V: Can you first share a little bit about yourself?
L: I am an entrepreneur at heart, although I have yet to score a home run. Entrepreneurship runs in my family and my husband is an entrepreneur as well. Currently I am preparing to launch a natural, ready-made, multi-grain food product that does not exist on the market. It is a bigger leap than I have taken before and has a much larger learning curve. My background though is in sweater design, which I did corporately for almost seventeen years. I also write about embracing aging, instead of dreading it on my blog called Lines of Beauty. I encourage women to age naturally and enjoy the process. I am also a mom to two college age daughters, and I swim competitively on a masters swim team.
V: You have a blog called Lines of Beauty- a blog about aging gracefully, one beautiful wrinkle at a time. What made you start this blog, what was the though behind it?
L: I had the idea for Lines of Beauty after watching a documentary about photographer Annie Leibovitz called Life Through A Lens. What struck me about the film were her shots of older people. Once again I noticed how beautiful they are.This led me again to thinking about all the anti-aging stuff that is happening in our culture, which led me on a search on the internet to find someone who is talking about the beauty of aging. I found hardly anyone. I discovered some good articles, but not a blog whose primary focus is the celebration of aging. This was all on the tail of reaching midlife myself and hearing women around me discuss all sorts of anti-aging remedies. The conversations just didn’t resonate with me. I frequently say that we all have a different tape running through our heads about everything in life and my tape, for whatever reason, is encouraging me to let my face line naturally.
V: Someone (wise) said these words: beauty is an inner job! What thoughts comes to your mind while reading these words?
L: Beauty is an inside job, especially the older we become. To me there isn’t anything more beautiful than an aging woman who is still confident and happy, and realizes how fortunate
she is to be able to grow older. Beauty radiates from her because she is at peace with where she is in the cycle of life. Gratitude makes us all glow no matter how old we are.
V: Like you i have always had a fondness for older people. i spent a lot of time together with both of my grandmothers and this has formed me a lot as a women. They learned me many things that i highly treasure: for example practical things like knitting and baking bread but also their wisdom about life. My oldest friend is 70 (i am 37) and we often laugh about the fact that we never think about the age diffference unless someone else reminds us of it : ) When you grew up were you sourrounded by some older people that have formed you as a person and do you have some close friends that are a lot older then you?
L: Longevity runs in my family and because of this I have been blessed with being able to see the beauty of aging up close. Both of my maternal grandparents lived into their mid-90s and my mom’s two cousins, whom I was close to, both lived to 101. Being the youngest of 5 children, by a long stretch, I have spent my whole life looking up to people older than myself. My siblings are all between the ages of 59-65 and some of my friends are older as well. When I attend parties I am drawn to talking with older people far more than someone my age or younger. I like to hear of how they have navigated through life.
V: You have written these words at your blog: "I’ve always thought that older faces are beautiful. Etched with an amazing patina of wrinkles, they are a work of art. I think that aging is incredible and I hope that someday as a culture we will grow to understand this a little more.. It seems that all the messages in our media are about the glorification of youth. It’s all about how to look younger, how to chase our youth. Hardly anyone is talking about the beauty of aging. No one is talking about what a gift it is it to allow ourselves to be right where we are supposed to be."
I LOVE these words Louise! And i know that MANY women around my own age also feels this way. i think the last sentence is essentail for women of all age groups: the gift there is to be right where we are supposed to be...
Do you have some thoughts to share about how we can manage to be more at peace and okay with allowing ourselves to be right where we are supposed to be in our life?
L: I think that if it doesn’t come naturally it’s something that we have to consciously help ourselves along with. There are so many outside sources in the media, such as advertising especially, that can so easily steer us away from our core and from listening to our inner voice about what is really important to us in our lives. I was fortunate to have had parents that were very laid back and allowed me to be myself for the most part. I think that part of who I am is this gift that I received from them. Aside from this I think that allowing ourselves to be right where we are suppose to be comes from trusting ourselves and being a little selfish about what our needs are in order to be content and at peace. We all know what we secretly desire.
V: Would you tell us about "the annex" and the importance of it?
L: An annex is somewhere where we can go in our lives that brings us peace and strength. A place where we can sing or yell from the roof tops. Where we do not have to be good. And where, most importantly, we can find ourselves, amidst this crazy, mixed-up, wonderful world. I have written a post about the annex on my blog.
V: What would you have told your younger self?
L: To not worry about what other people think, and to follow my heart and intuition. Our intuition never lies. Also to remember to change the channel when worry sets in. I think when we worry about something it brings strength to it, instead of dissipating the likelihood that it will happen. What we think about, we become.
V: What inspires you?
-When people do what they are afraid to do.
-When people think/work creatively, outside the box.
-My mom. She is 90 years old, and she cracked a few ribs when she broke someone else’s fall this past March, and was very disabled by it. Since then she has not only recuperated, but moved 8 hours from her home to a retirement community near me, made new friends, and, is now swimming, doing tai chi, and has regained her strength. Every day she inspires me.
V: What is your favorite book and why?
L: The Thornbirds. I think I loved this book for the same reason that I love my favorite movie, Antonia’s Line, which is about five generations of Dutch women. Although the book and the movie have totally different storylines, they both cover the full spectrum of life and the human condition with wonderful detail.
V: Do you have a favourite quote...some words that means something special for you?
L: I think it would have to be “Do what you are afraid to do.” I don’t know who said it but if there is any quote that brings optimism and refreshes our outlook on life, this has to be it.
V: What are you most happy about with yourself and in your life right now?
L: I think everything in my life stems from my fitness level, which I feel very good about.
Everything flows from it and this includes my happiness. I am also grateful for
my marriage, which is an ongoing project on intimacy and daily living. Tom and I have been married for almost 25 years. I am also happy about my children who will both be out in the world on their own next week at college and traveling on a gap year. I am happy that they have strong foundations and good inner compasses with which to navigate life with. In closing, I am happy that I have the inner confidence to always choose the best thing for myself, whatever it is that comes my way.
V: Last, do you have some words of wisdom that you will like to share with us fellow women?
L: Be your own best friend. I have someone watching over me, and that someone is myself. No one else knows me as well, can take as good care of me, and can lead me in the direction that I want to go better than myself. First and foremost take care of yourself. I know personally from having had an eating disorder 30 years ago what this means. Living healthfully is key to happiness. When I see people not taking care of themselves they appear injured to me. They don’t realize how much better we feel when we take care of ourselves. Exercising 3 times a week can for many be as beneficial as taking antidepressants and has a slew of other benefits. Being fit vs. not fit is like night and day.
All photo by Robyn Ivy,
thank you so much for allowing me to use them!
All photo by Robyn Ivy,
thank you so much for allowing me to use them!