Shore could use some SELFie love today

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I’m enjoying coffee on the balcony of the hotel on our latest jaunt to the ‘Shore’ – hence my punny temptation for the title of this piece. But I am so struck, once again, at how tired, drawn, and aged I look compared to other selfies taken not that long ago. I’m trying hard to breathe and let it go, but somedays, it is hard.

Outer appearance isn’t set in stone

Stéfanie from Quebec once gave me props for posting the photo of me looking at my backside in a mirror. NOT for the shocking act of posting my backside, but rather my sadness at looking. Most of us, me included, would rather appear looking great (even if it is in our own minds). It is tough sometimes to see ourselves as we are.

Here’s that blog post in cast you missed it, Trusting the Mirror, Photos or Your Heart?. In that post I already outlined the differences between devices we use for looking at and judging our outer appearances, so I’m not going to rant on that one further today. Suffice it to say, that angle, light, and how we FEEL at the time of looking at photos OR in mirrors can greatly change the inner picture that we see.

Happiness and Sunset Lighting are a Gal’s Besties

Laurie and Mark in bike helmets pose in front of the beach. Mark wears a purple flowered Hawaiian shirt

Mark is looking handsome in his new bright purple Hawaii shirt.

Note that in THIS pic, my skin and eyes appear bright and my smile is natural. I’m happy at this second. Mark and I have ridden to our favorite bistro to have a fun dinner made up of ONLY happy hour drinks and appetizers. Not as bad as it sounds, their food is quite well prepared and not as greasy as other places. It was not something I would choose on a regular basis, but it sure was fun yesterday. I appreciate the blessing that I live in an area where I can ride my bike along a path in December, for goodness sake, and I have a hubby who LIKEWISE finds this fun, and that I can be easy enough on myself now to eat bar food for dinner without guilt. (As an aside, by how my body feels in general this morning, I don’t have ill effects from the dinner either).

Rosy Glasses on My Gal?

Ok, ok, there may be SOME ill effects, but this tiredness and feeling my age have been piling up for awhile now. And it is tied to my sleep habits, my thought habits, and my acceptance of the here and now vs. the used to be, as I rambled on about on Day 89.

I think that I have been thinking a lot, maybe TOO much, and not living enough. I think thinking can be dangerous when you have a compulsive obsessive mind, and the details can become overwhelming and a burden when we cannot get them out of our minds. To that end, let us take a meditative beauty break by enjoying the waves at sunset in ventura.

#Sunset beach and #surfers at #Ventura

A post shared by Laurie Weaver (@lauriedreamweaver) on

Change of focus, change of mind, change of direction

See how much better? When I take my mind off of nitpicking my flaws, real or imagined, my spirit IMMEDIATELY brightens. When I appreciate the color of the sky, the softness of my cats’ fur, the cheerful call of the birds outside my window, then all the word is a glorious place filled with possibilities.

Of course it is easy to list blessings outside of ourselves. When we look AT ourselves, what do we see? If I ask you to grab a paper or to start typing on your device RIGHT NOW 10 things you HATE about yourself how easy would THAT be?

I could do it in 10 seconds flat. But since I already have sad, depressing feelings I’m combatting, I don’t think I SHALL list them for posterity.

Now, let’s try the reverse. Self Love. Appreciation for OURSELVES. Ready, Go!

  1. I can ride a bike
  2. I’m funny
  3. I have strong legs
  4. I like the length of my hair
  5. My eyes remind me of my dad and I like to see them looking at me again.
  6. I’m kind
  7. I really care about others
  8. I express love often to others
  9. I’m a good storyteller
  10. I’m a great teacher

Well THAT took longer. A few minutes at least. But the upside is I spent the few minutes in a positive place, and feel better. Even though the featured selfie at the top of this post is NOT the best selfie in the world, I’m glad I reminded myself that every time I see my face, I get to see my father’s eyes.

Let’s end again with a meditative moment. Mark SO enjoys taking photos at the beach, I love to remember his joy.

Mark in silhouette snapping a photo of sunset against the waves.

Mark captures the sunset with his phone camera.

Comments box:

18 thoughts on “Shore could use some SELFie love today

  1. Suz (Suzanne)

    Hi Laurie,
    I’m really behind in listening and reading on your site…I’ve been pretty swamped lately, but when I saw this comment pop into my email box, I wanted to send a quick message.
    I can definitely relate to feeling a disconnect and a sadness when looking in the mirror. I just turned 45, and more and more I am seeing the crepe paper eyelids, the skin tone changing toward the course and saggy, I see a tiredness and sadness in my eyes, my hair no longer curls like it once did, and my body..ugh.
    But I have to let you know that whenever I see one of your selfies I think you are a beautiful, brave person. Even if you aren’t smiling widely, you have a kindness in your eyes. We all have a wide range of emotions and moods can definitely rise and fall with seasons, with hormones, with thoughts, with events, etc. What’s encouraging is that you always post no matter what. Your perseverance and self-acceptance (even of your struggles with self-acceptance) are beautiful to see. You keep going. It helps me to see that. I am an avoider and a retreater. The thoughts and the struggle exhaust me. But somehow you hang on! You must be doing something right. I do understand this strange middle age melancholy, and I myself have sad regrets of never having had a young, active, slender, or attractive body. Whatever I do now, any improvements I make will never be what they might have been once. But I have to focus on the things I am thankful for, about my life and about my self, and yes, even about my body.
    Take care and hang in there.

    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Oh Suz, how WELL you get me! Thanks so much for posting this encouragement. How many times have we heard or said ourselves, “But I feel 18 or 25 or 21 inside?”. And much of the time I do feel pretty lively and optimistic for 55. But some days — every day, every hour, every second of those years weigh heavy on my heart and I feel tired and used up and sad about all of the people and things that have passed on. My life is now missing family members, many, many of my best friends who died very young from AIDS or drugs – victims of the time we lived in as youth, movie stars my age or younger, politicians, familiar movers and shakers. Sometimes I am amazed to see the weight of years on my old TV or film star favorites and can’t quite fathom what that means about MY AGE too. Yes, as you have so eloquently described, part of my melancholy is that I will never have a youthful slender body to look back on even. And my best now, will never approach our society’s beauty standard. Which is a blessing too! At my age, my best can only be my own. Since it is impossible to replicate society’s best, I can only be my own person which gives me a huge lever for self-acceptance. As you know, with every year the world turns faster for us. Where did all of the time and people go? When did my kitten turn into an aged cat who needs a booster step to climb onto the bed where once she leapt light as a feather? How will I look back at my time spent here on Earth? Will I always let regret color my own perception of my value? Will my steps fade away having meant nothing? No, thanks to Brave Companions like you, Suz, I can at least feel that my life has had a meaning, come what may. I might never have conquered keeping weight off of my body. I might never have had my own family. I might never have been the greatest at anything except talking too darn much every chance I had, but at least I reached out into the world as myself. Finally. Finally, I am letting you all see who I am, and you are responding back with love. I could not have asked for more. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Now when Mark wakes up and we go off to ride, I will feel the delight of my years instead of the burden. I will appreciate going slower and having the chance to appreciate the scenery. I will take in the beauty of the day knowing that I am well and fine as I am today, and tomorrow can take care of itself. xoxoxoxox

      1. Suz (Suzanne)

        Oh my, YOU get ME right back! Haha. My brother and I are sentimental saps and we have been talking lately about how sad we feel that people we knew and loved have passed, and how that changes how we feel we belong in and relate to the world. I look at myself and see my grandma sometimes. Or I realize I am older now than my inner image of my mother, if that makes sense. I see movies with favorite old actors like Cary Grant, and realize I am older now than he was in the movie I was watching.
        I’m older than my doctor, older than most of my piano students’ parents. But I feel 12!! I feel like I’m still waiting for my life to happen somehow. Waiting to finally understand how to be a human in the world, and waiting for people to understand and welcome me.
        I’m glad you are showing all the aspects of yourself. If you were constantly smiling and happy, it would be as boring and alienating as you say only happy posts/emails are! If you were only sharing happy things, I would feel less able to connect with you, to relate to what you say. Not that I take delight in the times when you are sad, but I feel more encouraged myself to keep trying even when things are hard. If you were seemingly always happy and positive, I would feel left behind. Because I can’t do that!
        I feel sad and sentimental about the passing of time, about loss opportunities and possibilities, and lost loved ones and friends, but I also feel positive, especially because of your podcast and site, that I can somehow find my “tribe” and belong somewhere. Even if it’s only on line. I claim you as a member of my tribe. I hope that’s okay.

  2. Cassie

    I just wanted to say thank you for saying all the things I’ve been feeling about getting older. I feel like a faded old photo of who I used to be. I have tried to take selfies, but I delete them almost instantly because I don’t recognize that old, fat and wrinkly person as myself. I have been overweight, obese, anorexic or bulimic, orthorexic or a binge eater, yo-yo dieter or food and body image obsessed since age two. I know some of this crap is hereditary, but at age 50 I want all that wasted time back. Now I look and feel like it’s almost too late. I hope not. You inspire me Laurie Dream Weaver not to give up to the despair and self hatred! I want to spend whatever time I have left. My AARP years, following any embers of passion I can find in my cold old soul.

    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Hi Cassie and welcome! I am soooo happy you were brave enough to share your authentic feelings here with me and the other brave companions. Your act is certainly worthy of putting yourself on the bravery report! You, like Suz, Cheryl and many other BCs around here have a striking way with words and I look so forward to hearing more of your thoughts and getting to know you. We may have snow on the roof, as the saying goes, but we also have plenty of fire in the hearth. Xoxo

      1. Cassie

        Oh my gosh. I never thought I would get a reply. My insecurities always get the better of me. I can’t wait to feel more a part of the company of Brave Companions. Thank you all.

        1. Cheryl

          “My AARP years, following any embers of passion I can find in my cold old soul.”

          Lordy! I am SO in the same place, asking myself how do I salvage something for myself after having spent years and years of taking care of a family, working two jobs while his lordship went to school for 18 years, and just generally NOT taking care of myself. The answer may be illusive, but I’m determined to find it!!! So hang in there with me!

  3. Dawny

    I know from experience we are tooo hard on ourselves,
    sending you some ‘selfie’ love laurie

    I can relate as you know of the ‘thinking too much & living too little’ life, and I am harder on myself than anyone would ever be

    I get motivated and inspired by you even when you are being overly critical and/or hard on yourself, because it helps me to realize Im not alone in this crazy place I often take myself

    I hope your able to break free and enjoy your mini-cation,
    I love your list, and the time you spent reflecting on positives, i saw a photo recently with a saying “every day may not be good, but there’s good in every day’ or something to that effect, and it’s so true with the day, AND with ourselves as you found in your ‘list of positive reflection’

    Hope your day becomes more lovely friend

    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Hooray! Thanks for such a great gift Dawny!

      I get motivated and inspired by you even when you are being overly critical and/or hard on yourself, because it helps me to realize Im not alone in this crazy place I often take myself

      Now I can stop worrying about it, as EVEN AT MY WORST, I’m doing good 🙂 xoxoxoxox

      PS, you are ALWAYS one of the best parts of any day 🙂 Off to ride now. The exercise will burn off some of the stress chemicals and it is impossible to feel too blue by the sea.

  4. Stéfanie

    There is not one week where I don’t envy older people. I am 34 and the idea of working for another 30 years just brings me shivers down my spine. When I talk about the hard times with my daughter to my older friends, they laugh at me because they are grand parents now and they enjoy only the good and leave the bad to the parents. What about the 50+ around me, that are done paying the home (or almost), have a cottage, travel, … while I have all these debts…

    So, I totally get you, but from the other side of the spectrum… I guess it’s all about perspective, and that no matter what, the grass sometimes seems greener on the other side.

    Selfies are such a esteem booster when we are feeling good. Selfies are such a pain when we are feeling down. I guess that selfies are a consequence of our mood more than a cause of our mood.

    Sending you loooooove xxxx

    Stéfanie 🙂

      1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

        I love this point Mon Amie! I think, for me, like the “Letting go song”, each selfie I take and have the courage to post (believe you me, there are PLENTY of deleted selfies in the Laurie universe), brings up a new emotion or thought or feeling for me to explore. yesterday’s was my feelings on aging. There is some freedom there from expectation and some sadness there as I realize I am not the same and never will be again. My whole world is different. The songs I love are beyond golden oldies. The furnishings I STILL find cool are dated. The people I once knew are more than half of them passed away. The time rushes so much faster now. My grandma lived to 98 and said her one regret was outliving her entire generation. Now, even though I am FAR from that, I’m starting to understand her statement and feeling. Generation is more than age, it is a fabric of what we went through. the Viet Nam war is very real for me. I was a youngster and this was the first war on TV every night. It was also the first war not supported by the country overall. Yet our boys were still drafted. Many ran to your country and were deemed cowards. I was 10 when man first stepped on the moon. What a wonderful and awesome feeling. I was teaching my class of 4th graders and watching live when the Challenger blew up along with Christa McAuliffe, the first teacher in space. I lived through the assignation of president Kennedy – one of my first memories, the Beatles’ first tour of America, the Brady Bunch on TV when it was shocking to have blended families. All of these and more are things my younger friends can’t relate to.I remember where people did not swear in public let alone in film or TV. When married couples were shown in twin beds, and when sweet 16 was REALLY sweet. But my teenage years were very sex, drugs and rock and roll in the 70s. It was right before we knew what AIDS was. The pill was deemed protection enough against pregnancy, and nobody thought about STDs. Party Hearty was in the air. Though there was a huge divide between disco folk and acid rockers. Our parents from the 40s and 50s were all at sea with kids who acted out in all of these crazy ways. Who could have guessed? And we were tame to what there is today. The wheel keeps turning and the social fabric changes along with us. I guess I’m hoping to do my part to at least change a small social fabric here, where we don’t have shame for how we look or feel. That is something that has been constant for me, Mon Amie. Fat has never, in my lifetime, been anything other than shameful. So I’m happy for the chance to change that for myself. Wow, I am on the memory tangent today! Hugs and Kisses Miss Mom xoxoxoxox

    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Oh Mon Amie, I do remember those days of my 30s and then 40s and how long the years seemed then for me to be where I am today. I am very fortunate that I was able to retire so early, though, as I have written, that had shocking downsides to my identify and mental health. What I DIDN’T appreciate in those days was the energy I had and how capable my body was. You really are in some peak, good years, barring health disaster. It is a good time to climb mountains, go on safari, or your equivalent. Outside of the grandparent issue (which I can’t address, not being a mother), what you really describe is a wish for more freedom financially. This is something Mark and I have always done. And believe me, we have been pretty poor overall. Except for our house, and my convertible which was a case where we unexpectedly HAD to replace a car, we paid and pay cash. If we can’t afford the cash, we don’t buy the thing, or the trip. Now what we DIDN’T buy, used to be smaller items. But for example, most of our furniture is STILL hand-me-downs from our parents and grandparents. When I first moved to Burbank at 31, I paid for my car insurance monthly. Then I realized that I was paying extra for that. I struggled, but saved up the extra money so the next 6 month bill that came, I could pay the entire thing without fees. And every bill we have now we do the same. We also, bit by bit, saved the maximum that we could in the USA for retirement and at 50 we could save extra. Ouch that hurt to pour money there instead of going out as much as our young friends. But we always took a long term view that we wanted financial freedom as soon as possible so we could enjoy retirement with as much health as possible. Now we are different in that we don’t have kids to care for or plan college funds for. We did spend about 10 years as daily caregivers to first my MIL, then my FIL as they grew sick and then passed away. Then I had many years of flying back and forth many times per year to visit my family and care for my own dad. Every trip Mark and I ever managed was a miracle in organization AND spending. Now we are pretty much free as birds, and we appreciate it. But we aren’t the energetic folk we once were. Now besides money worries (can we afford X?) we have energy worries, ( can we DO x?) so it is a different place in life for sure. So if I could go back to my younger self and give MYSELF advice it would be to really be careful of every purchase decision. Like eating, do you REALLY want it? Is it needed? Is it something you will admire or use most days? Or is it a junk, spur or the moment purchase, that just sucks your money away. Save for the big ticket items, like travel to Europe or red convertibles, BUT do consider having adventures right now young self, save some money for that. Older self may not be able to climb that mountain you wish for. Put away for later, pay your bills, and budget for dreams for the near future. That’s my one regret, I put off too many dreams I wanted in order to save the maximum. For example, I always wanted to bike and hike all over New Zealand. That is a long trip. We may get there at this point or not, it is iffy that we have the capacity for the active trip we imagined. I wanted to walk on the great wall of China. Probably not going to happen. For us, we compromise in time and place. Our mini trips to Ventura will probably cost as much as one trip to Hawaii. But with elder cats needing us, and our various health issues, and scheduling issues, this is where our money went this year. Not as grand as Hawaii, not even close to our love of Hawaii. But this is what we can do right now. So Mon Amie, look forward to more freedom when the time comes. It is a wonderful blessing. But also, try hard in your mindfulness journey to appreciate all that you have at your age. I surely wished I had done that. I surely am trying to appreciate what I have today, as I know that this will change. xoxoxoxoxoxo

  5. Shell

    I too think that getting older is not always easy. However, it does have it’s good points. I have felt less pressure now I am middle aged to be slim and well turned out. I think the pressures on young women are really horrendous if they are not perfect. Now I’m older I think that I can dress as I like and even if I was to lose all the weight I’d like, I’m never going to look like a twenty-year-old. My MIL passed away a few weeks ago, she was old and stooped over and like the traditional sweet elderly lady and I felt she was beautiful. I really feel that approaching an older age freed me up and I now am much more content within my body. This is not, however, helping me to stop binging. Sigh! There must be other reasons for that. Right now, not wanting to hoover seems to be enough of an excuse.

    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      I so agree with you Shell. One of the positives of aging is the letting go of attaining the physical ideal. Impossible! So it allowed me to become much more easy on myself. I live in the land of actresses and have walked charity walks next to some of them as well as had the chance to chat with a few. It is so hard on the “beauties” especially, because aging is no respecter of persons. Now great genetics may help, but at 40 you cannot look 20.No matter how much botox, petroleum jelly on the camera lens or soft lighting the film industry does. And fans these days seem so vicious. So disappointed that these ladies cannot be perfect and the same as they were 5, 10, 20 years ago! Crazy! The character ladies have it easier. So having been more of a character lady in my life vs. the leading beauty, I think I may have it easier to age than someone who was always beautiful and considered hot and sexy. Our society’s obsession with such a narrow definition of beauty overlooks the sexy, wonderful people of all ages and sizes. It causes pain, even to the wealthy and famous, as well as to us ordinary folk. And why? When did we decide someone’s physique was more important than their heart and deeds? Heros aren’t known for their killer butts and abs, but for thinking beyond themselves for the good of others. When did we start admiring sports stars more than Doctors and Teachers and Firefighters and people on the front lines? Sigh. Well Shell, I think it isn’t wrong to be beautiful or to strive for health in our bodies, but I sure would like to see our definition expand to include a more realistic view and to spend more energy on the quality of our hearts and actions someday. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on getting older. I’m also very sorry for the loss of your MIL. I love what you said of her. PS, I think hoovering is one of MY binge triggers too.

  6. Cheryl

    Wow, Laurie! Seems like you found a hot button topic with your selfie post. It’s obvious we all have feelings about growing older. I tend to agree with Shell. Now that I’m older I’m not nearly as self-critical of my “image” (if I can call it that without laughing!) as I once was. I don’t think I fear getting older on the outside. It’s possible to age gracefully and look great. Why hide all those lines at the corners of your eyes or smile? They add character and likely mean you’ve laughed a lot. And gray hair? I don’t change my gray. I just have highlights added so they’re still there but blended in.

    I think for me the getting older part that’s hard is the physical, inner workings of the body. No matter how great we may look on the outside, our body can just up and betray us at any moment. That’s why I struggle to make better choices in my eating and exercising.

    At 63 I’ve come to the point where I think I just want my attitude to be the reflection of my heart. Your attitude is a constant inspiration to all of us, no matter what the blazes your selfies look like!

    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Yes, hot buttons abound in this one. I agree with the rest of us “certain age” folk, that one of the blessings of age is that you cannot possibly meet the impossible standards of societal beauty. So what then? As you so eloquently state it,

      No matter how great we may look on the outside, our body can just up and betray us at any moment.

      Now comes the time of functionality and doing our best with what we have as ourselves vs. society’s idea. I wish I had figured this out MUCH sooner, as I would have been MUCH happier. But I’m grateful that I am learning this useful attitude now, as it will make the rest of my life much more interesting to spend my energy on pursuits that are more meaningful and possible. xoxoxox


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