Waxing and Waning: A Crisis of Confidence

Ever have those moments when your self-confidence just dries up and blows away?

When instead of focusing on the myriad of things you can do well, and do do well, you focus instead on what you struggle to do? Or don’t do at all anymore because you suck at that particular thing… and so you gave it up and now you think you should try again because, well, giving up is like failing. Or you look at all the things that you thought you did well, and suddenly they look silly, or trivial, not as important, or essential to the world as the things everybody else you know does well. Suddenly it seems as if what you bring to the table is not of much value.

Do you ever have those crisis of confidence moments?

Photo by Krista Hudson

Maybe you focus on your personal appearance. And all of a sudden, your totally realistic idea of yourself as reasonably attractive, when you put in the effort, is blown clean out of the water. And all you see are the physical attributes on which you’d rather not focus. The fact that you really don’t have a chin, except in certain pictures when you have three too many. Or the creeping weight gain, and the middle-age middle. Or that posture problem, and the small but worrying widow’s hump in your back. Or that spot of thinning hair at the back of your head. And you are catapulted back to pre-puberty days. “Mu-um… why can’t I have boobs like all the other girls? Why am I so skinny? Why is my face so round, and my hair so frizzy?” Except the complaints are now almost the antithesis of what they were when you were thirteen.

Sigh. Do you ever have those moments? Or days? Or weeks?

Yeah. Me too. In fact I’m having one now. I guess I’m still in a funk, but this time I blame Eileen Fisher. Well, not her personally. But that lovely, linen knit Eileen Fisher tunic I bought a couple of months ago. Because as much as I loved it when I bought it, and loved it still the first few times I wore it, suddenly my love for it is waning.

Mostly because I took some really unflattering shots of me in it. And I began to notice that the neckline is not that great on me. Nor the drape of the fabric in the front, which makes me look quite buxom, and top-heavy. Partly that’s because of the bra I have to wear under it, and partly because… that’s the way I am. Top heavy. And quite a bit bigger around the middle than I’d like. And whereas a structured, slim cut top with a bit of fullness in the front can make me forget that my middle-age middle is there… a longer, much fuller top like this makes me look as if I’m trying to hide a stomach. Which of course I am.

I bought the top to go with my black, cropped Rag and Bone pants, but I’m not really liking them together. I think the problem is that the pants are too narrow, in contrast to the fullness of the tunic. Yesterday I tried the top with cropped black leggings. Ha. That look was downright funny. And no I didn’t take a photo. Let’s just say it was an extremely unflattering look. I tried it with my black walking shorts. Nope. Then I settled on my DIY cropped flared white jeans. The slight flare balances out the fullness of the tunic. I don’t hate this outfit. I like it okay, especially when I’m sitting down. But, if the tunic were a bit shorter and a bit narrower, I’d like it better. You know, I should let this be a lesson to myself. Never buy in haste. I threw on the top at Nordstrom, and I love, love, loved it. But I didn’t do my usual thorough analysis. So I’m paying the price. Buy in haste, repent at leisure, I always say. Ha. From now on, at least.
And I’m paying the price alright. Because the shot of me that, looking overly buxom, and round in the middle, and a bit hunched, triggered a full blown crisis of confidence. A total over-reaction. An utterly self-indulgent, absolutely unrealistic response, I know. But that’s me, folks. My self-confidence, which I’ve tried very hard to grow over the years, still fluctuates. Still waxes and wanes. Even at age sixty-one, when you’d think that I’d have it all together, wouldn’t you?
And mostly I do, I think. Most of the time I’m comfortable with who I am and who I’ve become. I know my own worth. I know what I’m good at, and what I’m not. It’s just that some days… well… some days, as my friend Julie always says… I have to dig deep. To find my confidence. To not look in the mirror and despair at how much I’ve changed since my thirties, for instance. To not overreact over those few pounds I put on since last winter, and go on a calorie counting binge which we all know never works. And even works to our detriment, eventually. To not undervalue myself, especially since I’ve retired and I no longer have the constant feedback of the classroom, nor the satisfaction of implementing program with my department, or of successfully solving someone’s problems. Well, except for solving Hubby’s computer issues, or helping him wade through insurance bureaucracy. Some days I dig and dig and there ain’t nothin’ there, my friends. Or not much, anyway.
I know I’m whining. But, putting all my self-critical hyperbole into words and sentences actually feels good. Makes me look at things differently. Makes me feel better. Helps to pull me out of my funk. I mean, it’s been bad the past couple of days. I even asked Hubby yesterday if he thought I should take up golf again. That maybe I had given up too soon. Most of the other women in our circle of friends play golf. He just laughed, “I don’t think you want to do that, Suz.” And of course, he’s right. I hate golf.
Photo by Krista Hudson

I should probably say that my current funk, isn’t entirely down to Eileen Fisher, or my Eileen Fisher tunic, to be precise. Not entirely brought on by that dreadful shot of  me, with all my worst sides showing at once. But partly due to other things in life, not insurance worries, or computer issues, that have me feeling a bit down, and which I don’t really want to get into. And also partly due to some blogging woes, which I’ll tell you about another time, in another post.

And I should also confess that I deleted all the really bad shots of me in this tunic. The worst ones with the boobs, and the stomach, and the hump. Much worse than I look in the shot Krista took above. Krista is a teacher buddy of mine. Well, she’s a principal now, and a really great photographer. We spent an afternoon walking around Manotick in May, yakking and taking photos. And we plan to try the photo shoot thing again this summer. When I will not be wearing my Eileen Fisher tunic.

So what does one do when one is deep into a crisis of confidence, anyway? When the old self image is waning, instead of waxing?

Don’t look at me. I don’t have the answers.

Wait it out maybe. Know that this too shall pass. Give yourself a good shake, and a serious talking to. Remember all the things that you have done that were awesome. Put on a great outfit that makes you look fabulous, do your hair and make-up, and swan up and down the mall knowing that you are fabulous. Perhaps channeling Joanna Lumley in Absolutely Fabulous. Ha. If you see me doing this, you’ll know for sure that I’ve had a bad week.

Or maybe simply write it all down, like I just did. All the hyperbolic, self-critical, nonsense  and then read it over and chuckle ruefully, knowing that whether we’re thirty-one or sixty-one, we’re still really thirteen… deep inside.

P.S. Please don’t read this post as a plea for compliments. As I said. I’m good. Really. But just in case, I think I’ll put some lipstick on, pour myself a glass of champagne, and maybe watch a few videos of Absolutely Fabulous on You Tube.

What do you do when you find your self-confidence waning instead of waxing?


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72 thoughts on “Waxing and Waning: A Crisis of Confidence”

  1. Just please don't try gargling with perfume! Hahaha. Yeah, we've all been there and I think the Lumley Fix is as good as any. And writing it down, which you do so well.

  2. I'm glad it's not just me . I can see what you mean about the tunic as I feel the same in loose tunics . I'm 5 foot 5 inches ( & shrinking ) with a long body but short legs & I look like a box tottering around in tunics like that . I guess we all have to come to terms with the changes of age ( including being more forgetful ) & most days I do . But of course you still look great in your photos . I used to be happy to have photos taken too , these days hubby has to snap the dogs – they are much prettier .
    I'm sorry you have some worries just now , hope you find some solutions .
    Wendy in York

    1. Thanks, Wendy. We're all battling body changes of one kind or another, eh? I'm usually pretty sanguine about aging. But I sometimes get tired of the relentless, empty, almost manic, exuberance on the net. The pictures of prancing, grinning aging people which are supposed to be inspiring, I guess. But which sometimes just piss me off. Akkkk. I am feeling cranky this week. Might be the relentless rain, and dark days. We had a hail storm the other night like neither of us has ever seen. It almost completely destroyed Stu's vegetable garden. Such a shame because he puts so much work into his gardening. Must go do something cheerful, now. Baking muffins and then eating them while reading a good book, maybe:)

  3. You know you're not alone, don't you Sue? Like probably most out there, I share all of those physical gripes, except that my thinning patch is at the front (even more reason to grump!).
    I used to suffer badly from PMD, so when I go through one of these grumps I tell myself I'm depressed because it's "that time of the month", for it feels like the old cycle stays with us, even ten years on in my case. Something more to grump about.
    Maybe that's where you are, as a suggestion.
    When my granddaughter was about 3 and in an uncharacteristic bad mood after moaning about a few gripes, she announced "… AND I don't like Daddy Teddy". Now, we knew that she really adored Daddy Teddy, he was her favourite out of all our soft toys. So we knew it was one of those times when no matter how good things are, she was not going to feel happy.
    I tell you this little story as it put things in perspective for me (out of the mouths of babes eh?). It's a self-survival tool I use. So now when I'm feeling negative about just about everything and a bit weepy if it's really bad, I warn my hubby that "I don't like Daddy Teddy" and he knows that it would be wise to diplomatically tread on eggshells for the foreseeable. And that puts my grump in perspective.
    As I learned over time through the PMDs, I have to totally throw myself into the grump, use up all those nasty negative hormones quickly, get my hormonal balance back in equilibrium and then get back on track with my life. And like Daddy Teddy again.
    I suggest that with your EF tunic, Sue, you may have just found your Daddy Teddy!

    1. Yep. I do know that I'm not alone. Nice to hear it though, instead of having people try to jolly me out of my funk. Or make me feel that I'm so lucky I shouldn't be in a funk…which I already know and which just makes me feel guilty for not being cheerful all the time.
      Love that story about your grand daughter. That's how I felt too…. like a cranky three year old:) Or like my PMS-ing self from many years ago. How I miss being able to blame these funks on that convenient excuse! Or on menopause, which I am well over. But both PMS and menopause still feel like they are very much with me every once in a while. I just need a new name for my Daddy Teddy/Eileen Fisher moments.

  4. Oh my goodness you made me feel terrible. I've got everything you hate about yourself staring me in the face. Hadn't concentrated on it all. It now that you have so beautifully articulated all my faults I think I'll just hide under the covers.

  5. Go ahead with the lipstick, champagne and Ab Fab …I'll join you! I could have written this …you're describing how I'm feeling at the moment perfectly and more eloquently than I could! Why oh why do we allow ourselves to experience these feelings? I tried a dress on a couple of days ago ..It felt amazing, fitted, …perfect below the knee length …below the elbow sleeves, perfect scooped neckline …think "Mad Men " 🙂 Have to wear it with heels! Thought it looked so good I couldn't believe it so I tried it on again … omg! I saw frumpy …big bum and boobs! Totally "matronly" How did my perception change in a matter of hours!?
    Interestingly my son, who I trust implicitly for his eye for style and honesty said he really liked me in it …much better than the one I've bought for my daughters wedding!!
    Take care Sue and have a good weekend. Sorry things aren't great at the moment …
    ps I know you said no need for compliments but I can't believe you've changed that much from a year ago when you looked really great!

    1. I know you'll also identify with this…. it's been non-stop frizzing hair weather for days and days!!!
      Funny how when we look one way we see one thing, and then look again and see something totally different. I've often found that my mirror at home reflects something totally different than mirrors at my destination, where ever that is… when it's too late to change my outfit!

    2. That makes so much sense, Greetje! It explains why the same clothing can look fabulous one day and just awful (as in "how did I ever think I looked good in this?") the next day. It's my perception.

  6. I think you can blame Eileen Fisher. I've been avoiding her tops because of the overly generous cut in favor of tops that hint at a waist or can be worn with a great belt. And I've been thinking about taking up golf again too. Good thing it's been raining every day!

  7. So first I think you look fabulous. I try to hide my middle aged middle with larger looser tops also. And I catch myself with bad posture blah blah blah. I'm wishing I could shed inches (plural) off my waist and at least one inch off my hips. Dang. But I really can't wear anything too fitted anymore because I think it accentuates my bulges. So I still wear EF and love her–but I have bought pieces that I realized didn't suit me. I've even bought the wrong size! My problem is that I'm not as active as I should be. Everything you said in this blog I feel about myself too. Gosh all we can do is try, right? I hope you pull out of your funk soon.

    1. You are right… all we can do is try. And know that the funk generally dissipates, eventually. Unless one is clinically depressed, which is a whole other much more serious thing, obviously. But I just wanted to say to everyone that although I only post my best photos… there are those others that I delete which are as much the reality as the better ones. And sometimes it's hard to only focus on the positive. Doesn't mean we don't know there are positives…just that we're having a bit of a wallow, like Mary says above. Giving into the negativity, and then getting over it.

  8. I adore your blog. Always an intelligent perspective and fun as well! Donate the top. Every time you wear or look at it, it makes you feel diminished. It does not deserve a place in your wardrobe and you will never miss it. I have started to keep a list of the clothes that I release with the reason they didn't work for me noted. Then I am reminded to avoid items with those same characteristics on future shopping trips!

    1. Thanks so much Holly. I may well, give that top away. To a good teacher friend of mine who is much younger, raising small children, and who said she admired the top in the first post where I used it, then clicked on the link and "had a coronary." I think she'd really appreciate it!

    2. Totally concur with Holly's approach – if something makes you feel bad, remove it from your life (if you can). So definitely donate the top – I see what you mean about it not being particularly flattering to your body type and it's definitely not worth the negative vibes you're always going to get from it. And how great to know it will make someone else happy!
      And there's certainly no reason to dress in something that detracts from your best self when you have so many beautiful clothes that let your best self shine – you've figured out your formula and you wear it well. I do understand the temptation to deviate for something new and different though. Which is why I also love Holly's other idea of making a note of the reason a piece of clothing didn't work so as to not make the mistake a second time. I'm going to use that!
      Hope the funk passes over soon. Nothing like writing it down for catharsis, eh? Oh, and your line about not really having a chin, except in certain pictures when you have three too many made me hoot aloud. Well done, you, for summing up what so many of us are experiencing. — Catbird Farm

  9. I firmly blame the tunic! I have an Eileen Fisher linen knit top that was fine (and flattering, I thought) when I bought it, but I liked it less with subsequent wearings, then realized…the sleeves were getting longer (gorilla-length!)…the body was getting bigger…hand washed and blocked, nope…after a good machine wash and bake in the dryer, it is now a throw-over-pajamas-to-feed the-cats-on-a-chilly-morning top.

    Take care.

    1. Thank-you … not sure why I didn't remember when I bought it that so many of EF tops look like crap on me. It's the neckline and the drapey-ness. I like your idea. If I don't give it away, it might just become a travel top… for long car trips … comfortable and covering me in my leggings.

    2. Would tailoring help the length and the fullness?

      I was in a funk earlier this evening while trying to find something to wear out to dinner with friends. My bottoms were too tight in the waist. I no longer like the short-sleeved crew neck sweaters that I wore before I retired from teaching. Guess I'm still trying to find my retirement look that hides my big bust, muffin top, and bat wings! I feel your pain!

    3. I just retired all my short sleeved tees that cling to my middle. They were a staple in my wardrobe for years..but I haven't worn them for two or three years…so off to the Sally Ann they go!

  10. I think you look great, and I always enjoy your blog. Thanks for articulating how I've felt from time to time about myself and about purchases that seemed great at the time but turned out to be not so great.

  11. And this is why I so enjoy your blog. We've all been there, but some won't admit it. As for the Eileen Fisher top – I have the same issues. A boatneck/bateau neck, which is a style the brand features a lot, is not flattering for me, for all of the reasons you lament. I've purchased my share and finally started walking around the hole instead of falling into it (or should I say dumping my cash into it) again. So, I look for round or crew necks and still buy Eileen almost exclusively. That said, I had "pinned" the photo of you wearing the tunic when you first featured it on your blog. I was inspired – it looked adorable on you. Go figure, right? Thanks for keeping it real. From another late bloomer.

  12. When I try on a tunic top it always makes me look and feel quite matronly. I think, at age 63, that that is what I am trying to overcome when I get dressed each morning for the day. All parts of the body now hang lower and tunic tops simply DO NOT help imho.

  13. There are moments like this in every life- when we feel like H.C. Andersen's evil troll had made all our mirrors (in The Snow Queen)),where all the good and beautiful aspects fail to reflect….
    After a long time corticosteroid therapy,all I can see in my mirror is a hamster-like person,similar to me. And ,together with all the stress lately,a lot of pounds around my waist.
    Here's the truth: you are apsolutly fabulous lady,Sue,with beautiful hair,face,long legs….I never noticed anything wrong around your middle,or everywhere else…..So, I second Rosie,champagne and a little pampering for a couple of days.
    Put the tunic in the closet for a while,try it after couple of weeks and if you don't like it,get rid of it
    There are some things that simply don't feel right
    Take care (and champagne!)

    1. Thanks for your kind and generous words, Dottoressa. Corticosteroid therapy can play hell with your self-image, can't it. I have a friend who has the same issues. Hard to battle illness and self doubt at the same time, I imagine.

  14. Actually I like you in the top, more so without the scarf actually. This post brings to mind the column on Macron's wife: a photo – which may or may not be accurate – bringing in a slew of comments, in her case by others, in this case by yourself. It also brings up the issue of sartorially graceful aging, which no longer exists in our social class, group, whatever. Maybe even as one stays healthy and vigorous, certain changes have to be accepted. Once upon a time clothing stores such as Saks catered to normally aging bodies and that was good. Maybe there's too much pressure now. More thoughts of general funk for later, maybe, my issues there are not brought up by appearance but rather by the notion of general competence, different from my emphasis here.

    1. Ohhh that scarf was such a mistake. Waaay too drapey on me. And adding so much volume on top of my skinny legs which is not a good look.
      And you're right, even when we stay healthy and active there are challenges and things that have to be accepted.

  15. Hi Sue
    I love this blog and all the comments ladies. How to keep it real! 🙂 It doesn't matter what our age our insecurities always pop up!!
    I use the same quote as you…"this too shall pass".
    Today I'm going to see the new Sam Elliott movie and chow down some buttered popcorn (which I can regret later ) to get rid of these rainy day blues. I know the sun will shine in a couple days!
    Happy Canada Day!

    1. Rainy day blues is right, Robin! Had my popcorn, with a glass of white wine, last night while watching a PVR'd Masterpiece Mystery.

  16. Great post. Sometimes one little thing (tunic) is the tipping point when you are on the verge of self doubt. We females are a complicated bunch! Luckily it will pass and you will once again feel like the fabulous confident you.
    I am not sure if the tunic can be modified by your tailor but I know the lady who does some tailoring for me does all kinds of wonders even with sweaters. (Just a thought)
    Thank you Suz from Vancouver

    1. Thanks, Suz. I thought I might look at hemming the tunic. At least pin it up to see how it looks. Might make it look like a tutu… but then again I'm experienced at creating those… as I discussed in an earlier post.

  17. Read this last night and loved the way it expressed what I feel from time to time (too often!), but was too tired to comment. Now I'm back, and I see how many of us feel the same way.
    I think what I like most about the post is that you don't try rigorously to find solutions — other than AbFab with champagne and lipstick! — but instead acknowledge the feeling. I'm not sure it can't be solved by lengthening or shortening or accessorising or replacing the garments that come between us and the world. Sometimes, no matter what we're wearing, we recognise our naked selves, ageing, with all their faults, edging toward, well, you know. . . . And if that's not f***ing uncomfortable, confidence/happiness-sapping, then we're not human, right? I mean, fine, it might not be Lear's "unaccommodated man" but it kinda is, too, isn't it? Existential 'r'us, some days. . . .
    And on that note. . . . Happy Canada Day tomorrow, eh? xo

    1. Thanks, Frances. I knew you would understand. Definitely a Lear moment… "is [wo]man no more than this?" And it was raining to beat the band when I wrote this … not unlike the blasted heath:)

  18. This is a good post. Read it with compassion, understanding and … recognised everything. I have a similar top in blue/green from Hope (UK). One of my friends says it looks matronly on me, but I think with skinnies and high heels it is not that bad. Another trick is to wear a heavy satin top of equal shape underneath it. To smooth the bulges.
    More drastic… I had the extra centimeters on my waist liposucked, being very fed up with the bulging. I have to warn: there is always a risk with an operation and I heel very quickly. But it was the answer for me. Took half an hour to an hour. No pain and result after 4 to 6 weeks (when the swelling is gone). And it stays away.
    As for your mood: yes it will pass and yes it might still be hormones like in the old days. Perhaps you want to find something else to do (instead of golf) to give you satisfaction? Just a thought. I am 63 and will be retiring in two years. My plan is to offer my skills (communication/advertising) to start-up companies who wouldn't be able to afford a professional. Especially start-ups I really like. Already found one in shoe design who is interested ?.
    Can this give you an idea?

    1. Thank-you, Greetje. That is a really great idea for retiring professionals. My friend's husband is doing that and loving it. But I don't really want to do anything for which I am qualified… i.e. teaching. Instead I'd like to see if my skills can be applied to a new area of endeavour. Like writing or blogging… or something. I'm still looking.

  19. I've been lurking for a while and your last two posts have finally compelled me to write. At 60, I too feel I should have it all together, which only makes me feel worse when I'm having a crises of confidence or am in a funk. It does help to know others feel this way too. I've had similar problems with knit tunics; they just don't maintain their shape after a few washings.

    1. I know! And as I said in an earlier comment… I can't blame my loss of verve on PMS or menopause or work stress. It's just me being me, I guess.

  20. Thank you for your honesty. I see you as this tall woman with awesome style and do not see any of these "flaws" you see! I was really surprised to read your thoughts. I understand and try and encourage younger women when they start picking apart their looks. I am a shorty so tunics and such don't work as well. Hang in there and thank you for sharing.

    1. Ah thanks, Christa. Me too, wrt the encouragement. Although for me it was always with my female students. They needed to know they shouldn't be so hard on themselves… but also that women of every age have some form of self-doubt at times.

  21. I so relate to all you have written. The changes in my aging body are discouraging. And when I do drop a few pounds, it seems I end up with a smaller, yet still frustrating, version of the aging body. I'm becoming squishy. Ha! I also have to REALLY think about EF clothing, as certain of her pieces really look awful on me. This week I donated three of them (boxy linen that has stretched, etc.) that I reluctantly had to admit I never wear regardless of the lost investment. Every time I put them on and look in a mirror, I change to something else. I have a few tops and some pants of hers that I love, but a long tunic is a challenge in itself, brand notwithstanding. Like you, I think they cling in the wrong places (boobs/bum) and skim over the smaller parts. They're SO comfy, though. 🙂

    This weather is enough to give anyone a funk. Honestly, I'm just over the rain.

  22. Whenever I find myself feeling like this I try to think that in 5 or 10 years I will look back on these photos of myself and wonder why I was complaining.

    I personally don't care for EF because I don't find it flatters my figure at all. The models look fine wearing it, but that's about it.


  23. Part of the problem, I think, is that we are now bombarded more than ever with unrealistic images online of people claiming "I woke up this way" when in fact "this way" took hours, a professional photographer, two assistants and some photoshopping. On that note, this article made me laugh and I thought you might get a kick out of it too. Laughter is the best medicine, right? https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2017/jun/30/the-model-world-of-instagram-parody-star-celeste-barber-in-pictures. -Catbird Farm

  24. The last three ideas are the best, I think. Sometimes we are so busy doing, doing, doing – especially for others – that we simply run ourselves out of power. I think that is what has happened to you. And yes – we all have those bloody Eileen Fisher tunic moments. Clothes you once loved and then: why the hell am I wearing a sack??!! The best bet is to put it away until a sunnier mood and you will love it again. If I feel like this – and I do, from time to time, usually on the back of some upsetting event that has passed – I hunker. Turn stuff off, stay in, watch favourite films or read comforting books, have long baths and generally act like an animal licking its wounds. And say to myself, over and over again: comparison is the thief of joy. Or, like Elizabeth I as she waited to be queen: Time will pass. Chin(s) up. All will be well.

    1. The comparison thing is hard isn't it? We can read all the cheery quotes and inspirational posters we want on Facebook… but you gotta feel it for it to be real. And some days…that isn't happening. And hunkering down might be the best thing.

  25. It's just a bad buy. There are many things we love, but not everything we love is good for us. Just think chocolate, wine, steak, you get the idea. When ever a piece makes feel you blur, you don't like how you look in it, get rid of it immediately. It's better to cut your losses and give the piece to charity. There are women out there who will look just great in that piece. Enjoy seeing them in it and you in something that makes you feel good. Another thing is that life changes all the time and hence your wardrobe changes with your life changes. May be you just go thru such a phase right now. Regarding golf, you are too young for it. For slimming your middle start belly dancing or when you can talk your hubby into it salsa dancing.

    1. Funny thing is that this top was a change for me. I tried to branch out and should have stuck with my better instincts. Thanks for the suggestions. Hubby salsa dancing would be a stretch though. Better that we stick with our cycling:)

  26. This is a totally (well, not really…) outside the box comment but when I'm feeling this way, for whatever reason, I go swimming! Now, we do have a fabulous outdoor pool here in my village with three dedicated lap lanes and it's open May-Oct. So off I go for 30 minutes of what I call "my zen moment." I am not a swimmer! I don't really like the water! And never if I can't touch. But this is warm, and 4 to 5 feet, and I swim slowly with my goggles and breath and relax and think and hear my own body. I always, without fail, come home feeling better. So, just a suggestion!

    1. Thanks for that, Libby. A lovely outdoor pool would be wonderful… although I'm only comfortable when I can touch bottom too. I would have gone for solitary walks with my i-pod to help my mood if we hadn't had rain every day.

  27. WE have all been there!! And of course to my eyes you look perfectly delightful in that EF tunic. I see nothing but your good fashion sense and your fabulous self. But you're talking about the bald spot in the back of MY hair, right? : > We are all too hard on ourselves and we all need a hug and a sip of champagne. xox


  28. I just want to say brava for the post, to share how you felt. You're such an attractive woman period, that throw in the 61 and it's like, whoa, won the lottery! But I know, these things are personal, and what matters now is how you FEEL, not some external standard.

  29. I'm sure you have already considered this idea and discarded it, but….I had a similar problem with a shift-type casual dress that was gifted to me. I loved the dress but after a few wears I felt it did not flatter me. I took it to an excellent seamstress and she shortened it a tad and fitted it more to my body and voila, it is now my "go-to" dress.

  30. I think as we enter each "season" in life, we need time to get used to who we have become. I was lucky in my 40's…still looked in my 30's. But now that I'm early 50's, the change is real. It took a bit of time to accept the "new" me with some sagging parts here & there etc. But you know what? Who cares! We are lucky to be aging as gracefully as we are. Bring it on!!

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