“365 Days of Mindfulness” [Day 82] Inklings Of Authenticity ~ On Recovering Your Joy!

Or what I maybe meant to say is when everything is gone you have a chance to start over and do all those things you have always wanted to do but never did and now you realize how ephemeral life is and how it can all be gone in a flash and you don’t have time to waste and life is just too damn short not to be all you can be and do all the things you really want to do.

At least that’s what I’ma thinkin’.

And you can recover all the lost bits of yourself that got lost in the pileup of life — or possessions — that are now gone. Less things, but good ones.. Careful choices. And wild adventures, things you were holding back from doing because you thought you’d do it later or you thought it wasn’t okay or you thought you were too __________ (Old, young, fat, thin, yadda, yadda, yadda…). As a Zen teacher of mine said to me decades ago, “If not, why not? If not now, when?”

So instead of replacing a nice desktop and laptop I got a really good Mac laptop and that’s enough. And a lot of my computer equipment I am not replacing. And I have gone back to writing with fountain pens and ordered a couple I really like, not real expensive ones, but nice ones, and oh, how wonderful it feels to be writing with them again.

And… (I kind of have to giggle and I don’t care if anyone thinks this is stupid and some people might think it’s ridiculous since I’m turning 60 next month but nanny nanny boo boo on them.) yesterday I ordered something I’ve wanted to try for a long time and I feel like a giggly, giddy teenager over it. I ordered 3 of those chalk crayons — not permanent — that you can streak your hair with. I ordered light teal, a pretty light violet, and light green. At a whopping $1.65 per crayon, and since they wash out, if I have fun with it godonlyknows what colors I might try next. (Ha, Delilah and I were just have snorty Mama-Puggy kisses and I was thinking she might look kind of cute with a few turquoise streaks on her head too…)

I received quite a number of gift certificates from lovely people at the 2 places I order online, Woman Within and Roamans, because they have nice clothes for us full-figured girls. I live in their caftans and loungers because I rarely leave the house and they are just comfortable and feel all flowy, BUT I ordered capris and t-shirts and I actually WORE THEM OUT OF THE HOUSE yesterday! GASP! I had to take 2 of the pugs to the vet for their bath day and go get new glasses because my good ones were lost in the fire and I only had my old ones which were my old prescription. I grocery shopped and I almost bought a really pretty blue nail polish.

Well just how about that. I felt like the bravest person on the planet.

I’m not really a fingernail painter. When you spend most of your time with your hands taking care of dogs and birds and gardens and typing fingernail polish just doesn’t hold up, but just maybe I will do it anyway. I think the polish will match the colorful streaks in my hair. He he he…

I felt like a real person with real clothes on with those capris and t-shirts, nice soft cotton v-neck t-shirts in a bunch of colors for $6.99 with 4 pair of capris on sale in my favorite colors — turquoise, sea green, lavender, and a navy pair when I want to look half way like a normal person (But just half.)

With some of my gift certificates I actually ordered Earth Shoes instead of all Crocs. This all won’t seem like much of a shift for most people but it is huge for me. I am now dressing and thinking of myself as someone who is actually going to leave the house sometimes.

Oh yeah. I said it, I did it, I’m juicy, I’m HOT!

And I am working my way up to actually going out once in a while to write in a coffeehouse or cafe. When I was in my thirties my whimsical business cards simply had my name and “Cafe Writer” (Not in parentheses) on them. (Also for awhile instead of Cafe Writer they said Metaphorist.) I am getting my whimsy back. That may be the most important thing of all. I’ve missed my whimsy. It leaked out once in awhile but mostly I’ve been too serious.

I really did have a life once. A big life out in the world. It was a long time back and although I will no longer call myself agoraphobic I am still not ever going to be a big going-out-a-lot sort of person because I would just prefer to be home with my pugs and bird and garden and writing and so on, but there is a difference between being afraid to go out and choosing not to. I am aiming for the latter. I know I will fluctuate between the two but I won’t label myself according to the former.

There was also a mint green nail polish that I liked.

I am smiling so big now, well, after the fire I never thought I would ever ever ever smile again, and though my smile is still lopsided and cattywompus I don’t even mind that. When you’ve lost your smile just getting it back is HUGE.

I am embracing my larger-than-normal, sixty-almost, cattywompus and lopsided self in a way I never did before because I am ALIVE. Just yesterday I heard a heartbreaking story on the news, a fire so bad the people were trapped inside and died, a fireman even died. I could be dead but I’m not. I was given a second chance and by God if I want to color rainbow streaks in my hair and paint my fingernails blue I’m going to do so. Dead women can’t do that. Dead women can’t do a lot of things. I’m still here, I’m going to do them. Whatever I want to do.

I have been given a second chance to make my life over. It won’t look radically different on the outside but it’s amazing how it already feels on the inside.

As Al Pacino said in one of my favorite movies, Scent of a Woman, HOO-AH!

HOO-AH indeed.

Oh, and while I never saw the movie I always liked the title, something like When Stella Got Her Groove Back. Well, I’m pretty sure I never had groove, but I think I’m looking to get some.

If you enjoy this blog a donation would be deeply appreciated to help me continue to bring “Maitri’s Heart” to you. Thank you, and many deep blessings to one and all…


  1. Wowie Zowie… Maitri, I love this post! My 72 year-old self can really resonate with rejoicing at the survival capabilities we women possess in such abundance. Four weeks ago yesterday, I had an asthmatic meltdown that joined hands with pneumonia and sent me to the hospital for a week. The first two days, I thought I was going to die. Then, for a couple of days, I thought I’d be permanently disabled. Today, I’m neither, and am home, recovering slowly, and, like you, am ready to do the stuff I thought I had plenty of time for before all of the mess hit the fan. I’m also ready to make art like never before. I’d allowed my studio to become a pit that was impossible to work in, and for the past week, I’ve been strong enough to go into my special space and work, sometimes for only as little as two or three minutes at a time, attempting to restore order. I’m making progress… pathetically slow by my old standards, but it seems like a miracle to me now and I’m relishing every moment. Today a local art gallery member came by and picked up three of my quilts for a show next month. I can’t believe how ALIVE that made me feel. The strength you’ve shown us through your ordeal has given me the courage to know I can face my health issues and come out kicking butt! Thank you! Love… love… love to you. xoxoxxx

  2. maitri – this is marvellous. yes, whimsy is in. color your hair in all sorts of rainbow streaks. wear capris. write in a cafe! dance barefoot in your front yard!
    sing to your pugs! what a wonderful and amazing transformation, a phoenix
    woman rising from the flames, newborn, but also seasoned, wise, and tender!

  3. Maitri, I am laughing right out-loud as I’m reading this! Honey, I’m 65. I have three of those hair-colour crayons (a friend bought them for me for Christmas), AND I use them. I bought green sparkly nail polish 2 weeks ago, and as I type this my nails are green (I’m not quite as happy with them as I thought I would be, truthfully; they look a trifle gangrene-y, so maybe I’ll try blue).

    I got my first tattoo last year, and have an appointment this coming Tuesday with a tattoo artist close to where I now live to start designing my second, a rather elaborate 3 part bracelet affair with ravens and spirals. I wear jeans, boots and leather jackets, big earrings, lots of bracelets & dangly necklaces and — seriously — I don’t give a shit if anyone thinks I’m too old! Because I’m old enough, finally, to do what I please.

    So you go, girl! You ARE hot and juicy and a wild, wild woman. We **all** should be. Whimsey rox! Much love to you and your critters, and every time I get a new post from you, I marvel at your courage,strength and metamorphosis. From fire, steel, lady. You’re proof of that. Bazinga!

  4. Teresa Myszka says:

    Wowza, … Wowza Maitri…awesome post…I’m laughing, doing a happy jig and singing oobla dee, life goes on (the Beatles song) this post made my day. I just bought strands of clip on feathers for my hair, and I’m 64…lol

  5. Loved this post, Maitri — inspiration for all of us to step forward — and choose what’s next.
    Thanks! LW

  6. We gals got whimsy!!!! At 66 just before our cruise in January I colored my hair a soft light blond (I had gone gray several years ago) AND I bought a wild turquoise nail polish for my toenails. Yeah, I felt HOT too — a new woman. The brand is “Wet and Wild” and a couple or three coats really stay. In fact it’s really hard to take off. Go for it!!!!!! Post your address again and I’ll send you a couple bottles. They also have a glorious lime green. You go girl!!!!!

  7. Sandra L. says:

    Hi again!
    Where do you get those crayons for your hair? I’ve not heard of them. I was a punk rocker in my younger days, and sometimes I think about coloring my hair pink or aqua again, but don’t want anything permanent.
    Your post is very inspiring! I’ve been thinking about undertaking a major project in my life. I’ll be 50 this summer, and yes, “if not now, when?”
    I understand, too, about second chances. I am happy to see you moving forward!

  8. Wow – there is so much juicy joy in this post I had to open the window to let out all the joy waves. Yes!!!!!

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