I am getting engaged! No, I do not await a big rock, or a swooning fiancé. I did that 34 years ago.
I am getting engaged with my readers.
With you, dear readers. Today I hope to tell you more about myself.
I am a sincere person, and I have learned a lot in these almost sixty years of precious life. I have an authentic, eclectic style, but I wonder if the wide breath of all of my looks confuses you. One day I am wearing a ball cap with distressed jeans, donning my favorite hair style- a ponytail. Cue the next photo I am wearing this ladylike dress and wearing a prim top knot.
Which is me? ALL ARE ME. I am a complex layered onion of a person. However, I doubt that most of my readers know me well. Some do, and I am grateful for all of you. For those that do not, let me help introduce myself. Getting engaged with my readers and staying engaged is important to me.
I am from the midwest from a large family. I have a twin! I was a sick child and have grown into a happy women, but one who carries a burden like everyone else. My burden is my rare disease called relapsing polychondritis. Read MY POST here about it. To sum it up, my condition is rather serious and I turned to blogging to help “picture myself well”. I was spending a lot of time helping other patients online and my identity was too tied up in my disease. It is ironic that I look so well and I work hard to present myself as well and thriving, and In most ways I am. My disease is under control, but the medications are tough ones, including corticosteroids, not the kind that athletes take, but one that causes all of the symptoms of aging. I also take a chemotherapeutic drug. I am partially deaf, have eye problems, have airway issues and am at risk for, shall I say this? Gulp. Yes. My risks are fatally suffocating as my airways has lesions that weaken it so that it can collapse. Blindness is a risk, which is what happened to my mother due to her similar autoimmune disease, as they are heart and kidney issues.
But this is not a pity party. I am pretty well-controlled with medications, hopeful outlooks and lifestyle habits that work well for me. I eat organic, Non-GMO food when possible, NO SUGAR, no alcohol, and lots of greens. I walk everyday briskly for 40 minutes to an hour. I am faring quite well compared to most with my disease and my level of multi-system involvement.
We all face burdens, so I am not being glib when I say I am just like anyone else. We all face the prospect of death from the moment of birth.
NOW YOU WANT TO KNOW, I KNOW YOU DO! DO I LOOK LIKE THIS IS REAL LIFE? THE ANSWER IS YES, IF I HAVE MY MAKE UP ON, AND AM IN AN IDEAL LIGHT AND AM STANDING VERY TALL. LOTS OF IFS THERE, RIGHT?
I DO EDIT! I EDIT WITH SNAPSEED AND USE LIGHT LEAKS TO ADD INTEREST AND MAKE MY CAMERA PHONE PHOTOS LOOK MORE PROFESSIONAL.
I do look young enough in real life that doctors have screamed at their medical assistant for taking the wrong history, as my birthdate is “obviously wrong.” Then I correct my doctor, that it was correct, and he scooched up to my face on his rusty roller chair and stared at my face. Remarkable, he exclaimed, and the he caught himself. Medically speaking, he amended, this is medically remarkable.
Skin Care? Maybe another post about this separately, but let me just say that my sweet father died at 88 without a wrinkle of his face. And I am blessed with good genetics. I also avoid the sun and use good sunscreen year round, if I am going to be outside for any length of time. I do use some products that help too, but there may be a conflict in my sharing these products as my daughter is, proudly, I gush, rather a big wig at a well known skincare company. But suffice it to say that a rough washcloth was my skincare tool for most of my life, as it exfoliates and helps with circulation. I used inexpensive moisturizers for most of my life, Ponds was a favorite.
Also I do not wash my face, unless I am wearing make-up! I wait until my shower and let my baby shampoo wash over my face. A gentle cleanser free of parabens is what I use to wash off makeup. Washing one’s face too often, I suspect contributes to dry skin and strips it of natural oils.
I was much thinner 3 years ago, and 12 pounds lighter, too. I was actually a bit underweight , and that helps me look young. Now I am at a normal weight. I started blogging looking like a pixie, a slight wisp of a thing. This is a professional photo, and my photographer had a gadget that diffused the light , and the result was good! My waist is several inches bigger now, but still small. My thighs however!
ANOTHER THING TO KNOW. I have THIN SKIN! Literally from the steroid use, and figuratively as it describes my “NICE ADDICT” personality. The idea that I would offend anyone at anytime for any reason, can set me in a tailspin of self doubt. I even apologize to inanimate objects! Not my best trait.
I love animals, and have had three dogs, that last of whom died recently. I miss her very much. Her name was Lucy was she was a great soul . YOU can read more HERE about my lovely sweet furry friend. I have two adult children who are thriving in this world and that makes my heart sing. My hubby of 34 years also adds so much joy to my life.
I am a people person and am fairly outgoing. I talk to strangers, especially elderly people who i suspect did not get their recommended dose of social interaction. I dislike the current I am on my phone don’t talk to me affect that I see much too often. I firmly believe we should be present in our lives.
I worry about the course of technology and am fearful of cyberattacks. My site was down yesterday, it was a WordPress issue, and was resolved in 6 hours, but I can’t shake the feeling that something troubling happened. I use an app to get help for tech issues, and have had good success with them. Yesterday , however, I was contacted by them alerting me to a security breach. My email platform is is the news, as well.
My blog is truly a form of self expression that I find therapeutic . I love to reinforce the idea of slow fashion and shopping small.
This makes me truly consider shutting down Instagram, and being more offline. How do you cope with these fears of online security? I am rarely on Facebook . I try to buy things on the phone rather than online. I change my passwords regularly. Do you also share these concerns ?
For pleasure, I listen to Audiobooks and watch television with hubby after work. Our favorite shows are Billions, The Good Doctor, House of Cards, and much of HGTV, especially Fixer Upper, and House Hunters. I have not watched This is US, but look forward to that!
I was recently featured in a new and excellent blog called Forever51blog.com. This is an excellent site that warmly examines what “OVER_FIFTY” fashion looks like. It is the creation of five outstanding women who write exceeding well. The post does an excellent job at summing up my blog ethos . Please check it out, you will be glad you did.
Pet peeves are an issue I want to close with as surly as that sounds. I am growing quite frustrated with the hashtag age is just a number. While it is true, it connotes a negative, and I would like to assert that age is a privilege, the sum of milestones that make us wiser and more sensitive. True, we have more health problems and more pronounced laugh lines, but that is because we have been laughing for a good long time! Age is a number and a truly vital one.
Age is a number with import, substance and meaning and it can equate to a life that is well lived and an ongoing process of being self-aware. I myself, look forward to adding on gobs and gobs of them, should I be so lucky!
Below some shots from my LookBook that illustrates my eclectic and ever evolving wardrobe looks. I am a work in progress, just like you. Getting engaged with my readers means sharing thoughts and photos.
So do you feel like you know me a bit better? Please feel free to ask me questions, I am an open book, if a long one! SO many chapters! I hope I succeeded in getting engaged with you, or re- engaging with you, as the case may be. I will not write many personal posts such as this often, although I do love to write and share. I am just worried about over-sharing at this particular time in this modern world. I hope you understand.
I am going to be updating my theme, so please bear with me if you hop on the site and things are under construction, in the next week or two.
I wish you well my blog friends ! Truly, and sincerely ! XOXO Elle