo Theatre. And is a highly successful comedian and entrepreneur who stayed the course and is doing what he dreamed of. I could name 100 people that have overcome to “make it”. “Making it” means different things to everyone. For me, it’s about overcoming obstacles. Christina Applegate Michael J. Fox Selma Blair All dealing with health issues that give me pause. It brings to light that we are all here. Human beings having a spiritual experience or spiritual beings having a human experience. Is it by chance or fate or luck or lack of? I believe we are all here to learn a lesson or if we are truly blessed to learn many lessons, and with that gift, to share with others along the way. There is a reason to pass it on, to pay it forward. How brave to be honest and share the wins and yes, the losses. This is what builds intimacy with each other. I have also learned something just as important, that just because one chooses not to share their experience outloud, it does not mean they don’t feel the pain of their experience. A quiet person feels just as much as one who shouts. So we honour both and just understand that this is one journey we are all on together and for that reason, we know we are never ever alone. Xo
Fit in, why?
Is it a coincidence? I just saw Cher being interviewed on CNN with Christiane Amanpour. Two incredible women in their own right. This was not a fluffy interview asking about her latest movie. It was a deep, honest, revealing conversation about life lived. Cher, 70-plus, was open and raw. Let me back step slightly by saying I have always been drawn to Cher; and her resilience, independence and ‘take that’ attitude. I always thought she had an, ‘I don’t care what you think of me’ attitude or even better, ‘take me as I am’. Growing up watching her she represented everything different than what I saw was beautiful. She was beautiful, but a very different beautiful. I believe she was instrumental in opening my young heart to all types of beauty and then her teeth were crooked, like mine.
POW. I had a connection and something in common with Cher. I was 12, but we both had slightly crooked teeth. But she made me feel good about it. Sorry, back to the interview. Cher started talking about growing up and how she has never felt like she fit in.
Whattttttt????? Not Cher. My hero, role model. She was candid in sharing how it was when she moved and felt most comfortable in London, England in the ‘60s because there was an acceptance she could not find in North America. It made me feel like a common thread is a part of all of us. Woven into our psyche. We don’t fit. We don’t add up. I mean, does anyone feel like they fit in is really the question?
I’m not sure I know anyone who feels or felt they fit in.
And here is the bigger, most important question. Fit in to what???? Fit in, why????? To a crazy, small perception of what we think we need to conform to. Wait for it…To be loved. There I said it.
I wanted to end 2022 with saying, you are loved. I am loved. Just as there is no such thing as imperfection. There is nothing to change or improve or cover up.
I wish for 2023 to be a year for you to feel enough. Glorious just as is. Xo
Savour every bite
Do you remember in your childhood going to the variety store? My mother would give me 10 cents (this is 1968ish) and I would get a bag of salt and vinegar chips. I could never make it home to eat, so I would sit on the concrete curb outside the store and the dance began. Rip the bag as fast as I could and literally devour the first half unconsciously. Not sure if it’s because I was hungry or that it tasted so good. I just needed to eat them as quickly as I could. I just kept chewing and chewing until…uh oh, I only had a handful of chips left. The last chips would be eaten slowly and every last crumb at the bottom would be picked up with my moist little finger, not wanting to waste a crumb. Then the lips would be licked so no trace of chips remained. I recently read a poem by Mário de Andrade that gave me goosebumps. You see, I have a handful of chips left. The first fresh, new bag of chips has been opened and ¾’s eaten already and somehow I want to savour each last chip. “I counted my years and discovered that I have less time to live going forward than I have lived until now.” What a reminder to embrace, cherish and truly live each moment of our lives with passion, reflection and intensity. In the last few months, I have had 3 dear friends lose one of their parents. I am at a time in life where this is now not totally unexpected. These events took me back in time when I went to a funeral in my early 20s. I remember my dear father in law, Ray, who said something to me at a funeral that I understand now. I said, “I am sorry Ray for your loss. Are you ok?” Without skipping a beat he said, "This is our 5th funeral this month. It seems like we have more funerals than weddings now. I much prefer weddings..." He was not being funny, just sharing his reality. His reality is becoming my reality. So much so, when I send my condolences…there is still a void in what to really say to each other. As I was told a few funerals ago to not send flowers…I looked for something to send or give and this is when I came across something I wanted to share. As I googled what to say to someone when they lose a loved one, I came across a book, "The beauty of what remains" by Steve Leder. This was to be a gift for others but it turned out to be a gift for me, that I wish to share with you. He shared with us from his own life experiences that the purpose of death is to live life as fully as we possibly can. If others see you savouring every moment of your life, they just might follow. Let’s lead by example. In life we learn, but also in death. The timing of reading this book was a powerful reminder. It's about sharing our journey together and savouring EVERY bite. From the moment you open the bag, not just when you get to the end. Xo
Let’s live and not fear
As life would have it…we have lost some truly beautiful souls recently.
Not much has gone unsaid, that I would need to add.
I, like the rest of us, remain in awe of the outpouring of love and compassion her majesty's passing has created.
It's no surprise, just another confirmation of how we, whether you believe in the monarchy or not, can't help but respect the commitment of her life to her duty.
My naive self hopes that she is with Phillip looking down and smiling and feeling content that she mattered.
I really wonder if any of us are ever aware of how much the ones around us love us?
I don't think we do, I don't think we tell each other enough...
Did the Queen?
I hope so.
Another life I ponder.
Olivia Newton John.
Yes, a contrast to the Queen, but what I find fascinating is the path Olivia Newton John took after her third diagnosis with cancer.
I read that she chose to not find out how much time she had left on earth.
Because she didn’t want to ruin what was left, however long or short.
She didn't want to live according to a timeline… but to live each day fully.
I then thought, this is really how we should live our lives to begin with.
We ultimately will all die.
It's a fact.
We usually never know the date, so why compromise the quality with knowing the quantity?
I think it may be even more intense when you know the clock is ticking louder and the time may be closer.
I want to thank Olivia Newton John for taking this approach and by reading her story, it helped me rethink my life plan with more awareness.
I don't have a circle on a calendar of my expiry date, but I am going to make sure I keep thinking of how I don't want to waste a moment.
My mother in contrast was not given a choice of finding out her timeline.
The doctor told her in the office, “You have 3 months, get your things in order.”
The ride home from that doctor's visit my mother said to me, “I will be dead by Christmas.”
I literally saw my mother dissolve in front of me within the exact three months she was given.
No fight, no hope.
I say this because something tells me if she was given hope or not that harsh news, then perhaps she would have not given up.
I will never know, but I am very aware of how strong the mind can make or break you and dash your hopes and dreams if you let it.
I know now not to accept anyone who wastes any precious moments on worthless thoughts.
Perhaps the most positive takeaway is from the beautiful song, sung and written by Tim McGraw, Live Like You Were Dying.
Words are powerful.
Your thoughts are powerful.
Let's live and not fear.
I was recently sitting on the beach having light, airy conversation and was asked… Why am I writing a blog? Good question. Not even sure I have the answer, but the question made me do some soul searching and for that I am grateful. To be honest, I have thought of stopping… and then for whatever reason, I believe there is a purpose or I would not be sitting typing with my heart in my hand. I started out on a quest to talk about the positive spin on living each year. It's not to focus on aging , but living , and to perhaps have some positive impact on the subject and shake up the conversation. Just an honest look at the living process and something we all go through in some capacity or another in our lifetime. When I started Beauty is Difference , just before COVID, there was very little chatter on the topic. That is why I was so passionate. Then COVID hit and we all stayed in and put our thoughts and feelings on Instagram and Facebook.
Everywhere I looked there was a new post encouraging those 40+ to grow out their hair, as grey is the new black. So, I sat down recently and pondered…the topic of (aging) or as I like to call it, living - is saturated with positive, upbeat messages everywhere.
How exciting is this!!! Then I thought…my work is done, no need for this girl's input, but then I realized something that I think everyone needs to ponder. The world is a big, gorgeous piece of pie. There is a slice for everyone. Sometimes we watch a movie, read a book, hear a story or a song that is so powerful that it resonates with us. Sticks with us. Moves us. Changes us. We see ourselves or our lives in the story or the song. That's the connection…but it's not every song on the radio, it’s a certain song or voice. It's a certain actor or person that brings the story to life for you. We need different people to share these stories, to open up new conversations and add their perspective. Their voices matter, our voices matter. That is what I realized…I am just a piece of the pie, the very big pie, that now has many advocates on the topic of how to live each year with grace.
How do we do this? We do it together. Everyone is going to bring their spin on it. That is the most glorious part of all of this. We each bring something to the table. I have said in the past, in my early years there was just one cookie-cutter role model. If you didn't fit the version, you were on the outcast list. Now I am happy to say, beauty is the difference, and everything and anything goes. My personal cause of embracing each year and not being fearful of what is ahead is now a force that I am so honoured to take part in. So to answer the question, why do I write the blog? Because I am a piece of the pie. Because it’s about sharing our journey, connecting with each other, finding our voice and using it.
Do we ever REALLY know someone?
Our most meaningful relationships are also our most complex. I think we are most vulnerable and tender because we are attached to the outcome and that outcome is we all have the need to be loved. That is the universal common thread in all of us. It starts with our first love, which is our parents. Our mother and father. These are the first beings we meet in the world and they set the foundation for our experience of love. Not everyone’s experience is universal and the role of a ‘mother’ and ‘father’ can take on many different shapes and forms. Every year as Mother’s and Father’s Day rolls around I have a quiet reflection. As both of my parents have passed I take the day to reflect on them and my relationship - past and present. This past Father’s Day… was a little different and I will share why. I was excited to see that my new favourite show, My Next Guest with David Letterman on Netflix had a new season starting. He was speaking with Ryan Reynolds and the discussion of fathers came up. I always believed what you're looking for is looking for you. This topic was what I have been looking for, for a very long time. The question to Ryan, “do we ever really know our fathers?” Was he really who I thought he was? There is a shroud of mystery behind the man. Something inaccessible about the father figure. Something we crave, want to obtain and never quite reach. Do we really know someone or is it what we imagined? Do we ever get the really deep conversation of: How are you, REALLY? How do you FEEL? Like a sense of never really knowing this person that has incredible power, as well flaws, that we never can discuss fully. The moment changes when we lose them. Perhaps when we are the age they pass or the age they have us. We start to relate to them as human beings. It is then we can start to understand and relate? We perhaps begin comparing ourselves and how we are more the same than different. We either try to be like them or decide early on to be completely different and to never walk the same path. Do we somehow feel mad that they die and that some things are really never said? That was a punch in the stomach…I never realized that the emotion was, yes, mad that they died. That's it…no going back and now trying to put the pieces together without all the clarity I need to get the full picture. Ta Dah...a lightbulb moment. The good news is, there really is no clear answer who my father is or was. It is how I feel about it now that matters and to find peace and acceptance is the only way. I know my father would want that for me. What I found to be so fascinating and truly comforting is that it’s not just me feeling this way with so many questions about my father. Is it a coincidence that Ryan Reynolds was speaking about his relationship with his father…or just this Saturday, I was listening to an interview with Jane Fonda, who is now in her 80’s, who has made peace with her fractured relationship with her late father, Henry Fonda. Jane spoke that when she did the movie with her famous dad, On Golden Pond, life mirrored art. Her dad was dying in real life and they, to that point, never talked about how she felt like she was never good enough for her dad. All she wanted was to hear he loved her. Jane explained that it was at that time she learned he would never change, and that we really never do. Her father was never going to give her what she needed, so she gave it to herself. Jane told her father what she needed and accepted he was not able or would ever be able to give it to her. The world works in mysterious ways…another coincidence that this interview was playing to me at that moment. I like to think of it as another message being sent to all of us. If you can not get what you need from others, give it to yourself. That compassion and understanding is something that comes with time. Do we ever really know our loved ones? It's never too late to try to find out.
Are we old now?
Looking at Rick across a large oak table covered by architectural drawings of our dream beach house, I was forced to confront that jarring and surreal question. I’m 60 and Rick is 72. Our ages never really mattered to us. It just wasn’t an issue, other than hearing the odd lighthearted joke among long-time friends. But looking across those diagrams, we knew the punchline had become a headline. Concerns about the age gap were suddenly tangible, suddenly real. Rick and I met when I was in my 20s and he always shrugged off the 12-year difference by literally saying, “I’m your age, so it doesn’t matter.” Together, we spent decades pouring all our time and passion into building a successful cosmetics business. In the last few years I realized I wanted a gathering place for my friends and family so we could finally set aside the grind of being entrepreneurs and enjoy the companionship of our loved ones in a relaxed and beautiful space. We’d earned it and I’ve always wanted a beach house. The lots on Georgian Bay are narrow. You must “build up” if you want more square footage, so naturally our plans called for a 3-storey home. In the moment that changed everything for us, we were pondering where to put a bathtub. To my surprise, Rick was the one who unwittingly shattered my age bubble when he said, “If we can’t climb stairs anymore, the guest room on the main floor can become our master bedroom.” Pardon me! As I stood staring at the drawings, I couldn’t process the statement. My instantaneous thought was: “I’m always going to be able to climb stairs so what the hell are you talking about?” Today, when I think of “old” I think of someone who’s 90 or 100, but not my husband’s age. Yet here HE was, my youthful husband suddenly being Mr. Pragmatic after 30 years of zestful living. I remember when I was a kid thinking that my grandmother used to look ancient to me. Back then, everyone thought that once you turned 65, you retired and you're dead. That’s what kids assumed, or at least I did. So here’s me, now in my 60s, listening to a benign discussion about a main floor guest bedroom escalate into a crisis that was about to get even more out of hand. Cue Rick again - “Maybe we need to plan for an elevator,” he casually asserted. REALLY!?!?!? I wondered if I was witnessing my loving husband surrender and give up the bubble of invincibility that had insulated us for all these years. Then again, it’s also Rick being his pragmatic self by displaying his adorable wisdom. Or…are we actually old now because our conversations revolve around future challenges presented by stairs and whether getting an elevator is simply pretentious or a smart decision? It was a jolt like I had never experienced. Thing is, the questions were logical, but my reaction was all emotion and bereft of logic. I started doing more math and quickly added the years it’s going to take to complete plans, get permits, and construct the beach house because of COVID delays and suddenly Rick is 75 and I’m 63. Sigh. I’ve always believed aging is a beautiful thing, even if you don’t resemble the indomitable Maye Musk. My motto is “beauty is difference,” and I mean that with all my heart. Age has brought me confidence, experience, strength and resolve. So, as I gaze at Rick with a measure of disbelief at his utterance of the word “elevator,” I also know that I love him even more at that moment…and because of that moment. As always, he’s looking out for us by being proactive and positive and hopeful of the many years we will share on the beach with our family and friends. Now, when we show our friends and family the plans for the beach house, we silently giggle a bit as we explain that the main floor guest room might become our master bedroom. Everyone understands what the admission really means at its core. Yes, we are getting older. But that doesn’t mean we are old. In the end, we decided against the elevator. We need the space for a workout room and wine cellar.
When is enough enough?
When do we know when enough is enough? Enough money square feet food clothes trips taken days worked and time to retire
I overheard Jim Carrey, the Canadian actor, discuss retiring. He said, “you’re never going to hear anyone in Hollywood say this, but I have enough, I am enough.” He now wants to focus on his painting and his spiritual path. Wow, wow, wow! I think we all love to watch others with a clear vision. It allows us to take stock and perhaps get our own clarity. I feel it helps me take stock and evaluate my own version of - do I have enough? It’s the fork in the road, if we are lucky to get to.
Actually there are many forks in the road in life…
When we are starting out, who do we want to become? Who do we want to spend our lives with? Where do we want to live?
And when we reach the time to ask what is next, whether it’s at 35 or 65, we have to take our own inventory.
Another way of looking at it is, “if not now, when?”
The proverbial question that means there is no perfect time, just do it now.
One never knows when the right time is.
I always look for a measurement or gauge. I always ask myself, “does it bring me joy?” or Rick asks it like, “does it bring me closer to my goal?”
Sometimes we can’t answer the question if we have enough because every Instagram or Facebook post is showing us: how to be successful how to acquire more how we need more stuff work more hours, practice harder, never give up A brilliant commercial for Expedia shows Ewan McGregor asking us, “are we really going to regret not having more stuff?”
The camera then zooms to a beach, waves and sunshine and asks us, “or will we regret having more experiences?”
Makes us all stop and take a breath. Expedia’s way of asking the question: When is enough enough? I personally want more time with family and friends. That, I know I do not have enough of. I came back from a recent trip to visit family in Florida. I had not seen my family in 3 years due to COVID. I came home with my heart full and a clear vision of what is most important. The old saying, how do you want to be remembered or what will people say at your funeral? You don’t want to hear how hard I worked or I wish I worked more overtime so I could have achieved more. I think this expression has been around so long because it holds the truth.
What matters is who we are. Remembering you are enough, despite all the other things…YOU are enough.
What we do is not who we are.
I was looking at Instagram recently and came across a post on Linda Evangelista. A popular super model from the 1990’s. She was and still is a beautiful, striking woman that drew attention to herself and the modelling industry because she was a different beauty, noted for her resemblance to Sophia Loren. She was in an elite group of ‘super models' and was quoted for saying to Vogue, “we don’t wake up for anything less than $10,000 a day.” Bold and strong. She was noticeable and memorable, with a long list of accomplishments in the fashion industry, making appearances in music videos, runway shows and voted one of the 'most beautiful' in the 90’s.
She virtually disappeared in 2010 and stopped working. She now reveals she has been disfigured by a cosmetic procedure. I am not going to dispute how she feels or what has happened. I searched for an image to see for myself how unrecognizable she was. After all, she is a woman younger than myself, 56, and how disfigured could she be?
What I saw of the images of Linda Evangelista now is a strikingly beautiful 56 year old woman. She still remains the envy of many people. Her story is that what she wanted in a cosmetic procedure created the opposite effect. However, by any other mortal standards, anyone with that face would be honoured to have her beauty. The tragedy is not the cosmetic procedure. The tragedy is she is known to look a certain way and SHE feels she is not the same person.
To me, she is. This is what hit me most and why I wanted to talk about the 'identity crisis’ we all face. It happens when we are known for something we do, not for who we are.
If you are only known for being beautiful, well, when that shifts - what happens to your self worth? That's the bigger question.
Do we feel less than or perhaps shaken when the 'title' we are known for is removed and replaced? That will happen when you put all your self worth in one thing. We are so much more than: how we look what we do what we have done When you are facing retirement and the job you have always done is not what you're going to be doing any longer is there not a feeling of loss? Do questions surface, what do I do and who am I?
It’s easier to describe functions of what you do…but the real gift is to give yourself permission to find out who you are. I recently read that Jim Carrey, the Canadian actor, has decided to call it quits in acting. I think it’s brave and brilliant. He says he has decided he wants to focus on family and that he feels he has done what he came to do in his acting career. My husband, Rick always says it's best to leave wanting more than to regret staying too long and being asked to leave. Interesting concept. What I love most about opening ourselves up beyond the boundaries of ‘what we do’…is we get to try on another concept of ourselves, another outfit, another challenge. We get to break the mold and change the landscape.
We really are NOT what we do. It's just a piece of who we are. This is the time to embrace and have courage to explore the new possibilities that come out of the change.
I believe in silver linings and that everything has a purpose. Stay with me on this...if we don’t embrace change, we will stay as is. That’s not what we are here for, we are here to move forward. Then comes the question after who are you - what can I do next?
The secret sauce in all of this is how you react. Get excited! Jump in. All in. Look for the endless possibilities of WHAT NEXT? Ask yourself, what do I want?
I was listening to a podcast with Glennon Doyle and something she said clicked with me.
How we often feel guilt in pursuing joy. We feel the only way to learn is from pain, but and it’s a BIG BUT - what if we allow ourselves to learn from joy? Why do we celebrate suffering…and keep picking to suffer, instead of choosing joy? Is this not a fascinating concept? Guilt-free joy! What if we give ourselves permission to do what brings us joy? And let go of the people and things that don’t. What a concept. Is that too simple?
I understand we all have to work and do our things…but if we focused on guilt-free joy and self care, what would that look like?
I wake up extra early to have my coffee and linger in the morning. That brings me joy. If you love to walk or swim or ride a bike…do that more. Do more of what you love and less of what you don’t. You will be happier and when you are happier you will show others how to live in joy. But here is the kicker, do it guilt free.
Do it because you and I are on this earth to live in joy. I started this journey to address ageism, but as I dug deeper it became more obvious to me it's just a limb on a very big tree. If we loved ourselves completely, the negativity and insecurities we all have would repel off of us. Like a shield, they would not be able to seep into our souls and create havoc. We feel our pain and have no idea what to do with it. We try to numb it one way or another or perhaps lash out at others or just walk around wounded and hurt. I like to think there is something we can do…and I believe it starts with ‘self love’.
Why do we feel uncomfortable with the thought of loving ourselves and taking care of ourselves? Why is it we have been taught that others come first and we put ourselves at the bottom of the list? We learn in kindergarten to: unselfishly take a nap when we need a rest have a snack to treat and nourish ourselves stay home when we are sick because we need to be well take a time out when we need a break and moment to calm down have shorter days so we can have time in our lives for family and rest When we grow up all of these important virtues of self love and self care get diminished and we learn to replace these core beliefs with: skipping meals because meetings and other things become more important being on call and on demand for others 24/7 never turning off our phones, even on holidays depriving ourselves of rest and praising those who only get 5 hours of sleep treating overworking and ‘doing it all’ as a badge of honour How did we learn to give up so much of ourselves? Self love and self care are the only way to make us whole. When you fill the hole, you are no longer coming from a place of lack. I wish they would have classes in school on self love. Daily practices so it would be a part of your daily routine, like brushing your teeth. What I love is that we are starting to talk about self love and loving ourselves for who we are. "Find out who you are and be that person. That's what your soul was put on this earth to be. Find that truth, live that truth and everything else will come.”
- Ellen DeGeneres
I was driving to a store recently and saw a sign that was spray painted on someone's garage door, "BE THE CHANGE” I don’t know why, but it’s like fresh new wallpaper in my headspace. I think we all can "be the change.” We can change anything we desire and my desire is encourage myself and others to practice self love and self care.
If that sounds self serving, it is…and that’s exactly the point.
More Than A Number
Did you know that actresses on the ‘Golden Girls’ were younger in age than the women in the ‘ Sex and The City ’ reboot, ‘ And Just Like That ’? The progress is all in perception, how we see things. Sophia played a 90 year old and was actually 56. Carrie Bradshaw is 56. We have come so far in what we consider an “older woman” - but let’s not stop there and let’s not get caught up in the numbers. You never know where your next inspiration is going to come from. I try to keep my eyes open. What you're looking for, is looking for you. In response to one of my posts, I had a reply from Carol who is 81, “just arrived in a new town, starting a new business, just getting started.”
I’m sorry, but if that’s not inspiring, what is!?
Starting a new business at 81 is AMAZINGLY inspiring! I have never met Carol but in a few words she has confirmed that if we put our minds together, share our thoughts, anything is possible. 81 and starting a new adventure! Thank you Carol - your post is now on my vision board.
Let go of the numbers.
When I met my husband Rick I was aware of the 12 years difference in age. I was 24 and Rick 36. I had people comment how it would be a problem later in life. When you are young, you do not consider that you’re ever going to get to that point, so I never worried.
I will tell you why. I had a friend say to me, “it’s better to have quality than quantity.”
I understood that immediately. I would rather have a beautiful short love story than a medium tepid long term relationship.
That was the mindset going in...I never thought I would be 60. I never thought Rick would be 72. And I honestly feel more in love and more connected than when we met. I am so grateful I did not get caught up in the numbers.
Life is not a numbers game. Don't count your steps every day - just walk and feel the air. You will get to 10,000 without counting. You are not valued by how many followers you have on Facebook or Instagram. You are not valued by the number on the scale or how many calories you eat. Your value in life is not determined by the amount of money in your bank account or what you think you own.
Most importantly it’s not about the number of years you have lived or have left. It’s what we do that matters and we start by letting go of the numbers in our head and show each other how to live our best life. “Perhaps we should love ourselves so fiercely, that when others see us they know exactly how it should be done.” - Rudy Francisco The universe is continually sending messages. Last night, I watching David Letterman’s ‘My Next Guest’ on Netflix and was riveted by his guest Howard Stern. My fascination with this hour-long talk show is just confirming what I already know, we really are all the same. We have a different outer shell perhaps, but the inside is all the same. We want love, validation and to be accepted.
Howard was reflecting on his journey and career. The fascination for me was exactly what I am talking about in this blog. Howard lost much of himself and the things so close and dear to him because he became obsessed with the numbers. He had to stay on top of his game with his listeners. The number of listeners was his value and at any cost, he had to keep the numbers and ratings up.
He soon became number one. But it didn’t stop there…he had to maintain it weekly again and again. His only focus was to stay at number one. Everything comes at a cost. And it cost him. His marriage, his relationships with his children. And soon, he found no joy in what he was so focused on, his radio show. He lost his way. Life’s lessons, that he now proudly says, he has nothing to prove but lives without feeling trapped by proving himself. Life’s lessons. They can come early or late in life. I think the key to all of this is for us to share these valuable lessons with each other. In doing so, we can pull the curtain back for the ones next in line and provide acceptance, forgiveness and a better understanding that we just need to show up, with nothing to prove, but a heart wide open. Numbers are not a value, or report card. They are nothing we should gauge ourselves on.