TAKING SHAPE

This past weekend I spent in Minneapolis for a reunion of sorts. My husband and I lived there 26 years ago when he was working at the county hospital. While he was in a meeting on Friday, I investigated our old stomping grounds.

Back in the day, I lived on the Mississippi waterfront in the Riverwest apartments. Count up to the 15th floor, you’d see me on my balcony, barbequing brats and making a hotdish before the snow storm of the century hit. Our view of downtown Minneapolis was fabulous. And watching violent thunderstorms edge in from the south was spectacular. That year, 1991-1992, was an exciting time to live in Minneapolis. In addition to the Halloween Blizzard I mentioned above, the Twins won the World Series, and the Metrodome hosted the Final Four and Super Bowl XXVI. But best of all, Reeg and Kath came to town to film a Live with Regis and Kathie Lee show.

Our apartment back then was the nicest thing on the waterfront – and it was a bit flimsy and cheap. It was flanked by dilapidated flour mills and warehouses. You never ever walked south. It was a ghost town, rough and a bit scary.

Today, the waterfront area is just a trace of its old self. The ramshackle buildings have given way to tastefully done condos, shops and peaceful tree-lined streets. There’s also a vibrant park with a walking and biking trail. Thankfully they kept the iconic flour mill signs, which have always been the soul of the waterfront. They look content in their new surroundings – a spotless balance of new and old.

Got to admit, I was a little rough around the edges back in 1991 as well. Impatient, insecure and worried about things that now seem so inconsequential. Strolling the area uncovered so many memories of my 26-year-old self, and revealed how much I, and my peers, have changed over the years. There’s no question we’ve evolved. We’ve smoothed out and mellowed. We’re more peaceful, refined and content – regardless of our surroundings. And the fact that we’re continuing to take shape, and that we’re at a point where we have some control over the direction we take it, is so exciting.

Today I urge you to think about your 26-year-old self, how you’ve changed over the years, and where you want to take all the wisdom, confidence and skills you’ve gathered along the way. Below I share with you some of my favorite sources for the continued honing of how I want to take shape – creatively, physically and mentally.

I hope you find them useful.

Fondly,

Jennifer

P.S. Shout out to one of my besties, Rachael Golden Mortensen. Today is her birthday. HBD Rach. Love you.

Shape Your Mind

So, if you’re an avid reader of Becoming, you know how I’m addicted to podcasts. I listen to them during my long drives to and from the coast to Portland, when I’m doing mundane chores around the house, and while I’m falling asleep. I listen to shows that help me hone my business skills, ones that entertain and fascinate me, and one particular one thatbores me to sleep. But to stretch my mind, my abilities and my realities, I do not pass "Go." I do not collect $200. I go directly to NPR’sInvisibilia.

Shape Your Style

In Monday’s newsletter, I talked about how there are no rules for how we style ourselves at any age. However, that doesn’t mean we don’t continue to struggle it. As it’s been through our entire lives, our bodies are changing, our lifestyles are changing, and the ways we want to express ourselves are changing. I envy the women who seem to have incredible style that fits them so perfectly. How do they know? What’s their secret? But rather than envy and wonder, why not observe and get inspired to play around with our own style? Here’s a list of Instagrammers whose style I love.

Shape Your Shape

Last winter, when it was dark and rainy in Portland, I spent a lot of time on the sofa. I’d get up at 6:00 am and I’d start working, which means sitting with my computer on the sofa. And once I start working, I can’t stop. At 4:00 pm, you would find me on the sofa, in the same place, still in my pajamas. I gained weight (surprise). But not only that, I felt unhealthy. Then it was time to move – literally. Packing up the house for two months was very physical. And some days, I barely sat down. And guess what? I lost weight and toned up. Just by getting off the couch and being active. Lesson learned: being healthy isn’t rocket science. Move your body every day, eat right, and drink lots of water. You don’t need to be doing crazy sh*t at the gym, you don’t need to go on crash diets. Now, to keep myself accountable, and to balance the fitness equation, I use MyFitnessPal.

“All relationships change the brain – but most important are the intimate bonds that foster or fail us, altering the delicate circuits that shape memories, emotions and that ultimate souvenir, the self.”

– Diane Ackerman

And now back to you, Jane.

Interesting news and other things that caught our eye.

ICYMI, as I did, based on the tweets from Monday night’s Bachelorette finale, it was quite a doozy.

Block heels out. Cone heels in.

On August 21, we’re bracing for the 1 million people coming to Oregon to watch the eclipse. If you’re one of them, why not raise the bar with a Sasquatch sighting.

And if you are one of the 1 million coming to Oregon, you may as well head 3 hours north to Seattle for Kurt Cobain art exhibit.

Who doesn’t love the smell of a new car? Apparently many folks in China, the world’s largest automobile marketplace.

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