forget me nots and starting over ….

by Sharon Santoni

bouquet with forget me nots

It seems appropriate that after an unheard-of week of silence on the blog, I come back to you with a bouquet of forget me nots.  I hope you didn’t forget me, I certainly thought a lot about you while I was on tour over the last couple of weeks.

Of course the buying activity is one of the new things that I do since I started the blog, and so many new doors have opened up for me.  All part of the reinvention thing …. or is it?

bouquet with forget me nots

Last week I had an interesting discussion with a friend about the word ‘reinvention’.  If you have read the blog for a while you will know that I am a firm believer in the concept of reinvention, in starting over, and enjoying the next stage in our lives, no matter what our age, young or old.

The friend in question took issue with my use of the word ‘reinvention’.  “You haven’t invented a new you”, she told me, ” because whatever you are today, was already inside you just waiting for the right moment to come to the forefront ….”

I get her point.  So what are we doing as we go through life, stepping into new roles, filling new shoes, discovering new talents or passions?  If we are not reinventing ourselves but simply bring to the the forefront facets of our personality that had never had the opportunity to shine, then what shall we call it?

bouquet with forget me nots

And what I like the most about this discussion is that it makes the whole reinvention thing feel more attainable.    We are not trying to become something new, but simply opening up a door on to a part of ourselves that hasn’t yet had a chance to shine ….

bouquet with forget me nots

So I wonder if you can help me with the vocabulary.  If we are not going to call this luxury to ease into a new stage of life “reinvention”,  then which word shall we use?   Rediscovery?  Unveiling? Remodelling ? …..  the jury is still out here, but I’d love to know what you think.


Therese April 30, 2016 - 5:49 pm

Love the colors! Flowers make life so sweet.

Elria Ellis May 2, 2016 - 6:11 pm

Unveiling sounds so ethereal, as if we are wearing many veils which are floating away one by one, as needed. Very similar to the onion thing, just a touch more romantic 😉

Donna May 3, 2016 - 10:14 pm

what about transforming or transformation?

Marsha Darnell November 7, 2016 - 4:18 am

Learning, growing, stretching

Vicky from Athens April 30, 2016 - 5:58 pm

I think I agree with your friend’s opinion of “reinventing” oneself. We are exploring another facet of our personalities, perhaps, and revealing a side of ourselves that maybe wasn’t visible before. Maybe no one knew it was something we wanted to be or do. Whatever we call it, we should always be ready to take the plunge!
Your flowers are beautiful this morning!

Dyzie May 1, 2016 - 1:06 pm

I love your definition : Revealing! That’s exactly what we do…reveal facets of our personalities that even we may not have known!

Susan April 30, 2016 - 6:26 pm

I like the idea of discovery… Of exploring new interests; of discovering latent abilities and new passions. I’m so looking forward to my retirement and the new world that comes with that. Thanks for the encouragement that Ifind reading your blog.

Kerry L O'Gorman April 30, 2016 - 6:38 pm

Opening up to new possibilities. I have been reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and she talks a lot about this and how if we are not receptive to ideas that come our way the idea will find someone else who will. So even though those things may lie in waiting within us they may very well travel on to the next receptive soul unless we take the opportunity to explore.

Emm April 30, 2016 - 8:10 pm

I think that a perhaps large part of what we call reinvention is really peeling away the layers that have been superimposed on the core “us” by circumstance, family, friends, upbringing, whatever. So, with luck, we peel away layer upon layer to get closer to whatever it is we feel is the “real me”, the one deep inside that’s been waiting for whatever reason(s) to be revealed.
So, perhaps “revelation” as a term? Which makes me think of the Alvin Ailey ballet by that name — one could do worse than to dance through life.

dottie monta April 30, 2016 - 8:52 pm

Thank you, Sharon, for the exquisite little arrangements!
What we are doing, perhaps, is “re-interpreting” ourselves. All our talents remain, but we are applying them in different ways, in different situations. Aren’t we lucky, and blessed, to have the opportunities and the facilities to do so!
Happy Spring, my friend.

Mumbai April 30, 2016 - 9:03 pm

I wouldn’t create a new word instead of that wonderful expression from
your friend. Just perfect

Penny kweder May 1, 2016 - 12:13 am

I’m in agreement with this remark. Often we need to learn new things, through a class, or reading to move on to the next thing. Nothin wrong with ” reinvention”!

stacey snacks April 30, 2016 - 9:17 pm

I have always liked the word “reinventing one’s self”… just means a metamorphosis, like a butterfly……changing into something else……this week….or this year.

We are forever changing. 🙂

Leila Hoffpauir April 30, 2016 - 11:58 pm

Thank you for the beautiful flowers. They brighten a dreary rainy day here in Louisana. I agree with Stacey and Vicky, I love the word reinventing, as I envision a tapole that becomes a frog, a catapillar that becomes a butterfly…it is all about growth, reimagining, or reinventing. All the words suggested are wonderful, but it not just in the wording, it is the fun we experience in the growing process of life.❤️

Katherine Howden April 30, 2016 - 9:18 pm


Botanic Bleu April 30, 2016 - 9:46 pm

Pause for thought about this… and wander through my mind about this question. If not reinvention, perhaps it is re-interpretation. Rejuvenation sounds too much like something was wrong, missing, broken, etc…, but when we step out into new ventures we are not repairing ourselves.

While we were waiting for the right moment for something that was already inside us to come to the forefront, that may still be a reinvention of ourselves. From birth we grow and learn, ever changing in body, spirit, intellect… inventing ourselves. As we grow older, we are still changing in body, spirit, intellect, and still inventing ourselves. Since we have had personas in adulthood that may be changed, that is a reinventing of ourselves.

My decision is to continue to use the term reinvention.


Leslie in Oregon May 1, 2016 - 6:42 am

Judith, I like your description of what is happening and would label it exploring and evolving.

Cathy Mc April 30, 2016 - 10:07 pm

Reboot? Me 2.0 or Me 3.0? Whatever you call it, I think I’m going through it.

Marilyn Lowe April 30, 2016 - 10:39 pm

Rediscovering oneself! The one thing I wish I could do but life tends to get in the way!

Susan Nolingberg April 30, 2016 - 10:58 pm

Blossoming – as in your beautiful photos!

Peggy May 1, 2016 - 12:50 am

Blossoming is the word. Petal after petal. Decades help us do that. We are so very fortunate.

Sue April 30, 2016 - 11:09 pm

absolutely gorgeous, such a lovely setting as well, , makes it look like a painting..Sue

Chris April 30, 2016 - 11:10 pm

How about just plain “life”. I think these passages, and changes in life are just what we woman do. Call it bio-sociology, hormonal, career phase, child phase, freedom phase….once we are no longer on the hormonal “finding a mate, nesting, children, empty nest…etc…” (Or interchange those to/with “finding a career, doing said career, wanting more…or different freedoms from world norms…”) Whatever…important is to listen to the Now. Eckhart Tolle has said it all.

Anita May 4, 2016 - 6:55 am

Pour moi, c est tout à fait cela…
Ah Eckhart Tolle…
S ouvrir à son vrai soi , quel bonheur

donna April 30, 2016 - 11:18 pm

Life is an adventure. As we travel through it we reach different plateaus with new vistas. I think our inner selves change accordingly. We aren’t really reinventing ourselves as much as defining ourselves more clearly.

Jeanne Holbrook April 30, 2016 - 11:23 pm


Trinjia Dell'Aglio May 1, 2016 - 2:14 am

I like this term, “evolution” too. I feel like ‘reinventing’ implies that something was wrong with us in the past; that we need to re-do something that hasn’t been right. Evolution accepts where we were, but understands that we must continue to change as everything continually changes.

LMC May 1, 2016 - 4:40 am

I was thinking evolution too

Pamela April 30, 2016 - 11:25 pm

Love your flowers and the vases so pretty, I think redirecting ourselves,would be closer to what we do. Blossoming is also a good word.
Can not wait to hear about your tours.

Lori Wilbins April 30, 2016 - 11:30 pm

It is a continuing metamorphosis of becoming the fully winged butterfly God made us each to be.

donna May 1, 2016 - 5:15 pm


Cynthia April 30, 2016 - 11:32 pm

Restoration? Yes, restoration. For me, at least.

Karen April 30, 2016 - 11:33 pm

When I set about getting to know a new client, I call it peeling the onion. We all have stories and so many layers to our personalities. Now, an onion is not such a romantic image when one thinks of what to call the journey of discovery and development of our “selves”. But, as one other reader put it… blossoming is a good word… an onion blossoms as it is cut, just as a flower blossoms and comes into it’s own fullness.

Beth Ferrari May 10, 2016 - 8:25 pm

I hope to peel down to find my “Inner Child”. I know that will bring some newness too.

Janet Eiffel April 30, 2016 - 11:41 pm

I’ve been reading your blog for ages…………Positively love it.
Just figured out how to comment.

Marianne April 30, 2016 - 11:44 pm

Sharon, the flowers are absolutely lovely, and you were missed. Marianne

Tootsie April 30, 2016 - 11:46 pm

If what we are discovering has always been inside, how about unfolding – layer by layer.

Joan May 1, 2016 - 12:04 am

I adore your beautiful bouquets. I love the term evolving. I am retired and am “evolving” as I explore unused or underused facets of myself. I cherish the opportunity to discover what is meaningful and interesting to me as I am no longer caught up in “everyday family life” . I continue to grow and evolve through new experiences.

Nonie Martin May 1, 2016 - 12:29 am

Unveiling the new you is a real thing each of us needs to do. My husband has always wanted to relocate to France. So we will be Unveiling the adventurous in us starting Oct. No wish we could have…wish we had and why we didn’t regrets.

Bonnie groves poppe May 1, 2016 - 8:34 am

Bravo. I did it also,on my own age 65 with 2 small dogs. I didn’t disconnect my life in California and it was a source of comfort to know I had not done something irreversible and could relax about being in a foreign country. If you can do that I highly recommend it as I have known people that were not able to adjust and did not really understand the profound differences between cultures until it was too late.
Bonnie in provence

Mary May 1, 2016 - 9:14 pm

For Bonnie…curious as to how you relocated to France at 65 by yourself & 2 dogs….how exciting!
Mary in San Diego

Christina May 1, 2016 - 12:30 am

What a lovely and thoughtful post! I’ve used the term reinvent often but now might think twice about it – I like evolution as well – or maybe revelation (not in the biblical sense) – the “revealing” of a You that was in there all the time and is now ready to emerge?
Many thanks for the beautiful photos and words.

Catherine May 1, 2016 - 12:33 am

Oh, good grief. All these other terms have “issues” as well. I think your friend is being a little overly dramatic. I’m in the process of reinventing myself and I like the term just fine. Carry on everyone.

Bonnie groves poppe May 1, 2016 - 8:38 am

Right. I’ve always thought of it as reinventing my life, more than myself personally. I hopefully continue to be more aware of myself and others and strive for authenticity, and do not think of that as anything other than getting older and wiser!

Kate Spohn May 2, 2016 - 12:36 am

Catherine, I sure do like your no-nonsense approach! You are a breath of fresh air.

Von Ann May 1, 2016 - 12:46 am

I love the term “Blossoming”, an unfolding of what is already there! Love your posts.

JaneEllen May 1, 2016 - 1:06 am

I would call it “growing as a person”. There are so many different phases to life when we often change without realizing we have, most of time would say is a good thing.
Have been told I have changed, in good ways, yeahoo for that. Am pretty sure you have also. Sometimes new people we meet change our perspective, that can be good.
I feel that I learn new ideas, attitudes from books I read, sometimes very different kind of book than usual for me and sometimes not. It’s good to be open to ideas different than we have known before, just let things happen, see where it goes, how it affects us.
Well that’s a nutshell version of how I think we grow as humans.
Have great weekend Sharon

JaneEllen May 1, 2016 - 1:08 am

Your flowers and containers are gorgeous. Love those pitchers if that’s what they are.

Lin Powell May 1, 2016 - 1:11 am

I actually like “reinventing”. To me it means taking a different path whether trying new things by choice or circumstances. For me it is not a subtle change, but something totally different that makes me and others, look at me in a totally different way that they never knew or expected. Personally, I will stick to the term reinvent. I have reinvented myself a few times from single to married, to mother, to worker, (changing with each very different job), to empty nester and retiree. I actually do feel that with each major change I was reinventing myself as I discovered other aspects of myself I didn’t realize were in me.

Laura Ingalls Gunn May 1, 2016 - 1:12 am

Metamorphosis. You are transitioning in a manner similar to a wonderful caterpillar becoming a beautiful butterfly.

Cecelia Weeks May 1, 2016 - 1:16 am

I like to think of it as a “blossoming”, as each “bud” on our “tree” opens to reveal a new and different part of ourselves.

Judy Franco May 1, 2016 - 1:20 am

A reawakening as we do each morning to a fresh new day. Each day is rife with possibilities. So too is a new stage of life. Yes, I like reawakening.

Donna Clark May 1, 2016 - 1:23 am

How about re-loving? We need to learn to accept what was in the past, absorb it into our souls jorney and go forward from here learning to re love ourselves as we discover our ever evolving lives.

Blanton May 1, 2016 - 1:40 am

Hi, how about Unfoldings? Perhaps a made up word but it describes us letting out the next passion and giving that passion attention.

Madonna May 1, 2016 - 2:02 am

Revealing. You are the one finding more about yourself. I think your French Girlfriends knew what you are finding out about yourself. (Your American ones also.) Your promotion of others tells so much of you. I think when you post about your flowers reveals you most. And we thank you. 🙂

Mary Johnston May 1, 2016 - 2:05 am

Hi Sharon, glad you’re back! I was just thinking if you were gone on a trip…& here you are! Reinvention is as good as any word to describe this stage of Life. I’ve been following my interest in plants. Volunteered at Botanical Garden then took the classes to become a Docent. Got a job at a nursery & this is where I learned a lesson. It wasn’t what I thought it would be & I realized it wasn’t for me. So I tried it & now I’m moving on.
And I don’t feel bad or a failure…that’s where the growth lesson comes in. I’m still a “work in progress”.
Mary in San Diego

Nancy Tirk May 1, 2016 - 2:26 am

Whatever you choose to call it, we all enjoy that you share with us. Your flowers are lovely, especially the love in a mist!

Marianne May 1, 2016 - 3:59 am

Sharon, no matter what the outcome of this discussion, please just keep shining. You cannot imagine how many homes you enter and hearts you touch. Time slips by and change happens. Those who embrace that change have stars in their eyes and smiles on their faces. Hope you are smiling right this minute.

sylvia Faye May 1, 2016 - 4:10 am

I truly think it is Wisdom as we gain knowledge all our life and this accumulation adds up to the reason in the past generations they reverred their elders…we learn something every day of our life and apply it differently as the wisdom of experience tells us; this is why the bible tells the older women to teach the young women. It is a good thing when applied unselfishly, n’est ce pas?

Madeline May 1, 2016 - 4:57 am

The next step………

joie May 1, 2016 - 5:40 am

The flowers would have won first prize at the Garden Show here this week-end. I love mixing blooms.

Marilyn May 1, 2016 - 5:55 am

At first I really liked your word “reinvention” as it is something I have been thinking of myself. But what has come to my own mind in thinking on this is “release”. Releasing what is still within me to fly/soar and be fully who I want to be. I am seriously looking for a meditation class to learn how to release what is still within. I know there is more smiles and laughter in there, I just know it.

Juli May 1, 2016 - 7:57 am

reinvention – You don’t want to be like some kind of water being dam, you want to be a river , you want to flow freely, you don’t want to stay in one place. A river flows to the ocean, and this is what you want to be. reinvent yourself, reach the ocean, pull up your sail and let yourself be “You verse the Wind” and reinvention is creating a valley of your own, and write your name on it.

Sue May 1, 2016 - 8:10 am

You had me at “forget-me-nots”….and then I was dazzled by the beauty of the images of my favourite flowers in sweet blue and white jugs….and then your wonderful blog post on a topic that is front and centre of my mind today. Along with all the great comments, I can say I haven’t enjoyed a blog post as much in a long time. Thankyou Sharon, firstly for the beauty, then the wisdom of your thoughts and of so many like minded women.
I like the term “reinvention”, but fundamentally, we are always the same person, just affected by the circumstances of our lives. It’s how we adapt and grow along with these circumstances that can have us reinventing ourselves to suit. “Adaptation” comes to mind, and along with that, becoming another version of ourselves…..but always growing, learning and loving along the way. Stay well

Allan Munn May 1, 2016 - 8:22 am

I’ve enjoyed your blog for years Sharon but I’ve never contributed … possibly because I’m male and secretly overwhelmed by all your female readers!
I don’t see human reinvention as a luxury I prefer to call it a process. Our lives are a journey not a destination. We all evolve with time and experience.
Like you I live in Normandy close to Nature and it’s the joy of Nature that I’ve learned to live by. I don’t feel Nature re-inventing herself I feel her moving with time. I hope I do too!
A statuary soul without Nature breeds a cold heart.
So … whatever name we give to your re-invention why not just call it C’est la vie?

Bev May 1, 2016 - 8:45 pm

Oh, wow. Your term is the best….c’est la vie! And I love that you are a guy. How refreshing! I’m using your words as I say good-bye to an older, well-lived, and well-loved life and look forward to the one in retiremet. Thanks, Allan. And by the way, lover of nature here as well!

Allan Munn May 5, 2016 - 7:34 am

Thank you Bev. Enjoy in your retirement. I hope Nature continues to embrace you.

david terry May 7, 2016 - 1:03 pm

Oh, Allan……

I’ve been a great fan of Sharon’s for years, and (until I recently took a “break” from blog-reading) I’ve been posting my head off on “My French Country Home”.

Although you live in Normandy, I gather that you’re not English. If you were (and given your self-confessed anxiety over speaking in a room, so to speak, filled with people who are utterly different from you), you’d know to do what every Englishman does when he’s in a room full of foreigners…..just start speaking LOUDER…

Advisedly yours,
David “Yup, it’s a boy!” Terry

Debbie May 1, 2016 - 9:39 am

Gorgeous flowers, what a vision. Why do you need a word? Just call it what it is and enjoy it, shortcut unnecessary.

Gina May 1, 2016 - 11:24 am

Renaissance Woman comes to mind. Your flower arrangements always have an artistic quality to them…a beautiful and new approach to flower arranging.

Jean K May 1, 2016 - 12:16 pm

I will be 70 this year. I am “refreshing.” I like exploring the world of fiber arts (always an interest in sewing, but now in a new way). I like learning how to be a fine art photographer (always an interest in picture taking, now I make images.) Because I have time, and purposely make time, to be me. This also includes “refreshing” friendships and giving more time for all the good people in my life. And, in devoting more time to action in helping others, my faith has been refreshed too. Life is Good Refreshed.

Carrie May 1, 2016 - 4:30 pm

Shedding the noise and the unnecessary, and letting our inner goddess shine!

Indigo May 1, 2016 - 5:03 pm

I think the wor EVOLUTION sums it all.

Taste of France May 1, 2016 - 5:18 pm

That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
Ditto for reinvention. Call it what you like, it’s a good thing.

Rebecca May 1, 2016 - 5:25 pm

It is only natural we all want to discover hidden talents and loves as we journey through our Book of Life. Those who choose not to, are not “becoming” or “discovering” who they truly may be.

Delaine May 1, 2016 - 5:27 pm

Love this post! Shall we put it as an UNEARTHING or AWAKENING something within you that has been lying dormant until now…?

Maywyn May 1, 2016 - 6:32 pm

Beautiful flowers

Interesting question
I look up transition synonyms for a choice. I like the word progress because it shows forward movement while honoring the past. I most like realignment because that keeps Self in the picture while the present and future match up (while also honoring the past).
We are always a work in progress. I also like reinventing because it means fun, shows the choice, the power of control to take on a new look.

Carol May 1, 2016 - 7:11 pm

I do get your friend’s point too. Rejuevenate perhaps? taking what you have and are, and shaking it up a bit to allow growth and encourage blooming.

Annelise van Doorn May 1, 2016 - 7:11 pm

Well, I must say ,after my divorse I rediscovered myself. I became brocanteur /stylist and have a wonderfull time living and working in France. My fb name is Chez Annelise. Have a look….

Annelise van Doorn May 1, 2016 - 7:12 pm

Oeps , divorce

Karen Britton May 1, 2016 - 8:03 pm

How about “unperfecting”? Although I used to strive for perfection in myself (and uncomfortable to admit) and others, I find that it’s much more fun and a lot easier to forget the concept. I paint and I frequently write, ” Perfection is no longer my reality” on my stuff because I don’t want anyone to look for perfection in my work. Thanks for continuing to bring us your bright outlook.

Janie May 1, 2016 - 9:36 pm

It’s new chapters. We are one big book and some chapters are longer than others (like child raising), but eventually we move into a new spot. All of our life experiences refine and define us. Becoming able to celebrate all these chapters is the secret. You are doing a fine job of this. Keep going…

Angela Thevenot May 1, 2016 - 10:40 pm

Un renaissance

Lorrie May 1, 2016 - 11:47 pm

I think reinvention is a fine term – but I also like the concept of becoming more of who I really am. Becoming me. It’s a process that will not end until life ends.

The blue pitchers (if that’s what they are) are simply gorgeous!

Tracy Bedeker May 2, 2016 - 12:51 am

What an interesting perspective! I too agree with your friend. I am in awe of how you have ‘evolved’! I personally like that word. You are an inspiration to so many and I love reading you every day. My favorite posts are these, and of course…… reading about the misadventures of your two mischievous pups Gibson and Getto. Keep up the wonderful work. Blessings from the Midwest Illinois, USA

Julie Bresette May 2, 2016 - 1:33 am


Beth May 2, 2016 - 3:42 am

Hi Sharon, I like to call it “entering into a new season”. For instance, in nature, the trees always have the components in them to regenerate new leaves and blossoms or fruit, it just happens in a particular season in their lifetime. Just because we aren’t “doing” anything exciting or new, it doesn’t mean we aren’t in an important season in our lives. Like the trees, sometimes we enter a season of rest before the rejuvenation.

God bless you all…

Paula May 2, 2016 - 3:48 am

I always enjoy your posts but today it had a special meaning. At 47 years old I started anew job today! Doing something that I had t done before, but always dreamed of doing. Your thoughts are so accurate for me today. Thanks!

Cindi Brumpton May 2, 2016 - 4:21 am

Re-imagined seems apt.

Michele May 2, 2016 - 12:48 pm

Is it simply growth? The word is not poetic or lyrical, but like the amazing flowers or gorgeous gardens that you and I both love, beauty does not stay stagnant. Even the wonderful antiques we seek evolve with more patina, layers of wear. You, we, are like an amazing garden, full of beauty and surprises.

Dorothy May 2, 2016 - 1:28 pm

Creating. It’s all about growth-never stop learning, doing and making a better future.
Like the beautiful flower arrangement you have created. Thanks Sharon for always inspiring me.

Organized 1 May 2, 2016 - 4:15 pm

I like to think of it as expanding and growing. Becoming more, adding more and evolving…what a beautiful thing it is to take lessons from our past and create a deeper richer and more fulfilling future. Always expanding and growing!

Darina May 2, 2016 - 4:19 pm

Discovery…. I like that. Explore new things…get inspired each time you find another discovery…yes I like that very much!

Debbie Spence May 2, 2016 - 4:54 pm

Unfolding, revealing, renewing, blossoming, arriving

Suzanna Atkin May 2, 2016 - 5:55 pm

Yes, yes… Indigo has what I was thinking too, but then I thought, in the English language we have action words. To ‘invent’ is a word of action. We ‘evolve’ pretty much as a natural course of living as do all living things, but to invent something NEW means one has to take action. It does not happen naturally. Then to re- invent is to take action again and again. And Sharon, you are reinventing your life as each day passes. You sleep and dream of what you want the new day to be and then you rise and act one those dreams. The people in your life give you ideas and nudge you this way and that, but the adventure is yours. As a single individual we can only travel one road in only one single direction at a time. We often come to forks in the road and we choose to go one way or another. You are still doing that today, but with less baggage ( children at school) and more wisdom. By reading your blog I can see that the world is a very wonderous wide open road for many of us of a certain age to re-invent our lives ‘after-children’. Invent and re-invent away my friend and so shall we. The world will be a better place for us all. Love your spirit!

Mary Anne Brillhart May 2, 2016 - 6:04 pm

Seems my life’s changes always come from being ‘inspired’ or pure inspiration. Being introduced to your blog and keeping my eyes open to new directions may change and excite me to do more/different things but never feel like it is “starting over” as I cherish everything that has made me who I am.

Santa Barbara, CA

Jan May 2, 2016 - 6:29 pm

How about “reimagining?” Since retiring I am doing things I’d always imagined I would do- and opening my imagination to even more possibilities, be it travel, gardening, new hobbies-whatever!

Elliot in Minnesota May 2, 2016 - 9:28 pm

The multi-talented Mary Catherine Bateson used the phrase in a book about the various endeavors of a number of women. That’s the title of one of MCB’s books. She distinguishes this approach from a linear, pilgrim’s progress model for living.

Elliot in Minnesota May 2, 2016 - 9:30 pm

*The phrase and title from MC Bateson is “composing a life.”

Irene Peterson May 2, 2016 - 10:28 pm

I have never liked labels. As I age, I become more alive with a depth of feeling that overshadows any name you want to call it.

I adore all of your flower displays!

Irene Peterson May 2, 2016 - 10:33 pm

This is an original and not a duplicate –

With each passing year, I become more alive with a deeper and peaceful feeling inside of me. I don’t need a label to identify myself – I just keep blooming.

Thank you for all of your exquisite flower arrangements that always bring a smile to my face.

Bebe May 3, 2016 - 7:42 pm

Don’t care for the word repurposing. Always sounds like using something old for a new purpose. Reinvention is a fine word for a woman who has used her talents for various periods in her life and keeps on doing so. We are constantly evolving into something a bit different, a bit more, whatever.

If someone knows what you mean – and we did – then the word you used is fine.

Cassie May 4, 2016 - 3:11 pm

Why does everything have to have a label?

LA CONTESSA May 4, 2016 - 3:27 pm


Marian from England May 4, 2016 - 6:08 pm

Isn’t language wonderful?! All these different words at our disposal – great! I think we are like a jigsaw, made up of all the things we have done, the experiences we have had and that it’s not so much reinventing as simply growing. Like the beautiful flowers in your pretty china, they were always going to be a Forget-me-Not or a Pansy, but they took time to grow and so do we. Or, perhaps you could say that our lives are the pages of our book with each page adding to the story, helping it grow more interesting and exciting as each one is turned, until you finally reach The End and you have a beautiful story that is who you became. Whatever the word is, let’s just keep on learning and growing and enjoying our lives!

Melanie May 5, 2016 - 11:52 pm

I enjoy your blog very much!

Nib's End May 6, 2016 - 5:07 pm

Depending on the individual, the word for what we do with ourselves after the children leave the nest could be resuscitate, revive or resume. Some words are more romantic than others, but then, some lives are more romantic than others. As the years left to me shrink, I am thinking that my own trajectory could use a little more verbiage denoting “pedal to the metal” or “afterburner”.

Words are like vessels that carry meaning and are integral to communication. Some words are like teacups and others like water butts. As a writer, I understand and applaud the desire to find the best word to describe what one is experiencing. At the same time, for reasons of courtesy, I try not to impose this passion on my friends. It just makes me look like an oaf.

david terry May 7, 2016 - 1:13 pm

Oh, this is an easy one, Sharon.

If you’re truly tired of the term “re-invention” (personally, I can’t help but think of “The Terminator” when I hear folks use that term), simply use “renaissance”.

“Renaissance” has the connotative advantage of suggesting that you’re merely revealing & cultivating that which was already present, but previously ignored or obscured over the years.

Additionally, it’s a Latin word, and using Latin terms always impresses people, n’est-ce pas? You could, alternatively, spell it “Renascence” (thereby further impressing folks with your suggestion of a deep familiarity with the poetry of Edna St. Vincent Millay).

Advisedly yours as ever,

David Terry (former English professor who can’t seem able to shake off some of his more skool-marmy habits……)

Donna Knight May 7, 2016 - 5:48 pm

Thank you for your post and the delightful tea cups filled with exquisite color.
I just read an article about how physicists think of time…and with past and future not being
a part of their science,
I would like to think of changes in or passions as “The New Now.”

Maryan May 8, 2016 - 2:55 am

Ah, we are so lucky for the opportunity to re-invent ourselves.
Perhaps an evolution afforded only to those with a curious mind,
an indelible spirit, and a love of life.

Cathy C May 8, 2016 - 3:43 pm

Hello Sharon,
I keep coming back to this post thinking I have “the” word. But alas, I don’t. The practicality of it all suggests simply that we are evolving – no “re” necessary…reinventing…reemerging…reviving. There is freedom in both ~ being happy with the here and now, and having the courage to give flight to an unfulfilled passion.
Bon Weekend & Happy Mother’s Day.

Cheryl May 9, 2016 - 1:25 pm

I don’t believe it is “re” anything…that gives the impression of something done before. I think it should be something like an “awakening”, as part of us has been asleep and is now coming to life.

terry May 9, 2016 - 4:15 pm

I call it coming to fruition

david terry May 9, 2016 - 4:51 pm


That has disconcertingly moist connotations and, moreover, suggests an expiration/sell-by date.

Advisedly yours as ever,

David Terry

Adelia May 10, 2016 - 11:53 pm

Sharon, I love this post (as I have delighted in yours for years now). Am myself going through what you speak of. and i love the point that it is not reinvention so much as an opening for previously buried aspects of ourselves, untapped possibilities to emerge.

So that is the word that’s been coming to me: “emergence”.
And all of Nature models it for us in Spring, eh?

J’adore the combination of lilac and forget-me-nots, and I’m so inspired by the lovely way you arrange these.
You share so much beauty in this blog and it has repeatedly lifted me up and carried me through grim times and challenging years. Through your photos of course but also a sprightliness, and a loveliness of spirit that you share with your thoughts, your words.
I am so very grateful for you and the generous way you share your world and your creativity with us.

Cheryl January 19, 2017 - 12:05 am

Flourishing. Thriving.

Maggi September 24, 2019 - 10:11 am

Blooming marvelous!


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