Monday, March 26, 2018

Long Time Gone


I've been quiet (at least on the blog) for some time now. Reasons why...two moves (one 1000 miles) a new job, a new city.

This article about friendship popped up in my email today and I thought I would share. Friendship

My pictures this time either.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Kindness | My 2018 "One Little Word"

For the past several years I've started each year off with identifying one word to put energy into during the year. The impetus for doing this comes from Ali Edwards.

For 2018, kindness is my chosen word. I've no idea where my kindness journey will take me. Perhaps you'll come along for the ride.

Engage was my word for 2017. I roughly defined it as "being present; engaging fully in whatever I was doing. In being kind to myself, I am not going to pass judgement on whether I was successful in the engage endeavor. I do believe it is a good word and good practice.

Looking Back

One of my "goals" for 2016 was to rename and rebrand Soudain Soixante. Due to needing some external "tech" support, that project remains unfinished. I am disappointed that there were only two posts during the year. Inspiration to write did not come easy in 2017. No guarantees are offered for either the renaming/rebranding of the blog, nor the numbers of posts that may be written as we move into 2018.

I hope you will continue to check in and to read whatever posts may come. If you are a subscriber, many thanks. If you have found this blog and wish to subscribe, the link to do so is on the top right of the page.

Best wishes to you in 2018.


Saturday, May 13, 2017

Hopeless Romantic!

The New View
Do you have memories linked to music? I sure do. So many songs take me back in time to people and places.  And every time I hear Luke Bryan sing "Play It Again", (Listen Here) I am reminded that I've never tired of wanting to hear certain songs over and over again.

This week I've become somewhat obsessed with "Something Just Like This" by The Chainsmokers and ColdPlay (Listen Here). Love the lyric (which is usually what I connect to with songs):

I'm not looking for somebody with superhuman gifts
Some superhero
Some fairytale bliss
Just something I can turn to
Somebody I can kiss

Yep...a hopeless romantic who hasn't been on a date since (wait for it)...September of 2016. (Did I tell you the long-distance relationship ended?) Not dating made and likely still makes much I need to work on, no need to add dating to the chaos...on the other hand if Mr. Right should magically appear...I'm open. 

Here are a couple of other updates since I've not been active lately here.

The Baby Blanket
After living in an expensive, yet marginal apartment from March '16 - October '16 I moved into a great little condo (less expensive, larger and with a killer view)! 

In January, I traveled to Denver just in time to welcome Grandbaby #2, another girl! I tease that I hope to have her blanket finished by the time she graduates from high school, when actually, I think it will be completed later this weekend.

The sun is out today, which is great.  What a soggy, wet, record-breaking winter we have had here in Seattle. 


Photos are mine, please ask me before using!

Sunday, May 7, 2017


Lost Items
It is a little over two years since I learned I was being laid off from a job. A five minute conversation that changed my life in ways I could not have imagined. Between then and now I've experienced selling my home (a "choice" by force), participated in the "benefit" programs of state unemployment and healthcare, held a minimum wage job, applied for more jobs than I can count, moved three times in thirteen months, experienced sadness, anger, resentment, depression, isolation, fear, confusion, anxiety; and perhaps most importantly, I have never felt this lost before. I have and am allowing the transition to define me.

Back in October '16 the "universe" spoke to me, twice through articles. I imagine the "universe" may  speak to me more often and that I "can't-don't-won't" listen. Two articles appeared to me during one week about feeling lost. As I considered the Nine Necessary Connections I realized how great the loss has been. I lost the connection to my means of support (financial and in some ways emotional), to place (my home and work), to a group (work colleagues and to a small extent neighbors), to information & knowledge (learning how to negotiate my way through the public welfare system was no easy or pleasant task), meaningful role (my job), and connection to a significant person (many of my work friendships were lost). That is six of the nine connections!

My losses beg so many questions. Will I ever find/have/hold a job again that feeds me intellectually, professionally and financially? Will I be able to find an apartment that I can make a home, and how long will that last given that rental units are generally not "forever" homes? Will I find a sense of belonging/peace/serenity again? Will I once again feel secure in my ability to take care of myself?Will I ever feel "found" rather than "lost".

These articles each suggest a reframe. To consider myself "in between" rather than "lost" as I seek my future? To see this as opportunity, to give up the map I have forged a route on and become open to creativity, exploration and adventure. To use this time to process. To consider repurposing.

The advice from these articles:


Stop the Distractions. Live in the silence and the space.

Notice the Signs

Have Faith. Don't Lose Hope.

Life is a journey. It is easy to become "lost in the in between" and hard not to ask where am I? Am I there yet? Am I taking the right steps?

Do I still feel lost? At times, yes. However I can also say that I am in between where I was and where I am going. This isn't a journey I had any intention of taking especially in my 60's, however it is where I am.


PHOTO: Was taken by me, please don't use without asking. Thanks!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Friendship | Reciprocity

The idea of whether or not friendships should be based on or require reciprocity has been on my mind lately and apparently on the minds of some of my friends as evidenced by this quote from a recent "newsfeed".

“My biggest mistake is thinking that people care for me as much as I do about them.”

As I am prone to do, I spent some time browsing the Internet for perspectives on reciprocity in relationships. Themes that popped up included: spirit of cooperation, understanding of and ability to embrace interdependence (loved that one!), the cost-balance reward, fair exchange, mutual exchange, equity in transactions, investments and mutual benefits. Turns out that actually interacting with each other is important…it matters.  Like so very many things in life showing up is key.

As someone with a more “introverted” than “extroverted” personality type, I am really not wired to be an acquaintance or casual friend. I believe I benefit from a few close friendships and desire to make a significant investment in and act in a manner that I hope will be mutually rewarding.  However, I’ve experienced some of the challenges that may befall our friendships.  Many of these appear to be related to changes that naturally occur throughout our lives.

  • Workplace relationships may not evolve into sustainable personal friendships
  • As we evolve over time our friendships change as well, we either embrace the growth or not
  • Changes in our intimate or partner relationships such as divorce or a new partner can present challenges to our friendships
  • Our mobile lifestyles may create physical distance between us
  • Life status changes such marriage, divorce, children, empty nest, etc., often leave us feeling a loss of our shared experience
  • The use (overuse?) of social media, while it is easy and positive to click on "like" or an emoji, it doesn't seem to constitute  meaningful communication
  • When one of us feels there isn't reciprocity in the relationship, which generally means we feel we are giving more and trying harder, and not receiving enough back
What might we do to support, sustain and grow our friendships?
  • Let's look for fair or mutual exchange over time, rather than keeping score
  • Let's model positive regard and recognize that friendships like all relationships require work and commitment
  • Let's each embrace that the more we give the more we get
  • Let's give and receive self-disclosure, being genuine and unconditional in both
As written about HERE, when we don’t have significant people in our lives, we are challenged to find or satisfy all our other connections.


Photos were all taken by me, please don't use without asking!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Happy Birthday|With Questions On Empathy

Here's the deal. I turned 62 on August 12th. It was a standard day for me. I woke up, did the usual morning routine. Then I checked Facebook. What!?! No b-day posts from my friends? But seven of my FB friends have messaged me. Eventually it dawns on me that my privacy settings do not allow anyone, even friends to post to my page. So, I changed my settings.Went to work. My colleagues didn't know it was my birthday. At the end of the day, 38 friends have posted b-day wishes to my FB page. Truly fun! All of my friends wished me a great day and/or a wonderful year ahead. Perfectly appropriate. I am truly grateful that my friends want me to be happy. My son sends me this text "Happy Birthday momma" and my heart melts. My daughter sends a text that reads " Happy birthday. It's been a long day. Can I call you tomorrow.?" Dinner was a salad accompanied by Prosecco. Then I binge-watched "Married at First Sight". In the overall scheme of things, it was an okay b-day.

However as the day wore on, I realized that I want more and not necessarily cake, ice cream, cards, balloons, flowers or presents (although those would have been enjoyed). So to quote the Spice Girls from their song "Wannabe" "I'll tell you what I want, what I really, really want". I want friends who know me and are willing and able to connect with me in person, via a message, an email, a text, even a post...and acknowledge that they know me; that they see me; that they get me. Essentially this communication may require a level of empathy and self-awareness that is hard to come by. 
"Empathy is the ability to understand how someone else is feeling. Showing empathy is one of the most important traits in building and maintaining relationships. Empathy allows others to feel understood and cared for. It can strengthen an already existing friendship and help forge a new one". 
In my fantasy I would like to hear something like this:

Happy Birthday my friend. I know that as you turn 62 your life hasn't turned out the way you hoped, dreamed or planned. This past year has been hard for you. I know that you are grateful for many things and experience joy every single your children, in your grandchild, in the beauty that surrounds you and in the photographs you take. And I also know that you are often lonely. That you long for a loving, committed relationship. That you have a small family and wish that you weren't so far away or distant. That you crave close, even intimate relationships with a few significant people. My birthday wish for you is that you find that. I know this is your wish as well. I love you for who you are and embrace your fortitude and courage in continuing to have hope and chase those dreams. Be well my friend. I love you.

It's asking a lot. I know. It is a special and unique relationship that can allow this level of communication. There has to be deep knowledge of each other and tremendous trust. It is a rare relationship that would allow the incredible intimacy of such a statement.

In our politically correct culture, this is difficult. Are we afraid to be vulnerable? Do we know how to hold emotion? Our own, let alone someone else's? If we acknowledge another's feelings, do we have to do the same for ourselves?  Is the action of communicating empathically a marker of real connection, true friendship? 

"See me. Feel me. Touch me. Heal Me". From Christmas, by The Who


Photos in this post were taken by me!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Divorce | The Post I Experienced Yet Couldn't Write

Good morning! Today is Tuesday, May 17th! I woke up to this article 10 Things To Know About Your Newly Divorced Friend. I am no longer newly divorced. In fact, we separated in 1994 and divorced in 1996. Do the math. All told, it's been 22 years. The date my divorce was finalized is etched in my mind like the birthdays of my children.

This article captures (unfortunately) an accurate portrait of my experience, and likely the experience of others. 22 years later, it's nice to know I wasn't then nor am I alone now in experiencing these things. Divorce is hard, those of us who do divorce lose much more than our spouse. Some of the "10 things" may never go away.

I'm not writing a long post today just sharing this article. If you know someone who is divorcing or divorced, please read this article.

I hope you make today a great day! I know I will!