Full Life Reflections

Striving for happiness, peace, and fulfillment in a chaotic world

In my last post, I debriefed what I packed for my recent trip to Lake Tahoe and the San Francisco Bay Area.  I appreciate all of the great comments and packing suggestions I received on that post.  Some of you are seasoned packing pros who have gotten things down to a fine science!  I’ve found it helpful to take some time to review what I’ve taken on my trips and how it worked out (or didn’t) for me (you can read all of my posts on packing for travel here). I made some mistakes this last time, but I now have a better understanding of how to pack for travel during a “cusp season.” I feel confident that I will fare better with packing for my next similar trip.

I finally had a chance to review and edit all of the photos I took on my trip.  While I didn’t take as many as I did on my September 2015 Tahoe trip, there were still quite a few to look at from my time away.  I decided to share my favorite photos with all of you in today’s “photography interlude” (see previous editions here).   I also highlight some key information about the locations shown for those who are interested in learning more.

Incline Beach, Lake Tahoe

Incline Beach, Lake Tahoe

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As I wrote in my last post, this past Monday was my fiftieth birthday.  Many people have parties to mark this momentous occasion, and I was lucky enough to enjoy such a celebration with some dear friends during my recent trip to Texas.  I will also celebrate with family in a few weeks when I travel to Lake Tahoe. But when it came down to the actual day, I opted to spend it in a low-key way with my wonderful husband.

We actually extended our celebration to two days in that we ate lunch at my favorite restaurant on the last day of my 40’s and saw the new Star Trek movie (fast fact – the TV series premiered in 1966 , the year I was born!).

last day of my forties

Enjoying lunch at my favorite restaurant on the last day of my forties.

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As I write this, it’s just three days before my 50th birthday and this post will go live on the big day.  I can’t believe it’s almost here!  As it has gotten closer and I’ve had other things on my mind, I’ve become less stressed about moving into a new decade and more accepting of it.  As many people say, it’s only a number, plus it’s better than the alternative!

Birthday Reflections

It’s hard to think that I probably have less of my life in front of me than behind me and that perhaps my best days are in my past, but I’m trying to develop a more positive perspective on it.  I don’t know what the future holds and many people have told me that they are happier and even healthier in their later years.  Plus, as my husband says, on my 50th birthday I will be just one day older than the day before!  He loved turning 50 and it didn’t bother him at all, so maybe I need to follow his example.

I’ll share more thoughts about my birthday after it has passed, as well as what I want for myself in this new decade of my life.  But today I’d like to give you an update on how I’m doing with my theme for 2016, balance.   My last balance update was about two months ago, so I feel it’s time for another one, as these reviews help to keep my yearly theme top of mind (and hopefully remind you of your goals and where you are with them as well).  Rather than go through all of my balance goals one by one, I will instead share my wins from the past two months, as well as my challenges.

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It’s been two months since I last gave an update on how I’m doing with my gray hair transition, so I thought it’s high time that I chime in on how that project is going for me.   As a reminder and for those who are new to the blog, I colored my hair for the last time on April 20th.  I initially wrote about my issues with my hair back in May, at which time I had not yet made the commitment to transition to my natural color.  A price increase at my salon and a friend who had taken the plunge to go gray led me to consider my options and it wasn’t long before I put both feet firmly in the camp of baring my silver roots.

Gray hair transition

Gray hair can be beautiful!

The Decision

I decided to stop coloring my hair for several reasons.  For one, I was getting my roots touched up every four weeks and they really needed it after just two weeks. I was only happy with my hair color about half the time, and even then I didn’t love the way it looked.  It was expensive and time-consuming, plus I had become increasingly chemically sensitive and worried about the impact such frequent hair coloring was having on my health.  As time went on, there were more factors in favor of stopping the hair dyeing than there were on the side of continuing it.  It was primarily my vanity and sheer habit that were keeping it going for me.

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In my two most recent “photography interludes,” I shared two of my favorite walking locations, Shelter Island and La Playa.  In addition to those two picturesque locales, there are a couple of other places where I enjoy walking and taking photos.  In today’s post, I’m going to introduce you to the fishing harbor in Point Loma, which is a short walk from where I live.

About the Point Loma Fishing Harbor

The Point Loma fishing harbor is located on the San Diego Bay and is home to three major fishing charter boat companies:  H&M Landing, Point Loma Sportfishing, and Fisherman’s Landing.  These companies not only take fisherman out for single or multi-day fishing trips, they also offer whale watching excursions during the migration seasons for the gray and blue whales. The harbor is also home to the famous Point Loma Seafoods, which opened its doors to the public back in 1963 and is both a fresh fish market and a popular restaurant.

point loma seafood

Outdoor dining on the patio and by the water and Point Loma Seafoods.

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A little over a year ago, I used the “KonMari Method” to pare down my wardrobe.   At the time, I was able to purge 23 garments and 32 accessories from my closet.  Since then, I have continued to do some culling here and there, including my recent jewelry box downsizing back in April.  It’s good to periodically let pieces go when we find they aren’t working for us, but sometimes a more formal closet audit is in order, especially when we notice that the our wardrobe size is gradually increasing. So I decided to use Marie Kondo’s decluttering process once again this past weekend.

konmari your closet

The “KonMari Method” can help you downsize your closet. 

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Today’s post kicks off a series of at least two installments on the topics of weight, body image, shopping, and personal style. These subjects have been at the top of my mind lately, as I’ve experienced some weight fluctuations resulting from health challenges and hormonal changes.   This has been going on for months now, but sometimes things feel too emotionally raw for me to post about.  However, since I realize that I’m not alone in these struggles, I’ve broached the subject in my private Facebook group and will do so here as well.

negative body image

How does your body image affect your shopping and style?

As someone with a long history of eating disorders (which I wrote about here) and negative body image (I even used to have a blog about that topic), it’s very challenging for me to deal with what I’ve been going through lately.  What makes it even more problematic is that I don’t really understand the reasons for my body shifts or what to do about them (I’m not overeating and I continue to exercise regularly).   It’s often difficult for me to get dressed and I sometimes don’t feel good about how I look at all.   I experienced similar issues in the early days of the blog, which I wrote about in this April 2013 post.  Interestingly, I could basically write the same words again today, except I also have the specter of turning 50 hanging over my head (just over a month now…).

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It’s been almost two months since I published my last “photography interlude,” so it’s high time for another one.  Back in April, I shared one of my favorite places to walk, Shelter Island, which is less than a mile down the road from where I live.  Today, I want to share another beloved walking locale, La Playa, which is also very close to my home.

La Playa, Point Loma

About La Playa

La Playa, Spanish for “the beach,” is a Bayfront neighborhood in the Point Loma community of San Diego that is bordered by the San Diego Bay and across a channel from Shelter Island. Naval Base Point Loma is located at the south end of La Playa.   The La Playa neighborhood includes some of the most expensive homes in San Diego, as well as San Diego Yacht Club and Southwestern Yacht Club.  Some of the Bayfront homes have private piers for docking small boats.

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Two months from today, I will turn fifty.  As I lead up to that milestone birthday, I’m periodically writing about some issues in my life and things I’d like to change.  In today’s post, I’ll update you on the hair issues I wrote about last month. I’ll also bring you up to date on how I’m doing with my balance goal for 2016 and highlight some ongoing issues I’m experiencing in that regard.

I’m bound and determined to be in a better place in my life by the time I blow out those fifty candles (well, maybe just a “5” and a “0” on my cake will be a better idea).   Although I have some trepidation about turning the big 5-0, I feel that it has also been a blessing for me, as it has lit a virtual fire under me and is pushing me to make some important and long overdue changes.  It’s like a crash course in personal growth and for that I am very grateful.

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Thank you to all those who responded to my last post, both in the comments section and via email. I was very touched by the tremendous amount of support, encouragement, and advice that I received.  I loved reading your stories and perspectives on the issues of going gray, aging, dealing with hair woes, and more.   Because I know that many subscribers don’t read the comments, I’ve decided to share some of the input I received in a follow-up post today.  This post can also serve as a resource on this issue for those who need it, as it’s a lot easier to find and navigate than perusing the comments.

Going gray advice

For those who aren’t particularly interested in this subject, don’t worry. I will return to writing about shopping, wardrobe, and style-related topics shortly (I invite you to check out my archives of over 350 articles if you’d like to read about one of those topics today).  But I know that for me and many others, there are a lot of emotions attached to hair.  I’ve known for many years that I’ve resided in a sort of “hair prison,” but it was more comfortable for me to stick with the status quo than try to change.  It’s only the rapid approach of the big 5-0 that has led me to think more deeply about what I want for the rest of my life, and I’ve decided that I want to release myself from my self-imposed bondage.

I’ll be sharing more thoughts on turning 50 as the milestone approaches, as I have been quite introspective in recent months.  But for today, I hope you enjoy these words of wisdom from readers.
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