This is Lori Ennis. A woman who embodies the energy ‘home’ for me. After 25 years of friendship, I still learned something new and beautiful about my friend. I am honored to share this KuelWoman’s tale with the world.
There is power in story telling. There is power in community. There is power in sharing. The more we know about one another; the more we understand; the more powerful we become.
We invite all of the KuelWomen out there to share their stories with us.
Here is Lori’s.
KUEL LIFE: What are you pursuing now, at 60, that surprises you or might appear to others as if it’s come out of left field?
LORI: I did not turn 60 gracefully. I had a crisis in confidence, realizing I needed to decide how I want to spend my next 20 years. I look at my life now and ask “what makes me happy?” and “what do I enjoy?”. I’m pursuing a possible move to another state in the next few years. I’m taking art classes.
KUEL LIFE: What’s a typical day like for you?
LORI: Not sure if I have a typical day. I have several part-time jobs and my days fluctuate depending on what’s on deck. Afternoons can be my art class. Spring and summer it is gardening. Several evenings are full with the couple of non-profits with which I volunteer. Often I am catching up with neighbors, friends or family.
KUEL LIFE: With what do you struggle?
LORI: I struggle financially and with body issues. I’m single; so I make all decisions, all the time, by myself. I look in the mirror and see the aging process, yet I still can get down on the floor with a 4 year old and play. Our society is ageist and I won’t let my hair go gray because I don’t want to be perceived as “older”. Inside I am still youthful and curious!
KUEL LIFE: How do you motivate yourself and stay motivated?
LORI: Making lists tend to help me complete my efforts. I can see my progress by crossing them off! Also, I calendar items so I can gear up for an event, meeting or exercise.
KUEL LIFE: What advice would you give fellow women about aging?
LORI: I like using a door as a metaphor to life’s opportunities ~ If you keep knocking on a door and it does not open, may be it is supposed to be kept shut! If the door is cracked open; peek. If the door swings open; pursue.
KUEL LIFE: What does vulnerability mean to you? What has the ability to make you vulnerable?
LORI: For me it means to have the courage to be myself, with no excuses! It is the integrity to talk, walk, and feel authentically in the world.
KUEL LIFE: What are three events that helped to shape your life?
LORI: Moving to Big Sur at 19. At the time, it was a scandalous choice and my parents pretty much disowned me. I am the oldest of 4 girls and first on both sides of the family. They came around – I started getting cards, letters and packages from them. I learned more about myself in those couple of years than from any book. I took all they shaped and molded in me and got to use them in my own life, making my own choices, and decisions.
Personal growth seminars. I attended several in the ’90s and it opened up my world, inside and out. Because of the work I did in these seminars, I was able to clarify issues with my father. He died suddenly in 1998 and I am grateful I had the opportunity.
Retiring. I left a corporation where I worked for 23+ years to pursue a life-long dream. That ‘dream’ never came to fruition, but I was led to some non-profits, where I make a difference. My work with the non-profits taught me how to lead, to listen, and to motivate.
KUEL LIFE: Who influenced you the most in life and why?
LORI: I have had many women who have influenced me. My mother; my first friend; women I saw climbing the ladder in my corporate years trying to break the “glass ceiling”; the many mothers I know and love; those that sacrifice & influence for a cause; those that pursue their dreams; and those bravely dealing with health issues. The list goes on and on. I admire their resilience. The one-foot-in-front-of-the-other attitude.
KUEL LIFE: What is the best advice you’ve been given from another woman?
LORI: I was getting ready to speak in front of 500 people. She said ~ “Trust yourself. You know the material. Speak from your truth and passion.”
KUEL LIFE: What woman inspires you and why?
LORI: At the moment it is Oprah Winfrey. There is an eloquence and an authentic way she speaks that I really admire. Her words match her actions for justice, equality and truth.
KUEL LIFE: Are you grown-up?
LORI: Not at all! Still growing, learning, curious, and do things that scare me!
KUEL LIFE: What do you do for self-care?
LORI: I love my home and get a lot of “recharging” when there. I love to cook and work in my garden. I read and journal. And if I really need a recharge I go to the ocean!
KUEL LIFE: And last but definitely NOT least: What are the top three things on your bucket list?
LORI: Living near the ocean or on it. Staying physically healthy (ok emotionally, mentally & spiritually too). Another tattoo.