There comes a time in a person’s life when one needs to assess how we are being in the world. I, for one, have recently come to an understanding that, like flowers in a garden, my friendships need careful tending on a regular basis and perhaps I have been lacking in that regard.
In looking at how I interact (or not) with those who are dearest to me, I see that I have not been keeping up with those I care about most in the world -- to make sure I know what is going on in their lives and to ensure that they know how extremely important they are to me. I thank my best friend, Kari, for that important insight and pledge hereafter to be a better, more engaged friend to all the people who enrich my life so much. The revelation has made me realize that I often stumble along in life, not really knowing how to be in the world.
To commemorate my newfound awareness and to celebrate the first briskly cool day of September, I donned an amazing sweater yesterday by Michael Simon which was in a box of cast-off clothing sent to me by Kari’s mom, Joyce, in Spokane. The brightly hued cardigan displays a repeated pattern of identical women’s faces, each wearing their hair in a 1960s "Marlo Thomas flip". Yet, upon close inspection, one sees that no two of the knitted faces are the same. There are dark, medium and light-skinned women depicted across the color-blocked front, each with different hair, eye and lip color and varying adornments in their hair. Even the eye-shadow color varies from face to face in the configuration. The design is a masterful depiction of diversity, yet it symbolizes, for me, that despite our distinct personalities, we women are alike in our universal desire to be accepted -- and acknowledged by those we care about.
I paired the colorful top with vintage black "travel" slacks by JCPenney which I’ve owned since the 1970s, high-heeled platform sandals by City Streets, an orange beaded bracelet I picked up in the Bahamas last October and hoop earrings from Fire & Ice Jewelers of Baltimore (www.fireandice.com). In my hair I added an adornment of my own, a brand new Dea Dread from Thea Osato (http://etsy.DeaDreads.com) that I got from the talented designer last week.
|Me with Cydney Piesto celebrating her 40-pound weight loss|
In further celebration of the power of friendship, I stopped by the pharmacy on my way home from a day of research at the Library of Congress to publicly acknowledge one of the most enthusiastic fans of my blog, Cydney Piesto, who recently lost 40 pounds and is on her way to transforming her physique in the same way I transformed mine last year. A pharmacy technician for 36 years, Cyd has spent the past 17 years working at the supermarket where I fill my prescriptions. With her 22-year-old son, Blake, off studying hospitality management at Stratford University and her 18-year-old severely autistic son, Chase, newly enrolled at Benedictine, a boarding school for the developmentally disabled, Cyd has decided to recommit herself to taking care of … Cyd. Having spent the past eighteen years looking after all of Chase's needs, Cyd didn’t have any time or energy to take care of herself. Now, she says, she is all about losing weight and getting herself in shape for whatever adventures in life await her and Darryl, her husband of 23 years.
|Cyd, now forty pounds lighter!|
|Cyd with her husband, Darryl, before losing weight|
Saying that I was the inspiration for her decision to improve her health and fitness, Cyd has paid me a great honor as the impetus for creating a wonderful, healthy new lifestyle for herself. She says she feels fabulous and full of energy and is primed to lose another 30 pounds. It goes to show you that Kari is right. When we take care to nurture our friendships, the garden of girl power blossoms afull.