Over the last three days I’ve been thinking about three things: Santa Fe, birthday intentions, and visibility. And also a story about being invisible on purpose. As I’m turning 65, it’s all coming together! Here’s what’s working me right now.
- Something my acupuncturist said. Phil, who knows my birthday is this week, asked me if I’d made any intentions for my 65th year. Intentions? No, I hadn’t; I hadn’t thought about it at all. But the question has been working me.
- Santa Fe. I thought about where I wanted to be on my birthday and Santa Fe was the answer. Friends of mine have been encouraging me to get out of town. When they wanted to make plans for my birthday I surprised them by saying, “I think I want to go to Santa Fe.” They said, “Go for it! We’ll have a party when you get back!” Russ was all over it, too. He said, “Book the tickets! Let’s go!” Alrighty!
- Visibility and and invisibility. I think about these two things a lot. I’m always helping my clients be more visible. I encourage you, my readers, to use your style to be visible. I’m thinking about my own future and I think visibility is going to play a role in things that come next. A related development: Last week I was notified that this blog you’re reading is in the Top 15 Fashion Over 50 Blogs according to Feedspot. That’s visibility, too! (Do check out the whole list. You’ll find some great reading there!)
Intentions, Santa Fe, and invisiblity come together
Apart from Minnesota, Santa Fe is the place I’ve visited the most. I was in my 20s the first time I went there. I used to go there with my ex-husband who dealt in antique Native American Art. After we divorced, I started going there for getaways to recharge and have some alone time. When my friend Larry Buttons moved there from San Francisco, I’d go to visit him, too. I attended a writer’s conference there the year baseball went on strike. It’s my place.
Where I’ll spend the most time is at Downtown Subscription on Garcia Street. It’s not downtown but it’s a place that’s famous for rows and rows of magazines and periodicals from all over the world. It’s a much loved coffee shop full of regulars. That’s where I’ll go to write every day. Daily writing is a habit I can practice anywhere.
An uninvited encounter
One year when I was at Downtown Subscription minding my own business, a guy interrupted my writing and started a conversation. He was an older guy who’d worked in the movie business in Hollywood for years and years as a film editor. Interesting for sure and he was nice. After talking for a bit he wanted to invite me to some event in town that evening, but I declined. He must have asked for my phone number and I must have given it to him (one of the downfalls of being Midwestern is you give people what they ask for, no questions) because a few weeks later he was in San Francisco and called me up. He wanted to take me to lunch at Kuleto’s in SF. I said yes (typical Midwestern response) and met him for lunch. It’s not that I disliked him. He was well traveled and interesting. But he had an agenda that I was slow to pick up on.
We were enjoying chit chat over lunch. He told me he was going to take a big trip to the Yucatan. A few minutes later, he suggested I join him there. He was really trying to sell me on the idea. Then it occurred to me: Okay wait, is this guy interested in me? If I was a true Californian who was born in urban cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco, cities I came to live in in my adult life, I would have picked up on that the first time I met him. But I’m slow in this arena. I gave him a pretty definite no, well, a Midwestern type no: “No, I don’t think that would work for me right now, but thanks for thinking of me.”
He gave me a hug when we parted and I for sure knew I didn’t want to see him again or lead him on in any way. My neutral vibe about him and turned into a negative one. I ignored further phone calls and then he even wrote to me! He was smitten and I was turned off.
The next time I saw him…
The next time I visited Santa Fe I couldn’t wait to get to Downtown Subscription and spend an hour or two writing, relaxing, and looking at the periodicals. There’s always a long line and this day was no different. This was my sacred space and I really didn’t care that I was going to be waiting in line for a while. I took in a deep breath, so happy to be in my home away from home.
But then I noticed him: Mr. Yucatan was there in the middle of the room, alone at a small table. No, no, no!!!
I didn’t want to talk to him. I wanted the me-time I’d been dreaming of having. I wasn’t going to sling out and go somewhere else. This was MY place!
I decided to become invisible
I’ve read enough fiction and non-fiction about Native American rituals and practices. I decided to call on their spirits to help me become invisible.
I didn’t try to be invisible in any obvious ways. I didn’t turn my body away from him; I didn’t try to hide behind anybody in line; I didn’t stand there with a newspaper in front of my face. I stood tall, strong, fearless, and invisible. With utter confidence I made my way to the counter and ordered my coffee drink. When it was ready, I picked it up and went outside. I took one of the tables in front, opened up my notebook and started writing. After about 45 minutes, Mr. Yucatan, walked right past me. He didn’t see me of course, because I was invisible.
As I approach my 65th birthday I realize I’m getting better at recognizing my own desires and standing up for them. This is a learned skill that requires practice. I wasn’t born with it. If on Wednesday when I go to do my writing at Downtown Subscription and let’s say I run into Mr. Yucatan and he recognizes me, I think it would be easy to say something like, “I’m just here to read and write. I can’t talk right now.” Of course, I’d have some sort of North Dakota spin on it so I was still being nice. But I wouldn’t feel bad about saying no for a second. It might help if Russ is at my side, but he wouldn’t have to be. I could do this without my Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome!
And this is a good thing because I’m not so sure I could be invisible right now. My mission for women over 50, 60, 70, and more is to be visible. It’s what I hope to practice myself and to inspire visibility in other women.
I’ll keep saying it: Show up! Be you! Celebrate your very being!
My intentions for my 65th year? Keep showing up. Keep listening to my hopes and desires. Relax. Daydream. Write. Write what’s in my heart. Be tall, strong, fearless and VISIBLE!
I’ll be sure to tell Phil when I see him next!