The Ladies Room Door Art Series: Part Twenty-seven

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Doors, glorious doors!

Kathy sent the door above from Paleohora, Crete.

Below, from my cousin Erin’s recent trip to Korea, a Hello Kitty door!

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From Erika and Brian, a bathroom door at an outdoor mall in Huntington Beach, California.

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Becka sent this from Centre Furnace Mansion in State College, Pennsylvania.

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From Carey, the Auto Spa in Cockysville, Maryland. Let’s hear it for creativity at car washes! These are my kind of people.

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From Candace, The Dairy Godmother in Alexandria, Virginia. What a fun name for a store that serves frozen custard and other treats.

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And a simple but funky sign from Candace’s trip to Dallas, Texas.

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From Louise’s friend Chamai, who photographed these doors on a recent visit to Thailand, her homeland. Those are some frisky doors!

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Jean send these doors that a friend found in Iceland.

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Phew! What a set of creative doors! Thank you one and all.

Margaret: Posing Boldly

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This huge painting by Alivia Moe stopped me in my tracks (it’s four feet by six feet) at the Hillsborough Arts Council Gallery. The exhibit featured the work of local teen artists.

I was intrigued by that bottom!

I stepped closer to read the artist’s statement. Alivia writes about her subject: “I couldn’t believe that Margaret, a seventy-five-year-old woman, would pose naked for a group of adolescents. I couldn’t imagine doing this myself at that age. She was bold.”

The art class was studying the concept of distortion, and Alivia chose to exaggerate Margaret’s bottom. Then she discovered something: “It turned out that distorting Margaret’s butt portrayed her confidence without my knowing.”

Alivia concludes her statement:”I want viewers of this piece to be both intrigued by its beauty but feel a bit uncomfortable. I believe that pieces like this are beautiful but hard to look at or accept.”

I sometimes turn and look at my own bottom in the mirror. While I gotta say, it’s nowhere near the size of Margaret’s in the painting, I do wonder about body issues as I age. I’m with Alivia. I love that Margaret was willing to pose for an art class.

But what I love even more than Margaret’s boldness, is Alivia’s thinking. Hooray for young women who understand the powers of body image. And hooray for young women artists. Alivia, may you rock the art world with boldness and joy. Thanks for sharing your painting!

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Alivia Moe writes about herself: I will be attending The School Of The Art Institute Of Chicago Fall 2016.  My art has been exhibited at the Hillsborough Library and The Hillsborough Arts Council along with works by my classmates. My first solo show took place at Joe Van Gogh in Chapel Hill. Art has been my passion since I could draw. Art is my voice, my power, and it has shaped who I am today.

I have created works that range from sculpture and painting; charcoal, pencil and pen; collage as well as digital photography. My body of work has progressed through several different phases, but is unified by the contrast between the inner and outer self, interpretations of beauty, self-perceptions as individuals; and society’s impact on our identity as peoples.

My Cancer Story: Two Years

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Barbara Before Surgery

It’s been two years this summer since my surgery for endometrial cancer. I look happy in this pre-surgery picture, and in many ways, I was. What I call “Cancer Courage” had set in. And I felt quite loved by Cliff  and my friends and my church that day and well taken care of by the medical world

After the surgery, I was happier still. The pathology news was great–early stage cancer and no further treatments.

But as happy as I was then and am now, cancer changes you. You cross a line. The line for me is that I now live in fear of recurrence. The stats say this cancer should not return, but I’m on daily alert for blood, the sign it’s back. The blood worry has gotten better, which my oncologist said it would, but it lives with me always.

If you know a cancer survivor, treat your friend to a movie or an ice cream cone or a glass of wine.I can promise you that unless he or she is an off-the-charts optimist, your friend worries too. I now understand what a cancer check means. I go every six months and hold my breath until the doctor says, “Looks good.” Then I treat myself to an ice cream cone.

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I’m now an advocate for endometrial cancer awareness, and I share resources I find. A few weeks ago I came across this excellent brochure produced by the Foundation for Women’s Cancer. 

I’ve dedicated a page on Friend for the Ride to endometrial cancer. You can visit it here. Please share this page on your social media sites. Let’s spread the word! Thanks!

Life Reimagined: My Experience – Part One

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My Life Map

I’m exploring Life Reimagined, a program sponsored by AARP.

Reevaluating my life is one of my favorite projects. With a move coming up, it’s time to think about what’s new, what’s ahead. When the folks at Life Reimagined invited me to try the program and blog about it, I said yes. You’re invited to try it too!

Here’s part of the description they sent me:

 An online, subscription-based service, Life Reimagined helps millions of Americans explore, dream, and plan for what’s next in life. Fueled by a coalition of experts who are on the cutting edge of their fields, the personalized platform provides a place where people can go to discover what is meaningful to them, navigate life’s crossroads, and find new possibilities. It’s able to connect to users via multiple touch points, to keep you constantly inspired along your path.
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You can learn lots more on their website. Some of the services are free; others require a fee.

My first task was to create my LifeMap. You play a card sorting game and end up with a brief purpose statement. See mine at the very top of this post. I was surprised, when finished, that it rings so true. It’s me!

Next, the program creates a colorful visual mosaic of your purpose statement. This is your LifeMap. You can print it out, if you like, to inspire you. You can doodle on your LifeMap and add notes.

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Next, dive in. There are activities,quizzes, and articles related to three areas of life: Well-being, Work, and Relationships. Here’s a chart I downloaded from the Relationships section.

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I read a lot of psychology and self-help, and I think the Life Reimagined articles are excellent. This is my favorite thus far, on decluttering as you work on emotional clutter: A Seven-Day Emotional De-clutter

And here’s a fascinating article on  psychological development in later life. Seems the thinking has changed.The old model had folks settling in, calming down, preparing to leave the world. No more. Experts are finding that many people don’t want to settle down at all. Bring on the new life!

The Life Imagined program is based around this book: Life Reimagined: Discovering Your New Life Possibilities, written by Richard J. Leider and Alan M. Webber. A fast read with plenty of insights.

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Life Reimagined offered me four hours of coaching services as part of their compensation for blogging about the program.Here’s an article that explores reasons for working with a life coach.

I looked through the list of coaches and chose to contact Christine Ryan. You can talk with your coach by a video or telephone. I picked the telephone.

Christine is friendly, encouraging, and a listener. I spent a lot of the call introducing myself and my challenges of recent years. Looking ahead, for now I want to focus on two issues.

Number One: The move from my home of thirty years to a brand new house just three blocks away. Here are some of the treasures coming with us. (Note: The TWO turntables are Cliff’s and the heavy boxes contain his collection of American Flyer trains, which I hope he’ll set up for the grandchildren. But I got to admit, plenty of the boxes in our new garage are mine.)

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Number Two: I also want to talk to Christine about my writing career. Despite success in earlier years, I’m having trouble getting my children’s books published, even though I love writing for kids. Meanwhile, blogging and health writing are going well. Time to make a switch and give up the frustrations of so many rejections in the children’s book field? But do you give up something you love?

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Toward the end of the call, Christine and I discussed my purpose statement and how I can use it to reimagine my years to come.

What’s so easy about working with a life coach through Life Reimagined is you speak right from your own home.

 

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As Christine and I talked about my purpose statement, I realized that most important to me right now is to be content. “Content” is not a word I’ve given a lot of thought to, but it was one of the options in the card game, and it ended up being one of my final selections. Official definition is “a state of peaceful happiness.” My definition of content doesn’t necessarily mean”calm” or “ease,” but in the years ahead, I want to energetically find a type of peace I may not have experienced in my earlier years. Christine suggested I begin by working through the activities on Live Reimagined under the “content” section. Will do!

I decorated a notebook to use as I talk to Christine and as I explore Life Reimagined. My mom created the giraffe and a great-aunt painted the sailboat seventy years ago. Am I sailing ahead into a breezy future spotted with happiness and creativity? Hope so!

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I’m digging into Life Reimagined and having a wonderful, meaningful time. More posts to come.

Your turn: Life Reimagined is offering Friend for the Ride readers two weeks of free Life Reimagined services and thirty minutes of coaching. Follow the link here.

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