I wrote this essay five days before my mother died on Christmas morning. I was with her through her last hours and the moment of her death, a profound experience. I thank you so much for your comments as I have written about waiting for this moment, which gave me great comfort.
I am sharing this post with you today as a way of also letting you in on some other important news, for which you have had a large part in making happen. These two announcements are so indicative of the nature of life in general and older life in particular in that we are always presented with challenges and opportunities. How we meet them is a test of who we are and who we might become.
I wish you a healthy and meaningful year ahead and look forward to hearing more about your plans, dreams, and hopes for 2022.
“If rest is another dimension, which I think it is, I think the more we go there, the more we’re going to wake up.” Tricia Hersey.
This week we approach the Winter Solstice. In fact, today is the day before, the shortest day of the year. For many animals and wildlife, it begins a time of dormancy and hibernation. It’s a time where animals are in complete harmony with their environment. They let go into it, grow furrier coats, lower their body temperatures, and conserve metabolic energy. They productively use waste, breathe more slowly, and are very creative in how they spend their resources. Conversely, humans go to great lengths to control our environment during the winter months; turning on the heat, making a fire, bundling up in warm clothes, or heading to warmer climes.
During the last six weeks, I’ve gained weight, been doing a great deal of eating, slacking off on my yoga practice and the healthy routine I set for myself. I try new beauty products at the expense of self-care. I have zero motivation to take photos of myself or post them. I don’t want to engage in social media and I can’t make myself do it. I’ve declined every invitation to events, preferring to remain at home and focus on tasks that make it more our own and more comfortable. I’m a social media person who does not want to be social. I’ve been very hard on myself about these behaviors. I don’t like how I look. I won’t even allow the grace of giving myself a break because my mother is dying.
The work I thought I had done when it comes to idealized standards of beauty, self-acceptance, how I define “productive” and good health is coming into the stillness and telling me you are not done yet. Not related to my age, they have been issues in all periods of my life, starting in adolescence. While insight may bloom for a time through therapy, or writing, other non-verbal modes of expression, or becoming an Accidental Icon, after periods of dormancy, these issues tend to re-emerge at different points in our lives in a new form that we must observe, cultivate and tend to again. We are constructed by the times we live through and so the deconstructing process can never end. In each phase of the human lifespan, these concerns are always the same, but different. They will keep appearing to become new growth during times we stop long enough to let the shoots poke through the ground and not get trampled by our ever forward-moving feet,
There are things that animals do in autumn to prepare for hibernation. Bears go through a time of excessive eating known as hyperphagia. This allows them to conserve energy during hibernation by providing stores of fat and protein. They also build, dig, or find a den. Dens can be in caves, trees, underwater falls, or re-claimed abandoned ones that a bear makes their own. Essentially they seek a safe space. For the female bear, during this hibernation time, in this space, she will give birth to and nurture her baby cubs. Even though the mating season occurs during the summer, the fertilized eggs will remain in her womb but will not attach until hibernation begins.
Reading about these autumn behaviors that occur in the natural world makes me less judgmental about my own that mirror them. It provides a different way to think about and understand them. I used to always tell my students that I placed a high premium on writing because writing helps you to think. When I write about something I read or about an article of clothing, there is usually a question implicated or a desire to understand involved. While writing, I always discover something I never knew before. Writing does indeed help you think. It also helps you to know in a much deeper way than you knew before.
I completed something very important to me this summer. It took me a long time to do. It was a struggle; it was hard and I almost quit, in fact, I did for a short while. In June, I decided once again to commit and this time what I produced was “fertilized” and became real. I have held it close through the fall. The need to prepare a space that is mine, to free myself from the distraction of social media so I can lean in, to have plenty of internal resources to draw upon, to let go of the past and allow room for the future are all things that are necessary to nurture my “cub”. My behaviors this autumn makes sense when placed in this frame. I am so much kinder to myself from this realization. I look in the mirror, apply some clean ingredient moisturizer and see myself as I really am. I’m satisfied. I practice my yoga again so my body may be strong and healthy, not to be pleasing for others to see. I share moments with new friends and old; ones that are more intimate than “events” and allow me to experience deep connections. I keep close to nature so she may continue to share her secrets and I can adapt to her soothing rhythms. I take a brief ramble outside my house to stretch and change position. I realize I am the same, but different.
So I am so happy to share the following news! I’m writing a book!
Your support, encouragement, and sharing of your life and experience through the comments make this site so much more than if it was just me sharing mine. You have given me confidence in my writing ability which has helped me embrace a dream deferred. I truly feel a part of an incredible community and for that, I am deeply grateful.
What are you preparing for in the new year?
I get this completely. am in a similar place of realization. Lost mom and my mother-in-law in 9 weeks this summer and that is enough to throw one into hibernation! yet, we need to care for our exhaustion to be able to wake up and try again. Blessings!
I am so glad for you. You are a voice that needs to be heard.
Good luck on your newest endeavor
So excited to buy your book and hope you have a book tour that takes you to the Houston, Texas area so I can have you sign my copy. As for what I am preparing for the new year is to slow down, take a few road trips and stop in small towns, eat at the local cafe, and take a paper map to guide me along the backroads. I still keep a paper calendar as well. 🙂
I look forward to reading your book. I am currently laid up after having a knee replacement. So I am hibernating in my own way.
Hi, I find your blogs always inspirational to me. Losing a parent can be hard. I lost my Mom to Dementia a few years back. In fact, I lost my dad 5 months right after my mom’s death. It was hard for me to losing both parents within 5 months of each other. Glad I was retired and was able to spend at least a year and a half with them before they passed. I am looking forward to reading your book and if you happen to come to Virginia, or the Washington D.C. area I would love for you to sign my copy of the book.
Congrats on the future book. Life is a cycle, I love the hibernation time to go inward. When it rains or snows and you have to stay in i feel more create. Working on my art, cooking or redecorating my space happens when there are no outside distractions. Creative energy blooms in stillness. Enjoy your hibernation, looking forward to the book.
Beautiful all the way around!
I’m 67….I am at a sticky crossroads.
What do I want? It’s not a rhetorical question it’s my real life…what do I want? I am ready to read your book for some help in trying to map out the rest of this year, then the next and the next. Will it be productive? Or will it be an excuse for not fulfilling potential, goals or dreams.
Thank you for another beautifully written essay. I am a 62 yr old academic (who loves fashion) —- your writing speaks to me on so many levels. We are moving to Greece this year and I will be taking students to ancient sites. I am grateful for what is happening even at this stage of life.
Your thoughtfulness is inspiring. I’m am letting myself hibernate. I’ve started meditating and napping regularly. It is winter, I’m storing energy so I can blossom in the spring.
Your writing resonates with the Ancient Celtic Calendar
The Winter Solistice is behind us and we look forward to Imbolg, the early February festival of awakening
I also wanted to add……so sorry about your loss!
I lost my beloved mother to COVID on March 16th 2021. She was 46 days shy of her 101st birthday. I was with her at the end as well. She actually left NYU’s covid unit but spent the last 3 or so weeks of her life at two different nursing facilities in Manhattan. We thought for sure she had beat covid and would make it home but one morning, she stopped breathing. Obviously, Covid weakened her entire system. It is a life changing loss!
I have decided to go for my masters in adult education
So apropos to read of hibernation during this month of January in San Miguel de Allende.
I found your essay thought provoking, enjoyable to read and so helpful. I recognised in your descriptions some of my own less than helpful behaviours, frequently redundant self-criticism and lack of self-care! Thank you for sharing your thoughts, ideas and reflections. Here’s to being less judgmental of ourselves. Good luck with your book.
You go! Good for you. Let’s hope the hibernation ends.
I can so relate to your recent experience with your mother – mine died on Christmas Day, 2003. She was 93 years old, of firm mind to the end, but her body gave out after a series of strokes. The gift she gave me? Permission to say “enough is enough” to the doctors and nurses who would have kept her alive. After the second-to-the-last stroke, she made it clear to all who came near her that she was done with medical procedures, that should another stroke follow (one did), she wanted to stay in her own room and be comfortable to a natural ending.
I’m preparing to jump back into the world with travel, which I love. When my dad passed away many decades ago – he was actually one year away from retiring – we found an envelope of cash in the safety deposit box marked “for travel when I retire.” He never got to use that, never got to buy the Airstream trailer he wanted.
I’ve decided that covid or no covid, I’m getting back to doing what I love while the fates allow. If I have to scrounge for a 72-hour covid test to get on the plane or a rapid test at the airport to fly back home, it’s a small inconvenience compared to feeling locked up in the house. I’ll wear my N95 mask and social distance as much as possible and meet the requirements where I’m headed, but I’m going. This year: Puerto Rico, Alaska, Door County, Utah, northern Italy and a Mediterranean cruise. I refuse to die with “for when covid goes away” on an envelope in my safe.
Lyn, Happy New Year! I stumbled across you online. I can’t which site but am happy I did.
This year focusing on my deferred idea of blogging consistently is a goal.
I know there is a lot to learn and experience, however, I’m up for the challenge. I am in the infancy stage and am excited about the growth that will transpire.
Congratulations on the birth of your book. I will be first in line to purchase and savor reading it. I never understood aging and failed to have a solid role model for the process yet here I am. Every phase is a new path that I enjoy, but I become surprised as I fail to find a road map for this life journey. The career has been achieved, the financial planning is secure, the children are successful in their own right, and I am no longer an angry young woman trying to prove and make a place in the world. The hibernation that we have all endured these past two years has aided in a reframing regarding identity and passions at this time in the world. I sincerely appreciate sharing this journey with you and your fellow readers. Thank you all.
Thank you for your honesty. It is very affirming to read an admission from someone we admire for their intellect, forward thinking and creativity that they have periods when matching knowledge to feeling is tough for them also. Intellectually I embrace ageing and the changes it brings to my body. However we are currently in the middle of a very hot summer and I live a 13 minute walk from a beach which I didn’t swim at at all last year. Why? Because of shame – shame over my heavily varicose veined legs. It took some time for me to work through the various options and settle into the knowledge that it was in fact shame and, as such, had its origins outside of my own psyche but rather originates in societal pressures.
I’m happy to say I’ve now had several swims this summer with my 66 year old body still in a bikini and my veins on full display. Is it comfortable? No, I haven’t come that far yet. Is my discomfort an acceptable price to pay for the coolness of water on my skin and the feeling of bliss I have in the water? Absolutely.
It’s such a long and convoluted journey from knowing something at an intellectual level to knowing it at a spirit level and we need to allow ourselves our detours and missteps along the way.
My condolences on the death of your mother Lyn. I sat with my father through his final days and appreciate what a monumental experience this is. Be gentle with yourself ❤️
I get strength when I read great writing as such here. Thank You.
What Leon said… True for me, too!
To serve, receive, and embrace… “I’m satisfied”… peace.
Beautiful! Thank you.
After living in and getting to know our home of three years, we’ve decided what and how we want to remodel. Unfortunately, due to the current state of affairs with shipping, shortages, the great resignation and all of this coupled with COVID, it’s almost impossible to hire anyone. If you are able to find them, they’re backlogged a good 6 months plus. If get anything done in 2022, I’ll feel very accomplished.
Happy New Year! First, I’d like to extend my condolences to you in regards to your mother’s passing away. I also lost my mother in 2021, May to be exact. I encourage you to take as long as you need for your grief and healing.
One goal I have for this year is to get back into all my hobbies. I gave up everything I loved because of my grief. Now that I feel the worst part of it has been overcome, I’m ready to ger back to taking care of me. All the best to you this year!
I was with both my Mother and Grandmother when they died. It was a time of mixed emotions between sorrow and just wanting to be their “little girl” again. I suppose this was the time when I knew I had to grow up really and embrace the adult I had become.
I am just so sorry you lost your Mom on Christmas morning. It is hard when we lose loved ones on a holiday or special day as every year it seems a cruel reminder.
Be good to yourself Lyn
Lyn, I am so sorry about your mother. No matter how old we are, losing our mother is always a major event in our own life and a brush with the reality of mortality. I look forward to reading every blog you post and will definitely buy your book. Be well in 2022.
Oh my! This hit me as I am mourning the loss of my Dog this week. Although not a parent, and I mean no disrespect, I read parallels in your blog to what I am suffering this week and year ahead. Thank you for making me see and understand the waves of grief I am feeling. Sending you positive thoughts for your continued healing journey.
Bonne chance xxxx
That is awesome news! You will bring humor, dignity and wisdom to the aging process. Congratulations and great success.
I am so sorry to hear about your Mother. I am glad you got to be with her at the end. Good Luck with your book project!
I enjoy your writing — it is thought provoking, open ended, and generous. It creates a desire in me to sit down with my own writing. Thank you for writing and sharing.
I love where you went in this essay. Connecting with the natural world is so necessary. I look forward to reading your book.
I turned 80 on December 15 and you’re the only person who doesn’t make me feel like it’s the end of the world. On that day I also picked up the results of my x-rays and discovered that I have lung problems. Over the holidays I decided that should it be something fatal I am not going to go through treatment. I am ready to go.
Liebe Gina Danke für deine grosse Offenheit und deinen Mut, wie du schreibst: Etwas Tödlichem nicht durch eine Behandlung zu begegnen.
Unserer Körper bereitet uns die Reise vor, die wir alle vor uns haben. Wir wissen nicht, wohin sie führt, wie lange sie dauert, was wir mitnehmen müssen, was uns unterwegs begegnet? Und doch sind wir Vorbild für alle, die nach uns kommen. Du hast alle Ressourcen für diese Reise in dir, auch wenn sie nur in ein Basislager führen sollte und nicht zum Gipfel. Herzlich verbunden Rena
I read comments and usually am glad I didn’t add my own, as my emotional expressions are so limited to cliches. Everyone says it better, but I’m 77, wondering what’s ahead, and your situation touched me. I send you my very best wishes. May there be no big problem and a happiness for the gift of more days.
Gina, My heart wishes you peace in however many years you have remaining. May you keep a positive attitude and continue to love all that life offers. Mariann
I am sorry for your pain that ebbs and flows upon the loss of your mother. I know this pain though your pain and mine are different. Grieving is not for the faint of heart. It is hard work. Be who you can be today and again tomorrow…forever changed.
As I look forward to your book I think of your writing and how it is part of your journey. The journey that consists of yes, where we have been, but now solely of this moment, this time, this day. Have hope anew for the next dawn of today.
This was such a wonderful read for me today…and so relatable.
I feel (thru you) an affirmation to “let go”, and “let it be”…
What will come, is welcome…I will let Providence determine what the future brings.
This was on a card when my mother died many years ago:
“I wish you sweet dreams of your mother
where she’s radiant with happiness …
and you are, too,
at being together again,
where you can touch her
and she strokes your hair,
and the two of you talk
about anything and everything.
I wish you sweet dreams of your mother,
where your longing to have her near is fulfilled.
And when you awaken,
you can still feel her touch,
and it makes you feel loved all day.”
I wish Peace for you and yours after learning just now that your Mother went home to Heaven…And Christmas . God rest her soul in peace. Its the nature of life. I admire your love and respect for nature. I like your style of writing as well. Sometimes life evolves into very intense situations and we are not sure we will make it out but we do! Later on you reflect , by all rights with pride(all of us),and this too will give you peace. Guess it is true… the same but different. Be kind to yourself, from my vantage point you are a very good daughter!
Congratulations on your upcoming book! I am looking forward to reading it. As far as 2022 goes, I look forward to creating new designs in my little fashion studio from various second hand items I’ve been harvesting the past few years. Making more clothes for myself 2022 and I’m so looking forward to this. Continuing my knit wears and my face mask factory is still open as we enter our 3rd year of the pandemic.
❣️❣️❣️👏👏👏👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻❣️❣️❣️ So thrilled to hear your news about the book. Turning around the hibernation and grief into your beautiful words will be such a gift to us!
You are a marvelous inspiration! Thank you for your honesty and clarity. It is great to be alive in this world, the only one we know. God has blessed us with your voice! peace, karen
As always, thank you. Your essays have been so serendipitous and meaningful to this 70+ human. Looking forward to your book.
This book comes as no surprise. I FEEL BAD ABOUT MY NECK was read in one sitting and I was happy to see it referenced by the publisher. I passed that book on to a friend who never spoke to me again afterwards! Maybe it hit too close to her eating/exercise disorder, elective surgical procedures and obsession with all things cosmetically beautiful for her to see the humor? It is so liberating to accept aging gracefully and I know you’ll get this right. We all need support in letting nature be, well, nature. Go, Lyn!
Congratulations on your book deal! I love that you keep growing and learning. Condolences, too, on the loss of your mother. I can tell you that the first year will be the most difficult, but that you will get through it, of course.
Excellent news! I enjoy your posts and blog. Always thought provoking. I find comfort & strength in your words. I feel that I’m stumbling through this stage of my life, a little lost as I come to terms with aging, the loss of my dad almost 3 yrs ago & the role of “parenting” my remaining parent my mom.
I’ve been thinking about you and looking forward to your post. Writing. Yes!!! I often have found myself that way. As we move into 2022, I am grateful for this site and I am happy to bring you into my new year. Blessings to you.
What am I preparing for ? speaking less listening more ! Listening to you is easy ..Thank you for your gift
OH WONDERFUL!!! I have been reading your posts almost since the beginning..SO thrilled you have written a book! Thank you deeply. It is perfectly timed. I just talked to a close friend today about the seeds in the earth, and the growing of the shoot…and that we cannot go backwards in growth..but offshoots send us all kinds of places! I am eating warm applesauce (a winter comfort) while reading this…with a hint of sugar and cinnamon…and your words are an all season comfort for those of us gracefully moving into the annual flowering again…or spring, and new insights into life as our leaves and roots mature.
Lynn, I so resonate with you and especially your recent experiences with self-care and your mother passing. I too, was with my mom when she passed at 92yrs., 5 years ago. It was an amazing experience. A musician with Hospice was there. As I lay on mom’s bed, cradling her, (she was not responsive then), the young woman played ” Sentimental Journey” on her guitar and sang…..it was the most incredible experience. She left after a few more songs, and within the hour, mom passed. So grateful am I.
I have always been a fashionista with no money, so I am always on the hunt for clothes at consignment or Goodwill or wherever, TJ Maxx, any sale or clearance rack. I have found many treasure over the years. I love your style and that you have left the city and are experiencing the marvels of nature and a new house. I also resonate with your comments about eating and gaining weight. The past two months were my 7oth birthday, Thanksgiving and Christmas, of course. I love to eat and I just haven’t stopped. And I have such a sweet tooth, to boot! I used to take two barre classes a week and yoga, but with covid, that came to a halt. All I have been doing is walking my dog.
I am SO looking forward to your book and the inspiration that it/you will give me…….
I think hibernation is just fine. We had a week of being snowed in here in Olympia, Washington, an event that rarely happens. It was fine being in front of the fireplace drinking tea and either reading or knitting. For the first time ever, I did not have cabin fever. I think, perhaps, the covid epidemic has changed my mind about the benefits of slowing down and just enjoying a quieter, simpler life. Exercise and wiser eating will always come back. Just enjoy today. I enjoy reading your writing and I also think you have never looked so beautiful.
I also live in Olympia and experienced the snow week recently. It made me realize I didn’t “need” to do anything or go anywhere. We enjoyed fires in the wood stove, a jigsaw puzzle, reading and relaxing in our home. Covid has changed my perspective and helped me to enjoy retirement rather than worrying about what I “should” be doing.
Kathy, I so agree!
I would just like to say, I am so very sorry, to hear of your loss.
Your essay on Hibernation was very inspirational, and I very much look forward to buying a copy of your book, when it is published.
Welcome back. I understand your break from Social Media. I too took a break. I needed silence. The noise was interfering with my need for some deeper thought. I am enjoying this season of my life. With acceptance I have renewed the joy that comes from quiet slower shorter days.
This winter I am doing some much needed deep cleaning. In this season of my life I am much slower but within that slower pace comes memories that pop up with the stuff I am dealing with.
I am looking forward to your book.
My mother died at 95 in the middle of last year, just after her birthday. Sadly I couldn’t be there; travel restrictions prevented me from going over to UK from NZ. It was a very sad time.
The home she lived in is now sold and with my share of the proceeds I am buying a tiny house on wheels which I will name ‘Beryl’ in her memory .
She will live on and thanks to her I will be debt free at 65 and ready for adventures in my retirement.
I’ll be ‘off Grid’ and will try and live a sustainable minimal lifestyle, growing fruit and veggies . What could be better… I may even write a blog! 😊
So sorry for your loss. It is such a transformative event when a parent passes away. I am really looking forward to your book. I have really enyojed reading your posts and also all comments from your readers. There is a lot of inspiration and insights about life in general but also about growing older, wiser and that there are still hope for growth.
What an exciting thing to look forward to. I want to be in on any preorders. I got a wonderful feeling of community and traditions when I read your essay. I’m so sorry about your mum. What a blessing you could be there with her 💓
Hey Lyn, thank you for this beautiful, intimate & thoughtful post. I am so sorry for your loss.
Writing is an integral part of my life too, both to work through my thoughts (as you mentioned) as well as for my creative process. Much of my art, whether it’s composing music or making a dance, starts with writing.
I’m very much looking forward to your book! And hope we can grab lunch or coffee when it’s feels safe.
I always feel like I have had an enlightening, intimate conversation with a dear friend after reading your blogs.
The fact that a book is coming is so comforting to know I always have a guide into my 4th quarter.
Thank you for sharing your true self
I always look forward to reading your thoughts. I turned 70 last month and although everyone tells me I don’t look nearly that old, I feel it! I have so many of the same feelings that you have – I was with my own mother constantly the week before she died in May and was with her as she passed.
I am excited to read your book! I am preparing for that! I am also preparing for this pandemic to wind down and fade to something less invasive in my day-to-day living. I feel like I am hibernating again this winter like I did last year at this time. The good part is I am able to read, reflect, watch movies, gather my thoughts and prepare for the warmer more active months ahead. It is cold and snowy here. I like to stay in and snuggle under a blanket with a book and some coffee or tea. I am sorry about your Mother. It is difficult letting our parents go. Hang on to your memories. They will sustain you and comfort you.
I add my voice to the stream of condolences. I lost my father a year ago (on Christmas Eve, though that is less significant for me as a Jew.) My mother died 14 months before that. It takes a long time to process these losses, and honestly, it has sapped a good deal of my energy for creating. I am glad you are being gentle with yourself.
At the same time, I have enjoyed immensely becoming a grandmother to two darling little girls in the past two and a half years. (The older one was born a few days after my mother fell and cracked her head open, precipitating her rapid decline to her death three months later.) It has been a huge and wonderful distraction to my creative pursuits, and I remind myself that active grandparenting demands huge amounts of creativity—almost always in unseen ways. As the girls grow, and my daughter needs less support, I will return more of my time and energy on my artistic work.
Because I live in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona, the time of year we naturally stay inside and hibernate is actually summer, when it is blistering hot so much of the day. We become “cave lizards”, mostly going outside in the early morning or evening. It is similar to your hibernation in winter, yet different. For instance, we don’t crave calorie dense foods when it is so hot!
I am so happy that you are writing a book. Your blog inspires me at 77 to look forward with purpose, enjoy each moment and to regard self-care as an essential if I am to care for others.
I am happy you could be with your mother as she passed.
Congratulations on writing your book. As an Octogenarian I’m thinking of writing my memoirs after having just opened a website. Good luck with your endeavors. You are an inspiration for us all.
Thank you for your writing.
I am very sorry for your loss.
I think the greatest challenge for me is self-love, now and always, unconditionally, no matter what the circumstances of my life. It’s a practice for sure and the struggle between the inner critic and the loving coach, forgiveness and gratitude for life’s blessings is ongoing. Strength, peace and calm to you and best wishes for your writing journey.
I am saddened for your loss, but feel the need to congratulate you on finding this new desire to write your first book. I feel you have been freed to explore your own horizons and share with everyone in a new and exiting way.
Thank you very much, and I with you nothing but the best.
I’m so sorry about your Mom, may she resta in Peace in a very beautiful place 💖. Thank you for the honesty expressed on your writings; reading you always lifts my spirits.
You will miss your Mother the rest of your life. You were a good daughter and please keep that in your mind. My dear Mother died when she was 93. Living in her home until just two days before her death when my brother and I moved her to a wonderful, caring Romanian family care home. My Mother had told her friends that she was going to celebrate her birthday and then die…this was just three weeks prior to her death. I have been so sorry for seven years now that I did not do enough for my Mother. I have to let this go.
Meanwhile, I hear you about hibernating. I think covid was the catalyst that put us in this situation. I believe we have all learned a lot about who we are and what is important. However, we still continue on and want to live our lives to the fullest, investing time in those things which give us a sense of fullfilment. I am now beginning to wear all my beautiful jewelry…even if it is partly obscured by a mask.
Love to you, life is a wonderful gift, but very hard.
Thank you for your generosity of sharing. I love reading of others’ experiences and how their wisdom is gathered. I always question my own. Looking forward to your book.
Fantastic! I will be purchasing it!
I love all your writings. 🌻
I always look forward to your articles. Since we are the same age – I am looking forward to any advice you may have to help me with this age adjustment thing. Some days I feel great and others I do not – even if the mind says GO the body is not too willing. BUT – we have endeavored to travel more this next year and already have three trips booked. Now, if COVID will just go away – I already stay busy serving on two boards as secretary and we both are active in the local community. After back surgery in 2005, my surgeon told me one thing – “you have to keep moving to keep moving”. I took him at his word and have done just that. Walking every day, no matter the weather and now learning Tai Chi. I wish you well and look forward to ANYTHING you write.
Cannot wait for your book Lyn!! You are an inspiration.
I’m so sorry to hear about your Mother passing on Christmas morning. My best friend Of 53 years passed on Christmas Eve.
When it happens your truly devastated whether it’s your mother, brother, or a close friend.
Yours senses seem to be heightened and certain everyday non important things you pay more attention to. It’s a gift in a sense. We continue to evolve.
It’s a gift. Your gorgeous by the way, better than ever!
I realized, maybe even discovered, that the jouney is more important than the destination. That’s very new to me. I ‘m preparing to remain focused on the journey.
I read your blog and write this from my bed… have been participating in enforced rest/hibernation through illness. All my good, healthy practice has been shelved. No energy or strength for daily yoga, relying on my best beloved for meals…. and all social activity cancelled. Initially I felt afraid about losing ‘myself’ and just becoming this sad old sick person, but like you I realised that the road of least suffering is acceptance. My brother died in December and we had his funeral, I’ve been ill since then. I’m looking at this time as a life lesson served up again to bring about a complete ‘stop’, offering me an opportunity to just be, reflect, rest and then embrace whatever future now gives me. Thank you for your wonderful writing. Certain the book will be absolutely fabulous.
I’m sorry to hear about your mother and pleased to hear about the new book baby. One life ends, another begins. Looking forward to meeting the baby.
Feeling like the world is upside down right now with health, politics and social matters, I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts and insights. Your words help to right my world !
Thank you !
Looking forward to your new book!
I’m so sorry that your Mum passed on Christmas Day but glad that you were with her. Thank you so much for this moving and though-provoking essay, I always feel a little bit more ‘me’ when I read your essays. I’d like to thank you also for the opportunity to read the wonderful comments and stories from women all round the world. I’m looking forward to reading your book.
It is such a profound moment when a soul transitions – it’s a blessing that you could be there for your mother’s. I think no matter our age, the passing of a parent changes something deep inside us.
I’m so thrilled for your book! I’m a few years behind you (turning 64 next week) but have moved into my retirement life, both figuratively and literally. This year will bring more explorations of our new country, Portugal, and learning more Portuguese.
So inspiring and so real. It seems that before you know it, you are at a point where looking back is inevitable before you can move forward . Looking back and reflecting and basically just taking the time to be and to breathe, resting. I call myself the invincible artist.
Every role in my life was visible except my true self. Now it is Time to rest, to breathe, time to heal. Thank you for sharing. I was moved.
I am sorry for your loss, Lyn. Losing a parent isn’t easy, at any age.
I am thrilled that you are writing a book on getting, and being, older. I’m one of your readers from the UK and I love the searching in your writing, the exploration of events and feelings, the sense-making of it all. I’m looking forward to reading it. Do tour the UK!
Lynn: May your beloved mother’s memory be a blessing. Stay safe and strong, and wishing you much joy, and good growth and challenge and excitement with your new book! Congratulations. You have worked so hard for this moment, and we are ALL so grateful for your insight and inspiration!
I regret the passing of your mother and the time that has gone by.
It is always a process that we have to go through, I went through it years ago (both my parents are long deceased)
But still you have to see it as another life experience that is now part of your current life, it takes getting used to but it will come Good!
It’s so nice to read that you’re writing a book, I’m so curious…
When reading your posts I am always amazed how you describe everything so well and bring it in a way that is so unique to yourself, I have so much respect for this!
I wish you a lot of inspiration full moments!!!!
Lots of love and greetings
Thank you for the insight you gather here to share with us. I often wondered as a person growing up why we did not have a manual complete with our anatomical knowledge, what to eat, how to self-care and so on. I recognize too that it might best be written with choices as to how it might end, if you make this choice then this, kind of thing. . .but alas! There is no such thing as this manual. We go along and hope to find out way gracefully and in so doing, now we have wise women with wisdom to share such as yourself through which we can learn and resonate. I am very sorry to hear of your mothers death. I am grateful you had her in your life for so long. My mother crossed over when I was just turning 14, and she was turning 41; I thought it was magic those numbers. It was part of making up a narrative that we had some deeper connection than the one I actually had with her-being that I am the youngest of 5. She was tired when I came along and she wasn’t afforded the luxury of getting old. Thank you so much again for your heart felt writings.
So sorry about the recent sad loss of your mom. I lost mine eight years ago, and though the gapping hole she left has shrunk, there are times when small and seemingly insignificant moments can almost bring me to my knees missing her. As for winter, I always look forward to this quiet cozy time. Love being home and just piddling around. Was feeling a bit strange recently turning 70, so my hobby for this decade is continued Pilates, deep sleep (sometimes easier said than done) and eating lighter. I was feeling mentally a bit heavy so had a few inches chopped from my hair, ordered a darling sleeveless red jersey shift dress, and spent time in my small studio space painting. These few things will float me through to spring and garden flowers. Exciting news about your book and looking forward to reading it.
“Hibernation”. In early December, my husband, in his big bear voice, as he pulled the bed covers close to his head, told me that he thought he’d like to hibernate this winter. Must have been some cosmic thought for those of us open to hearing it. Stay close to your den (away from this virus), prepare for new beginnings in Spring (your book – congratulations!). That’s been our plan. I have always said that I would emerge from this time like a butterfly. Not in a social or showy way, but in expressing some new confidence built on time alone.
Vermont author, Ben Hewitt, recently wrote “It’s hard to believe it’s already December. It’s hard to fathom another winter of this virus, though I notice how many people seem to have stopped trying so hard not to catch it”. Social media is ripe with “I have Covid” pronouncements. I’m almost expecting a badge profile to follow, similar to the one used when we got our vaccines and boosters. Travel and entertainment posts are manic. Outside of our den, there’s a party happening that I am not at. I’m good with this. I have this gift of time to use painting, reading, reaching out to people I am close to. It will be habit by the time we emerge from all of this.
Endings, beginnings. My sincere sympathy on the passing of your mother. No matter how well prepared we think we are, there are still emotions and memories to sort through. Your writing will help and you will be supported by your sharing. I am enjoying your posts and although I’ve followed you since your early “icon” days, this resonates at a deeper level. Thank you.
Your insight into how we are judgmental towards ourselves hits home–it’s been a lifelong habit of mine as well. I think hibernation applies to how I’ve lived for almost two years now, and I struggle with emerging into the new “normal.” My self-care has gone like this over that time: quit smoking. Gained 40 lbs. Lost 20 lbs. Let my gray hair grow. Stayed safe from Covid. Isolated isolated isolated. Got Covid. Still kept my 97 year old mother from getting it, and have no idea how that happened. So in the remaining winter weeks and months, I plan on upping my hibernation game, gathering ideas and strategies for restoring a life with engagement, joy, and mindful self-care of my seventy year old body and heart. Thanks for sharing your mother’s holy passage; I will be doing that as well, unless my mom outlives me! Looking forward to reading your book, because I need to know how to be old.
Im sorry about the passing of your mother but In aww of your writing! Love this piece on hybernation and look forward to buying your book ! Congratulations and best wishes
Sorry about your Mother this is hard around the holidays.
I’m in a depressed state of mind ? This covid and staying at home. no real “social ” events to go too ? Even churches not having gatherings. I too feel like not putting makeup on and my hair needs coloring? What is the point ? No one really sees me ? I have to motivate myself… I’m 72 a widow never thought I would do this? I was the fashion, makeup, jewelry person who always worried how I looked ? Well maybe Spring will liven things up ? It’s when things start new and budding,
I don’t hibernate and don’t plan to do it. If I feel tired, I slow down and when I feel ok again, I continue. What I would like to do is go somewhere on a retreat, preferably in a monastery, where I have to be by myself, where I am confronted by myself, where I can see, encounter my real self. Since this won’t happen for a while, I’m planning on meditating every morning, go slowly through my day, no rushing and practice kindness.
My condolences on the death of your mother.
My congratulations on the writing of your book. As you can see, nature doesn’ t like the void and the void of your mother is filled with your new book.
May all your wishes come true, may you all attain your goals in 2022.
I’m very sorry to hear you lost your mother, but it sounds like you had some meaningful time with her before her passing. I, too have felt like I have gone into hibernation mode over the past month. It doesn’t help that we are in an unofficial lockdown here until the end of January. It’s a struggle to participate in social media but I don’t want to lose the connections I’ve made with some wonderful people over the years so I force myself to carry on. I need to start getting back to regular yoga too, as it makes a definite difference in the rest of my day.
Congratulations on the book deal – I know this has been in the works for a while and I’m happy that it has come to fruition.
I lost my mother a year ago, I understand what you’re going through. My mother would get up every morning dress put on make up until she couldn’t, it’s very hard to pull yourself together after the lost of a parent who you have known all of your life, after a while I thought about what would she want me to do. Eventually I got out of bed it took a while lost the weight started eating healthier started dressing up more like my mother would do. My hat is off to you, you are a strong beautiful woman hang in there it’s gets easier as time goes by I too I’m writing a book, take care stay safe
Thank you for the gentle reminder to stay true to ourselves, especially when going through challenging times.
Bless you, Lyn, for ‘putting pen to paper’ and expressing what so many of us feel. I nearly burst into tears feeling how true your words ring for me and many of my gal pals.
I am thrilled you are writing a book and cannot wait for your ‘tour’ and discussion groups to find authentic connection to more of my peeps in the third third of life where we reap the riches we have sown and continue to sow.
So looking forward to more from/with you.
I have been reading your posts for a while but have not commented. always glad to read a new one and look forward to your book. so sorry to learn about the loss of your mother. allowing myself to stay in and read, do a bit of yoga these last few days, it’s so cold out there. not like me but part of accepting that fact that I am 80 now, still wrapping my head around this.
You write beautifully. I agree with all the others that you are an inspiration to all of us Vintage Goddesses out there. All trying to live our best life.
So sorry for your loss.
I am preparing for a hip replacement late February due to 17 months of prednisone because of GCA. The second hip also has avascular necrosis but will have to wait. Shoulders also are affected. I have survived having my sister being here for a six month visit. Only two more months to go!! I like being alone since I was forced to do so when my husband died two years ago. I like the solitude of thought, reminiscence and life memories. I enjoying going through photos from 81 years of living. Unfortunately, she likes it here and wants to return for good. That is a lot to deal with and I will have to tactfully come up with a plan. We are very different. I hope to finish my prednisone in about 6 months, heal from the hip surgery and visit with my out of state children again. Covid will play a big part in all of this. Sometimes I feel the years are passing too quickly since I am not filling them with my usual activity but then again these past few years have been a wonderful time of reflection and we are not all privileged to have that time. I will always and forever be optimistic and positive and take each situation as a challenge to be solved rather than accepted.
First, a big congratulations for the book deal! I’m very excited to see it published as your blog is one of the few safe spaces out there for women, like myself, over 60 who want to keep living, laughing and loving as fully as possible.
Also, I want to give a nod to your desire to stay off-camera for a while. As much as I love to see what you’re wearing and how you’re styling it, I understand what you’re saying. In 2020, I just let everything go, ate anything and exercised rarely. The very few times when I had to wear something that wasn’t sweats were difficult for me. I worried I wouldn’t climb out of it. But I did. And, it’s no exaggeration to say following your blog and Instagram account helped. I watch you move from NYC to upstate NY and reimagine what an Accidental Icon looks like. Your strength, your beauty, your dignity are inspirations.
Many people think of January as long, cold and boring. I love it. It’s a month to re-sort and rejuvenate. Take care of yourself, Lyn. And best of luck with your book project!
How exciting! Your writing is gorgeous and I look forward to reading it, and featuring it on my new “baby” – my blog. I have followed you for years with great interest.
I was sorry to hear about the loss of your mom. It must be very hard to lose a parent. I haven’t lost mine yet, but they are both close to 90, so that day is coming. I have lost my child, though, so I imagine it is akin to that and like losing part of yourself. I hope you are now being gentle with yourself, after her loss. Grief is exhausting, isn’t it? Bubbling right below the surface at all times, especially early on. Peace to you.
Again, I am sorry for the loss of your mother; I lost my father a year ago the day after Thanksgiving. I was with him when he passed. My exponential growth in Christ, since I began a hard pursuit after him over three years ago, has resulted in my shedding of many things ~ anxiety, depression, fear, insecurity, people’s unwanted opinions & judgement, and stuff. The result has been a lighter, healthier, stronger, more powerful spirit living within me. This has been a beautiful and divine preparation for a challenging learning curve upon which I’ve needed a concentrated, baggage-free focus. This year sees me setting my bead on another great goal that will take me several years to accomplish, that is if it is what I should be doing. I think so, but I’ll cover it with prayer a bit longer, so I know it’s of Him and not a needless, ambitious pursuit. However, it would become a relative and connective part of the bouquet of tasks and accomplishments that lend to fragrance of my life. That being said, I’m sure your book will be as enriching, uplifting, and affirming as your writings are here. Blessings to you and your family ~
A BLESSED 2022 to everyone. I send my condolences for the loss of your Mother, I understand that pain very well. Congratulations, on your new book being birthed and welcome back.I looked forward to reading it. I pray for ALL the people of the world to be covered from COVID and anything else we cannot control. Be BLESSED.
While I was reading your blog post, I thought, I so wish she would write a book, but I didn’t want to burden you with the suggestion. And then voila! I’m thrilled and excited to hear your news. I’m writing my memoir and have been for the past two years. It’s a life changing experience. Writing is cathartic and medicinal. ps I am sorry to hear the news of your mother. I’m so happy to hear you were with her in her transition. It’s a beautiful experience indeed (like a birth). Best wishes to you…. Lori
Lyn although I discovered you because I was looking for permission to explore and experiment with my own style, what I found is a more juicy and wonderful source of exploratory thinking and reflection on life, through the lens of lived experience.
You have been honest, unexpected and glorious in the way you both savour and shake the ideas of being old.
How wonderful that you share this with your social ‘club’.
Thank you x
Living without my mother who passed away on January 14th at the age of 85. Learning about grieving and healing. Letting go and embracing change.
I’m so happy to hear that you’re writing a book. There are not enough stories told by “older” women and our voice needs to be heard.
Much blessings to you during this time.
What an absolutely beautiful and touching post. Appreciate your openness to share. I found myself years ago, when my mother passed away suddenly, discovering that sharing also helps with healing. Looking forward to your book, and hope to see pictures of your “new” home when the mood strikes.
Congratulations! I am so proud of you and inspired beyond words by your deep and purposeful self-acceptance…not letting yourself off the hook with a level-one perception of how you are feeling and why you find yourself doing what you do, when you do it, even if it is not even remotely what you think you should be doing. I am always impressed when you share how you have gone deeper, drove on for a deeper and more profound understanding of yourself, your motives, and how they fit the circumstances before you. Definitely looking forward to your book!
PS – And so sorry to hear about your mother’s passing, who has come to the end of this stage of her long journey. May your memories see you through your loss.
Lynn, I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your mother. The wheel of time marches on, and it somehow reminds us (me) to pay attention, to be conscious, to notice if I am still allowing myself to be alive and curious @ age 77. Of course that doesn’t mean that I don’t allow myself to slow down, in fact, my body demands it. I am still working as a psychotherapist part-time and driving my husband back and forth to physical therapy 5 times a week and to his doctor’s visits. I notice that during the Pandemic I am much more emotional, that it feels more like a hero’s journey than ever. However I also notice that I am up to the task most of the time, except when I go crazy (not insane) part of the time, but that I also am learning to take a breath, relax, and know that I don’t have control. Spiritual work and meditation have taught me (and are still teaching me) acceptance in a deeper way than ever before.
I am still painting and have learned to be OK with myself for going slowly–that it is OK to work with a piece until I am satisfied, not perfect, but something that gives me pleasure when I see it even if it takes me much longer than other artists. I understand that beauty is more important to me than to many others, whether it is in decorating, gardening, sculpting, writing, etc., and that is okay as it also gives focus to my ADA mind.
My wonderful girlfriends are gifts as they support and uphold me as I do them, and our laughter raises our energy and reminds me of how much delightful abundance (not only suffering) that I am blessed with and by opening up to it all, most of the time I can have gratitude for it all.
AND, I am so glad you are writing a book to share your wisdom with us all about growing older with grace and curiosity.
You are such an interesting writer, and you have made me look forward to reading your thoughts on life, trends, people, feelings and more. I always feel happier when I feel I have made someone else happy, so now you MUST feel better knowing that so many of us readers enjoy your writing, wisdom and wit! So there! You WILL be happy and feeling positive again soon…but, allow yourself time to mourn your mother’s passing. Soon you will find yourself using your mother’s “sayings, ” and quoting her more often than you know. She will always be with you and is part of you. (I, too, lost my mom a few years ago.)
Thank you so much for sharing your interesting thoughts with me (us). Congrats on the upcoming book!
The death of your mother as you birth a book. Interesting timing. Sincere condolences on the loss of your mother. It doesn’t matter how old they are when they go, the void is unmatched. May her memory be a buoy as you navigate this book. Looking forward to turning every page. In due time. Thank you for your articulate candor. You inspire me to keep learning.
Glad you are writing a book, I will be one of the first to get it when it comes out! You are an inspiration to all of us!
“And when your eyes
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets in to you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green,
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight”….
Dear Lyn my sentiments to you on the death of your dear Mom are in these words part of a poem by John O’Donohue
Your inspirational words written with pure honesty touched me so deeply. The past week debilitated by a nausea and vomiting virus left me for a few days not even able to think
further than the amount of fluid I needed to drink. Sucking Elecrolyte ice blocks was a relief and now being very careful what I can eat actually looked forward to having some mashed potatoes with salt (no butter no fats no dairy no tomatoes – everything bland) My daughter’s advice was to only have “white” food – rice, potatoes, clear soup all on the menu.
As the queesiness has eased the relief to be able to eat this bland food has made me grateful for the ability of the body to heal and be patient in the healing. At 77 realise this will take longer, and always being a fast walker found it very strange when going for a short walk how weak I was and how slow.
I had just finished reading Eileen Garvin “The Music of Bees” so when feeling really low brought back the characters in this beautiful book in my mind’s eye which made such a difference. That books are so important to us in so many ways and I cant wait to read yours Lyn as I often re-read your essays. Reading all the other comments makes me feel I am part of a strong community of honest women with warmth and feeling.
Looking at the photo of you Lyn at the top of the page feel there is an added softness in your expression as if the holding of something has been released.
I love the poem that you have written here, so precise, I know the ghost and the grey.
Thank you so much much again.
Great post. Just over a year ago I posted an essay also using the hibernating bear analogy as it seemed so appropriate at the time. Thought you might find it interesting: https://boomerbroadcast.net/2020/09/14/its-the-time-of-year-to-fatten-up-and-protect-our-nuts/
This is wonderful to hear that you’re looking inward and writing a book! I’m also sorry to hear about your mom, yet am glad that you got to spend so much time with her here on Earth at the same time.
Memories of your mother, and your being able to be with her as she passed, will be times that become more precious as time goes by. May she R.I.P, and may you my dear continue to hibernate and stay strong.
A new book sounds very exciting. . . . . . we will be lining up to buy a copy, hopefully in the local independent bookshop – mine is just a few minutes from home, lucky me!
Currently I’m hibernating, against my will! Long to get out more but have a serious herniated disc in lower back and awful pain down right leg that PT and a recent spinal injection has not relieved. Surgery perhaps necessary but not wanted at this year 78 of course. More world travel hoped for when things open up and we can travel again. We have all been robbed of two years of living, dressing up, roaming the woods, dancing, shopping, crossing oceans etc. We need freedom.
Stay well dear Lyn, and may happy days staying busy at your lovely home see you through these coming chilly months in NY.
Sending you thanks for your writing, hope for the future and enthusiasm for your book and new adventures! Good for you, good for us!
Lyn, I thoroughly enjoyed your thoughtful post on hibernation and echo the sympathies of your readers in the passing of your mother.
While your writing has charged me up for self-care, I am also enjoying the posts of those who have commented toward your writing here. They all seem so thoughtful and intelligent, with a great expanse of experiences to match. You have to be a special kind of writer to attract that type of following.
I will be rereading this all again and again. Thank you!
I am so sorry for the loss of your Mother. Grief has its own evolution…Please continue taking care of yourself. Your writings are so important to so many!
You are always inspiring and timely in your comments. I enjoyed reading your thoughts on hibernation – I can relate and have come to the realization it’s not such a bad thing. I look forward to your book coming out. Condolences on the loss of your mother.
I’m so excited for you!!! Excited for us as well!!! Looking forward to reading your book!! I’m new here and just savored reading this..some of the thoughts you have expressed were like you were reading my mind…you put into words thoughts… that are in my head but are difficult for me to express… and I just LOVE your sense of style…
Bravo on the book! I have been repeatedly encouraged by my doctoral studies chair (I finished my PhD just prior to turning 60) to write, to publish article reviews, etc. Yet I was too busy and exhausted by being a caregiver to my elderly mother, who suffered from a few health problems as well as dementia. My mother died on 1/31/22 and while I am being kind to myself to allow for grief and the acknowledgement that I need to replenish my reserves and resume/create self-care, the desire to write beckons in the distance. I applaud you for summoning the energy to write and practice self-care in new, mindful ways. We are always growing if we can just recognize and accept the signs. I am sorry for the loss of your mother — I was with my mother when she passed, and there is something touchingly symbolic about holding the hand of the person who launched you into the world as they depart it. It is a transition into the next phase of identity, so to speak. While it is an ending, it is also a beginning. I look forward to reading your book.
Comment *Très chère Lyn,
C’est toujours avec beaucoup d’élégance et de profondeur que vos écrits touchent votre communauté.
Je vous suis déjà depuis quelques temps et il est hyper agréable de penser à vous, à vos idées, à votre état d’esprit.
Je vous pense à vous depuis Bruxelles…
Isa Van Haelen Tontlinger
Lyn, my thoughts are with you on the loss of your mother.
I enjoy reading your blogs, and I look forward to your new book. A positive inspiration.
Take care, from Canada.
I’m laid up with COVID! Hard to believe, as my husband was in hospitals throughout the pandemic, and yet were were spared. Lying here in my cozy bed, I’m reading, and cleaning out email and Apple Notes. Serendipity is mine for a came across your name again (from notes made in May of 2020!). Just signed up for your blog and can’t wait for your book! Hope a book tour brings you to Denver, Colorado! Also, so very sorry for the loss of your Mother. I remind myself every day we don’t have them forever– my Mother is strong at 80 and Father as well at 86! Blessings– what you’re bringing to us “out here” with your blog and now book is a gift and I’m thankful! Can’t wait to read about the neck!!! Mine is bothering me!!!
I am glad that I found this blog. I can identify with your views on fashion and beauty – I don’t like reading “you must wear this color for fall” or “women over 50 can’t have their hair past their shoulders”.
I look forward to your book. Take care.