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Friday, August 21, 2015

Bits of Bliss-Wiser

Yesterday I turned another year older.

Wiser 117-001

As a whole birthdays can be a traumatic experience for a woman. It’s no secret that our society values YOUTH.

But a few years ago I decided to be really HAPPY about birthdays.

I don’t just enjoy one day. I revel in a birthday WEEK.

I do this because there are people who would give anything for just one more.

My own dad had just 21 birthdays. My mom saw only 26 years. Together that is just 47 birthdays.

This year I turned 47.

I feel so….incredibly blessed and thankful.

Happy Birthday – Cupcakes with Candles, Cute Images | Amazing Photos

This past Friday I went to Metrocon, an interior design-related regional expo and conference.

I specifically had signed up for a ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) student network hiring event.

It was an opportunity to have my portfolio reviewed, résumé assessed and meet with prospective employers.

There is a certain fear…lack of confidence…hesitation… that can sneak in when you KNOW you are going to be the OLDEST student in the room.

I made sure to get a good nights sleep and tried to swallow a bit of breakfast.

I then treated myself to a softly scented bath.

After toweling off I smoothed on a bit of dōTERRA facial “tightening serum”. I smiled as I remembered the story of a women who used Preparation H as her eye cream of choice due to its shrinking properties.


As I began styling my hair, fighting against the cowlicks and thinness, I decided to be thankful that I don’t have to color my hair. My gray hairs are very few in number.

There was also a bit of a tussle with the zipper of my dress as it tried to close over the extra 10 pounds I’ve been carrying around lately. But then I remembered that when I started this blog back in 2008, and had a Marie Antoinette themed birthday, that I had wished I was thinner then. Boy! What I wouldn’t give to look like that again.

So, it stands to reason that in another few years I will be wishing for my 47 year old figure so I’ve just decided to enjoy it now. :)

Of course once I got to Metrocon it took forever to find a parking space. I ended up having to walk a quarter of a mile in 100 degree heat to get to the event.

Two words people:

Of course once in the building, even though I had preregistered and had printed out my reservation, they couldn’t find me in the system. I kept watching the clock race towards the appointed hour. Maximum stress. I hate to be late. That feeling of entering a room and having an entire crowd of people turn to look at you. Blah!

I considered just throwing in the towel, returning home, putting on a pair of really big pants and eating an entire tub of artichoke dip.

Yammie's Noshery: The Best Spinach Artichoke Dip Ever

But I stayed because obviously I like to torture myself.

Plus, there were several design booths catching my design eye.

Wiser 124

So, I lined up with all of the other students to be interviewed by three prospective employers.

I looked around and confirmed I was indeed the oldest student there.

I also saw that the majority of the others waiting to be interviewed were looking at their electronic portfolios.

While in essence I do have an online portfolio (it’s this blog) I had brought an old school portfolio filled with photographs of previous projects, hand renderings and CAD drawings.

My only thoughts were “Well, aren’t I showing my AGE?!!” and “Ugh, why can’t the floor just open up and swallow me???”

So here’s what happened.

I met some very nice people.

It turns out old school portfolios are still VERY desired. Interiors designers are visual  and tactile people. (They like to see and touch.) Score one for moi!

But all three said I needed to improve my résumé.

It appears I don’t toot my own horn enough. It seems that is now a necessity. I was told I was toooooo modest and reserved about my accomplishments, which they learned about because they met me face to face, but what if I was only sending it in alone and it joined a fat stack of other résumés?

I also learned that they would actually be thrilled to hire a person my age.

They said they considered my age a bonus. That I possessed maturity and lacked the self entitlement that the younger generation seemed to now have in spades. They knew that in a year or two I would not turn into brideszilla or need 800 months of maternity leave.

I was entirely, pleasantly surprised.

I found truly lovely people willing to help me.

Of course, I am sure it didn’t hurt that I also took an active interest in them.

For instance, Charlotte’s lovely necklace had been made from two antique French tiebacks. Clever!

Wiser 125

I also learned that the president of the local chapter of ASID lives in my same town. We will begin working on a project together in October.

Wiser 128

So, I’m older and wiser.

Which turns out is exactly what the world (and dachshunds) want.

Wiser 116

“In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.” ~ Abraham Lincoln



Kelley Dibble said...

Oh, the beautiful, blessed in them thar' years, lovely birthday girl! Congratulations are certainly in order!

Hugs from a 54 year old who's right up there with you!

H A P P Y B I R T H D A Y!!!!!

Lynda Brandly said...

Happy birthday, Laura! I think there are a lot of us out here that value the wisdom of age! I'm so glad you felt appreciated and found a comfort zone. You look beautiful (and very knowledgeable!) ;)
love and blessings~
Lynda @ Gates of Crystal (who is older than you!)

Jan Tanis said...

Happy Birthday Laura! You so deserved a wonderful day - and it seems you got it! With all of your talent, you DO NEED to TOOT YOUR OWN HORN more go ahead and do it! You've been blessed with so much talent, skill and beauty too! You're gorgeous inside and out! I'm blessed to call you my friend.

~Blessings & Hugs...
Jan ♥

I've got you beat by several years. I'll be 66 in 7 weeks! I'm enjoying my life. And I know I'm blessed!

Linda said...

Happy Birthday, Laura, and you are truly another year more beautiful as well!! I admire all that you do - I loved reading your post and your sharing from your heart. I could relate on a number of issues (how I feel, for instance, when I have to attend an event that is slightly out of my comfort zone, but how, like you, I often come away with having a great experience and meeting nice people). As for age.... at nearly 51, I'm in better shape than I was last year, and in fact, since I've been since age 20, so I accomplished what I set out to do this 50th year (or 51st year as it is, since my husband always reminds me that when we have a birthday, we're actually stepping into the next year of life - so though I'm 50, this has already been my 51st year of life). My Mom is 85 and unfortunately, she cries a lot about being older. My Dad is 90 and he's the same way - neither one of them, though they realize what a blessing it is to have lived that long, embraces their old age. They actually complain about it and I'm afraid I'm destined to be the same. Don't get me wrong - they're not always grouchy, but they're sad that life has gone by so fast. That's the same feeling I get day after day, but I press on.

I hope this proves to be a most wonderful year of life for you. ♥
Love, Linda

Karena Albert said...

Dear Laura a very Happy Birthday Week to you!!
I am so proud to call you a Friend and of all of your accomplishments! Enjoy!!
A new chapter begins as I always say!

The Arts by Karena

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

You are totally amazing and I can't imagine anyone not falling in love with you and your talents.

Fairhope Supply Co. said...

First of all, you look absolutely fabulous, for any age! Many younger women would give anything for a figure like yours! As far as the work force goes, 20-somethings don't know how to have a conversation without a phone in their hands. And the 30-somethings truly are distracted by a busy decade of family issues. You are in a great place, so enjoy. . . and TOOT that HORN!

Catherine Holman said...

Happy Birthday! You look great!

Vicki said...

Happy Birthday dear friend! I'm so glad you hung in there and met some great people at your event. Just think of the good advice, new knowledge, and encouragement you would have missed if you had left. I'm excited to see what comes of this!

the cape on the corner said...

happy birthday! and what a great story (and accomplishment!)

Carol said...

First off, Happy Birthday! You look beautiful, Laura! I think it's wonderful that you celebrate another year, instead of dread it. I've always been pretty good at that, but facing a major health challenge makes it even more important.

Before you even said how the people you interviewed with, regarded your age as an asset, I just knew that is what would happen. That attitude of entitlement from the younger generation is what's keeping them content to remain at home, being cared for by mommy and daddy.....even when they have passed the "young-stage" and moved into their 30's. Our son talks about that all the time in the restaurant business. So, you go Girl, and show them what you've got!

Kiki Nakita said...

Wishing you a blessed birthday. It's true to be grateful for each day, week, month or year. I learned that when my daddy passed away at 54 from cancer.

I went to design school for 5 years, and graduated during the recession (jokes on me) and agree that many residential clients prefer more someone whose had more life experiences (like owning a home) than when I was a 20 something fresh out of college. I worked in showrooms, new build model homes, and then ventured into Heritage Preservation and it's a great avenue.

Have fun with your celebrations this week
~ Kiki ~

Lisa said...

Happy Birthday!!!! You look so beautiful in your fun aqua dress.;-) I'm not surprised you made an impression on everyone you met. You're impressive even online! LOL
BTW I love Charlotte Comer and everything she does. My friend and I once stalked her house in Lakewood. Yes. It was gorg. Just a lil FYI

Prettypracticalhome said...

I'm happy to hear you had such a positive experience and took away some ways you can get closer to achieving your goal. I'm glad you're a woman who doesn't mind getting older. I turn 40 in a few months and I'm so thrilled that I get to--many are denied the privilege. Happy Birthday to you!

Linda @ Life and Linda said...

Happy birthday Laura. You look fabulous! Somehow with aging, those extra pounds creep in. I hate that.... I do remember women using prep H. Funny stuff. Getting older is just a number. Sure, we have more aches and pains, but life is good! I admire your skill set. I wish I had gone to design school years ago. Have a great weekend.

Lorrie said...

Bon anniversaire, mon amie. Tu es belle, très intelligente, et as l'air charmante. It's hard to toot one's own horn when we've been taught to be humble and not proud. The balance is hard to find. I'm glad the experience was a positive one!

Jennifer Schmitz said...

Happy birthday hot mama! :)

Susan Nowell @ My Place to Yours said...

Happy birthday week, Laura! I totally understand your insecurities as you went to the event, but I'm so glad you stayed. I had a feeling your "old school" design boards would score some points for you, and I'm glad to know the interviewers still see the wisdom and appeal of such artistry. Just the other day I went through one of my old portfolios—deciding what to part with and what to keep—and it felt good that I could still be proud of 20-year-old projects. So go ahead and toot your own horn! Don't undersell yourself and your abilities. You have worked so hard, and it's exciting to watch "what next" as it unfolds for you. If they're smart, those young students will pay attention and learn from you!

ellen b. said...

A very happy birthday to you young thing! Oh boy I do wish I weighed what I weighed at 47 or at 55 or even at 60...oye!
Glad you persevered and stayed at the event and go some very good and encouraging feedback.
ellen b. at The Happy Wonderer!

Magali@TheLittleWhiteHouse said...

You actually offered us lots of wise words for your birthday!

Janet Garon said...

Happy happy birthday a little late! That was just fantastic! You are just a kid compared to my 53 years! Now you show those young uns how it is done!!

Rue said...

Happy Birthday, Laura! Sorry I'm late. We're only two years apart, so you're not old, because I'm not old ;)

I'm glad the event turned out to be a good one for you. I would've wanted to hightail it out of there too. As for what they said about age... I've been hearing that a lot lately about the younger generation. Hopefully the kids these days will learn not to be so self entitled when the older generation starts getting their jobs.

You're a truly great designer, Laura. You could have just shown them the post about Storybook Cottage being one year old. It's an amazing transformation!


Miss Jane said...

Happy Birthday!! and thank you for your wonderful post! It always saddens me when my friends say things like "I hate my birthday" such a negative response to the celebration of oneself. I might not get to celebrate as much as I'd like but I do enjoy my birthday; it's the one day all year that's all about me! You referenced your birthday week and to that I say ABSOLUTELY!! Week, two weeks, all month - whatever works! ENJOY!!! CELEBRATE!! SMILE! LAUGH! and get a pedicure :))
P.S. I'm quite impressed with the feedback you got about the self-entitled younger generation. It's good to see at least one group taking notice.

Unknown said...

Catching up on your posts--so happy you made the connections through ASID--that is exactly their intention--to mentor new (not necessarily young) designers! Kudos to you!