I met Jodie Filogomo in October at FierceCon 2019. Instantly, and I mean instantly, I was attracted to her bright smile, positive energy, and fabulous outfits! She epitomizes, to me, THE sunny disposition. Fast forward a few months and I am bubbling with excitement that Jodie has graciously agreed to be one of Kuel Life’s Fashion Category Experts. Did I mention her fabulous outfits?
The truth about Jodie is that she has actively decided to be happy in life. A survivor from an abusive first marriage, Jodie has not allowed the past to define her. She runs her JTouchOfStyle blog, showcasing her Mom and her friend, with a ‘can do’, ‘look great at any age’, attitude. Jodie’s inspiring story is number 26 in my Share Your Story; the Women the WSJ Missed’ seres.
KUELLIFE: What are you pursuing now, at this stage of your life, that surprises you or might appear to others as if it comes out of left field?
JODIE: As a retired cosmetic dentist, people act so surprised when I tell them I’m a fashion blogger. However, I’ve always loved clothing, shopping, and all that comes with it. You could say that the nut doesn’t fall far from the tree considering that my mom still enjoys dressing up even though she’s 81.
I’ve also decided I’m regressing in age. Growing up I was always so serious. Then as a dentist, I felt the world of responsibility on my shoulders. That totally showed through in my professional garb. But now? Now I am embracing my inner child and having SO much fun with my clothing and style. I may look like a 10 year old some days, but that’s fine with me.
KUELLIFE: What’s a typical day like for you?
JODIE: My favorite days are blog photo days, because usually it’s all about exploring somewhere new for the photos. Since we just moved to Arizona from Colorado five months ago, we are getting out and about to see all different places and experience the fun of Phoenix.
A typical day in the Filogomo household is first being awakened by operatic singing by our one kitty. Then both my husband and I get up and start our day. Mine usually starts with some time on Instagram and working on the blog. His is taking care of day to day life along with helping technology wise on the blog.
One thing that hasn’t changed over the years is going to bed relatively early (one reason we fit into this retirement community so well). Now that we’ve cut the cord, we get ready for bed early and read instead of watching tv.
KUELLIFE: With what do you struggle?
“I’m still learning that with age comes a change of our physical body that society doesn’t quite embrace yet.”
JODIE: I’m still learning that with age comes a change of our physical body that society doesn’t quite embrace yet. It’s still a struggle to tell myself that these changes are a part of life and to love each and every one of them. While I realize our physical presence is only one side of our being, it’s the side we see everyday and is judged by others.
On top of that, trying to get my mother and other women around me to join in with this idea has been hard. However, it’s absolutely true that it’s never too late to look great. My tagline for the blog.
KUELLIFE: How do you motivate yourself and stay motivated?
JODIE: That’s an easy one for me. It’s innate somehow. I’m one of those that loves to get things done and enjoys what I’m doing now. So, while I also love relaxing and knitting, I try to get the blog work done before I kick back
KUELLIFE: What advice would you give fellow women about aging?
JODIE: First and foremost, that aging is a privilege. I’ve had too many friends pass away in the last years. The thought that we should not embrace our birthdays or celebrate is foreign to me. Every day is a gift and we need to remember that. That doesn’t mean we can’t try our best to look wonderful and every woman has a different definition of that concept. We all need to support each other and have each other’s backs!
KUELLIFE: What does vulnerability mean to you? What has the ability to make you vulnerable?
“I was brought up by a strong, German woman who felt like women could be independent and do it all. Therefore, vulnerability was thought of as a weakness.”
JODIE: Hah. Now there’s something else I struggle with. I was brought up by a strong, German woman who felt like women could be independent and do it all. Therefore, vulnerability was thought of as a weakness. I have since learned that it’s good to ask for help. Needing others is a blessing along with showing our faults and weaknesses. We are all only human and with each other’s help can make it through this journey.
KUELLIFE: What are three events that helped to shape your life?
JODIE: 1.) Graduating dental school: It was a boy’s club when I went to school, where our self esteem was truly challenged. Yet graduating and succeeding in the field definitely made me realize I could do anything.
2.) My divorce from my first husband: While it was awful to go through an abusive marriage, it makes me extremely empathetic to the others that have experienced the same thing. I never thought that I would be one to be in those shoes. And yet, it happened. And almost killed me. I planned to kill myself to get out of the relationship. Yet thankfully came to realize that life is too precious.
3.) Meeting and marrying my husband, Rob: I wasn’t sure I would ever marry again. Yet, I found my soul mate who has not only made me feel better about myself but has made me a better person.
KUELLIFE: Who influenced you the most in life and why?
JODIE: My best friend, Bethany, who passed away at age 34 from metastatic melanoma. She taught me not only how precious life is, but how to be a better boss. She was patient and looked at life from every angle. She is truly someone who I think about daily and hope I can make her proud.
KUELLIFE: What is the best advice you’ve been given from another woman?
JODIE: My friend, Lesley, just recently said, “A good mother never says ‘I told you so’”. While I’m not a mother, it made me realize that it’s true for everyone, in every situation. We can be better people as listeners than ones who seem to know it all
KUELLIFE: What woman inspires you and why?
JODIE: Every woman inspires me. Maybe that seems so cliché, but it’s true. Every woman you speak to has a story. And, it’s the hills and valleys that has made her who she is. It inspires me that my story is still evolving.
KUELLIFE: Are you grown-up?
JODIE: I used to be a grown up. I had a dental practice to run with 10 employees who counted on me. Besides the thousands of patients who depended on me for the care of their mouths. I took this job very seriously, and always felt at least 10 years older than my chronological age.
Now that I’ve retired, I feel so FREE! Not that I shirk responsibility or am ambivalent about it. It’s nice to enjoy the fun things in life and not worry as much. So, in answer to your question. No. I’m embracing my inner child
KUELLIFE: What do you do for self-care?
JODIE: Self care has become such a widely used term. For me it means to take care of my body, both inside and out so that I can be a better friend, daughter, wife, and all around person. Part of that is eating well, because I truly believe that food is our medicine. Along with realizing the 80/20 rule.
I also practice gratitude. I like to wake up and find joy in the small details of the morning.
My biggest weakness is buying myself new clothes and accessories. While most women wouldn’t consider this self care, I feel that this gives me such joy to make a statement with my outward appearance.
KUELLIFE: And last but definitely NOT least: What are the top three things on your bucket list?
JODIE: Is it terrible to say that I don’t have a bucket list? Even though I’m a planner at heart, I have been trying SO hard to live in the day. My word of the year was spontaneous, and with our recent move to AZ, it hit home that I have learned to be more spontaneous. I want to love life and take what the day has to offer me. (Sorry…I know that’s so mushy, but I had a glass of wine before filling this out…and that’s what it does to me, LOL)