46 In Women Now

Women Now: Becoming more visible when I’m 65

This is what it means to be 65 on BrendaKinsel.com

Leaning into 65 with joy

 

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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!)

 

Taking time to reflect on BrendaKinsel.com

Reflecting and dreaming

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.

Packing for Santa Fe on BrendaKinsel.com

Notebook gets packed for Santa Fe

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.

 

Advice from Winnie the Pooh on BrendaKinsel.com

I should have been listening to Winnie the Pooh!

 

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.

 

Talking about being visible on BrendaKinsel.com

Not planning on invisibility any time soon

 

Going visible!

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!

 

Relaxing advice on Instagram on BrendaKinsel.com

I love the great advice I learn from Instagram

 

Setting intentions

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!

You Might Also Like

46 Comments

  • Reply
    TGCHI13
    June 19, 2017 at 9:52 pm

    Oh Brenda, if you and Russ have time, I would love to meet you half way between Sanat Fe and Alamogordo!

    • Reply
      Brenda
      June 22, 2017 at 8:51 pm

      We are filling each day and finding new things to do! I’m afraid that won’t be feasible on this short trip but I love the idea!!

  • Reply
    Rachel
    June 20, 2017 at 5:19 am

    Just found your blog through a link in Good Life of Design blog. Think I’ll follow along. Love Santa Fe. Our friend goes there every summer to work with the Santa Fe Opera. We visited one year and had a fabulous time.

    • Reply
      Brenda
      June 22, 2017 at 8:53 pm

      Oh please do follow! We have a lot of fun over here! We’re having such a good time. Our next trip has to include the opera!

  • Reply
    Diane
    June 20, 2017 at 5:26 am

    Brenda, I certainly hope for a relaxing break for you. No strange breaks in concentration…
    By the way, your blog is the top of the list in my opinion, no comparison, just the way you communicate with us and fit in with my way of thinking. Good job. Have a great birthday! Oh, and so jealous of that huge magazine rack 🙂

    • Reply
      Brenda
      June 22, 2017 at 8:55 pm

      Thanks, Diane!! Got to Downtown Subscription and they’ve winnowed down the amount of magazines they carry. Nearby Garcia Books is wonderful. I can’t count the number of books I wanted to bring home. I’m so glad the blog fits into your sensibilities. Thanks for your visits!

  • Reply
    Andrea
    June 20, 2017 at 5:50 am

    Brenda, Happy birthday! I hope you have a lovely celebration! I loved your post…thank you for sharing with such humor and authenticity!

    • Reply
      Brenda
      June 22, 2017 at 8:56 pm

      It’s always my pleasure and I love knowing your eyes are on those words!

  • Reply
    Mary
    June 20, 2017 at 6:22 am

    Happy Birthday, Brenda!!! Enjoy your celebration and intention setting for the coming years! I admire your style and perspective and congratulate your success in life– and blogging for those of us working to get this style and life thing figured out as we grow older. Now that you have already lived 65 full years (as birthdays mark the -end- of each life-year) it’s great that you’re look beyond with confidence to the coming years. Keep your wisdom coming for the rest of us, too! Thanks!

    • Reply
      Brenda
      June 22, 2017 at 8:57 pm

      My pleasure. So that means this is my 66th year? I always get mixed up about that. Xx

  • Reply
    Holly
    June 20, 2017 at 7:17 am

    I love your personal stories! Thanks for sharing & hope you have a lovely time in Sante Fe!

    • Reply
      Brenda
      June 22, 2017 at 8:58 pm

      Thank you Holly! Really enjoying our time here. And I just thought of two more personal stories I want to share with you soon!

  • Reply
    KATHYSUE
    June 20, 2017 at 8:25 am

    Cheers to being visible, society seems to think we don’t count anymore and have made us more invisible so I am with you on this one!!! Happy 65th birthday and enjoy your trip, sounds wonderful!!

    • Reply
      Brenda
      June 22, 2017 at 9:00 pm

      Thanks Kathy Sue! Yup, no invisible moments for us if I can help it!

  • Reply
    Bess Nathan Rice
    June 20, 2017 at 10:49 am

    You are so brilliant BK! This was very inspiring! Hope your trip to Santa Fe is wonderful!

    • Reply
      Brenda
      June 22, 2017 at 9:01 pm

      Hey, Darling! So good to hear from you! I haven’t run into Mr. Yucatan yet! Xo

  • Reply
    Ann G
    June 20, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    Happy Birthday, Brenda! Your blog is so refreshing and upbeat. This is a timely post for me, as I turn 65 next week. Wish I could be in Santa Fe; it’s one of my favorite places, to – a city, but not really a city. Have a wonderful time!

    • Reply
      Brenda
      June 22, 2017 at 9:02 pm

      Ann, let me be the first to wish you a happy birthday!! Yes, Santa Fe is divine even though it’s hot, hot, hot! Spent most of our time today in museums. So enjoyable!

  • Reply
    Liz
    June 20, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    I’m in my 60s and actually don’t feel invisible. Depends, I suppose, on how invisibility is defined.
    I live in the Washington DC metropolitan area and I’m always having nice conversations with people I meet. I live in a high-rise building with lots of young people and love to talk to folks with dogs, which helps, but honestly, start a small, light and friendly conversation and I find most people respond well.
    I’m not sure why, perhaps it’s because older women aren’t usually on people’s lists of threatening-stranger types.
    One of the nicest things I have found in my older years is the ability to have easy conversations with younger men. None of that male-female concealed sexual undertones/mating dance ritual of my younger life: they’re not romantically interested in me, and as a long-time happily married woman I’m certainly not in them!
    So if being invisible means no catcalls, comments, accostations, and other nonsense women have to endure in public spaces when they’re younger, I’m for it!
    Love, love, love your crown, Brenda. Have a birthday fit for a queen!

    • Reply
      Brenda
      June 22, 2017 at 9:04 pm

      Liz, thanks for your share. I love that you bring up conversations with younger men. I LOVE that too! I’m going to find some in Santa Fe to chat with!

  • Reply
    Kathy
    June 20, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    Happy Birthday Brenda! Love your courage, your enthusiasm and your crown. Enjoy your time with Russ! I love your blog and am grateful for your insights.

    • Reply
      Brenda
      June 22, 2017 at 9:05 pm

      Thanks so much, Kathy. A client of mine just gave me this crown and I love it! Glad you enjoyed it too!

  • Reply
    Spags
    June 21, 2017 at 12:58 am

    Happy Birthday Brenda! Your crown becomes you.

    • Reply
      Brenda
      June 22, 2017 at 9:06 pm

      Thank you! I love it and will wear it more, just because!

  • Reply
    Jacqueline UK
    June 21, 2017 at 5:25 am

    Your blog is my number 1. I became 70 earlier this year & only recently have found my style. It started with my hair. Fed up with colouring & highlights I asked for silver highlights on my darkish grey. That was the start. It is great with a sharp bob & purple shampoo keeps it bright. Then it was colours- lots of blues, some dark teals & green. My summer wardrobe has always been problematical. Not this year – white linen trousers with long linen / cotton tunics in my fave colours and a sun hat with an upturned brim. Currently I am on Ile de Re in France which I have visited every year for the last 40 years. This year I am attracting attention & a few compliments & am loving it. My favourite restaurant owner muttered ‘ tres belle’ when I walked in this year. And it has done something remarkable for my marriage!!
    Have a wonderful birthday Brenda & thank you for making me visible again!

    • Reply
      Brenda
      June 22, 2017 at 8:50 pm

      This is such a happy story!! I raise a glass of wine and say cheers to your visibility. Love the marriage part too!!

    • Reply
      Ann
      June 23, 2017 at 2:15 am

      Awesome post, Jacqueline. The look you’re sporting these days sounds divine. I think I’ll go find some white linen trousers immediately!

  • Reply
    Irine
    June 21, 2017 at 9:23 am

    Congratulations and all good wishes on your birthday from Russia! You are the best! And you are always my number 1. I admire the depth of your wisdom and humor.

    • Reply
      Brenda
      June 22, 2017 at 8:48 pm

      I’m so blessed to hear from you all the way from Russia! Big hugs to you!!

  • Reply
    Diane
    June 21, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    Happy Birthday Brenda! I also have a birthday on June! Will be 67 on the 25th, and I am so inspired by your blog, Thank you! I live in the Austin , Texas area but was born and raised in New Mexico (Alamogordo) and my husband ( from the Midwest) and I love traveling New Mexico! So happy that I have found your blog!!! Thank you

    • Reply
      Brenda
      June 22, 2017 at 8:47 pm

      Happy upcoming birthday to you! I’m glad you’re here! Xx

  • Reply
    LA CONTESSA
    June 22, 2017 at 9:55 am

    CONGRATS ALL the way around!
    Love YOUR way of being INVISIBLE…………..XX

    • Reply
      Brenda
      June 22, 2017 at 9:07 pm

      Ah, that means a lot coming from you! I love how you’re visible too!!

  • Reply
    Kay
    June 22, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    Hope you enjoyed your time in Santa Fe! Thanks for the encouragement. I’ve always said I aspire to anonymity and boredom (2 things that seem calming in a hectic world). But the concept of being more visible is wise counsel. We do ourselves, and our posterity, the honor of being visible – especially as we become more valuable with age. Thank you!

    • Reply
      Brenda
      June 22, 2017 at 9:09 pm

      I have a huge smile on my face. I can definitely see merit in boredom. Or maybe for me it’s laziness. I vow to bring in more laziness and lalagaging this year! You’ve inspired me!

  • Reply
    Ann
    June 23, 2017 at 2:19 am

    Brenda, keep enjoying Santa Fe. I love that part of the world. When I was 48 I left the Big City Scene in Los Angeles and moved to Taos. I spent 10 years there. As you already know, Northern New Mexico is a magical place and will always be. I know every haunt you are describing there and am enjoying armchair-revisiting those places with you. Thanks for the trip! 🙂

    • Reply
      Brenda
      June 27, 2017 at 10:17 am

      Oh Ann, I envy you all that time in Taos! When the San Francisco earthquake happened in 1989 I thought for a moment that maybe it was time to leave and the place I wanted to go was Santa Fe or Taos.
      Alas, the aftershocks stopped about three months later and the thought faded away. Boy, I still just love it there!

  • Reply
    Privilege
    June 24, 2017 at 9:29 am

    […] Brenda, an over-60 blogger new to me, becoming more visible over-65. (I think about writing a post on how I’m loving my invisibility-at-will, but, maybe another […]

  • Reply
    Carol
    June 24, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    Brenda: Would you please suggest a website for great eyeglasses like yours! I am not looking for “cheap”, I am looking for “being visible”. Thanks and hope Santa Fe is wonderful.

    • Reply
      Brenda
      June 27, 2017 at 10:19 am

      Hi Carol. I get my eyewear at Uber Optics. Their website is http://www.uberoptics.com. Call and ask for Nancy, the owner, or Elizabeth to get started. Enjoy!

  • Reply
    Marla
    June 25, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    I’ve recently moved back to CA from Santa Fe to be closer to my elderly mother and got a laugh about Mr. Yucatan – my friend who still lives there (and is a native of MN) and I say over and over again how you can’t be invisible in Santa Fe because you run into people you know everywhere! I have made a u-turn out of many a place – I have to try your trick of invisibility! I plan on returning to Santa Fe permanently; for now, I pretend there are no dentists in CA and take a jaunt back every 3 months to see mine there to keep a connection to that place I love.

    • Reply
      Brenda
      June 27, 2017 at 10:24 am

      That’s so funny about no dentists in CA! But I totally get it. I’d love to have a reason to go back there every three months. Is your dentist taking new people?! Xx

  • Reply
    Pat
    June 26, 2017 at 5:43 am

    Happy Birthday, Brenda!! Ditto to all the above!
    You are so beautiful, inside and out…
    Your faithful fan,
    Pat

    • Reply
      Brenda
      June 27, 2017 at 10:24 am

      Thank you so much for your kind wishes!
      Faithfully yours,
      Brenda

  • Reply
    Denise Lampron
    July 26, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    Happy Belated Birthday Brenda. Not only are you a stylist extraordinaire, you’re a shaman! It’s takes some doing to intentionally become invisible. Aho! And I hear that you have found your North Dakota-style voice around claiming your intentions for quiet time or whatever your well-deserved 65 year young woman desires. Congratulations! Isn’t it liberating? I loved seeing so many women in Santa Fe sport their natural gray. I’m enjoying the sandals you’ve used to wardrobe your outfits. They look comfortable and stylist. Finally, if you were 65 this year (as was I), we are Dragons according to Chinese Astrology. How could a Dragon ever be invisible!

    • Reply
      Brenda
      July 27, 2017 at 6:13 pm

      Oh what an interesting point! Yes, I am a dragon!!! And thinking about getting a dragon to be invisible, well, I’m pretty proud of my success that day in Santa Fe! Thanks and Happy Birthday to you, Miss 65-year-old. Liberating is a perfect word for it! Hugs to you, my friend.

    Leave a Reply