In Which Old Ladies Run….

image

We ran for 16 minutes today, this fat little 5-year old dachshund and I. Actually, the 4-month old golden retriever ran with us too, but she was hiding from me by the time I took this picture, because she tried to kill me 72 times in sixteen minutes tripping me.

Why, you ask, would a 52 year old woman suddenly decide to go out on a cold day when the streets are icy and I imagined the neighbors coming to their windows to laugh at the old lady wheezing down the street?

Because it’s fun.

Because my body is healthy enough to at least shuffle along, and I wanted to celebrate that fact.

Because everybody starts somewhere.

Because the fresh air stinging my cheeks was a rush after a long hard day at work today.

image

P.S. Don’t worry. The golden and I made up. Sort of.

Define “Beauty” For Me

image

I started pursuing photography, very recently. More specifically, I started pursuing “mobile photography”, which means taking pictures with my smart phone camera. There is an entire universe of incredible mobile photography and one of my idols and inspirations was this guy.

As I did so, and as I started posted my photos and oohinh abdominal ahhing over the photos of others, I became aware that “beautiful” means a lot of different things to different people.

image

Me, I am enthralled by colors: the richer and more vibrant the better. They enliven and brighten me. They make me happy.

image

Other people dig sky shots and naturals, and linear, orderly things.

My interest in photography gave way to an interest in clothing and fashion as another way to express my moods and my creativity. And looking at fashion photos led me to the same conclusion.

There is SO MUCH beauty swirling around us all day every day. People come in all of these beautiful and endless configurations of size, shape, and color. One is dressed classically, and the next in an artist’s palette of colors. One is tall and curvy, while the next is slim and ethereal.

I no longer buy into the childish teaching that THIS is beautiful, and therefore all else is not. I did that for years of my life, and the lack of self acceptance played itself out in all kinds of destructive ways.

YOU don’t have to agree with my definition of beautiful: that’s OK. But I’ll be damned if I’ll believe anymore that your belief is right and mine is wrong.

image

I AM beautiful. And so are you. Because the beauty is IN the differences, and not in spite of them.

The Joys of Being the “Funny Old Lady”

image

The other day, my manicurest Jimmy (yes, I totally have a very young Vietnamese boy named Jimmy who does my nails every 2 weeks and aspires to work in a factory), laughed and told me, “You’re a funny old lady” when I was searching for my purse that I had allegedly just put on the chair beside me only moments before. Or so the story goes.

I was delighted.

I was tickled because that means I have reached that magical period of my life when I can roll around on the floor with my grandkids and not worry about any of us getting dirty.

I can eat hot dogs for breakfast if I want because I’m no longer worried about making sure my little ones get the complete RDA of every vitamin and micronutrient. But they have to be Nathan’s. Or Hebrew National. Yum!

I can wear leopard sneaker wedges if I fancy them because I paid for the dang things, and because my husband thinks I’m beautiful if I wear a gunny sack. Because he’s funny and old too.

If I pee my pants laughing, my overriding thought is not to die of embarrassment, but to be grateful for such a moment of pure joy.

If I need to stay at work late because I have a patient who’s sad, or confused, or vulnerable, I can do so, and my husband understands, because we’ve both lived long enough to have felt that way ourselves.

If I’m really sad about something, I’ve lived through enough sadness to have faith that I will eventually come out on the other side, and I know that tears can be my strength.

I have friends that will come over if I need them and never raise an eyebrow that my bathroom isn’t clean. And friends that understand even if we don’t get together for months.

Never fear getting older. I promise. I PROMISE. It just keeps getting better.

Here’s the Thing About Dieting…

image

It has the weirdest effect on me. Basically, whenever I try to “diet”, I develop an unholy craving for whatever it is I’m not supposed to eat.

I know all the thoughts about “food is just fuel”, meaning that we have unnaturally linked food to things like rewards, love, celebrations, comfort, and so on. But to me, LONG before we had an obesity epidemic, food was ALWAYS part of celebratory events. I mean, we even offered foods to the gods since time began!

In the last month or so, since I gave up hating and waging war against my own body, I’ve made peace with the fact that food can be a beautiful thing! A hot mug of thick and hearty soup in a cold and snowy night IS comforting. A beautiful candlelight dinner of pasta – yes, pasta! – with a glass of wine IS a wonderful celebration.

And it doesn’t have to be re-engineered to be low-fat, low-carb, low-calorie or anything else.

I think the point is to eat and enjoy wonderful REAL food with gratitude, and then to get up from the table and move on! Emphasis on the “move”. As in, walk two blocks to the video store rather than jumping in the car. Clean, paint, go visit friends rather than veg out on the couch all night. LIVE rather than reading about it, watching it, or trying to recreate it in a gym.

Are YOU “so over” dieting, or is it just me?

Would You Take Risks?

image

image

image

image

Lee denim trousers, tank from Roaman’s, cardigan from Younkers, Fitzwell Gemma pumps from 6pm.com

It’s March 1st, dang it, and I don’t care if there’s a pile of snow taller than me in the parking lot. I’m dressing to honor and celebrate spring.

I’m also wearing 4 inch heels. I haven’t worn such things in years, but I’ve been practicing at home🙂 and I’m determined to be willing to look foolish and awkward, if need be, to learn how to walk gracefully in heels.

I LOVE color. Love, love, loooooooove color. So for me, the rush is worth it for the joy the colors bring me.

What risks are you willing to take for joy today?

Home Sweet Home

image

This is a birdhouse our neighbor gave us when he moved – a man who kept beautiful gardens I admired. It’s not fancy, or pretty.

But every spring the birds return and start to fill it with anything soft they can scavenge from the yard, preparing for the first of several sets of babies they will raise.

Home is home – individual, varied, and beautiful in those who inhabit it.