Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.~Groucho Marx
If I had one word, to sum up, this week it would be the word ‘Time.’ Just this morning I shared the above quote to social media but before doing so I had to read it three times before I ‘got it.’ The first time I read it I was like huh? What does that even mean? The second time I read it I’m like but bananas don’t fly. Thankfully on the third round, it was so ridiculously hilarious to me my reaction was overkill. What made it even funnier is I thoroughly detest fruit flies, like I’m obsessed over their purpose and why they creep me out but I digress.
A few days ago I celebrated my 59th birthday and it was the best one in recent memory. I was feeling so good, I shared a post with a line that said: “Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along.” There goes that word Time again. This line is from the chorus of I Hope You Dance by Lee Ann Womack and I simply wished everyone that given the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance. I finished the post with “As long as you’re still on the clock anything is possible.”
Time Spent On My Big Day
My birthday began with the arrival of a small parcel a few days earlier. In my continual effort to make my life simpler by downsizing, I’ve persisted in discouraging gifts so I was pleasantly surprised to find in my small package CDs of Pema Chödrön’s “Coming Closer to Ourselves: Making Everything the Path of Awakening.” What made this gift so special was I dared greatly this summer by showing up and being present which put me on a path to self-discovery. In the past few weeks, I’ve learned more about myself than I have in all my combined years of being on this earth.
Learning about the importance of vulnerability and shame resilience in Brené Brown’s books “The Gifts of Imperfection” and “Daring Greatly” were a great segue way to “Coming Closer to Ourselves.” What was even better was the overlap in themes from these books and I couldn’t wait to dive into my newest acquisition.
The second gift was with whom I chose to spend my day. Several weeks prior, a producer/filmmaker from The Grotto Network contacted me to see if I’d be interested in sharing my story about Bold Blind Beauty. After a few email exchanges and a followup video conference meeting with Tony, we agreed to film on my birthday. Tony would fly into Pittsburgh from New York in the morning and we would meet up to begin filming.
I was so excited yet scared-silly to be the focus of a video, my armpits were itching. Even though I’ve been vulnerable for years by sharing my story here on Bold Blind Beauty, for me, this was taking it to another level and I wasn’t sure I could pull it off.
Lights Camera Action
From the moment I met Tony in person, he had the sweetest disposition. He even brought me a surprise birthday gift: Kenyan coffee!!
In preparation for the filming, I had a blog post ready to be published some of which was captured and I’m hopeful it makes it into the final cut. It was so gratifying to share my thoughts on the mission of Bold Blind Beauty and most especially how I feel about beauty, empowerment and making the world more inclusive. Sadly, try as I might, I won’t ever be able to remember some of my more powerful comments as my memory is practically nonexistent.
A couple of topics I do recall had to do with simplification, organization, and perfection. While sight loss is a challenging experience to go through, I know without a doubt that being organized was a huge bonus for me. When you take a systematic approach to life most things fall into place. When your eyesight begins to deteriorate so much of your being is focused on being present. The simplest things like misplaced objects can trigger a panic attack.
Panic attacks arent only reserved for misplaced items. They can be triggered when my senses are overwhelmed like in large, noisy crowds. Or in situations where I’m in a familiar location like a store, mall, etc. and one-second I’m fine only to feel lost and disoriented the next moment.
Creating and sustaining a simple lifestyle by living with less brings me joy. Now that I’ve also begun the process of restructuring how I work I feel even more joyful. Reclaiming My Life by putting boundaries in place is a critical piece to this process.
Letting Go Of Perfection
For a large portion of my life, I strived so hard for perfection it was an obsession. Today, not so much. My recent journey to self-discovery and choosing to live a wholehearted life doesn’t leave any room for perfection—thank goodness!
One of my favorite parts of the filming process was when Tony asked me questions about beauty while I was putting on my makeup. As a youngster, my grandmother instilled in me the idea that real beauty had nothing to do with appearance. When we talk about people and real beauty, for me, its more about substance and authenticity. The problem is we live in a culture where there is so much pretense it seems like people struggle with being themselves. Lord knows I’ve struggled mightily with the whole illusion of perfection and I’ve had enough.
For me, I’m finding it easier to draw back, disconnect, and discover myself by doing those things that are meaningful to me. It may not be the trendy thing to do but I feel like my sanity is returning and I really enjoy my quiet moments. Doing and being my best is enough.
Overall, my birthday was fantabulous!! Even though Tony recorded several hours worth of content the final video will only be 2-1/2 minutes in length. I give kudos to all you filmmakers out there because it’s got to be very difficult combing through everything you’ve recorded only to scrap most of it. Thank you, Tony, for sharing my big day with me shooting my story! I’m honored that you chose to spend it with me. While an actress I will never be this was great fun!
I’ve been taking a long look at how I spend my time and as a result, am restructuring how I approach my life/work. Meaningful connection is important to me which is why I’m putting boundaries in place to allow for real engagement. Becoming more mindful of my intentions and subsequent actions will, I hope, be helpful for myself and others. This weekend will be my third without social media and I’m hoping I can continue the practice.
Have a fabulous weekend everyone!
- The featured image is a movie clapperboard. Next to “Production”, it says “Steph’s Big Day” for “Producer” it says “Tony” then the date is “9/10/19”
- A photo of the Pema Chödrön’s “Coming Closer to Ourselves: Making Everything the Path of Awakening” CD case.
- Colorful Kenyan bag of Java House Coffee.
- Tony is sitting on my couch holding the bag of coffee.