Taking Care

Photography by Kesho

It’s my 51st birthday today and I am celebrating!!  I was my mother’s mother’s day present in 1963! (Happy Mother’s Day to all the mamas!)

There was a time when I shied away from sharing my age with others, but now I embrace the opportunity. I know of so many who did not live to see a 51st birthday. I am grateful for another year.

I decided to treat myself to some new headshots for my birthday and booked a photo shoot. I did my own makeup and planned to use natural lighting in a natural setting with a photographer that I felt would respect my choices and vision.  I was still nervous to say the least.

The first shoot was a disaster with a botched makeup job and inappropriate lighting that made me look like a character straight out of Twilight.  Yes, that’s what I said.  I looked like a vampire, completely washed out and hungry for blood.

Anxious I awaited the results of the second shoot.

Cautiously, I gazed at the images on the screen. I saw a woman who was more mature, white hair, a few crinkles, narrowed eyes, and a big smile. I saw a woman who was older …


and more beautiful than ever.  I cried.

I cried because I know she is taking better care of herself than she has in years. She is more patient and compassionate. She judges much less and laughs a lot more. She pushes consistently and yet knows when to pause.

She sleeps well at night and takes naps when needed.  She curbs the butter and sweets. She exercises at least 3-4 times a week when previously she didn’t even think about it. She is working on whittling down that 80 pounds that she has needed to lose for years.

She allows art, music, dance, poetry, literature to inspire her on a daily as she creates!

She is in love with herself, another, and her life. She likes what she sees in the mirror regardless of how much more work she still has to do on herself.  Most of all…

She is delighted that she has given her own daughter something sexy, sassy, confident, adventurous, humorous, and beautiful to look forward to…

I am proud to say she is ME!

I want my soon to be 20 year old daughter to know that life, love, beauty, passion, and purpose do not stop at age 25 or 30. I want her to know that beauty radiates from the inside out with daily nurturing and commitment to positive self-development and self-expression.

I want her to know that 20 years old is a “spit in the bucket” and at 51, her mama is still drawing from an endless well of living water with plenty to look forward to.

I am poised to have the best year of my life while being the best example and inspiration for many younger women following behind me. It took me a while to get to this place. (A looooong while!)

Before her death after a lengthy debilitating illness at the age of 59, my mama’s mantra was, “Tamara, take care of yourself. Please take care of yourself.”

I’m doing it, Mama. Little by little, I’m doing it…

What about you?

Are you taking care of yourself inside and out? Are you being the best you can be (at least most days) for yourself and for those you love? Are you being creative with the changes in your body carefully making those attentive adjustments along the way?  Are you allowing art or something or someone to continually inspire you along the way?

I would love to hear your stories of transformation!!! Share your comments, victories, and strategies below.  You can also feel free to leave me a birthday wish. I’d love to find out more about who is reading this…

Thanks for taking this moment to celebrate with me.  I appreciate it more than you know.

As always,

Be Joyful,

Be Creative,

Be Inspired,



P.S.  Many thanks to photographybykesho@gmail.com for the pics, confirmation, and inspiration.  If in need of photography, please check her out! Tell her Tamara sent you!!!

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